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.

Monday, May 10, 2010

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian

From Justinian:

Roger Fitch Esq • May 7, 2010

Our Man in Washington

Terror trial dramas … The Omar Khadr case where the crimes are unknown to the law of war … Manipulating the Military Commission system … New rule that a law of war conviction doesn’t require a law of war violation … Pentagon bans four leading reporters from Guantánamo

imageThe US had two terror-trial dramas scheduled for the last week of April. Both departed from script.

In New York, the case of Syed “Fahad” Hashmi was set for trial. Hashmi, an American citizen, was charged with material support for terrorism because he let an acquaintance store luggage in his London flat for two weeks which turned out to contain waterproof socks, ponchos and sleeping bags destined for al-Qaeda.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

A wrap-up of the week at the kangaroo court.....

Click on the title to read Spencer Ackerman's wrap up of this weeks travesty at Gitmo.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And what happens when you report publicly available information?

This is a subject I know all too well...Last year a judge in Mr. al-Ghizzawi's case barred me (and only me) from talking about the fact that Mr. al-Ghizzawi had been cleared for release....despite the fact that the same information was available all over the internet and the Government itself cleared the information for public release. Today the kangaroo court down at Guantanamo has given the boot to some of the best reporters covering Guantanamo (including the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg) for publishing the name of interrogator no. 1 at the Khadr hearing today. Interrogator no. 1 is Joshua Klaus and since he has his own entry on wikipedia you can read more about him here.
Click on the title for more from Spencer Ackerman.
Emptywheel has more here.


What happens when you take a seriously wounded 15 year old kid, throw in some racism, and add cultural exploitation?
That's my Government for ya......
Click on the title......
or here....for more

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Today's hearing at the kangaroo court differs only slightly from yesterday....Click on the title to see what Spencer Ackerman has to say.
And click here to read what Andy Worthington has to say about Obama's legacy in making his first commission hearing one in which we are prosecuting a 15 year old who was seriously injured when US troops attacked the village he was living in.... good job Barack.
And just in case you are wondering....most of the judges hearing the habeas cases will not give any credence to things learned while the men were being held at has been pretty well established that the place was a torture chamber....that of course hasn't stopped some of those same judges from denying the habeas petitions for men who later repeated the lies that were tortured out of them while at Bagram (most likely because the men were afraid to switch to the truth...).


click on the title for more......

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Canadian perspective

Since Khadr is a Canadian and every other western country that had a man at Guantanamo eventually got around to asking for their man back what is up with Canada? For those Americans reading this who do not even know who the prime minister of Canada is let me give you this cliff note version: his name is Stephen Harper and he is a GW wannabe....and is doing a pretty good job of it at that.
A lot has happened across the boarder (including at least two trips to their Supreme Court) but none of it has resulted in Khadr being returned to his home. Click on the title to read one of the two Canadian blogs I regularly follow..the other is the galloping beaver (which has just the right element of humor and irony...)