Thursday, December 31, 2009


ABC reported on monday that a former gitmo prisoner was involved in the incident aboard the Amsterdam/Detroit flight on Christmas. Soon thereafter the story was widely disseminated. Only problem is that the guy they were accusing (Muhamad Attik al-Harbi) had turned himself over to Saudi officials back in February, after his picture showed up on an Al-Queda recruitment video.
Click on the title for ABCs "correction" of its sloppy journalism....

Should we hold the Yemeni's forever?

Some on the rights fringe are arguing that the 92 or so men from Yemen being held at Guantanamo should be held by us forever because Yemen has too many political problems. Many of these men have been cleared for release (for years...) and are clearly innocent of any wrong doing....minor details. Click on the title to read what Andy Worthington has to say about these men and why they should be allowed to go home.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Should we go back to torture?

Eric Lewis is one of the Gitmo attorneys. Click on the title to read what he has to say about the Detroit plane incident....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Twelve Released

Over the weekend, four Afghan detainees, Abdul Hafiz, Sharifullah, Mohamed Rahim and Mohammed Hashim, were transferred to the Government of Afghanistan. In addition, two Somali detainees, Mohammed Soliman Barre and Ismael Arale, were transferred to regional authorities in Somaliland. Finally, six Yemeni detainees, Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mari, Farouq Ali Ahmed, Ayman Saeed Abdullah Batarfi, Muhammaed Yasir Ahmed Taher, Fayad Yahya Ahmed al Rami and Riyad Atiq Ali Abdu al Haf, were transferred to the Government of Yemen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Habeas Scorecard

The Washington Independent has started a new "habeas scorecard" keeping track of the wins and losses of the habeas corpus petitions. As of todays latest ruling in favor of the detainee (Yemeni detainee, Saeed Hatim) the score is 32 wins (for habeas petitioners) and 9 losses (for habeas petitioners...). In other words.... 4 out of 5 cases (80%) have been won by the detainees.
Click on the title for more.


Citizen Gorman here….(only kidding Judge…and DOJ)

I just have one clarification….I never argued (even implicitly) that the DOJ should not be allowed to seek court approval to designated matters “protected”…. I only argued that they should be required to follow the guidelines that they established…instead of just make it up as they go along.

Anyway it is a good thing I have a sense of humor.

Click here to read the order.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Amicus and other briefs in the Supreme Court Kiyemba (1) case

Sorry for the delay in getting these up on the blog. The Kiyemba case that is pending in the Supreme Court is looking at the issue of whether men who won their habeas case at Guantanamo and cannot go back to their home country can be released into the United States. First link is to the very readable and important amicus brief written by Charles Gittings (from the project to enforce the geneva conventions):
Supreme Court --

December 11, 2009
Kiyemba v. Obama, No. 08-1234

All the merits briefs for Petitioners and Amici are here:

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Another frustrating visit to our gulag...
while there one Kuwaiti was sent home and one federal judge found the pentagon in contempt for disobeying an order to film the habeas testimony of one of the men... but it was still disappointing in that the Judge refused to bring the man to federal court to testify again (with a camera this time) and without cross examination (because he already went through that) so that there could be a video record of his testimony. The court's rationale: "The Court rejects this request for several reasons. First, the logistical and security problems would be extremely difficult to overcome...."
Yikes.... I mean really....did she forget she entered his habeas petition?....what is the security issue here? That we might bring a guy to the US that never should have been held at Guantanamo....sigh.
There are rumors that some others will be sent home, maybe tonight ....or it might be in another 8 days or so....but of course only rumors. We shall see.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Seton Hall report on three of the deaths at Gitmo

Click here for the comprehensive report.
Click here for Scott Horton's interview of Prof. Denbeaux
For the cliffnotes version I am pasting this in from the press release (the bottom line is that there are still many unanswered questions):

The three detainees were each reported to have been found hanging in his separate cell shortly after midnight on June 10, 2006. According to the government’s own autopsies, each detainee had been hanging unobserved for a minimum of two hours. The deaths went unnoticed despite the constant supervision of five guards who were responsible for only 28 inmates in a lit cell block monitored by video cameras. According to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), each detainee should have been observed a minimum of once every 10 minutes by the guards. Despite clear violations of the SOP, no guards were ever disciplined.


Buried in the investigation are details of a camp in total disarray. According to Professor Mark Denbeaux, Director of the Center for Policy & Research, the investigation shows “guards not on duty, detainees hanging dead in their cells for hours and guards leaving their posts to eat the detainees’ leftover food.” During initial investigation interviews immediately following the deaths, those guards on duty were warned that they were suspected of giving false statements and were even read their Miranda rights. These guards were also ordered to not write out sworn statements, even though SOPs demanded they should.


Professor Denbeaux commented, “An investigation was promised. The promised investigation was a cover up. Worse still, given the gross inadequacy of the investigation the more compelling questions are: Who knew of the cover up? Who approved of the cover up, and why? The government’s investigation is slipshod, and its conclusion leaves the most important questions about this tragedy unanswered.”

Taking the military investigation’s findings as truthful and complete, in order to have committed suicide by hanging, the detainees had to:

  1. Braid a noose by tearing up their sheets and/or clothing
  2. Make mannequins of themselves so it would appear to the guards they were asleep in their cells
  3. Hang sheets to block the view into the cells, in violation of SOPs
  4. Stuff rags down their own throats
  5. Tie their own feet together
  6. Tie their own hands together
  7. Hang the noose from the metal mesh of the cell wall and/or ceiling
  8. Climb up on to the sink, put the noose around their necks and release their weight, resulting in death by strangulation
  9. Hang dead for at least two hours completely unnoticed by guards

Seton Hall Law student, co-author of Death in Camp Delta, and former Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division, Paul W. Taylor added: “We have three dead bodies and no explanation. How is it possible that all three detainees had shoved rags so far down their own throats that medical personnel could not remove them? One of the dead detainees was scheduled for release from Guantanamo Bay in 19 days. Instead he died in custody.”

The American public and the families of the dead deserve to know the truth.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

YES WE CAN.....but we won't (Updated)

Someone sent me an email questioning whether or not I was really wary of Obama from the beginning or whether I was not now just jumping on some anti Obama bandwagon.... I have jumped on bandwagons in the past when I realized I made a mistake... but this was not one of those times.
Read here for my post regarding Obama in early "08.


Remember it?
Well it is coming into play again... lets see where it takes us.
You see we have been holding men without charge for years, torturing them and forcing confessions....but one of those men illegally held actually had an indictment against him in NY the whole time we were holding him.
We (the US Government) ignored it and held him and tortured him and now we decided to go ahead (six years later) and try him....sigh.
His attorneys filed this... suggesting to the court that maybe this is just a bit illegal.
read more here ...what you will learn is that our government is still protecting the details of his torture and that somehow our justice department doesn't see anything wrong with holding someone for years on end (maybe forever) without charge... and when they finally do get around to the charges they think we should just sit tight and accept it....kind of like the good old soviet union....
except they didn't have our constitution.