Wednesday, December 11, 2013
This is probably old news to those of you who follow Guantanamo news but last week the U.S. released two men to Algeria. For these two men it was distressing news as they both have legitimate fears of going back to Algeria. One of the men fled Algeria two decades ago to avoid political prosecution and the U.N. agrees with his fears. See also this account from Carol Rosenberg. Then there is my client who is also from Algeria. My client's only fear about returning home is that the stuff our country has made up about him might land him in prison in Algeria if he returns home. He is willing to take that chance as he just wants to get the heck out of the hell hole we call Guantanamo. Unfortunately last week the DC Circuit Court upheld the district court's denial of his habeas petition. Although I was not surprised that the panel decided the way it did--they have found reasons to deny every single Guantanamo habeas petition that went up to the circuit court but this is especially frustrating because the DC Circuit is willing to disregard those government documents that show the government is wrong in favor of non-evidence that shows the government is correct. Anyway, the last three pages of the decision have warmed my heart as it gives my client a shot at a cert petition before the Supreme Court-- In his concurrence,which is essentially a dissent (but for technical reason that I won't go into here it is called a concurrence) Judge Edwards said "The troubling question in these detainee cases is whether the law of the circuit has stretched the meaning of the AUMF and the NDAA so far beyond the terms of these statutory authorizations that habeas corpus proceedings like the one afforded Ali are functionally useless." So thank you Judge Edwards and I shall run with your words. As Studs Terkel was fond of saying, "hope dies last."
Posted by H. Candace Gorman at 11:33 AM