Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The ruling against the Yemeni captive, Moath Hamza Ahmed Al Alwi, can be found here. The ruling against the Tunisian prisoner, Hisham Sliti, can be found here. (thanks to Scotus for the cites)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Click on the title to read the interview.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
"The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law."
"How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand?".
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Please consider donating to CCR
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece earlier this week suggesting that the Guantanamo habeas attorneys are in it for the glory and how nice it would be if big firm lawyers would volunteer to help out the poor department of justice lawyers. Well the Wall Street Journal did not see fit to print my letter in response so here it is (FYI, DOJ is the department of Justice... in name only of course) :
As one of the “dream teams” (my team is particularly small however because I am a sole practitioner) referenced in your opinion piece on December 16th “Gitmo Lawyers are the latest in Radical Chic” I want to commend you for the excellent idea that the DOJ gets some assistance from competent lawyers from the outside. If the DOJ had competent lawyers on it’s side that would treat the courts as an independent branch of government rather than an irritant to be ignored… or worse yet to be lied to, perhaps we could get these cases resolved. Competent lawyers could start by giving refresher courses to the DOJ attorneys on both the court rules and the ethical rules for attorney conduct…. Including the most important rules “obey court orders” and “tell the truth.” A little friendly advice about the harm that comes to the judicial process when they deliberately insulate its lawyers from unfavorable facts would go a long way too.
I have been in private practice for more than twenty-five years and I can tell you that if I conducted litigation in the same manner that these attorneys from the DOJ have I would have been sanctioned by the Judges long ago. You are absolutely right that competent representation promotes justice and any involvement to raise the quality of the government's representation in these cases would be a welcome improvement.
I was particularly angered to hear that these men who were cleared by a federal judge of any wrongdoing were still treated like the "worst of the worst" on their trip home. They were diapered and chained for the ride home... not allowed to even use the god damned toilet on the plane. Shame on us.
So now we have three men who have been released pursuant to a court order. As my friend the talking dog pointed out one fewer than the number known to have died at Guantanamo. Oops...As my other friend Almerindo (from the Guantanamo testimonial project) pointed out, five men are known to have died at Guantanamo so the number released by court order is two fewer than the number known to have died at Gitmo.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
He ruled that the president (and others) are proper parties..
and that the government does not get a rebuttable presumption of accuracy and authenticity...etc.
click on the title to view the actual orders.
Messrs. Nechla, Ait Idir and Boudells arrived in Sarajevo this morning.These are the first men to actually be freed because of a court order but in keeping with our general nastiness they were shackled for the plane trip home. Word just in that they are home with their families now.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I am not exactly sure why... (ok I do know why...) we in the US have to get the news about the US from places like Australia, Canada, Germany, Peru, etc.... but I guess until we have a real media in the US once again... or even what passes for one... I am forever grateful for the assistance of so many of you.
CLICK ON THE TITLE FOR MORE....
Friday, December 12, 2008
For me, one of the most distressing accounts of our war crimes came in a training session I attended in the fall of 2005. One of the tipton three had just been released from Guantanamo a few months earlier and he was video conferenced into our training session. He spoke about how he and hundreds of men were rounded up and placed in metal shipping containers on an airport runway in Afghanistan. The men who were crammed into these containers and left to boil under the hot sun were screaming for air... they were screaming for their lives. What they got in return were bullets fired into the metal containers and the military personnel yelled "here we will give you some air holes." The man was a British citizen, he saw both American and Afghan forces at the base and knew from the voices that that Americans forces were involved in the massacre. When he was finally released from the metal container that he had been held in most of the almost 100 men were dead. The conditions were the same for the men held in the other containers, most were dead. Now the evidence of those war crimes is being destroyed.
Click on the title for more.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Chairman Levin said: "The abuses at Abu Ghraib, GTMO and elsewhere cannot be chalked up to the actions of a few bad apples. Attempts by senior officials to pass the buck to low ranking soldiers while avoiding any responsibility for abuses are unconscionable. The message from top officials was clear; it was acceptable to use degrading and abusive techniques against detainees. Our investigation is an effort to set the record straight on this chapter in our history that has so damaged both
Click on the title for more... or on the links below.
Executive Summary and Conclusions [PDF]
Statement of Senator Levin
Part I of the Committee's Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody - June 17, 2008
Part II of the Committee's Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody - September 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Contrary to earlier reports in the media yesterday, and based upon information I received later yesterday evening all of the defendants accused of crimes related to 9/11 have withdrawn any attempt to plead guilty. As far as I know, as of now, any effort to plead guilty has been delayed until at least after the competency hearings of two of the defendants. Motions concerning challenges to the Military Commission proceedings are also still proceeding. What most of you probably recognize is that these men have been tortured and abused for several years and even under the kangaroo military commissions plea agreements under these circumstances must proceed carefully.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
John Yoo deserves to be tried and (hopefully) convicted of his war crimes and crimes against humanity and if you want to learn how you can do more to get the man behind the torture policies out of a job click on the title.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Whether Congress, in passing the Authorization for Use of Military Force after September 11, authorized the indefinite military detention of a legal immigrant seized on domestic soil whom the government alleged to have conspired with al Qaeda to carry out attacks against the United States.
Al-Marri came to the US on a student visa with his wife and children. He was picked up and first held as a material witness then moved to solitary confinement in one of our military prisons where he has never been charged with anything. He has been held in Guantanamo like surroundings for more than six years. It is almost like the government is testing how far they could go: first with Padilla, a US citizen held without charge and then Al-Marri who was in the US on a valid visa.... next question is whether they will try to move him out of military detention and into state charges like they did with Padilla when the judicial heat was on.
The talking dog has more....
Makes you want to visit the US doesn't it?
Good luck to our progressive friends up north.
A while back a commenter here asked why we couldn't send our Guantanamo prisoners to that court and it raises an interesting issue that I have been thinking about. If we signed on to the Court could we ask them to take the few (and yes very few) men at guantanamo who may actually be war criminals?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I have to say there is a certain joy in thinking that Bush may pardon all of these war criminals... that would leave the prosecution to the rest of the world... and there are some countries that just might do it.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Is this a trial balloon from the Obama Camp or a last gasp from the Bush camp? I sure do not know but it worries me.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I am not convinced but perhaps it is a good starting point.
Hats off to Harpers Scott Horton for bringing these to my attention.
Click on the title to read more.
Several people have emailed me to ask why I am not convinced that truth commissions are the way to go. To put it bluntly: why bother if we are not going to use the truth to prosecute our criminals? When someone murders your neighbor you do not ask for a truth commission to look into the murder, you gather the facts and prosecute the individual. We are talking not just about murder but also human rights violations on a massive scale and the shredding of our constitution. If the truth commissions are proposed as a way to gather all of the facts for a future prosecution then I am all for it.... if however, as I suspect, the commissions are the endgame ...then screw it.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
(just copy and paste the ones that you can't click on....)
THERE ARE SO MANY MORE THAT HE SENT BUT THIS SHOULD KEEP YOU BUSY FOR NOW.
Click on the title to read the op-ed
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Bin Laden driver to be moved from
(CNN) -- The former driver and bodyguard of Osama bin Laden will be moved from the prison at
Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who has been held at
Hamdan was convicted by a military commission in August of a war crime -- providing material support to al Qaeda -- but was cleared of more serious terrorism conspiracy charges.
He was found guilty of being the terror leader's bodyguard and driver, and of receiving weapons training and transporting and delivering arms. However, the commission rejected charges that Hamdan conspired with others in carrying out al Qaeda attacks, including those of September 11, 2001.
Hamdan received a 66-month prison sentence, which was due to be completed by the end of the year, because he had received credit for time served before being found guilty.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
click on the title to read more...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I will have a link to the show later this week.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Click on the title for the AP story (I know I don't like to post AP stories but I am making this exception!).
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I am surprised to learn that President-elect Obama is seriously considering legislation to create special courts for the men at Guantanamo. I hope Obama, a lawyer himself, will take the time to carefully review the “evidence” against many of the men still being held at that base. At first blush, some of the so called “evidence” might strike the untrained as serious but if Obama reviews the underlying support for that “evidence” he will see that the reason behind many of these detentions is (to quote one of the military tribunal panel members) “garbage.” I represent two of the men at Guantanamo and I have looked at what is supposed to be the secret evidence against my clients. I can tell you that there is a reason they keep this information secret and it is not about “national security”, this is about national embarrassment. In fact, calling this “garbage” is, in my view, a gross understatement. Couple this with the resignations of six of the prosecutors in the Military Commission system and it should be clear that there are serious problems underlying the cases. It is appalling that these men have sat at Guantanamo for almost seven years with no charges against them and no judicial review of the evidence. If Obama follows through with his trial balloon and sets up yet another system to try these men my clients will look at another year or more before they get the fair hearing that they so desperately need. The US Supreme Court said in June that these men have waited long enough for their hearings. I pray that Obama will heed the call of the Supreme Court and let our justice system, which has worked just fine for over two centuries, do its job.
H. Candace Gorman
Attorney at Law
Thursday, November 13, 2008
By Jane Sutton – Wed Nov 12, 5:57 pm ET
MIAMI (Reuters) – Former Guantanamo prisoners released after years of
detention without charge went home to find themselves stigmatized and
shunned, viewed either as terrorists or U.S. spies, according to a
report released on Wednesday.
The report by human rights advocates urged U.S. President-elect
Barack Obama to form an independent, nonpartisan commission with
subpoena powers to investigate the treatment of U.S. detainees in
Afghanistan, Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Navy base in Cuba.
CLICK ON THE TITLE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
2) THE DETAINEE CASES
There's quite a bit going on these days; for the details, see the outstanding reports by Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog linked below.
But now the election has created a very interesting situation. In two months, the government's view of the law in these cases is going to change, and change a lot. The question is how much and how soon, and it's clear that DOJ is a mess that will require major house cleaning of both personnel and legal policy. It will be very interesting to see how the new administration deals with it.
Then there's DoD, and all I'm going to say about that is that I think it would be a VERY bad idea to keep Gates as Secretary of Defense -- DoD is almost as rotten as DOJ is.
MORE HERE BUT LINKS AREN'T WORKING... CLICK ON TITLE FOR THE REAL THING
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The analysis is Guantánamo's Children: Military and Diplomatic Testimonies, and can be found here.
Also you can click on the title to go directly to the Guantanamo Testimonials Project which has an amazing collection of information related to our Gulag.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
ABDUL HAMID AL-GHIZZAWI, ISN #654
U.S. Naval Base Guantánamo Bay, Cuba
Washington, DC 20355
This is really ugly.
The government has to give me notice before they can turn Al-Ghizzawi over to another country.
I will continue to fight to get Al-Ghizzawi out of Guantanamo and not sent to Libya.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
In my pile of mail at home there a letter from IN THESE TIMES which included a letter from my personal hero Studs Terkel. In the letter Studs announced that he was now 96 years old and did not expect to live long "No more books or articles. No more cubs games. No more bourbon.... but that doesn't mean I haven't got any fight left in me..."
and he asked me... and now I am asking you... to donate to In These Times.
As I was driving home from my office I was tired and distressed... the government filed new papers in Al-Ghizzawi's case and this nightmare that my client is caught up in never seems to end.
Then I heard the news........ Studs died this morning. For a few moments it just seemed like more bad news.... but he was 96 and had a great life and
And we should all remember his wise words... Hope Dies Last....
I will donate to IN THESE TIMES in Stud's memory and I hope you will too....
And I will keep fighting for Al-Ghizzawi and the other men at Guantanamo because "hope dies last."
I might be entering a black out zone as far as what I can talk about in relation to my client Al-Ghizzawi. The government will be filing new documents soon and once I view those documents in the secure facility I cannot discuss them.
I have this little hunch that if they try to add some new BS about why they are holding Al-Ghizzawi that the information might really relate to a person that neither Al-Ghizzawi nor I know anything about: A man who has, as part of his name, the name "Abdul Salam". It seems this name was added to Al-Ghizzawi's name sometime after Al-Ghizzawi was held at Guantanamo. Al-Ghizzawi told me that the man was in the cell next to him early on and then he was gone. Is he alive or dead? I don't know. But if any of you have time to try to figure who the men are/were with similar names that have been held at Gimo and what the facts are related to these man it could be very helpful. Some of the info can be found on government websites.