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.