Tuesday, November 15, 2022

From our friends down under at Justinian

Fitch looks at some of the high and low notes from the election....


Some of the election results:

• Wisconsin, the Republican "laboratory for dismantling democracy", has re-elected Senator Ron Johnson, the most ignorant and (after Ted Cruz) obnoxious US senator. However, the party failed to obtain the veto-proof  legislature needed to frustrate its re-elected Democrat governor, Tony Evers, whose opponent had promised permanent Republican government.

• In Florida, a 25-year-old Afro-Cuban Democrat became the first member of "Gen Z" elected to congress;

• Maryland chose its first African-American governor, the Oxford-educated Democrat Wes Moore;

• Democrats made significant gains in state legislatures and governors;

• The Democrats flipped a senate seat in Pennsylvania while keeping those in Arizona and Nevada;  

• The top cop in Las Vegas has been elected Republican governor of Nevada;

• Ohio elected a Trump-endorsed Republican senator (JD Vance) to an open Republican seat;

• Georgia will hold a run-off for the senate as neither the Democrat incumbent or his woeful Republican opponent obtained 50% of the vote, and Georgia doesn't have preference voting (in the US, "ranked-choice" or "instant run-off" voting);

• Alaska has ranked choice, and will hold a further election this month where four qualifying candidates from November 8th compete (the top two contenders are both Republicans);

• America's worst state attorney general, Ken Paxton, has won his second four year re-election since being indicted for securities fraud; and

• America's most partisan "secretary of state", Kris Kobach, will now make trouble as Kansas Attorney General.

READ THE WHOLE FITCH HERE.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

REFLECTIONS...

 




Monday, November 7, 2022

POWER HAS BEEN CRIED BY THOSE STRONGER THAN ME....

  Musical interlude while we see what the American People have to say about democracy. [I will be off to Detroit to monitor the shenanigans by the white supremacists...]






Sunday, October 30, 2022

Oldest Gitmo prisoner released

 Saifullah Paracha, 75

Mr. Paracha was held since 2003. He was primarily represented by fellow Gitmo attorney GT Hunt. GT is a remarkable attorney who is also a solo attorney. GT tried everything to get his client out of there-- clearly the man, like so many others-- should never have been held. Mr. Paracha had numerous health problems and had never been charged in his more than 17 years being held and he was cleared for release almost 2 years ago.

The guardian has more but unfortunately they did not interview GT.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Dog turns 60...

 Yes I mean our friend the talking dog. And of course with the wisdom of these many years he has a few things to say:

Obviously, I could talk about the breakdown in our national discourse, or the fact that like Donald Trump’s mouth, Guantanamo is still open, but I’m already just all joy and sunshine as it is. I have said before that I consider myself pretty lucky that I am playing the back-nine of life now; I am not happy about the pile of crap we are leaving for the Loquacious Pup and the other young ‘uns. But it seems, no one seems interested in taking their noses out of their I-phones long enough to pay attention to terribly much. So I don’t know.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, October 17, 2022

FREE THE GUANTANAMO ART WORK- FROM THE FOLKS AT "CLOSE GUANTANAMO"

 Free the art from Guantánamo! SIGN THE LETTER TO BIDEN.




Dear friends and supporters,

Six weeks ago, we published an article — folllowing up on a BBC World article — about an outrageous ban on prisoners’ artwork being allowed to leave Guantánamo, which was imposed five years ago, under Donald Trump, and has not been dropped by President Biden.

The ban was imposed after the Pentagon responded with unacceptable hysteria to an exhibition of prisoners’ artwork at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, and immediately led to prisoners no longer being allowed to give their artwork to their attorneys — and, via them, to their families.

This was nothing less than cruel, as art had become a lifeline for many of the men held, but the ban’s damage has now become even more worrying, because some of the men still held are prolific artists, and, having been approved for release since President Biden took office, are facing eventual release from the prison without being able to take any of their artwork with them.
......

The letter is available online here, and is open for signatures by other supporters, to add to those of the former prisoners. Our co-founders, Andy and Tom Wilner, have signed it, and Andy also secured the support of the musician Roger Waters, who is a long-term supporter of the Close Guantánamo campaign.

(read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Friday, October 7, 2022

One way to help the men released from Gitmo

 

Mansoor Adayfi (former Guantanamo prisoner), is in the middle of a 4-day bicycle ride in Serbia (where he was transferred) to raise support for closing Guantanamo and to raise money to help men who have been released.

 

https://twitter.com/mansooradayfi/status/1577277887664730113?s=12&t=zmfo3Hel-Wh-6zeYle7YsA

 

If you want to support, contributions can be made here

Sunday, October 2, 2022

WRONGFUL CONVICTION DAY

 Of course my client at Guantanamo, like almost all of the men there, has never been convicted.




Sunday, September 25, 2022

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

 


Saturday, September 24, 2022

Lybian Ismail al Bakush cleared for release

Mr. Bakush was arrested at the same time as my remaining client.  There is a lot of irony here as the confusion of names will continue until all of the material  surrounding these arrests is cleared and examined. This Mr. Bakush was cleared for release this past week.

From Carol Rosenberg at the New York Times.  link here.


 WASHINGTON — A national security board on Friday cleared a Libyan man who has been held at Guantánamo Bay without charge for 20 years to be transferred to another country if one can be found to take him, continuing the Biden administration’s effort to reduce the detainee population at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba.

The decision in the case of Ismail Ali Faraj Ali Bakush, 54, means that diplomats are now seeking to reach security agreements for the transfer of 22 of the 36 men currently held as law of war prisoners at Guantánamo.

Mr. Bakush is the last so-called low value prisoner being held as an indefinite detainee in the war on terror that began in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In an apparent nod to the instability of Libya, the Periodic Review Board — an interagency group with representatives from the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and various cabinet agencies — recommended that he be transferred to a third country “with strong rehabilitation capabilities,” integration support and a willingness to monitor his activities and restrict his travel.

Mr. Bakush was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan, in May 2002 and sent to Guantánamo Bay three months later. A U.S. ntelligence report  from January described him as an explosives expert who “probably provided operational support to key Al Qaeda figures.” At Guantánamo, he was held as a member of the Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which the State Department designated as a terrorist organization from 2004 to 2015. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

From Roger Fitch and our friends Down under.. at Justinian

 Trump's attempted document theft ... Missing pages from confidential files ... Trouble for former president's lawyers ... Patsy judge's flawed reasons ... State judges up for election in November ... Republicans working on the judicial stack ... From Our Man in Washington, Roger Fitch 

"Plaintiff has no property interest in any Presidential records (including classified records) seized from the Premises. The Presidential Records Act provides ... that '[t]he United States shall reserve and retain complete ownership, possession, and control of Presidential records' ... Plaintiff [does not] offer any ... colourable argument that he has a property interest in any Presidential records seized ... Plaintiff's Motion, in fact, asserts that '[t]he documents seized at Mar-a-Lago ... were created during his term as President' ... precisely the types of documents that likely constitute Presidential records. 

Because these records do not belong to Plaintiff, [he has] no right to have them returned. And because Plaintiff has no such right, this Court should not appoint a special master to review Presidential records for the purpose of entertaining potential claims of executive privilege ... the former President cites no case ... in which executive privilege has been successfully invoked to prohibit the sharing of documents within the Executive Branch." - US responseTrump v US

Even if Donald Trump escapes punishment for e.g, insurrection, he must be guilty of something: consider the example of the American gangster Al Capone, undone by Internal Revenue. While tax evasion is likely among Trump's countless crimes, his downfall may be the National Archives (NARA), wielding the Presidential Records Act.  

After Trump left the White House, NARA discovered that important official papers belonging to the Archives were missing, and asked for their return. When the requested documents were not provided, but lied about ("only news clippings"), moved about and hidden, the Justice Department was called in.

After months of Trump obstruction, DOJ obtained a search warrant for Trump's hotel-home, Mar-a-Lago, and retrieved a sizable tranche of government papers, many secret and/or highly classified, that the ex-president had secreted and retained. 

damning affidavit supported the government's search, which yielded "sensitive" documents afterwards compared by Trump lawyers to "overdue library books". 

American media initially stressed the "unprecedented" search by the FBI of (gasp) a former president's home, assuming some deference was due. That changed when 11,000 government records were found in Trump's possession and 90 empty folders, half of which were marked confidential.

What's actually unprecedented is the wholesale theft of government documents by an outgoing president, 320 of them classified. Sensitive government documents may have disappeared


READ THE REST HERE.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

tiny steps.. but steps.

 The military's chief prosecutor in the Guantanamo military trials has taken the prosecutor who was advocating for the death penalty in the USS Cole bombing case off the case. Read more here.

Don't even ask how the Cole bombing which occured in October 2000 became part of the September 11th roundup....

Monday, September 12, 2022

NEVER FORGET

 


Sunday, September 11, 2022

9-11, 21 years in...... no hope in sight for my remaining client.

 Every year on this day I turn to my friend the talking dog... who had the misfortune to be in NYC on that day-- and very close to ground zero.