Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Wow, who knew there was a website dedicated to this cause? Check it out by clicking on the title. Now if we could get a similar one going for my client's personal war criminal, Matthew Waxman at Columbia Law School, I would really be happy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Affidavit of latest military prosecutor forced out

Click on the title to go to the affidavit of Lt. Col. Vandeveld the lead prosecutor in the Jawed case. Col. Vendeveld stepped down (or it seems was forced out) after he realized that government and/or military agencies were withholding exculpatory evidence (that would be evidence that is helpful to the defendant). Col. Vandeveld described the discovery procedures for providing evidence to the defense as a "slipshod, uncertain procedure."
As with the other heros who have stepped forward to blow the whistle on the underhanded and illegal tactics being used in these military tribunals Col. Vandeveld has now been accused of collaborating with defense counsel and there were even cries of needing to submit Col. Vandeveld for a psychiatric examination. It seems everyone who questions these kangaroo proceedings is considered by the military to be crazy!
I for one would like to thank the good Col. for putting his career on the line in an effort to advance the truth as to what is happening at Guantanamo.

Friday, September 26, 2008


When Judge Hogan first came on board as the "coordinator" for the Gitmo cases he entered an odd order. He ordered that all of the petitions that were filed as "next friend" petitions be supplemented with an authorization from the client for the attorney to represent them. Next friend petitions are petitions where the authorization comes from a family member or friend. I don't know how many of the cases are filed as "next friend" petitions and frankly I don't know why it matters. Neither of my cases is a next friend case so the matter does not directly impact me but I still wondered what this judge was up to. Is he going to dismiss the cases if the clients will not sign an authorization? Will those petitioners then have to represent themselves pro se? Will he bar the attorneys from going to see their clients? Most importantly why is he spending energy on this issue when the supreme court has said to get moving on these cases? Over the last few weeks there has been a dribbling of motions coming across the wires explaining why they cannot get authorizations, some of the reasons are mundane:attorneys have never seen their clients because they are waiting for security clearances and hurricanes have kept them from getting to the base. Other reasons are not mundane: men with severe medical and psychological problems who do not understand anything about the US legal system (I can relate to that one of late) and desperately need representation; men who have been long engaged with their lawyers but will not sign any documentation.
Todays Order entered by Judge Hogan (below) shows that for whatever reason he is keeping tabs on this issue and has something up his sleeve. So while our clients rot in that hell hole and our courts continue to sit on their hands Judge Hogan finds time only to enter orders that are meaningless in the overall scheme of things. Indications from previous Judge Hogan orders suggest to me that this is not going to have a happy ending.
Docket Text:
MINUTE ORDER granting (Docket # 595, 05-cv-2386) (Docket # 522, 08-mc-442) Petitioner Abu Rawda's Motion For More Time To Submit Authorization. Accordingly, by October 28, 2008, counsel for Petitioner Rawda shall file a signed authorization from Petitioner to pursue this action or a declaration by counsel that states Petitioner directly authorized counsel to pursue this action and explains why counsel was unable to secure a signed authorization. Signed by Judge Thomas F. Hogan on 9/26/08. (lctfh1)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Judge Hogan on Medical Records

As I reported a short while ago on this blog Judge Hogan the judge responsible for "coordinating" the habeas cases (and he has been a huge disappointment) was also considering a request from another detainee for his medical records. Marc Falkoff reported after the hearing that it went quite well and he was hopeful that they would get the records.
J. Hogan added to his less than stellar Gitmo record by denying the medical records because he doesn't believe he has jurisdiction.
According to Marc his client Adnan, 1)attempted suicide in June, (2) weighed about 100 pounds when Marc saw him in August, (3) has had his mattress and blankets taken away as punishment for an unspecified disciplinary infraction, and (4) again attempted suicide about two weeks ago by biting off and swallowing a piece of the feeding tube they began using to force-feed him. Judge Hogan didn't address any of those issue but instead held that -- notwithstanding Boumediene -- the MCA strips the court of jurisdiction to hear all "conditions of confinement" claims. J. Hogan did not address most of the issues raised by Marc such as the records being incident to Adnan's habeas action and necessary to assure Adnan's continued access to the court to prosecute his petition. Judge Hogan also didn't address the argument that if the government's argument is correct, Adnan could be tortured or starved to death at Guantanamo and there's nothing the courts could do about it.
More Justice American Style.

More Documents Released Showing White House Meetings on Torture (UPDATED)

I now have my hands on the actual documents and you can also click on the title to read Senator Levin's recap of what the documents show.

Another Military Prosecutor Resigns

Hats off to the talking dog for bringing this to my attention. Click on the title for more details.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Habeas Relief for Detainees on list to be released

When the U.S. Supreme Court released the decision in Boumediene in June and ordered that Habeas hearings be held promptly for the men at Guantanamo there was cautious optimism on the part of some (not me) that something might happen. One of the first things that happened at the district court level was that most of the judges allowed their cases to be transfered to senior judge Hogan to coordinate certain "common issues." My clients cases were included in that coordinated effort. Not much has happened since that time and certainly nothing good has happened. Now Judge Hogan has added to the misery of the prisoners by deciding that the government doesn't have to provide any information regarding those prisoners who have been cleared for release. No information means no hearing.... unless Judge Hogan surprises us and decides that since the government has cleared these men their habeas petitions can just be granted as uncontested...but somehow I doubt that. I guess he thinks since they have been "cleared" to be released they no longer have a need to have habeas hearings. Thing is, most of the men on the "cleared" list have been cleared for years with no end to their imprisonment in sight.
Justice American style.

Monday, September 22, 2008

2nd Circuit Orders More Pictures Released

Thanks again to the ACLU for not letting the administration get away with burying the pictures of prisoners held in afghanistan and iraq. I believe some of those pictures will include men that have been or are continuing to be held at guantanamo as many of the men (including Al-Ghizzawi) have described pictures taken of them. Click on the title to read the actual decision from the 2nd Circuit ordering the release of those pictures.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Psychologists vote to ban helping in Gitmo Interrogations

The nation's leading psychologist's association has 
voted to ban its members from taking part in
interrogations at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
and other military detention sites.

The ban means psychologists who are association members
can't assist the U.S. military at these sites and can
only work there for humanitarian purposes or with
non-governmental groups, according to Stephen Soldz,
a Boston psychologist. Soldz is founder of an ethics
coalition that has long supported the ban.

Steven Reisner, a New York psychologist who's
running for president of the association,
said Thursday that members' votes were
counted this week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Sorry I missed the three month anniversary last week. June 12th the US Supreme Court held that the men at guantanamo were entitled to habeas corpus hearings and the lower courts were ordered to get moving....
Not one Habeas hearing has been held and although one judge has scheduled a habeas hearing for October 6th no other judge has even hinted at a schedule.
You have to admit that the department of injustice has been, and continues to be, very successful at one thing and that is getting the courts to do nothing for the men at Guantanamo.
Well shortly after I wrote this the only judge who scheduled an actual habeas corpus hearing (the one set for October6th) has indicated that he will probably grant the governments motion to continue that hearing date.... so much for moving forward with these hearings...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

US to finance rehab center for Yemeni prisoners

Rehabilitation centre to be set up for Guantanamo returnees

By Nasser Arrabyee, Correspondent
Published: September 13, 2008, 21:10

Sana'a: A rehabilitation centre for Guantanamo returnees will be
established in Yemen with American support, official sources said.

The centre will aim to receive the Yemeni returnees and work to
reintegrate them back into society.

Around 100 Yemenis are still languishing in the American detention
centre in Cuba, with Yemenis representing the largest number of
some 270 various nationals who remain there.

"Yemen will be responsible for qualifying and rehabilitating the
returnees thoughtfully, culturally, psychologically, whereas the
American government will be funding the establishment and
outfits of the centre," the state-run 26 September newspaper
quoted an unidentified official as saying.

The official did not however say when the 100 Yemenis
will be released from Guantanamo.


I am back after a two week holiday and I am sorry to report that not much has happened in my absence. Two men were released to Afghanistan. I will post the info on them in the coming days. The government blew off some of the court's deadlines but as usual not much in the way of repercussions for the government. My appeal for my second client Razak Ali was remanded back to the district court without any action taken by the appellate court and of course no action will be taken by the district court(I was asking for his complete csrt record). My appeal for Al-Ghizzawi's medical records is still sitting in the appellate court with no sign that they know or care that the appeal is there. On the good news side Judge Sullivan in the district court held a hearing on medical records for another detainee and he seemed to be indicating that he might be willing to order the government to turn over some medical records. But of course that is only supposition right now and nothing has really happened except that he ordered more briefing.
I head back to the base in another week.