Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Today is another in a long string of very sad days. I feel certain that the fear I felt when I saw the news of today’s death is shared by all of the families of the detainees, as well as by the attorneys representing these men. All of us involved in this tragedy know that it could have been any one of the men being held at Guantánamo who died today, because each one of these men has been held in unconscionable conditions for years; many suffering from untreated physical and psychological conditions.

Suicide? Who knows…? But if so…who is to blame for the desperation that led this man to take his life today? And who amongst you would say to this man that he should not have succumbed to the hopelessness that made his life so unbearable? Which Senator or Representative will be the one to step up to the plate and say that a man, imprisoned potentially for the rest of his life without any charge against him and without any hope of a fair opportunity to challenge his imprisonment and establish his innocence, should just sit tight?

Medical neglect? More than a possibility given the medical care at the base. This is a military that has decided to force feed men who have chosen a peaceful protest by hunger striking while at the same time refusing to treat men who are dying of hepatitis, heart disease and TB.

Homicide? Not likely. But only a full, complete, and open investigation will tell us that answer.

But don’t hold your breath. A full and open investigation will never happen. On June 10th 2006, three men died at the base. The administration has been “investigating”this incident for almost a year now and has refused to tell us anything about the results of that investigation. Why is that? We can only speculate…... more importantly the world can only speculate.

Given our current government, (and I don’t just mean the Bushies because we have two other branches of government that have been and continue to be complicit in these war crimes) we will never know why this man died today and why those three men died last June.

One thing however is certain… we are all to blame.

Shame on all of us for allowing this monumental catastrophe to continue.



When I first heard the news my fear was that Mr. Al-Ghizzawi took his life.

When I saw Mr.Al-Ghizzawi two weeks ago I wondered how he could keep going. The health issues alone might crush the best of us, but couple that with the current condition of being in total isolation and it is hard to imagine pushing on each day. Al-Ghizzawi, like most of the detainees, suffers from depression. I can't call it clinical, I am not a psychiatrist. But I can call it unconscienable, not just because I am a lawyer but because I am a human being; something the bushies clearly are not.

These men, the vast majority of whom are totally innocent of any wrong doing against our country (or anyone for that matter), are left without hope.... and there is no end in sight.

I can say for sure now it was not Mr. Al-Ghizzawi. The reports are still dribbling out but the government attorney sent an email to several of the detainees who represent Saudi nationals that the deceased did not have an attorney and had nothing pending in the courts. Same was true of the three that died last year... another reason why legal representation is so necessary?

This day, like the 1800 or so before it, is indeed a sad reminder of what our country has become.

Shame on us.