Thursday, January 26, 2012

Moe Davis talks to the Dog


The Talking DogAs we come to a point in time ten years after the opening of Guantanamo Bay for military detentions of persons captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere, is there anything else I should have asked you but didn't, or anything else you believe that the public needs to know about this?

Morris Davis: One thing comes to mind. We chose Guantanamo a decade ago because some people thought that it was outside the reach of law. And now, we have 171 men stuck in a legal Alice in Wonderland. And so we continue to make bad laws, like the NDAA and the "reformed again and again military commissions” -- to continue to try to deal with men we are holding because we took short-cuts and made bad decisions years ago. My hope is that common sense prevails and we can look rationally at the big picture, and we stop trying to make even more bad laws rooted in our prior bad decisions. I hope at some point we remember who we are and what we stand for, we reckon with what we did in the past, and we stop living our lives in fear. I hope we become free and brave again.
The Talking DogI join all my readers in thanking Col. Morris Davis for that eye-opening interview.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

From Roger Fitch and our Friends down under at Justinian...

Sorry I am a little late posting this-but it is as timely as ever....

Happy birthday Gitmo

Milestones and millstones ... Guantánamo's tenth birthday, as Bill of Rights turns 220 ... National Defence Authorisation Act allows for exciting possibilities - including military detention of US civilians ... The new Reichstag Fire Decree ... Latest from US Supremes ... Habeas - British courts step-in where DC Circuit fears to tread
The US reached a milestone on December 15: 220 years since the adoption of its famous Bill of Rights
It's older than the French Droits de l'Homme of 1793.
Nevertheless, for reasons best left to historians, on "Bill of Rights Day" Congress suspended large chunks of the 10 amendments (and effectively, habeas corpus) in theNational Defence Authorisation Act .


Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Smuggling" accusations continue

Not too long ago one of the Guantanamo attorneys was accused of smuggling underpants to a another attorney is accused of smuggling pamphlets....The search process before seeing a client is exhaustive---and exhausting and the notion that any one of us would risk our law licenses to bring in this trivia is beyond the pale....but that doesn't stop the military.
Read the whole story on truthout here.
Guantanamo Commander’s “Smuggling” Claim Against Military Attorney Preceded Legal Mail Order 
by: Jason Leopold, Truthout | Report
This is the front cover of a pamphlet produced by a Kuwaiti-based anti-Guantanamo organization that was set up in November to try and win the release of two Kuwaiti prisoners, pictured on the cover of the pamphlet, who are detained at the detention facility. The commander of Guantanamo, Rear Adm. David Woods, accused one of the detainee's attorneys of "smuggling" the pamphlet into Guantanamo three weeks before he issued a widely condemned order calling for a review of detainees' legal mail. (Image: Lt. Col. Barry Wingard)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Spain re-opens war crimes investigation regarding Guantanamo---

Scott Horton has more on this issue here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Petition Request from Human Rights First

President Obama pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay prison three years ago. In the last presidential election, the major candidates all agreed that Guantanamo had undermined U.S. legitimacy and national security and endangered our troops abroad, and that the prison should be shuttered.
Ten years after it opened, the Guantanamo prison still holds 171 prisoners, at a cost of $800,000 each every year.
Please sign this petition urging the United States government to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility once and for all. If it receives 25,000 signatures, the White House has promised to respond. Click here to sign it now!
Daphne Eviatar,
Human Rights First

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

and my thoughts on this "anniversary"...

as found on Michael Moore's website:

If you are in the DC area I hope to see you out there protesting this ominous anniversary in front of the white house tomorrow (january 11)....but wherever you are- raise your voice and tell Obama to follow least on this one promise... to close Guantanamo.

Thank you U.S. Supreme Court (sigh...)

For confirming that the men at Guantanamo do not have the right to participate in their appeals... Sorry I can't post to the decision but it was just a one liner anyway....DENIED.
This was in response to the Writ of Mandamus that I filed in the U. S. Supreme Court asking them to Order the DC Circuit Court to provide an unclassified version of the documents that I filed on behalf of my client in his habeas hearing so that he could participate in his appeal.
Now it is clear- all the way up to the Supreme Court- that the men at Guantanamo cannot even help with their cases in any meaningful way....

Guantanamo lawyers statement on this 10th anniversary

This statement is made by over 100 lawyers who have represented or currently represent men imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay in federal habeas corpus proceedings. We are solo practitioners, partners and associates in law firms, federal public defenders and former prosecutors, law professors and human rights activists who practice in nearly every area of the law. We hail from nearly every state in the Union. We stand here together on this, the tenth anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo, to call on our government to provide meaningful justice for the 171 men still held there.
Ten years ago, the first men and boys were shipped secretly from different parts of the world to Guantánamo, and ultimately the number grew to nearly 800. The government called these individuals “enemy combatants,” a term without legal meaning, in order to evade established rules of international law, to impose indefinite imprisonment without any legal process whatsoever and to employ unlawful interrogation techniques and even torture.  It tried to make the prison camp a “legal black hole” where the sanitizing light of due process and the rule of law would not penetrate. It said that all the Guantánamo prisoners were “terrorists” and even “the worst of the worst,” in order to justify their unjust incarceration.
As attorneys for the prisoners, we have worked hard to show that these government claims are wrong. We have litigated dozens of cases, filed thousands of legal briefs, fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — three times so far — to establish that these men cannot be indefinitely imprisoned without due process of law and that this prison is not outside the law. We continue to fight for these fundamental principles enshrined by the U.S. Constitution and international human rights law.
These same principles animate our demands now. Every one of the 171 men remaining at Guantánamo deserves the due process of law. First, every one whom the government still holds captive should be charged criminally, and provided a fair trial, or released. The Constitution, as well as international human rights law, require no less. Second, over half of these men were cleared for repatriation to their home countries, some years ago, and they should be repatriated or resettled promptly. No law, no logic, can allow a government to continue to imprison individuals whom that government itself has said pose no threat.
We have shown why these men are not “the worst of the worst.” In court filings and in news articles, the evidence shows that many of them were sold for bounties, or falsely accused by those who were being tortured, or simply captured in the fog of war because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The fact that 600 of the nearly 800 men once imprisoned at Guantánamo were unilaterally released by the government proves that the rhetoric was false, base fear mongering. In any case, the important point is this — a court should determine each man’s guilt or innocence after a fair criminal trial, and a decade is too long to wait for such a trial.
We have learned and wish to remind the world of the human dignity of our clients, based on countless hours we have spent in conversation with them. They are not nameless, faceless “terrorists.” They are fathers, brothers, and sons to family members who have not seen them in a decade, and they feel the deepest pain from missing their loved ones back home. They have endured an unthinkable ordeal including, in a great many cases, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. They have also endured prolonged isolation and other brutal conditions of imprisonment, causing many to deteriorate physically and psychologically. In addition, they face the most profound uncertainty about their futures and experience the daily grinding weight of the hopelessness that pervades Guantánamo. Yet they manage to preserve their humanity and dignity against all odds, in the most surprising and inspiring ways. We ask the world to remember our clients on this day and the remaining days of their imprisonment.
As Americans we know that the rule of law is one of the greatest accomplishments of our nation. We call on the government to respect the rule of law and end our disastrous and shameful legacy in Guantánamo Bay. We call on President Obama and our government to promptly repatriate or resettle the prisoners who have already been approved for release, and to provide prompt and fair criminal trials for those whom the government still holds. Our fundamental Constitutional principles require no less. Ten years is too long. We hope that this tenth anniversary of the Guantánamo Bay prison will be its last.