Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Len Goodman writing at In These Times

Len Goodman is a fellow habeas counsel from Chicago (and also coincidently a sole practitioner). Click on the title to read why Len is, and all of us should be, concerned about Obama's "preventive detention plan."

Monday, September 28, 2009

75 cleared to go....

I am not allowed to say whether or not both or either of my clients are on this list. Ironically the Government posted this list of the numbers of released by country at the prison but they refused to give this same information to the habeas counsel. Transparency.
Click on the title for more.

One of the (many) heartbreaking stories from Gitmo

Click on the title to read...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Three released yesterday...

Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, a Yemen native, was returned to his homeland. A federal court in May ruled that Ahmed could no longer be detained at the military detention in Cuba facility and ordered him released.

The two other detainees, whose names were not disclosed for security reasons, have been sent to Ireland. In July, the Irish government agreed to accept the two Uzbek prisoners, one of at least four European nations that have said they would take detainees.

Andy Worthington has more....click on the title.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Talking Dog interviews Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham

The talking dog interviews another in a long line of military attorneys who have helped shed light on Guantanamo. Col. Abraham is well known for his declaration before the Supreme Court in the Boumediene case, a declaration that led the way for the supreme court to reverse its earlier decision not to hear the Boumediene case. Col. Abraham is perhaps lesser known for his role in my own client's case (Al-Ghizzawi): he sat on the original Combat Status Review Tribunal panel for Mr. Al-Ghizzawi, that was the panel that determined that Mr. Al-Ghizzawi was not in fact properly designated as an "enemy combatant." Unfortunately, and unbeknown to the panel members the military decided to review Mr. Al-Ghizzawi again, this time with the "rubber stamp" panel.... you can read more about that sinister move here.
Click on the title to read the talking dog's interview of Stephen.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Part 2 of the Interview

Again from Chicago's own North and Clark.
Click on the title for the link directly to the interview.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Order for Rule to Show Cause Against Government, entered

Last month I filed a Motion in the District Court for a Rule to Show Cause against the Government for its blatant and intentional violation of an Order entered by the Court that applied in every pending habeas case. Today one of the judges ruled and agreed with me. You can find the order here. (Tip of the hat to the talking dog....for finding the order on the public docket..a docket I didn't even know existed.) Although the Government violated the Order in every case it seems that at least for now we are going to have to deal with this case by case...but we will.
And my apologies to the punctuationists of the world...I couldn't help myself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


In honor of national punctuation day I will refrain from posting....

Another Interview

This time from Chicago's own North and Clark.
Click on the title for the link directly to the interview.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Torture doesn't work.... (Upated with better link....)

Just in case you were wondering...
click on the title to read a paper by Prof. Shane O'Mara at Trinity College.
Tip of the hat to EmptyWheel
and to the anonymous Lee.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid at Guantanamo

Moazamm Begg discusses what it was like to be in US custody both at Guantanamo and other sites during Ramadan and Eid.
Click on the title to read his account.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ambassador Fried Speaks out about the resettlement problems

Special ambassador Fried has the task of finding homes for the men at Guantanamo who cannot go back to their home countries...a task made all the more difficult by our Congress which has refused to allow any of these wrongly held men to settle in our country. Click on the title to read more.

Another Habeas Win

The score is now 30 wins, 7 losses. Yesterday Judge Kollar Kotelly entered the habeas petition for Kuwaiti, Fouad Al Rabiah. I will provide a link to the opinion as soon as it is available. Here is the breakdown:

Writ granted – 30 (20 are still at Guantanamo)

17 Uighurs - Urbina (4 released to Bermuda)
5 Bosnian-Algerians - Leon - (4 released - 3 to Bosnia and 1 (Lakhdar Boumediene) to France)
Mohammed el Gharani (Chadian) - Leon (released to Chad)
Yasim Muhammed Basardah - Huvelle (Yemeni)
Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed - Kessler (Yemeni)

Abd al Rahim Abdul Rassak Janko – Leon (Syrian)

Khalid Abdullah Mishal Thamer Al Mutairi - Kollar-Kotelly (Kuwaiti)

Mohammed Jawad - Huvelle (Afghan; released to Afghanistan)

Mohammed Al-Adahi-- Kessler (Yemeni)

Fouad Al Rabiah – Kollar-Kotelly (Kuwaiti).

Writ Denied - 7
Belkacem Bensayah (Bosnian) - Leon
Hisham Sliti (Tunisian) - Leon
Muaz Al Alawi (Yemeni) - Leon
Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani (Yemeni) - Leon
Hammamy (Tunisian) – Leon

Waqas Mohammed Ali Awad (Yemeni) - Robertson

Fawzi Al Odah (Kuwaiti) - Kollar-Kotelly

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Closing Gitmo

Click on the title to read more about what the Government is saying about closing Gitmo...funny thing this Government of transparency....some of us have asked the Government to tell us some of the very numbers that they reported to the press in this article but they refused...seems they are more willing to tell the press what is going on than the attorneys representing the men at Guantanamo.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Andy Worthington interviews Col.Lawrence Wilkerson, Part 2

Part one is posted here.
Click on the title to read part 2.... and yes, Cheney is seriously crazy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

32 Years Ago Today

Friday, September 11, 2009

More on the Spanish Investigation of US Torturers...

Well it is a dirty job but someone has to do it and so far it doesn't look like it is going to be us (in the US) so go for it Spain!
click on the title....

Remember 9-11, Remember Guantanamo

Click on the title to read Andy Worthington's thoughtful op-ed in The Guardian which ends with this sentence:

On the eighth anniversary of 9/11, however, justice is being delivered neither to those regarded as genuinely dangerous, nor to those whose significance has been exaggerated.

medical malfeasance

As many of you know one of my two clients at Guantanamo has serious health issues. He suffers from Hepatitis B and TB, he now also suffers from high blood pressure and constant headaches. He has received little help for his conditions and has been accused of causing his own health problems because he will not allow the medical staff that has abused and ignored him all these years to do a biopsy on his liver (as an aside the medical staff told him that the biopsy could result in severe and permanent injury). Daphne Eviatar has reported on medical/ethical issues in a couple of good articles at the Washington Independent. This first one discusses the possibility that the Gitmo detainees were used for psychological experiments. It is a disturbing account but one that my own investigation has shown to have existed in relation not only to my client with health problems but other men at the base as well. My client is greatly concerned about his medical problems and in discussions with the medical staff he has been repeatedly alarmed by the doctors and nurses of possible illnesses he could be suffering from. At one point he was told he probably has AIDS and another time he was told that his headaches are probably a sign that he has a brain tumor. This cruelty is of course beyond the pale but it also points to the techniques used by the medical staff to manipulate the prisoners and add to their sense of total helplessness. This other article discusses the concealment by the defense department of detainee deaths. This is another subject that I will be further exploring when my two clients are eventually released from the hell hole called Guantanamo. As I discussed in my article published in the ABA Litigation magazine a month or so ago...my Libyan client had the name of another detainee tacked on to his name in his early days at Gitmo. He said the man whose name he received had been in the cage next to him for awhile and then the man disappeared and the missing mans name was added to his name....one day I will find out what ever happened to that man. If you want to be even more appalled read some of the related stories of medical malfeasance at Gitmo as reported by the Washington Independent that are listed on the side of the two articles linked to above.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A short move from the Gitmo agenda...

I guess everything is related anyway....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who is doing the reading at Gitmo?

There has been alot of discussion of late about the reading material at Gitmo so I just wanted to weigh in (again). First Marbury reported that the Gitmo library has 13,500 books. A nice even number but a rather meaningless number without knowing what languages the books are in. The number also becomes less meaningful when you learn that it is not just a library for the prisoners....but for the military and contractors too. I will explain more in a minute. The second part of the story is the top 3 list... which Juan Carlos has commented on here. I also weighed inon an aspect of this story a few years back when I visited my Algerian client Razak Ali for the first time and we discusssed his favorite books the Harry Potter series. Book five of the Harry Potter series had been out for several months when I visited Ali but it was not available at Guantanamo in Arabic only in English. Ali had heard some reports about what happened in the book (from the guards) and I was searching my brain trying to remember what happened in book five as opposed to the other four books. When I went back home I started searching for an arabic version and a kind person found two copies for me. I "donated" the books to the library but it was almost a year before the book made its way to Ali.
So one thing to keep in mind when you read these reports of the great library at Guantanamo is that the military lies...more than it tells the truth. For years, yes years, the library for the prisoners consisted of a box of books being passed down the halls of the prison and they were the same books year after year. The prisoners could take out one book (or magazine) per week.

Another thing to keep in mind that most of the men at Guantanamo still do not read English. It is not because they didn't want to do something useful while detained indefinitely. It is because our military thought it would be dangerous for them to learn english. The military only started english classes about a year ago and those lessons were only available to the men at camp 4 until more recently. So keep in mind that there are several different languages spoke by the men at the base and very few books available in languages other than English. The fact that the books in the Guantanamo library are not just for the prisoners is probably also reflected in the top 3 books but I can't say that for sure.

A good start for the week...

Today Andy Worthington reports that Spain is moving ahead with its investigation of our war criminals...
Today the Government declassifed Al-Ghizzawi's Traverse so I can now start to publicly unveil the lies that have kept him locked up these 7+ years...(stay tuned for more on this....)

Monday, September 7, 2009

29 to 7 detainees winning....

Friday, September 4, 2009

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian

Roger Fitch Esq • August 31, 2009

Our Man in Washington

The report on CIA torture is the talk of the town … Despite heaps of redactions the dump of torture documents is a goldmine … A laundry list of US war crimes

imageThese days, nearly everyone agrees that Barack Obama isdancing with George Bush.

Like Bush, Mr Obama pointlessly appeals uncongenial court decisions and invents presidential powers.

Obama cynically exploits miscarriages of justice begun by the Bush Gang in the alleged name of fighting terrorism.

Indeed, the Bush policy of calculated cruelty is in danger of being permanently institutionalised for people – including US citizens –with Muslim names.