Saturday, June 20, 2009

For Al-Ghizzawi

I am taking a real vacation so there will not be much going on here except on the odd day.... but good things are maybe happening so I will leave you with this....
and say no more for now.

Maybe not the cleanest version but what the heck...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Government of Transparency

Yes, our new government of transparency is threatening to take me before one of the judges for publicly disclosing information I received from a non government source. Oh well.... hopefully our constitution is still somewhat in effect.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oh man, We cannot do this to people...Urgent request

As I mentioned, I have been holed up at the secret place for the last is a miserable experience.... but I smiled as I watched the reports about the four Uighers finally finding a home in Bermuda (click on the title for one of the stories).... now the Bermudians (?) are getting whipped up into a frenzy and threatening to call a no-confidence vote on the current administration for allowing these men, who have been accused of nothing and found to be totally innocent....into the country. Please write letters (to the editor) to your local papers speaking as loudly as possible in praise of the humanitarian decency shown by the Bermuda government. Statements should praise in particular premier Dr. Ewart Brown.
I guess I should not have to mention this but this request goes beyond the Uighers. If Brown gets a no confidence vote for doing the right many countries do you think will be willing to help us close Guantanamo by taking the innocent men that have long been held?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

chipping away at the torture lawyers....

Speaking of Torture...

Check out this from the emptywheel.... and this second post that followed.
Click on the title for the post.

Sign on for torture accountability

Sign on for torture accountability!

The Attorney General's reluctance to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate potential crimes by former officials involved in torturing detainees is endangering our nation's fundamental values and our credibility as a worldwide human rights leader.

Take a stand today by signing BORDC's letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Senate Intelligence Committee demanding accountability for torture. We will be sending a series of letters, including some on behalf of individuals practicing particular professions, reflecting the unique challenges they face.

Letter open to all signers

Letter signed by legal professionals

Letter signed by education professionals

Letter signed by clergy and religious lay-leaders

Interesting Torture Timeline with Links

From Roger Fitch and Our Friends Down Under at Justinian

Roger Fitch Esq • June 9, 2009

Our Man in Washington

President Obama says he wants to close Guantánamo Bay … This Konzentrationslager was flawed from the start … There was no law to support the “enemy combatant” regime … Roger Fitch tracks the fate of some of the better known detainees

imageNow that Barack Obama is settling into the daunting task of returning the US to a constitutional democracy, perhaps it’s a good time to reflect on the fate of Guantánamo prisoners, individual victims of George Bush’s comprehensively illegal project.

Click on the title for more

Friday, June 12, 2009

Anniversary of the Boumediene Decision Brings Some Relief

Today marked the one year anniversary of the decision by the US Supreme Court that said the Guantanamo detainees were entitled to swift hearings on their habeas petitions. Yesterday the Obama administration released 6 men. One of the men was a 14 year old boy (from Chad) when first brought to Guantanamo (el-Gharani), one was Iraqi and Four of the six were Uigher prisoners. Two separate Courts ordered the Uighers to be released, 13 Uighers remain. The four Uighers were released to Bermuda (supposedly CNN has an interview with them). Today three men were released, this time to Saudi Arabia (Khalid Saad Mohammed, Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee and Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair.). Mr. Zuhair was Guantanamo's longest running hunger striker.
I am holed up at the secret place.
229 left and counting...
No word yet on my two clients. Sigh...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Shocking Statistics of Starvation

To mark the third anniversary of the first known three deaths at Guantanamo, Andy Worthington put together a report for Cageprisoners analyzing the weight records released by the Pentagon in 2007, which demonstrate that, throughout Guantanamo's history, one in ten of the total population — 80 prisoners in total — weighed, at some point, less than 112 pounds (eight stone, or 50 kg), and 20 of these prisoners weighed less than 98 pounds (seven stone, or 44 kg). Click on the title to read the whole story.

Gitmo Attorney David Cynamon Calls For Investigation

Guantanamo Attorney: Investigate Obama Administration’s Failure to Comply with Supreme Court Before Starting Sotomayor Confirmation Process

Confirmation should not proceed until the Obama administration’s compliance with Supreme Court decisions is examined, says Kuwaiti Detainees Lawyer David Cynamon


New Seton Hall report debunking Pentagon "leak"

Seton Hall Law, Center for Policy & Research has just published it's latest report: Revisionist Recidivism: An Analysis of the Government’s Representations of Alleged “Recidivism” of the Guantanamo Detainees

A new home for the Uighers?

Palau. I have to admit I did not even know where Palau is located until I read this article. And who knew native born Palaun's don't need a passport to come to the US? I am sure the men would be happy just to get the hell out of Gitmo but could we have found a more remote place? Click here for Andy Worthington's take on this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rumsfeld: no place to hide but here in the US of A

And I truly hope we will not shelter you for much longer....

well.... yeah

Sadism at gitmo.... this really is what so much of the torture was about.

Detainee arrives in NY for criminal trial (UPDATED)

A week or so ago I reported that a detainee had arrived in the US to stand trial for alleged terrorist activities. The day I reported that he was on his way there was a plane on the tarmac at Gitmo waiting to take him... for some reason he apparently did not leave Gitmo at that time but he is in NY now...or so I am told. I do not know anything about this man but I will say that this is what our justice system is supposed to figure out... instead we decided to keep this man at Guantanamo for almost five years without charge. Two of those years he was held at secret prisons. It will be interesting to see how this case unfolds given all of the violations of the law involved in holding this man for so many years.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Boumediene interviewed by ABC

Sunday, June 7, 2009

NY times' second mea culpa

I guess the more they try to explain it the angrier I get. Now if you read the latest excuses (click on the title) you will find this little gem.... "Bumiller said she made sure there was language signaling controversy in the second paragraph." So now we are being "signaled" that a story might be a pack of lies? They really don't get it do they? Reporters are supposed to investigate... not parrot and "signal controversy".... but I guess that was in the old days.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vagabond Scholar: The Torture Apologia Chart

Vagabond Scholar: The Torture Apologia Chart

NY Times mea culpa....sorta

After a sensational (and false) story on May 21st that claimed one in seven gitmo prisoners who were released "returned" to the battlefield the NY Times is now admitting its error... although they still will not admit that they were spun.
The false story about the recidivism rate was "leaked" by the pentagon during the middle of a congressional debate about closing Guantanamo.... as a result of this and other scare tactics our wimpy senate voted to withhold money for closing Guantanamo. Shame on the NY Times.... and of course shame on those 93 wimpy senators.
Click on the title for the NY Times "correction."



Part dystopian urban cartography, part spatial-poetic intervention, this video/poem tracks a solitary figure (dressed iconically in the manner of a Guantanamo detainee) as it shuffles through work-a-day Manhattan at lunchtime. Appropriated text is from the Secret Orcon Interrogation Log, US Department of Defense. FYI: the first minute or so contains no images, only a black screen w/audio voiceover.


Friday, June 5, 2009

so much for the kinder, gentler administration

I know it is hard work. Bush told us that. But Bush was a slacker... so come on Obama.... aren't you better than that?

Two days ago, DoJ notified one of my fellow habeas counse that the Obama Review Team had cleared their client (Umar Abdulayev) for transfer to his native Tajikistan. The government tried to designate this information as "protected" under the protective order. Umar's lawyers objected to this designation and the government filed (under seal) a motion to stay Umar's habeas case. Yesterday, Judge Walton denied the government's motion and the government's attempt to designate the information as protected.
This development raises one of all of our worst fears, which is that our list of clients needing humanitarian protection and the government's list do not coincide. Or worse. That they do coincide but the Obama administration could care less.

Umar cannot return to Tajikistan - a country he has not lived in since he was 13, (back in 1992). In fact, Tajik officials made several trips to Guantanamo during Umar's years at Guantanamo to interrogate Umar and all the Tajiks (approximately 13). The Tajik officials specifically threatened Umar with imprisonment, torture, and death, and similarly threatened at least two other of their nationals detained there. The other two men who were threatened were repatriated by the U.S. in early 2007 and sentenced to 17-year prison terms in Tajikistan for nebulous "national security" offenses. According to the State Department, Tajikistan is a human rights abusing state where torture is prevalent, due process lacking, and where the ICRC is refused access to prisons. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has now followed in the footsteps of the Bush administration in determining to return Umar and perhaps other Tajikistan nationals to that country.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On A Related Subject

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Protest at Gitmo Captured on film

Click on the title for one of the pictures and go to the Miami Herald for the story and more pictures.