Thursday, April 28, 2011


Joe Margulies is one of the habeas counsel who has been around since the beginning. As he contemplates the fact that we, the very men and women representing the men at Guantanamo, cannot look at the newly disclosed documents he also sheds a reflective view on what all of this means.
And Clive Stafford Smith, another of the habeas counsel who has been around since the beginning of the Guantanamo litigation reminds us that so many of the claims now released against our clients (that I have not been allowed to even view) are based on nothing more than ignorant gossip...something there is no shortage of here in my country.
Meanwhile we wait. Will the attorneys for the Guantanamo men be the only ones that cannot participate (meaningfully) in the dialog surrounding the wikileaks disclosures?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


As most of you know, we, the habeas attorneys, have been gagged from talking about the wiki-leak documents. Several of us are discussing a court challenge to the gag order. For me this is particularly frustrating as I have discovered more lies by the government both to the court and to me....and to bring them to the court's attention I must fly to DC and file the documents from the "secret place."
So, for a few thousand dollars I can fly to DC, prepare the document and then file it as a classified document despite the fact that the big dark classified secrets are available in several different languages all over the f'in internet.
great country!

BTW- please don't send me any links or emails with or about- classified documents.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Seattle church campaigns to free Guantanamo prisoner

Adnan Latif was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Pakistani authorities .arrested him, his supporters say.

Nine years later, it seems he’s still in the wrong place: detained at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Soldiers there keep him isolated in a psychiatric ward and frequently beat him, according to his lawyer, David Remes. Because Latif joined a hunger strike in 2007, they also continue to force feed him through his nose.

In August 2010, a judge ruled there was no evidence that Latif, originally from Yemen, had ever raised a hand against the United States and ordered his release. But the Obama Administration has appealed the order and is fighting to keep him locked up.

Local activists are now fighting back, hoping to free a man they say is not only innocent but also mentally ill, the result of an earlier accident, or perhaps, incarceration.

“I’m outraged that he’s being so badly treated and there’s no justification for it,” said Betty Blakney, co-chair of University Temple’s social justice committee.

Members of University Temple United Methodist Church have taken up Latif’s cause and started a letter-writing campaign for his release. They also plan to meet with their members of Congress about Latif’s case.

Forty-one church members signed a March 27 letter to Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jim McDermott urging they take action to release Latif, who was 24 at the time of his arrest. They plan to ask other University District churches to do the same.

Political realities

David Remes, Latif’s attorney in Washington, D.C., said he welcomes the effort. But he and Jamie Mayerfeld, a political science professor who teaches a course on Guantanamo Bay at the University of Washington, say political barriers stand between Latif and freedom.

Foremost among them: President Obama has continued the Bush Administration policy of indefinite incarceration without trial, Mayerfeld said.

Of the 779 people who have been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay for suspected terrorism since it opened in 2002, only a half-dozen have been convicted, Mayerfeld said. Today 172 people remain at the prison. Of these, 57 are Yemenis cleared for release by the Obama Administration.

In an email, Lt. Col. Tanya J. Bradsher, a Pentagon spokesperson, confirmed 172 detainees are housed at Guantanamo Bay, approximately half of them hailing from Yemen.

But Latif and his fellow Yemeni prisoners can’t get out because they have nowhere to go and no way to get there. President Obama banned returning any Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Yemen in January, after the Christmas Day incident in which a Yemeni man tried to blow up an airliner. Then Congress passed a law prohibiting the transfer of any Guantanamo Bay prisoner to any country, Remes said.

“Adopting” a prisoner

Latif first came to the attention of the University Temple community after several church members attended a workshop on torture at Garfield High School on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Professor Mayerfeld led the workshop and raised the idea of churches “adopting” a prisoner by writing letters. University Temple members followed up with Mayerfeld, who suggested Latif because his case is so egregious.

In 1994, at the age of 18, a car accident left Latif with a severe head injury and blindness in one eye. His family was destitute, so the government of Yemen paid to send him to Jordan for an operation, Remes, his lawyer, said.

The operation was only partially successful, however. In 2000, Latif met a man who promised him free medical help in Afghanistan. He was arrested near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan border in 2001 after the U.S. invasion, Remes said, and his life has been a living hell ever since.

As a result of his head injury or his incarceration, Latif is mentally ill and suffers from a number of physical ailments, Remes said. From many hunger strikes, he weighs less than 100 pounds and has to wear what’s called a suicide smock because he’s tried to kill himself so many times.

When he gets out of control, a prison response team in black riot gear beats him until he’s subdued, Remes said. Bradsher, the Pentagon spokesperson, declined to comment on Latif’s condition.

Defining torture

Torture is a loaded term, said Remes, who represents 17 other Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo. But the conditions are clearly cruel, inhumane and degrading violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Latif should be released, he said. The Department of Defense recommended it in 2004, the Bush Administration approved it in 2007, and the judge ordered it last year in response to a habeas corpus petition, Remes said.

“It’s incomprehensible they’re holding this poor man and that [the Obama Administration is] continuing to fight for the right to hold him.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lawsuit filed to compel investigation of Gitmo "psychologist"

The Psychologists and Psychiatrists that helped the interrogators at Guantanamo have - like everyone else involved in the torture of the men and boys at Guantananmo- gotten off pretty easy. When the state of Ohio refused to even do an investigation of Dr. Larry James' role in that torture a group of students from Harvard law school's International human rights clinic filed a lawsuit.
For a summary of the law suit and an excellent look at the children held at Guantanamo take a look at this article by Jeff Kaye at Truthout.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Obama Orders Guantánamo Prisoners Transferred To Next President

April 13, 2011 | ISSUE 47*15 WASHINGTON-After two years of false starts and protracted legal wrangling, President Barack Obama signed an executive order Tuesday authorizing the transfer of all 172 Guantánamo detainees to the next chief executive of the United States of America. "The president's bold decision to move these enemy combatants to the subsequent administration should finally quiet critics who have accused him of inaction and impotence concerning this issue," White House press secretary Jay Carney said after noting that Obama had-in favor of the more politically pragmatic alternative-passed on several opportunities to relocate the inmates to correctional facilities in the continental United States as a first step toward affording the prisoners due process of law. "This will not be an easy process by any means, but all of the detainees should be transferred by 2012, or 2016 at the very latest." With the Guantánamo issue finally resolved, President Obama has reportedly already begun efforts to address another of his 2008 campaign promises by calling for the removal of the Bush-era tax cuts from the current political dialogue.,19979/

Friday, April 8, 2011


You heard it hear first.
And we should start with Senior Judge Silberman From the DC Circuit Court. He apparently has decided to ignore the oath he took as a judge and announced that he will never release a man from Guantanamo as long as the government can muster together some evidence that the person was connected in some way with either the Taliban, al-Qaeda or some associated force.... "some evidence" sometimes referrred to as "whatever shit you can pull together" not the standard in our courts....well let me take that back, it has been the standard in the DC Circuit court since they started hearing these cases --but it is not the proper standard, and now Judge Silberman is admitting that that is the standard the circuit has been following....the whatever shit standard. In the coming weeks and months we must determine whether or not he speaks for the whole court, as he suggests in his concurring opinion,....and if he does then the whole DC Circuit Court should recuse itself from hearing any additional Guantanamo cases...and those judges who proudly boast that they will not follow the law as laid out by the US Supreme Court must be impeached.
You can read his fear mongering rant here, it is the last two pages of the decision.