Friday, December 17, 2010

Thanks for all of the good wishes....

And now we wait..........
but as we wait I will continue the musical interlude.

Monday, December 13, 2010

To Razak....

Friday, December 10, 2010

In honor of Human Rights Day- and- To Razak's Mother

Next week my remaining client at Guantanamo will have his habeas corpus hearing. He has been held without charge at Guantanamo for almost ten years.
May he soon be home with his family.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

But I'm not the only one....


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wikileaks...and Guantanamo

Our heroes at Wikileaks are at it again. I expect there will be some interesting documents related to the effort to find homes for the men who cannot return to their homeland, the deals that were made and the deals that fell through....and who knows what else.
Those of us who are tired of living in a police state that monitors everyones every move are forever grateful to the men and women exposing my government's lies, corruption, and incompetence.
Special thanks also goes to the country of Ecuador for offering sanctuary and a platform for Assange.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today a New York jury convicted a former detainee from Guantanamo of one count of conspiracy...dismissing some 180 other counts. Does this mean our judicial system should be thrown away...for not convicting a man that was tortured and framed? Or does it mean that there is still hope for our system despite the fear mongers and those that would like to see us use military law whenever the word "terrorist" is thrown out there.... ? The jury is still out on that question and I for one will not hold my breath.
I will only say that the framers of our constitution understood quite well what happens when there is no system of justice and they worked quite hard to frame a system that insured the independence of the judiciary. Unfortunately some in our judiciary have been the worst advocates for maintaining that system as they seek "guidance" and "direction" from the politicians as to how to do their job. Shame on them....
But heartfelt thanks to the New York Jury....this was a difficult case because of all of the pressure by the pundits..... and you made those of us who care about our judicial system proud.
New Yorks own talking dog has this to say about the verdict.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

For those in the Baltimore area.....

Pioneering American composer Annea Lockwood is about to present in Baltimore In Our Name, a new composition featuring poetry written by Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Sponsored by Maryland ACLU, the concert will be held at An Die Musik on November 17 and involve Thomas Buckner, baritone, Annea Lockwood, electronics and voice, and Ted Mook, cello.

Lockwood’s In Our Name, a collaboration with Buckner, builds on excerpts of poetry written by Jumah al Dossari, Osama Abu Kabir and Emad Abdullah Hassan while incarcerated without trial at Guantanamo Bay.

For more information about the up-coming Baltimore concert, to request images or to arrange interviews with the composer or performers, contact Raymond Beegle at

Thursday, November 11, 2010


On this veteran's day 2010 I salute the military defense lawyers representing the men at Guantanamo. Men and women who have risked their careers to ensure that the Constitution they swore to followed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Yesterday came and went and no one was indicted for destroying the videotapes that graphically showed the torture that we subjected at least three men. The statute of limitations is now up for that particular crime.
Emptywheel has more here.
Meanwhile Bush continues to brag about his role in the torture program.
what a sick country.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Well the "show sentencing" is over. By making his plea deal, the kid we locked up and tortured since age 15 agreed not to contest the made up accusations against him and the "jury" gave him 40 make believe years. Of course if he contested who knows what would have happened so it was probably the safest move for him. Soooo, this unfortunate young man will spend the next year in solitary confinement (unless his attorneys were able to get that changed in the plea deal) because those are the rules of my pathetic country.....once found guilty they are locked in solitary. Then he moves on to his homeland for the rest of his seven year sentence and that becomes an issue for the Canadians. No great hope there as the Canadians wouldn't lift a finger to help their young son all these years. The best that can be hoped for is that the Canadians dump Stephen Harper and go back to being the Canadians that we all knew and loved... as the country to find sanctuary..... so far, things look as glum as ever on that score.
Meanwhile, it seems that some on my side of the boarder are thinking that sentencing based on a plea deal that requires not only an admission but an agreement not to contest really shouldn't stand......
Finally, I hope the rest of the world takes note, killing US soldiers is a war crime..
The galloping beaver has more here.
Daphne Eviatar has more here.
And Andy Worthington gives us a glimpse of the human side.
All of this leaves me wondering when my country will hit rock bottom....seems the bottom is further away than I thought.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

LIES LIES LIES and more to come........

As I examine the lies in my own clients habeas case....I am reminded of
the history of lies that resulted in my clients almost 10 years of unlawful
Yes. The wrong fucking people are locked up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Paying for his father's sins....

Another in a string of black days in this here country of mine. Today we (sorta) sentenced a young man for supposed war crimes committed while he was a child. Shame on us and shame on Canada for not coming to the rescue of its young son long ago. (every other Western nation took their citizens out of Guantanamo years ago....even the Australian Bush clone Howard....but Harper refused, even after the Canadian Supreme Court held that the country had a constitutional obligation.)
Of course there is still a chance that the jury in his case will give him a lesser sentence....the sentencing hearing continues before the military jury.
Andy Worthington has more here.
Emptywheel has more here.
The Toronto star has more here.
And let's not forget our friends at P,O and GG,E

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

From David Hicks' autobiography

David Hicks, aka "the Australian Taliban" has written an account of his treatment in US hands. The book is due out in another month or so ....but click on the title for a glimpse.

Friday, October 15, 2010



The article discusses a little known directive by then deputy defense secretary Wolfowitz allowing for experimentation on some of the prisoners at Guantanamo. One of the many disturbing points about this article is how the Government turned the humane treatment of prisoners as a "privilege" to be afforded only those who were considered "lawful combatants." Of course one of the many ironies is that the Government never could get its terminology consistent so the men at Guantanamo were never found to be "unlawful combatants" but were instead found to be "enemy combatants." I know....picky picky.

Little by little the war crimes are coming to the surface. Wolfowitz has moved up on my list.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Catching up....updated....

Well I still haven't gotten to the trial that is supposed to prove to us why we should turn our backs on our court system and adopt military law but here are a few updates to the important story from Dafna Linzer:

I have been buried preparing for my remaining clients habeas hearing which I had hoped would be next week but on monday I found out it will not be until let me try to catch up.

This will take a few days but I will start with Dafna Linzer's two pieces in Pro Publica:

Link directly to story:

Link directly to the sidebar:

The fact that things are being kept from the public...not because they involve National Security but because they are embarrassing to our country has been a problem since this litigation began....what is even more disturbing in these two articles is that a judge actually rewrote his opinion to placate the government and in the process took out some very important facts that puts this case in perspective. The government has been abusing the classification system for a long time but it got ten times worse in the late fall of 2008. From that point on there is very little on the public docket about our cases.

Tomorrow I will get up to speed on the Gitmo trial going on in New York...........

Monday, September 20, 2010

And for those of you with a TV

THE OATH by Laura Poitras, will air on Tuesday, September 21 at 10 PM (
I saw this movie a few months back and it is very powerful.
A synopsis of the film:
Filmed in Yemen and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, The Oath interweaves the stories of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard, and Salim Hamdan, a prisoner at Guantánamo facing war crimes charges. Directed by Laura Poitras, The Oath unfolds via a narrative rife with plot reversals and betrayals that ultimately leads to Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantánamo and the U.S. Supreme Court. Winner of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary. A co-production of ITVS in association with American Documentary/POV.
You can view the trailer here:

Reality Radio Regarding The War on Terror under Obama

Interview with writer and journalist Victoria Brittain: the show features discussion on issues such as the use of torture, the Guantanamo and Bagram detention facilities, detainees such as British resident Shaker Aamer, and the state of the 'War on Terror' under the Obama Administration. The show can be downloaded at

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Andy Worthington Updates...

Click on the title to go to Andy Worthington's introduction to his latest work: looking at the men who are still at Guantanamo. Then follow with parts one and two....

Friday, September 17, 2010

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian

Law of war is a moveable feast

Monday, September 13, 2010
Justinian in Law of war, Roger Fitch Esq

State Department reports to UN on human rights in the USA ... Surprisingly few US civilians killed overseas by terrorists last year ... Of all the defendants before Military Commissions, only one has been charged with an actual war crime

In January, an appellate panel of the DC Circuit ruled 2-1 (in the Guantánamo habeascase of Al Bihani) that the president is not constrained by the international law of war, a Bush claim that Obama disowned.

The majority judges in that panel were Janice Rogers Brown and Brett Kavanaugh, perhaps the most extreme of George Bush's dismal appellate appointees.

A full bench of the circuit has now denied a rehearing to Al Bihani. While the decision was unanimous, seven of nine judges disclaimed the lower court's dicta on international law.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

RIP Steven Biko

Robben Island ("we serve with pride) .... the Guantanamo ("honor bound to defend freedom") of apartheid South Africa....
on this the 33 anniversary of Biko's murder.

The Real Way Past Gridlock

Mary takes on Goldsmith and Mary wins...Click on the title for more.

As for me...I am knee deep in preparing for my client's (Razak Ali ISN 685) habeas hearing set for October 4-5.....complete with the Government changing its entire theory for detaining him...yesterday. Yes, I said yesterday. I mean what the heck they haven't had much time to think about this...he has only been held for 9+ years without any god damn charges and they knew my client would win on the BS they were advancing up until yesterday.

I head to Gitmo on Monday for a visit with my client before his hearing and because of the dynamics of getting to and from gitmo the trip will last until Friday....

so you won't be hearing much from me except on the odd day when I come up for air and to lash out at the injustice.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Did I mention that I was pissed off?

The Ninth Circuit (remember them? they use to be the good guys and gals...) ruled today that the state secrets doctrine bars a court action for torture.....

From the ACLU's Ben Wiznver via emptywheel.... regarding the decision:

This is a sad day not only for the torture victims whose attempt to seek justice has been extinguished, but for all Americans who care about the rule of law and our nation’s reputation in the world. To date, not a single victim of the Bush administration’s torture program has had his day in court. If today’s decision is allowed to stand, the United States will have closed its courtroom doors to torture victims while providing complete immunity to their torturers. The torture architects and their enablers may have escaped the judgment of this court, but they will not escape the judgment of history. know what I say? Fuck history.

I am pushing for judgment from a court. A real court that is not afraid of dispensing justice.
And in case you have not notice I am persistent.
Click on the title for the full decision.....


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Musical Interlude

Sorry, things are a bit crazy right now so it is time for another musical interlude.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Khadr trial continued after his attorney collapses...

According to Daphne Eviatar (click on the title above) the attorney collapsed while questioning the first witness. Being a sole practitioner myself I can imagine the stress and strain for the sole attorney for this young man (yes, Khadr does have canadian counsel and I am sure they are helping as much as they can but they are not allowed to handle courtroom examination of witnesses, etc). The case is continued for at least 30 days and of course a new jury will be empaneled at that time.
And so the saga of the US war crime in trying a child for war crimes continues........

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Military Jury Selected in Khadr Trial

And we have a jury selected for our war crimes trial against the young man that we picked up at age 15, which in turn makes our country guilty of a war crime in trying a child for war crimes instead of following international law....sigh.
Click on the title for more from Carol Rosenberg.
Click here for more from al jazeera.

The Cook's Two Sentences...

After reaching a plea deal the "cook" also had to sit through a sentencing hearing. Supposedly the sentence reached by the jury was just for show (14 years for being a cook...yikes) and the plea deal is two years. We shall see.
Click on the title for more.

Monday, August 9, 2010

And While We Are At It.....

Seems that the sentence for Osama Bin Laden's former cook is going to be kept a secret...except that someone seems to have spilled the beans and it seems the cook is getting two more years....
Click on the title for more....if you can bear it.

why bother to try for fairness at this point...

Obviously that is the lesson of the day coming from the military judge at the kangaroo commission for Omar Khadr....the judge held that the statements made by the 15 year old after being threatened with rape and possible death are admissible in the "trial." Yes, the judge is a disgrace but so is my on the title for a little bit more from emptywheel.

This Week in War Crimes

On Friday the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in the War Crimes Trial of Omar Khadr.
So country will commit yet another war crime by trying the kid (yes, he was 15 years old when we imprisoned him at Guantanamo) in a kangaroo commission this week.
Click on the title for more from scotusblog.
and click here to see what al-jazeera has to say.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Keeping detainees away from courts and lawyers

Click on the title for this AP story about how the Bush administration moved the so called "high value detainees" to Gitmo after some of the initial torture and then as it became clear that the Supreme Court was going to rule on whether the men at Guantanamo were entitled to lawyers....they moved them out again so they could not tell lawyers and the International Red Cross about the torture they were subjected to. Emptywheel has more here..... and Andy Worthington has more here and here.

More on the Torture Doctors

Scott Horton pulls in all together. Click on the title for more...........

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ex-Gitmo Detainee running for office in Afghanistan

click on the title for the story........

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One more word from Canada...

A quote from the Canadian Judge....about the "gross misconduct" of the US....

"I recognize tht the collection of intelligence is of the highest importance in protecting and securing a nation from the dangers of terrorism. It must also be recognized that there will always be a tension, especially in troubled times, in the balancing of intelligence and security issues with cherished democratic values, such as the rule of law and protection from human rights violations. In civilized democracies, the rule of law must prevail over intelligence objectives. In this case, the sum of the human rights violations suffered by Khadr is both shocking and unjustifiable. Although Khadr may have possessed information of intelligence value, he is still entitled to the safeguards and benefit of the law, and not to arbitrary and illegal detention in a secret detention centre where he was subjected to physical abuse. The United States was the driving force behind Khadr's fourteen month detention in Pakistan, paying a $500,000 bounty for his apprehension. The United States intelligence agency [CIA] acted in concert with the ISI to delay consular access by DFAIT to Khadr for three months, contrary to the provisions of the Vienna Convention. The United States, contrary to Canada's wishes, pressured the ISI to delay Khadr's repatriation because of its dissatisfaction with Khadr being released without charge, even though there was no admissible evidence upon which to base charges at that time. In my view, given this gross misconduct, there cannot be a clearer case that warrants a stay."

meanwhile....younger brother's tribunal still set for next week

The DC circus court just denied the young Khadr's motion to stay the kangaroo tribunal.
ScotUS has more here.

Canada Refuses to Extradite Khadr's Brother to US

And why won't they extradite to the US? Because my country violates international law!
Abdullah Khadr is the older brother of Omar Khadr....We have been holding Omar at Guantanamo since he was 15 years old. The whole saga of our country holding this child for all of these years is outrageous and it is high time the Canadians fought to get him released....but they have a few problems of their own as Canada was complicit in the violations of international law...
Well, at least the brother goes free.
Click on the title to read more from Peace, order and good government, eh?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Update and Full Story on the Algerian Returned Home Despite Fears of Torture

Read more from Andy Worthington regarding Abdul Aziz Naji by clicking on the title.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Canadian Child "soldier" Khadr's letter to his attorney

As awful as so many of the stories from Guantanamo are, the saga of the Canadian child Omar Khadr is perhaps the most heart wrenching (and I say this even thought I represent two other Guantanamo men ). Khadr has been held by my country since he was fifteen years old and this is a war crime...not whatever Khadr did or is even accused of doing, but what my country has done and continues to do to this young man.
This is not only a national tragedy for my country but an international tragedy....and one that Canada is complicit in with it's Bush wannabe.... Stephen Harper.
Shame on you Harper for being such a wimp....
And to my Canadian friends....I am sorry that you are stuck with Harper...
I wish that you would all rise up angry and stand up for your child.....
But then, I wish American's could see the war crimes we are involved in.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Whistle-blower Heroes..

If you have not had a chance to take a look at the Afghanistan war log documents that were released by wikileaks (the website seems to be down right now!) click on the title to see what the Guardian has put together.

Unfortunately our Government has decided that everything that is in the slightest way embarrassing should be classified....and it is out of control. I have watched this in terms of the Guantanamo litigation where just about every court filing now is filed under seal....and the secrecy got worse under the Obama administration.

Thanks to the heroes who have opened the doors..and thanks to those of you who will be heroes in the future.

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian

Roger Fitch Esq • July 23, 2010

Rough treatment by the courts

“You have a right to a speedy trial – unless they need to torture you first” ... The media’s characterisation of waterboarding – it used to be called torture, now it’s nothing special … Americans stripped of their citizenship by transport safety bureaucrats … Our Man in Washington reports

imageLong-established legal principles are falling left and right, all in the name of … National Security.

In New York, in a shocking but not unexpected decision on the 6th amendment right to speedy trial, federal district judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled Ahmed Ghailani should stand trial in 2010 for the terrorism charges on which he was first indicted 12 years ago, in 1998.

This was so even though he has been in continuous government custody since 2004.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Algerians don't know where the Algerian is that was released from Guantanamo

Well this sure is great news....the Algerians deny that they are detaining the prisoner that was released from Gitmo over the weekend (he was forced back to Algeria against his will because he fears for his life) but at the same time they admit they do not know where he is.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another sad case of our inhumanity.....but at least the Judge saw through it....

Yemeni psych patient ordered freed from Guantánamo



A federal judge ordered the immediate release of a Yemeni man who has spent long periods of captivity in the Guantánamo psych ward in split decisions Wednesday that upheld the indefinite detention of another Yemeni.

The U.S. District Court rulings left the so-called habeas corpus scorecard of government-detainee wins at 15-38. That means that judges have ruled more than twice as often for the release of detainees at Guantánamo, rather than holding them.

Judge Reggie Walton ruled for the government that it can continue to hold Abdul-Rahman Sulayman, 31, picked up in Pakistan and handed over to U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Chicago attorney Thomas P. Sullivan said he would soon travel to the remote U.S. Navy base in Cuba to consult with Sulayman.

In another court, Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. granted the petition of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, 34, in a single page order that instructed the Obama administration to ``take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif's release forthwith.'' He also ordered Justice Department lawyers to report back by Aug. 20.

Latif's attorney, David Remes, has long described the man as despairing and suicidal -- covering himself in excrement, throwing blood at the lawyer, consuming shards of metal.

Both judge's decisions were under seal Wednesday, classified for a security review, so their reasonings were not immediately known.

Of Latif, Remes said, ``This is a mentally disturbed man who has said from the beginning that he went to Afghanistan seeking medical care because he was too poor to pay for it. Finally, a court has recognized that he's been telling the truth, and ordered his release.''

Remes also urged the Obama administration to lift its moratorium on repatriations to the turbulent Arabian Gulf nation of Yemen, and not appeal the Latif decision.

``He said conditions at Guantánamo are what had driven him to these extremes. He's languished so long it would be a crime to keep him incarcerated there,'' he said.

A Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, said lawyers were reviewing Kennedy's decision to decide whether to appeal it. On Wednesday, there were 178 captives at Guantánamo.

Repatriated Algerian has gone missing.....

What a shock, huh?

Whereabouts of former US detainee unknown-lawyers

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) - A man who the Obama administration transferred against his will from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to his native Algeria has gone missing, a U.S.-based rights group involved in the case said on Wednesday.

The transfer of Abdul Aziz Naji to Algeria, announced by the Pentagon on Monday, brought the number of remaining detainees at Guantanamo to 178, down from 245 when U.S. President Barack Obama took office last year.

Naji's case has been closely watched because he is the first detainee to be involuntarily repatriated by the Obama administration, according to Human Rights Watch.

Naji, who has been held at Guantanamo since 2002, told his lawyers he did not want to return to Algeria because he feared persecution from the Algerian government and Islamist militants there.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents many Guantanamo detainees, said Naji's lawyers and family have been unable to locate or contact him since he was repatriated by the U.S. government.

"His whereabouts and well-being in Algeria are currently unknown," it said in a statement. "Mr. Naji has disappeared since his return to Algeria, and is presumably being held in secret detention by Algerian state security forces."

Pardiss Kebriaei, a lawyer with the center, said: "We know that he's been transferred. But as for where he is ... we don't know. It's very concerning."

Other former detainees sent to Algeria were taken into custody for questioning by authorities upon their return but subsequently released, rights groups say.

The U.S. government had alleged that Naji belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group in Pakistan, but the Center for Constitutional Rights said he has "long been cleared of any connection with terrorism."

The Pentagon said the transfer was coordinated with the government of Algeria to ensure it took place under "appropriate security measures."

Before Naji's involuntarily return, 10 Algerians had agreed to go back, Human Rights Watch said.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, speaking of the 10 repatriated to Algeria, said, "None, in our view, has appeared to be mistreated." (Reporting by Adam Entous; editing by Todd Eastham)

One Habeas win, one habeas loss

Today J. Kennedy ruled in favor of the habeas petition for Yemini, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, ISN 156 (congrats to the Covington Team).
Unfortunately Judge Walton today denied the habeas petition for Yemini, Abd Al Rathman Abdu Abu Al Ghayth Sulayman (ISN 223)
(condolences to Sulayman and his counsel... I am not sure who his counsel is.)

37 habeas wins, 15 losses and one loss vacated by the DC Circuit Court.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Detainee Transfer Announced by Pentagon (Updated)

Today's announcement is just a bit disconcerting as the Obama administration has for the first time released a Gitmo detainee to a country where the detainee fears he will be prosecuted or otherwise harmed....this is particularly ironic because there are men at Guantanamo who do not fear being returned to Algeria (one happens to be my client) but instead of releasing someone like my client the administration chose to send back a man with legitimate fears of being prosecuted.
ScotUS has more here.
Fire dog Lake's Jeff Kaye has a more in-depth story here-(complete with an interview by The talkingdog of one of the Algerian man's attorneys- Ellen Lubell.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Judges? We don't need no damn judges...we have the Executive


Speaking of Surviving......

I guess we must still wait for the punchline but it seems that Appellate Court Judge Bybee is claiming that when he was head of the Office of Legal Counsel he did not give approval for "certain" torture techniques used . We will have to wait to see what happens next as this opens the door for prosecution (under the theory adoped by our current and former administrations) for those accused of committing these war crimes. To clarify: these actions were always illegal, but both Bush and Obama claimed that they wouldn't go after individuals because they had approval from the executive for these war Bybee is saying "NO, there was no approval."

hmmm. The question is whether Bybee is throwing the other torturers under the bus to save himself? Which in turn brings us to the other question....who will throw Bybee under the bus...?

stay tuned.. and click here for the story.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

RIP Charly Gittings

During the night my friend and the friend of many of us, Charly Gittings, died. He was diagnosed with lung cancer just about a year ago and he fought the good fight as long as he could. He asked me, and his many other friends, to carry on certain battles: to keep his project alive "the project to enforce the Geneva Conventions" and to do our best to bring our war criminals to justice. I made the promise to him that I would do everything I could to make sure our war criminals were prosecuted....and I will. I hope others will work on finding a home for his Project.

I would like to share some of the thoughts from his friends with you, I hope they do not mind:

"Our loss is also the loss of the world; peace, justice and honor will be just a bit further away from our grasp";

"If I were to do an eulogy for Charles Gittings, I would say he was a stubborn, obstinate—even prickly—man who knew his duty and always performed it faithfully. In my personal experience, he managed to sway many people, among them military officers, to accept his point of view. He contributed a great deal to our understanding of war crimes, he documented his findings meticulously and he ended up being in the right. I can't think of a better epitaph. This man made a difference";

"I join in lamenting the loss of a sweet-tempered, hard-working, gentle giant who never tired of seeking rights for those that so many sunshine patriots despise.

I am so sorry to lose Charly";

"It fell to me, in the last year of a life that began in 1914
that Charlie gave me the rare honor of allowing me to serve as his attorney of record in SCOTUS in the KIYEMBA .
Until then I had admired his Project from afar, with a occasional grumble at the failure of the elite of the American Society of International Law to have founded a
project to enforce the Charter of the United Nations, the terms of which are under our Constitution THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND";

"On a rainy evening sadly comes a long expected visit. but with it bittersweetly, the balm of these remembrances.

Five years ago I wandered into a Guantanamo case, filed a motion, and about ten seconds after it hit Pacer, had the lion heart at my ear. On that shining day when we grasped victory, and on the dark ones when the Circuit snatched it back, he was there. He never tired. I can hear him still.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant -- Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale."

TO read Charly's biography click here.

The talking dog has more here.

And to check out the Charly Gittings memorial blog click here.....

And so Charly, rest in peace and please know that your friends that will continue to do their best to prosecute those who have violated our laws.

Andy Worthington updates....

Andy has updated his four-part definitive Guantanamo prisoner list, bringing the project up-to-date with new links to the last six months of habeas results, releases (just 17), torture revelations and the ongoing failure of the Obama administration to close the prison.

Click on the title for more.........

Andy has also completed the most recent of six lists providing links to all his articles in chronological order, covering Jan-Jun 2010 (the lists start in May 2007), which is a useful resource as well:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Detainee Transfer Announced by Pentagon

This is the official announcement:

The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of one detainee from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Yemen.

On May 26, 2010, a U.S. District Court ordered the release of Mohammed Odaini from custody at Guantanamo Bay. As a result, the Department of Defense has transferred him to his native country. In accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer Odaini at least 15 days before his transfer.

The suspension of Yemeni repatriations from Guantanamo remains in effect due to the security situation that exists there. However, the Administration respects the decisions of U.S. federal courts, which ordered the release of Odaini. As with all transfers, the U.S. Government will work with the Yemeni Government to the fullest extent possible to implement appropriate security measures.

Since 2002, more than 595 detainees have departed Guantanamo Bay for other destinations, including Albania, Algeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, Georgia, France, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Palau, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.

Today, 180 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

Andrew Napolitano: Bush and Cheney Should Have Been Indicted for Torturing, for Spying and Arresting Without Warrants

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Well, this is something you don't see every day. Ralph Nader hosted this interview segment with Fox News' Judge Andrew Napolitano and discussed his book, Lies the Government Told You. I'm surprised the judge is going to be allowed on Fox after making the statements he did about Bush and Cheney during the interview.

Nader: What about the more serious violations of habeas corpus. You know after 9-11 Bush rounded up thousands of them, Americans, many of them Muslim Americans or Arabic Americans and they were thrown in jail without charges, they didn't have lawyers, some of them were pretty mistreated in New York City. You know they were all released eventually.

Napolitano: Correct.

Nader: Is that what you mean also about throwing people in jail without charges violating habeas corpus?

Napolitano: Well that is so obviously a violation of the natural law, the natural right to be brought before a neutral arbiter within moments of the government taking your freedom away from you. And the Constitution itself, as the Supreme Court in the Boumediene case pretty much said, wherever the government goes, the Constitution goes with it and wherever the Constitution goes are the rights of the Constitution as a guarantee and habeas corpus cannot be suspended by the president ever. It can only be suspended by the Congress in times of rebellion which in read Milligan says meaning rebellion of such magnitude that judges can't get into their court houses. That has not happened in American history.

So what President Bush did with the suspension of habeas corpus, with the whole concept of Guantanamo Bay, with the whole idea that he could avoid and evade federal laws, treaties, federal judges and the Constitution was blatantly unconstitutional and is some cases criminal.

Nader: What's the sanction for President Bush and Vice President Cheney?

Napolitano: There's been no sanction except what history will say about them.

Nader: What should be the sanctions?

Napolitano: They should have been indicted. They absolutely should have been indicted for torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrants. I'd like to say they should be indicted for lying but believe it or not, unless you're under oath, lying is not a crime. At least not an indictable crime. It's a moral crime.

Nader: So you think George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should even though they've left office, they haven't escaped the criminal laws, they should be indicted and prosecuted?

Napolitano: The evidence in this book and in others, our colleague the great Vincent Bugliosi has amassed an incredible amount of evidence. The purpose of this book was not to amass that evidence but I do discuss it, is overwhelming when you compare it to the level of evidence required for a normal indictment that George W. Bush as President and Dick Cheney as Vice President participated in criminal conspiracies to violate the federal law and the guaranteed civil liberties of hundreds, maybe thousands of human beings.

They go on to discuss how these crimes have gone on unpunished and how the practices have continued under Obama and that as long as our citizens are willing to accept government deception and as long as the Justice Department and the lawyers in this country are not going to pursue these cases in court it's never going to stop. It's a topic that our media is happy to help brush under the rug as well.

UPDATE: If you would like to watch the entire hour long interview from Book TV, C-SPAN has it available in their video library here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Omar Khadr speaks out.....

Click on the title for Carol Rosenberg's latest on Omar Khadr.
Emptywheel has more here.

Yes. not only will we survive but we will make it right....

Click on the title for more..........

Friday, July 9, 2010

Carol: Welcome back to the Gitmo beat!

The Military has decided not to illegally ban one of the top Gitmo reporters who reports on all things Gitmo.
Click on the title for the story from the Miami Harold about the reinstatement of Carol Rosenberg.
Click here for a further discussion from emptywheel.

Another Habeas Win- UPDATED

It was just pointed out to me that the scorecard now reads 37-13...the Government has one less win because of the Circuit Court's reversal in Bensayah (discussed here).
Tip of the hat to Roger Fitch.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

You Can Run But You Cannot Hide (updated)

Last month I reported on the complaint filed against James Elmer Mitchell, one of the architects of the CIA torture program. I am happy to report that the American Psychological Assn has now filed a letter supporting the complaint against Dr. James Mitchell. I hope to have a link to that letter shortly.
On a separate but related note the Center for Justice and Accountability filed a complaint against one of the other masterminds of the CIA torture program Dr. John Leso. Details here.
Thank You PEGS for the link.

Another Habeas Win

Today Judge Friedman issued an order granting the writ to Yemeni Hussain Salem Mohammad Almerfedi, ISN 1015. The merits hearing in his case occurred on March 3-5, 2010. Judge Friedman ordered that an unclassified version of his opinion is to be provided to him by July 22.

The scorecard is now 37 habeas wins, 14 losses.

Congrats to Brian E. Foster and the Covington team.

Plea deal for Gitmo detainee

Yesterday the military announced that it reached a plea deal with one of the Guantanamo detainees. When I read the announcement I knew it stunk to high heaven but it wasn't until last night that I went and read as much as I could find on Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi....

I don't have time to link to the NY Times database right now but you can go to it yourself and paste in his name and do a search....probably wikipedia has links too. It is shameful that this is an example of what our government calls a "war crime."

Roger Fitch at Justian has more here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Canadian Court coming through for Khadr?

I will try to have a link to this decision later today but the Federal Court of Canada issued an Order yesterday which suggests that they may be getting close to restoring an earlier order requiring the Government of Canada to request Omar Khadr's repatriation from gtmo....stay tuned.

Thanks to PEGC we now have a link to the decision. CLICK ON THE TITLE

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th continued....

Happy 4th........

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On the eve of the 4th ....

I would like to share a few items out there in the news that you might not have seen from some of the websites that I look at regularly.
First, from Pruning Shears: Why looking back matters
From Scotusblog: an interesting piece on the DC Circuit trying to stop a DC District Court judge from doing her job: Major fight brews on munaf
From Informed Comment (where you can find out more in depth analysis of all things mideast):
From the Talking Dog: More from the department of "Duh"
And finally from No Comment: a little piece about the country that we broke ties some 234 years ago....Britain moves forward on torture probe...
Seems even the Brits understand that looking back matters.

Finally a DC Circuit opinion helpful to detainees (Updated)

Today the DC Circuit released a declassified version of an opinion from last week in which they reversed a decision by Judge Leon denying the Great Writ. In trying to explain the decision I made a leap that was not correct...... Bensayah was one of several Algerians being held and the Government's case was primarily one suggesting that he was suspicious and that should be enough to hold him: The Government claimed Bensayah had ties to an al-Qaeda operative (but now the Government has given up on the theory that the accused operative was actually connected to al-Qaeda) and Bensayah used fake id's to travel (on occasion) because his Algerian passport had expired and he couldn't go back to Algeria. The Government apparently rested much of his case on the ties to the al-Qaeda operative but more recently the government has backed off substantially on its allegations regarding that other the bottom line was that Bensayah was being held because he allegedly had ties to someone no longer considered to be connected to al-Qaeda and that he didn't have a current passport so he used fake id's ...on occasion. Of course when Judge Leon ruled the Government had not yet acknowledged that the other individual had no connection to al-Qaeda. Anyway it is nice that the DC Circuit has decided not to rubber stamp every Government win in the district court (fortunately there are not many Government wins.....)
Thanks to Mark Fleming and the Wilmer Hale team for this great victory.

Friday, June 25, 2010

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian

Roger Fitch Esq • June 21, 2010

Supreme Court wonderland

In a decision the NY Times called disgraceful,
the Supreme Court denied certiorari to the Canadian Maher Arar in his civil damages case against US officials who rendered him to Syria as he transited JFK airport in 2002.

Arar was tortured there for 10 months.

imageThe Canadians exonerated Arar, paid him millions in damages and apologised for their role in his rendition. The US, however, refused to take any action.

The Mounties are now investigating the US

Arar’s lawyer, David Cole (pic), has more to say.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

You Can Run But You Cannot Hide

Since our president thinks that holding certain criminals responsible for their crimes distracts us from the future it is important that we the people do everything we can to hold those men and women responsible for their actions....In that vein is the attached complaint to the TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF PSYCHOLOGISTS regarding the conduct of one Dr. James Elmer Mitchell.
Click on the title for the complaint.

Thank you Charles Gittings at PEGS for this posting.

The "sideshow"

Last week the judge in my remaining clients case reluctantly recused himself in a most injudicious order. For some reason the judge, who sat on my recusal motion for months, decided that my opposed to the conduct of the DOJ was the real problem.
The talking dog has more here:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Yesterday the ACLU received documents from the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice in response to a FOIA request on Bagram, particularly those that pertain to early Bush era global detention and release policy/including criteria for Gitmo transfers (2002-2004). This chilling phrase in the 2004 “Global Screening Criteria for Detainees” policy is actually similar to ones that I have seen being used in unclassified documents related to my own clients: commanders could “only transfer to Guantanamo those [enemy combatants] whose exploitation require[d] the specialized capabilities available at Guantánamo.”

You can find the documents here: There is an index at the beginning of the PDF.

CLICK ON THE TITLE FOR SOME of the interesting points highlighted by others....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Experiments in Torture

Experiments in Torture by Physicians For Human Rights is the first report to reveal evidence indicating that CIA medical personnel allegedly engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation after 9/11, in addition to the previously disclosed crime of torture. In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA appears to have committed another alleged war crime—illegal experimentation on prisoners.

Click on the title to read the report......

And click here to read Scott Horton's take ....

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guantanamo censors....

When I was down at Guantanamo a few weeks ago I had a little time on my hands and now that they actually have wireless at the luxurious accommodations that we lawyers are forced to stay at I did a little web browsing to my favorite websites. Only problem was that one of those websites was blocked by the thugs that run the place: A Canadian website called Galloping Beaver. Last week I sent a short email to the Beaver congratulating them for being controversial enough to be banned from the base and they followed with this post.
For those of you who have been thinking in the back of your mind that you can always flee to Canada when things get (more) unbearable here you might want to check out the Beaver for a reality check....things are not all that great up north when it comes to democracy either.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Former President Bush bragged this past week about his policy of waterboarding those suspected of terrorism (key word being "suspected")....but of course even though waterboarding is torture and torture is against the law (or was against the law) in this here country of mine the current powers to be have decided to turn their collective cheeks....which of curse is easy for them since it was not their cheeks that were smacked....
Of course Bush only spoke about his joy in waterboarding KSM.....I wonder how he will respond to questions about waterboarding Abu Zubaydah (some 100 times) as the government has now been forced to admit Abu Z was not al-Qaeda or taliban....just some smuck who had the misfortune to be captured by my criminal Government.......
anyway Scott Horton has more here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Task Force Report

Obama set up the Task Force shortly after taking office to review the gitmo detainees and to make recommendations as to whether they should be released, prosecuted or detained forever without charge. The task force completed its job in January and they just got around to releasing the on the title to review.
As for my two clients- Mr. Al-Ghizzawi was cleared for release and ultimately released in March of this year to the country of Georgia. Razak Ali was not cleared for release and is apparently on the list to be detained forever, although the reason for his being in this category boggles the mind.

emptywheel has more on the report here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Take Action and Support the military lawyer who refused to prosectute a man who was tortured into confessing......

A former prosecutor who blew the whistle on the abuse of our Constitution in the Guantanamo Bay military commissions is now in danger of losing his 19-year military career. Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld was retaliated against for having the courage to follow orders and speak the truth about the mockery of due process afforded to detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

On June 1, a military promotions board will meet, ironically, not to honor or promote Lt. Col. Vandeveld, a highly decorated member of the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps who served in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, as both a solder in combat and a prosecutor. More than likely, they will smear his name, preventing him from an honorable retirement just 4 months away from 20 years of outstanding service to our nation.

Lt. Col. Vandeveld needs your help to defend his honor, as he has stood up to defend the Constitution.

TAKE ACTION NOW! Demand that the Secretary of Defense protect Lt. Col Vandeveld, and grant him the honor he has earned.

Lt. Col. Vandeveld resigned from his position at Guantanamo, because he could not ethically or legally prosecute Mohammed Jawad. The Jawad case brought to light many of the problems occurring at Guantanamo, including abusive interrogations, evidence withheld from the defense, judicial incompetence, and confessions coerced through torture. Lt. Col. Vandeveld gave judge-ordered testimony in the Jawad case, and in return for his honesty under oath and the public outrage that followed, the military issued him his first negative performance evaluation.

My Country should be so embarrassed....and so should Canada

Click on the title to read the latest statement from UNICEF regarding the Canadian held at Guantanamo since he was 15 years old........

Monday, May 24, 2010

House Armed Service Committee Votes to Keep Gitmo Open and Investigate Lawyers Who Represent the Men at Gitmo

The final text of the House Armed Services Committee-passed National

Defense Authorization Act has been posted on the House Rules Committee's

website: The key pages seem to be pages 389-406.

The following provision in the NDAA 2011 (at pp.403-05) requiring the DOD Inspector General to investigate habeas counsel and commissions defense counsel for interfering with DOD operations:

(a) IN GENERAL.-The Inspector General of the Department of Defense shall conduct an investigation of the conduct and practices of lawyers described in subsection (c)...

(c) LAWYERS DESCRIBED.-The lawyers described in this subsection are military and non-military lawyers-(1) who represent individuals described in subsection (d) in proceedings relating to petitions for habeas corpus or in military commissions; and (2) for whom there is reasonable suspicion that they have engaged in conduct or practices described in subsection (a)(1).

Other notable provisions include:

- No release into the US

- No transfer to the US, until 120 days after comprehensive plan is submitted to Congress re: disposition of each detainee

- No transfer or resettlement to any foreign country, until 30 days after certification to Congress re: risks, etc.

- No transfer to any country with confirmed case of recidivism, unless waived by SECDEF

- No funds to construct or modify any facility in the US to house GTMO detainees

- Report on the merits, costs and risks of using any facility in the US to house GTMO detainees


Catching up...

A lot has happened over the past couple of weeks while I was at Guantanamo for a week and then taking some time to catch up...

First one of the best decisions to come out of the DC District Court was shot down by the DC Circuit paving the way for new Guantanamos around the world. This particular one is in Afghanistan... the decision can be found here and Scotusblog has more on the decision and its possible ramifications.

The Guantanamo testimonial project has a new interview. This one is of Alfred Souza who discusses the treatment of some of the most vulnerable men at Guantanamo, those with mental heath issues. Read the interview here. "In that interview, condecorated corpsman Souza tells about the dehumanization of the Guantanamo prisoners, and in particular those in the Psych Ward, where he found mentally-ill patients locked up in small places and punished with extreme deprivation for not complying with orders."

Also, be watching for more men to be leaving the prison. The Obama administration apparently has decided that it is ok to send men to countries where they have legitimate fears of prosecution.

And finally, Elena Kagan....I will have more to say later but basically I think she will be just fine. All of this yakking about her lack of judicial experience is just a distraction to me....I mean we have all seen what a great help all of that legal experience has done for people like Roberts and Alito.