Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The two men are: Mohammed Al Qadir and Abdulli Feghoul.

Mohammed is the client of Buz Eisenberg who said that his client is very happy to be out of Guantanamo where he has been held without charge for more than six years.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Military Report on Three Dead Men

"I am informing you that I gave away the precious thing that I have in which it became very cheap, which is my own self, to lift up the oppression that is upon us through the American Government," wrote Ali Abdullah Ahmed Naser al-Sullami, of Yemen, a 26-year-old detainee who had been on one of the longest hunger strikes at Guantanamo, ultimately earning him forced feedings through a tube. In a note neatly folded into his shirt pocket, Sullami wrote: "I did not like the tube in my mouth, now go ahead and accept the rope in my neck."

CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE WASHINGTON POST STORY... but in a nutshell the military report blames the guards, not the policy of imprisoning people indefinitely without charge. Twenty-six year old al-Sullami was actually on the list to be released after it was "discovered" he had no connection to terrorists (he of course did not know he was on the list to be released, it was a secret). However being on the list for release does not mean anything anyway as some men have been on the list for four years and are still sitting in solitary confinement under the cruelest of conditions....and when they are released to their home countries our government never admits the mistakes so the men go home as "enemy combatants."

Friday, August 22, 2008

First Detaineed Habeas Hearing set for October 6

A lot of things happening today. We have this from scotusblog:
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon, who is
working on what he calls a compressed timetable,
disclosed Thursday that he will hold the first
habeas hearings on a day that he said
seems only fitting the first Monday in October.
That, of course, is the same day the Supreme Court
returns to work after its
summer recess, some four months after its ruling in
Boumediene v. Bush giving the Guantanamo detainees a
constitutional right to pursue habeas challenges to
heir captivity.

The Boumediene case (it gets its name from
Lakhdar Boumediene, an Algerian, and includes five
others from that country, all of whom had been
living in Bosnia) is back in District Court,
before Judge Leon. Mostly by coincidence,
the judge said Thursday, that will be the case
that comes up first for a week of hearings
in October.

Click on the Title to read the full story...

CCR Victory at International Commission on Human RIghts

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Moves to
Halt Torture at Guantanamo:
Orders Medical Treatment and End to Abusive
Interrogations for Detainee Djamel Ameziane

Commission Issues Urgent Precautionary Measures
in First Petition by Guantánamo Prisoner

August 21, 2008, New York - Late yesterday afternoon,
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
issued urgent precautionary measures to protect
Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian citizen held by the
United States at Guantanamo Bay for more than
six years. Mr. Ameziane has suffered various forms
of torture and abuse during his imprisonment,
including extended solitary confinement and a
form of waterboarding, and needs a third country
to offer him protection in order
to leave Guantanamo safely.
Mr. Ameziane is currently seeking resettlement i
in Canada, where he resided for five
years prior to his detention.

Click on the title to read the rest....

Rasul v. Myers Cert Petition

Today lawyers filed a petition for certiorari in 
Rasul v Myers
seeking a reversal of the decision
by the DC Circuit.
The petition raises three issues--

1) Whether Guantanamo detainees are "persons"
under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act?
(The D.C. Circuit found they were not).
2) Whether there is a constitutional right for
Guantanamo detainees not to be tortured
and was it clearly established at the time?
(No and no in the D.C. Circuit)
3) Whether torture can be within the scope of
employment of a government official?
(Yes, according to the DC Cir. and
it can be expected in the course of war on terror.

We should know by October 1st whether or not
the Supreme Courthas an interest in weighing
in on this.

Many thanks to the Project to Enforce the Geneva
for posting a link to the petition.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Way To Go Reprieve

Click on the title for the analysis by Reprieve of the decision on Thursday of the British Court in the case of Binyam Mohamed. Clive also summarizes the analysis this way: (a) the US cannot be depended upon to provide fair discovery with respect to Guantanamo; (b) US denials of the rendition and torture of Binyam Mohamed are "untenable"; (c) the UK was complicit in the illegality; and (d) given that complicity and the unreliability of US discovery mechanisms, the UK must provide disclosure itself.

The Open Judgment is at: http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/docs/judgments_guidance/mohamed_full210808.pdfthe Summary of the Open Judgment at:http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/docs/judgments_guidance/mohamed_summary210808.pdf

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Roger Fitch Esq • August 8, 2008

Our Man in Washington

Civil War banditti and jayhawkers are the basis of today’s “material supporters of terrorism”. Be careful – Bush law says it’s a “war crime” to shoot at Americans

imageThe Bush administration has secured a conviction of Salim Hamdan, one of Osama bin Laden’s drivers.

Hamdan was the designated guinea pig in a program to remodel the US constitution and international law.

The ultimate goal? Making a military crime out of unfriendly acts around the world against American interests, as far back as 1996.

Why military? Well, because the president claims the right – if there is a war underfoot somewhere – to keep secrets, deny legal protections and run roughshod over courts, congress and defendants.

He gets to make up the rules, and with rigged trials, including tortured confessions, he always wins.

True, in Hamdan’s case “conspiracy” failed, but five of the specifications for material support succeeded.

The UK Independent has a report on the foreign reaction.

Historian-blogger Andy Worthington has more.


Scott Horton on the politicing at the military trials....

Military Judge Finds Political Manipulation in Gitmo, Again

By Scott Horton

The proceedings in the Guantánamo military commissions continue, and the professional participants continue to grapple with the poorly disguised efforts of the Bush Administration to fix the outcome. JAG attorneys active in the commissions have frequently cited Thomas W. Hartmann as the source of their concerns. Hartmann, whose civilian job is general counsel to Mxenergy Holdings Inc., the Stamford, Connecticut gas producer and distributor, was handpicked and brought out of the JAG reserves to serve as the Bush Administration’s stage manager for the Guantánamo productions. His formal position is as “legal advisor” to Susan J. Crawford, the convening authority. Crawford, a retired military judge, previously worked for Dick Cheney and is known as a crony of David Addington.

In concept, Hartmann plays a supervisory role over the process in an administrative sense. He is also supposed to review decisions of the commissions and make a recommendation to Crawford before he passes them on to her for finalization and approval. However, according to testimony taken in the Gitmo proceedings, Hartmann played his hand crudely from the outset. He appeared before a Senate committee suggesting repeatedly his belief that torture-induced evidence could be used, and denying that waterboarding was torture. His highly evasive performance caused Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to express disgust.

When the first charges were announced, Hartmann appeared on national television brandishing harsh labels and prejudging cases on which he was slated to exercise an appellate review function—raising questions under professional ethics rules which later fueled challenges against him.

As the cases proceeded, accounts of Hartmann’s bullying and intimidation of other lawyers participating in the process circulated. In the Salim Hamdan case, his involvement drew a challenge, and after the court heard evidence of Hartmann’s improper conduct that included specific allegations that he was jockeying to have cases publicized and tried “before the elections,” he was banned from involvement in the case. Hartmann refused to resign, and protested that he was doing precisely what was called for by his job description.

In the last week, Hartmann faced a second challenge in another case. The former chief prosecutor, Colonel Moe Davis, testified that Hartmann had lobbied hard for the prosecution of an Afghan detainee named Mohammed Jawad, apparently because Hartmann felt the case would play well to an American television audience. Davis was followed by Gen. Gregory Zanetti, who testified that Hartmann routinely bullied other attorneys and was inappropriately aggressive in pushing for prosecution of certain cases that he felt had media value. Zanetti concluded that Hartmann’s behavior was “abusive, bullying and unprofessional. . . pretty much across the board.” Consistent with his public remarks, Hartmann’s actions reflected a particular bias in favor of aggressive prosecution of cases which he feels could be exploited politically to the advantage of the Bush Administration.

The current chief prosecutor, Col. Lawrence Morris, defended Hartmann, stating that the issues raised reflected nothing more than “a superficial personality conflict.” Morris is Hartmann’s direct subordinate. Interestingly, this is the same defense that Hartmann adopted when his conduct became the subject of an internal Defense Department probe.

Now a second military judge, Col. Steve Henley, has ordered Hartmann’s removal from the proceedings, sustaining the accusations raised against him. In an order handed down on Friday, Hartmann was banned from participation in the case, and the defense counsel were advised that they could make submissions in their quest for access to exculpatory evidence directly to Crawford, bypassing Hartmann.

For an attorney to be formally admonished and removed from legal proceedings twice for unprofessional conduct is an extraordinary matter. However, Hartmann is defiant, insisting that his actions are proper. One wonders if the disciplinary authorities of the Connecticut bar are following these developments.

Friday, August 15, 2008

7/28/08 Transfers updated

Two men were not identified that were released on 7/28, they are:

Yakubi, ISN 1165 to Afghanistan (not cleared)

Abdulah Alhamiri ISN 48 to UAE (not cleared)

From Harper's one article of interest (updated)

I guess Harper's didn't want you to see the Khadr article so the link is to the actual transcripts... they are more interesting anyway!

From a February 2003 video recording of an interrogation by Canadian officials of Omar Khadr, a Canadian national accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan and currently held at Guantánamo Bay. In July, Khadr’s lawyers released seven hours of recordings to pressure the U.S. government into returning Khadr to Canadian custody. Khadr was sixteen at the time of the interrogation. . . .


From the minutes of a Counter Resistance Strategy Meeting, held October 2, 2002, at Guantánamo Bay. The minutes, which paraphrase comments and questions from the meeting, were released June 17 as part of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on interrogation methods. The meeting began with a presentation about techniques that American soldiers are taught to resist in case of capture, based on the work of the military’s Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT) and the Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. At the time, Jonathan M. Fredman was a CIA lawyer. Dave Becker was an officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver was a staff judge advocate for the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo Bay. The other participants, whom the Defense Department declined to identify specifically, were members of the Guantánamo general staff. . . .

View article...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Waterboarding comes to Coney Island...

I have to say when I first heard about this a few minutes ago I was ready to do something... I am not sure what... to bring attention to the new low in our country. Ahh, but then I read the actual article (education is an amazing thing) . So I suggest you do too.
But just to get you going let me leave you with this quote from the artist “What’s more obscene,” he asks, “the official position that waterboarding is not torture, or our official position that it’s a thrill ride?”


Little Boxes made of ticky tacky....

Remeniscent of the early Guantanamo days when the prisoners were placed in cages open to the elements is this piece on the coffin like boxes where we are holding prisoners in Iraq. Makes you proud doesn't it?

Click on the title to go to the actual article or go to Antiwar.com where I saw it first.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


While I rethink my thoughts I will leave you with this quote from an unnamed military attorney "Hamdan has to serve 4 months and 22 days before he resumes indefinite detention."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Al-Ghizzawi's health (and life) is once again in the Appellate Court's hands...

As I reported a few weeks ago I filed yet another appeal in the DC Circuit Court in regards to Al-Ghizzawi's deteriorating medical health. After filing the appeal I filed a Motion for Emergency Injunction (posted somewhere on this blog) my reply was filed yesterday. Now we wait.

"Al-Ghizzawi filed his present emergency application with this Court on July 11th for the purpose of compelling the Government to afford him adequate medical treatment, immediate disclosure of his medical records (the latter relief which would be available to any convicted prisoner in America let alone a man not even accused of a crime) and, relief from the cruel isolation of Camp 6, so that Al-Ghizzawi can assist his counsel in his own habeas proceedings."


From The New Republic........

Speed Reading Suskind: Leave Me My Name!
New Republic - Washington,DC,USA
Gorman's reviewing Supreme Court filings with Ghizzawi, when he remarks that the name she's been using on the paperwork, Abdul Hamid Abdul Alam al-Ghizzawi, ...
See all stories on this topic

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Laurel and Hardy go to Trial... (UPDATED)

Well this was not the news story that I was expecting to come out of the administration on the heels of the release of Ron Suskind's book (see post below)...
but as the Hamdan trial goes into the second day of "jury" deliberations I am reminded of the one constant in the last eight years and an aspect of the administration that I have often held as our last and greatest hope.. the ineptitude of this administration. Seems the Prosecution just realized that they had not put in any evidence to support the jury instruction for "war crimes." The issue is that military battles are not war crimes, war crimes include things like purposely attacking civilians, attacking religious institutions... you know.... all the things we (the U.S.) have been doing.
Well it seems the prosecution at most proved that there were two missiles in one of the cars that Hamdan was driving (that info was of course forced out of Hamdan under the torture techniques that we copied from the Soviets and North Koreans... but that is besides the point according to the military judge).... missiles that were not targeting civilians but, if the prosecution is correct were supposed to be used to shoot down military planes.
Problem is, EVEN if that is true that is not a war crime but what we more commonly refer to as...WAR.

Fortunately the "Jury" did not let that little "technicality" I described above to get in the way of finding Hamdan guilty of something. Also please see the comment below by the talking dog
reminding us that the charge that the "jury" found Hamdan guilty of was not even a law on the books until five years after Hamdan arrived at Guantanamo.
Click on the title to read the Miami Herald story. I am also providing this link to the Miami Herald Archives which hosts many of the legal documents (including the jury instructions) for the Military Commission process and other documents on the detainees.

The Way of the World

Ron Suskind's new book is out and it is rocking the Bushies... I would not be surprised for some major news story to break from the administration today in attempts to take the spotlight away... But get the book, not only will you read about the corruption in our government but Ron has written about Mr. Al-Ghizzawi in a way that allows you to follow along with world events with little glimpses into the plight of Al-Ghizzawi. Click on the title to look at politico's take on the book.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Diego Garcia again surfaces as one of our torture cites...

By Adam Zagorin


July 31, 2008

Almost two years have passed since President George W. Bush publicly acknowledged the existence of a CIA program in which agency-leased aircraft fly terror suspects between secret prisons and interrogation sites around the world. "This program has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they have a chance to kill," the President said on Sept. 6, 2006. Since that admission, the White House has declined to elaborate or comment further on the program's specifics, although multiple reports have surfaced regarding the existence of secret facilities in Poland and Romania.

According to a former senior American official, it appears another locale can be added to the international roster of interrogation sites * one both more obscure and potentially more controversial than the alleged sites in Poland and Romania. The source tells TIME that, in 2002 and possibly 2003, the U.S. imprisoned and interrogated one or more terrorist suspects on Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean controlled by the United Kingdom.


I guess the big question here is whether or not Tony Blair gave his fellow war criminal Bush permission... I will not be surprised when that part of the story surfaces.


Roger Fitch Esq • July 26, 2008

Our Man in Washington

A non-war crimes “war crimes” case gets underway before legally dubious military commission … Plenty of Kafkaesque moments for 9/11 accused … US extracts “intelligence” with Chinese style “enhanced techniques” from Korean war era

“The History of the present King … is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny …

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power … giving his assent to Acts of pretended Legislation … transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences.

Declaration of Independence (1776)

Click on title to continue...