Friday, November 30, 2007

Europeans allowed secret flights across their air space to Guantánamo

Stephen Grey, author of Ghost Planes, recently released flight logs showing that at least five European countries (Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal) allowed secret rendition flights through their airspace.

Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, said: "What happened at Guantanamo was torture and it is illegal to provide facilities or anything to make this torture possible. Under the law, European governments should have intervened and should not have given permission to let these flights happen."

So when will these countries come foreward and help the men that have been illegally prisoned these six years because of their complicity?

To read the full account from the Sunday Times (London) click on the title.

Sami al-Hajj told that he may be suffering from cancer

Sami al-Hajj, the Al-Jazeera cameraman being held at Guantánamo who has been engaged in a hunger strike for one year now is reportedly suffering from serious health problems. Doctors reportedly told him that he may be suffering from cancer. Although the military claims that nine men are currently engaged in hunger strikes, word from the prison suggests many more than nine. Hunger strikes have been utilized over the century's to protest inhumane and unconscienable response to the guantanamo hunger strikes our government has tortured the strikers by restraining the men and force feeding them with oversized feeding tubes.

Click on the title to go directly to the article.


Habeas counsel David H. Remes put together this helpful chronology for those of you wanting a better understanding of the history of the Guantanamo litigation. If you copy the pages and keep the glossary on one side for easy referencing while reviewing the chronology it will definitely help in understanding what has happened over these almost six years. (Click on the title and it will take you to ScotUSBlog where the chronology was posted..)
Thank You David....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Guantanamo Manual

For those of you who did not have the time and or energy to plow through the entire Guantanamo Manual that was leaked last month our good friends at the Guantanamo Testimonials Project have the "highlights" for us. Click on the title to go directly to the site.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The Arab Organisation for Human Rights has released a claim that 50 Gitmo detainees suffer from TB... the military claims that the men do not want to be treated...
funny thing that military... they can claim anything they want because no one is allowed to question what they say.
The military told Mr. Al-Ghizzawi's judge that he did not want to be treated too... unfortunately that particular judge chose to believe the military rather than the dying Mr. Al-Ghizzawi.
(click on the title for more)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I know we have heard these rumors before but it was announced on the Algerian news that a deal has finally been arranged for returning the Algerians. A deal that does not involve the Algerians giving in on the US requirements... such as withholding the men's passports. (click on the title for more information...)
My second client is an Algerian who was turned over to the pakistani police in return for a $5000 bounty. He had no ties to terrorism and the US government quickly learned he was an innocent civilian but would not return him unless the Algerian government agreed to certain "requirements."
Lets hope this deal does not fall thru and the men can get home quickly.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Supreme Court Update

The Solicitor General was granted an extension to December 26th, 2007.... to respond to Mr. Al-Ghizzawi's original Habeas petition...(sigh)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Guatanamo Myth No. 3 (updated)

The United States Government has been claiming for years that the reason so many of the men slated for release have not left Guantanamo is the fault of the home countries for not working with the U.S. to repatriate the men and/or the fault of the rest of the world for not stepping in and taking those men who cannot go back to their home countries. We (habeas counsel) knew that this was false as many of us have contacted countries willing to take the men and some of those countries have tried to get the State Department to release the men to them. Unfortunately the State Department stalls and ignores... the fault clearly lies with our own inept State Department. Finally we now have a country that is willing to talk about the frustration in trying to work with the State Department to get their men home. Attorney William Teesdale describes his conversation with the Deputy Ambassador to the U.S. from Sudan in his affidavit filed with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals last week. (click on the title to see his affidavit...)
Specifically Teesdale states that the Sudanese government has been trying to repatriate its two citizens at Guantanamo since November 2005 and despite the fact that the men have been cleared for release since that time ...our State Department is just a little too busy to actually get around to finalizing the arrangements and sending them home....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gonzo sets up legal defense fund

There are few things to cheer about in the legal world today... with our constitution being thrown out the window and at least some of our judiciary looking the other way. But today there is something to smile about... our former attorney general has to raise money for his defense fund... and he will have to be careful where he travels when he leaves the country or he could be slapped with charges for his war crimes...
I wonder if old Gonzo is starting to think twice about whether torture should be an American value?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


(click on the title and go directly to the upload on scotusblog)

Abraham's second affidavit focuses on the fact that the if you are going to create an organization that will have a primarily legal responsibility, require access to vast amounts of intelligence, be able to coordinate with national and international agencies, hold hearings, and report findings, many of which will require international coordiation...

then why do you create an organization with:

... no direct connections to the intelligence organizations
... no direct connections to foreign agencies or activities
... no budget for coordination or foreign travel (witnesses, etc.)
... no integrated expertise in matters of intelligence coordination
... no high level/order intelligence information architecture
... a timeline for performance that all but precludes a deliberately paced proceeding
... an engineer as the commander
... an aviator/facilities engineer as the second in command
... no dedicated experienced intelligence staff
... no minimum standards of subject matter competence or experience for staff members
... a 2-week training program (yeah, right, like that really happened...)

unless you have bought into the law of intended consequences.

Thank you Stephen for blowing the whistle on these liars at the pentagon and state department.

Guantanamo Manual Leaked (updated)

A copy of the Guantanamo Bay "camp delta standard operating procedures" was linked on late yesterday. (click on the above link for the storey on Wired).... The link was down for a while today but it is back up and working now. Download it while you can... it is an interesting read. I especially like the fact that the library books should not be left on the work tables in the blocks because they could be damaged by the weather... screw the detainees... save the books..


(Click on title to go directly to Juntinian)

Roger Fitch Esq • November 8, 2007

Our Man in Washington

The Bush administration has lost its holy Land foundation case in Dallas, making a trifecta for high-profile terror cases where the government has failed to secure convictions from sceptical American juries.

Not a single guilty verdict was returned by the Texan jury on the 197 charges relating to the “financing of terrorism”.

The media response was not kind, in either Slate or the local papers.

Georgetown law prof David Cole has perhaps the best explanation for the government’s losses in such “terror” cases – it has no evidence.

For the Arab News, it was understandably an Israeli trial conducted on American soil.

The leading Egyptian weekly, Al-Ahram, was concerned that the US District Court judge, Joe Fish, had allowed the anonymous testimony (rejected by the jurors) of Israeli agents .

In fact, the US does seem to be prosecuting mainly charities operated by Palestinian-Americans or for the benefit of Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza.

The government’s tortured reasoning is that the Palestinian charities, to which the contributions of Americans flow, indirectly “aid” terror, even when providing purely humanitarian assistance, as they relieve pressure on Hamas to provide such services.

The jury in the Holy Land Foundation case evidently found this too big a stretch. Clearly the government needs to list the allegedly Hamas controlled charities themselves as terrorist groups if it wants to criminalise contributions to them, and it hasn’t done so.

Another long-standing case involving charitable contributions has been resolved in favour of the defendants.

Within days of the Holy Land verdict, a 20-year ordeal for a group of Palestinians in Los Angeles ended with the government admitting defeat in its efforts to deport legal residents on what proved spurious terror assistance grounds.

The New York Times called it a shabby prosecution.

* * *

Retired federal judge Michael Mukasey (pic), George Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, has fronted confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The judge couldn’t bring himself to say that waterboarding was torture, even after the senators wrote him a letter asking him to explain earlier testimony.

Mukasey’s answer was more of the same, apparently because he didn’t want to put CIA people in danger of war crimes prosecutions.

It was exactly what Columbia law prof and Harper's blogger Scott Horton expected, in light of undertakings Mukasey had previously given to right-wing Republicans.

In the end, two Democrat senators rolled-over and crossed the aisle to vote for Mukasey. The Senate Judiciary Committee has endorsed his nomination and it now goes to the full Senate.

Meanwhile, the legal problems of the man Mukasey is likely to replace, Alberto Gonzales, may just be beginning, according to Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick – including possible prosecution for lying under oath.

* * *

None of this seems to bother General Michael Hayden (pic), the head of the CIA.

He continues to claim that the “extraordinary rendition” and “enhanced interrogation”, made possible by Gonzales, work like a charm, with some 9,000 bits of intelligence extracted so far from a mere 100 or so victims of the troubling techniques, some of whom received the “water cure”.

The notion that waterboarding is only simulated drowning, however, is not accepted by one government adviser, Malcolm Nance, a former instructor in the US military’s “SERE” (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) training program, who speaks from first hand experience.

The Independent has the story, including what happens to a waterboarded victim.

How can waterboarding suddenly be OK? When George Bush became president it had been officially illegal for over 100 years, ever since another Republican president, Teddy Roosevelt, ordered a US general court-martialled for allowing that and other abuse in the Philippines occupation.

Curiously, it’s just emerged that an official from the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice was waterboarded, though not on the orders of Gen. Hayden.

You may recall that the infamous 2002 “torture memo” by OLC head Jay Bybee (now a Court of Appeals judge) was withdrawn by his successor Jack Goldsmith (pic) in 2004 after it became public.

Daniel Levin, Goldsmith’s successor, wrote a replacement memo calling waterboarding “abhorrent”, but before doing so had himself subjected to the treatment at a military base. It was enough to convince him, it seems.

Levin was writing another memo restricting the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” when Alberto Gonzales, then White House counsel, became Attorney General.

The result? He was forced out of the department.

* * *

Unfortunately torture is becoming passé these days and accused torturers get only cursory mention in the press.

When torture charges were recently laid in Paris against Donald Rumsfeld (pic), in town to give a speech, only a few news agencies such as the Associated Press even noticed.

This was apparently the sixth time such charges have been brought against Rumsfeld. Deutsche Welle has more on the lawsuit and here is the press release from the Center for Constitutional Rights, one of the plaintiffs.

Luckily for the former US Defence Secretary, now a Stanford “Fellow”, the venue for the speech had a connecting door to the US embassy and the wily fugitive was whisked away by officials to Germany.

In any case, according to Jurist, Rumsfeld will have to watch his future travel arrangements.

Rummy has also been put in the frame by a new American Civil Liberties Union book, Administration of Torture, gleaned from responses to the ACLU’s FOI requests.

It discloses that Major General Michael Dunlavey, a lawyer and General Geoffrey Miller’s predecessor as intelligence officer at Guantanamo, reported straight to the top.

It was already known that Dunlavey had a hand in the dismissal of the first Gitmo prison commandant, General Rick Baccus (pic), for being too nice to detainees.

The ACLU book reveals more: Gen Dunlavey told Army officers investigating detainee abuse that he took his orders at Guantanamo from George W. Bush, as well as Donald Rumsfeld.

Dunlavey, who is now again a family court judge in Pennsylvania, is a defendant, with Rumsfeld, in a civil damages case for torture, filed in 2004 by David Hicks’ habeas co-petitioners, Rasul and Iqbal.

* * *

The former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor, Colonel “Moe” Davis is still talking, this time to the Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin, and it seems Defence general counsel William Haynes is being fingered for directly meddling in the military commissions.

This would not be surprising, as Haynes interfered in some of the interrogations which produced “evidence” that might be used in the MCs.

As I noted in my post of August 3, 2006, when Haynes (pic) previously testified to the Senate during his unsuccessful hearings for confirmation as a Court of Appeals judge, he openly admitted having taken a hands-on role (with Rumsfeld) in the interrogation of the only Gitmo detainee for whom we have a torture log, the so-called 20th 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Al Qatani.

In support of Col Davis, the WSJ has copies of the orders from Deputy Defence Secretary Gordon English to Davis and to his superior Gen Hartmann.

These orders show ultimate political control of the military commission proceedings lies with the Pentagon general counsel.

Col Davis told the WSJ that the Hicks case and two others were hastily brought forward against his wish even though the regulations and procedures (e.g. appeals) weren’t in place.

A member of the Guantanamo Bay Bar, Mark Falkoff, observes that politics rather than principle governs what goes on at prison.

Davis may also have spoken to blogger Scott Horton, who has been talking to disaffected military officers again.

This time the subject was David Hicks and the deal that the Australian Prime Minister cut with Vice President Cheney to get Hicks out of the Australian election spotlight.

Horton has also talked to other whistle-blowers from Gitmo about Defence general counsel Haynes:

“Haynes is generally considered one of the Rumsfeld Pentagon officials most likely to face indictment and prosecution for war crimes because of his direct role in the process leading to Rumsfeld’s approval of torture techniques. Haynes certainly will not be indicted by the Bush Administration, but he probably will run into troubles with one or more American allies in the near future, as soon as he has left his official position. Like his former boss, Haynes will probably have to avoid travel outside of the United States in the future if he wants to keep out of jail. All of this makes his heavy hand on the war crimes prosecution steering wheel more than a bit ironic.”

* * *

As expected, the Bush administration is making various feints about closing or changing Guantanamo in the lead-up to the December 5 Supreme Court hearing of the Boumediene detainee case.

In fact, according to the Independent, the Bush administration is so worried about losing Boumediene that it is planning yet another system of military commissions.

Such an initiative would make more credible the extremely bleak view of the Bush administration set out by the Frenchman Jean-Claude Paye in the September issue of the US journal Monthly Review.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, another French writer, Francois Furstenberg, has dared to use the word “terror” in comparing the policies of Bush with those of Robespierre (pic) and the Jacobin Club in 1792.

As Furstenberg explains:

“Jacobins expanded the government’s police powers at the expense of civil liberties, endowing the state with the power to detain, interrogate and imprison suspects without due process. Policies like the mass warrantless searches undertaken in 1792 … were justified, according to Danton, the Jacobin leader, ‘when the homeland is in danger’.”

So, says Furstenberg, when George Bush says, “We must not let foreign enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself”, he is only echoing Saint-Just, who said, “No liberty for the enemies of liberty”.

* * *

With each unfolding scandal, the Cheney-Bush Gang and their lawyers become more brazen.

Laws continue to be broken. “Political” prosecutions keep happening. Shameful defences are put forward. Corruption and payoffs abound and cover-ups flourish, while whistle-blowers are ruthlessly silenced.

At this very moment, lists of loyal Bushies needing pardons are quite possibly being prepared for signature by il Capo late next year.

At the same time, the Associated Press reports that the more traditional US crime syndicates, the old mob families, are on the wane.

Maybe this could explain why the Bush administration remains so emboldened and arrogant.

They’ve seen off the competition.

Now they’re the only game in town.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


We had heard that Saudi Arabia was moving to get all of its remaining citizens out of Guantanamo by the end of the year... I have also learned that this is directly related to the death of one of its citizens at Guantanamo in May 2007... that man died of medical neglect... not by "apparent suicide" and the Saudi's have made a concerted effort to get their men out after that "incident". It seems only one of the men, number 14 below, was slated for release.
As to the person who asked why it takes so long for these countries to demand their men back I could only speculate...

1. Fahd Omar Abdulmajeed Al-Omari Al-Shareef - ISN 215

2. Yousef Muhammad Mubarak Al-Jubairi Al-Shehri - ISN 114

3. Fahd Sultan Obaid Al-Osaimi Al-Otaibi - ISN 130, I think (Faha Sultan)

4. Turki Mashoori Zayed Al Jibli Aseeri - ISN 185

5. Sultan Ahmed ibn Al-Dardeer Owaida - ISN 59

6. Nayef Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Nukhailan - ISN 258

7. Abdullah Abdulmueen Al-Wafi Al-Harbi - ISN 262

8. Muhammad Ateeq Owaidh Al-Awfi Al-Harbi - ISN 333

9. Saeed Ali Jabir Al Khaitham Al-Shihri - ISN 372

10. Hani Saeed Muhammad Al Khalf Al-Ghamdi - ISN 438

11. Khalid Saud Abdulrahman Al-Bawardi - ISN 68

12. Murtadha Ali Saeed Moqrim - ISN 187

13.Jabir Hasan Muhammad Al-Jabra Al-Qahtani - ISN 650

14. Zaid Muhammad Saad Al Husain Al-Ghamdi - ISN 50

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Details have not been released yet but 11 men were... we are told 8 are Afghani and 3 are Jordanians. When we have the names and ISN's I will post the information.
I don't have all the names yet but here is what I have so far:

To Afghanistan:
Abdul Naseer (ISN 874) cleared for release(Dicky Grigg attorney)
Mohammed QASIM, ISN 955 cleared for release (federal defender)
Fizuallah Rahman, ISN 496 not cleared
Hiztullah Nazrat Yar, ISN 977, cleared for release

Three Reprieve clients sent to Jordan:

Osama Hassan Abu Kabir, ISN 651
Ahmed Hassan Suleiman, ISN 662
Ibrahim Mahdi Zaidan, ISN 761