Sunday, April 22, 2012


          I was going to title this post "so much for court orders" but later I might be looking for the post that described the release of these two Uighers to El Salvador and this title will make it easier....also I was waiting to post about this release until I had time to see how long it has been since any detainee has been released from Guantanamo. I did a search of my blog today and it seems the last man release was in July 2010...sigh.
  In regards to last weeks release I am quoting the email announcement from the Pentagon:

            "The Department of Defense announced [April 19] the  the transfer of two Uighur detainees from the detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay to the Government of El Salvador.  These detainees were subject to release from Guantanamo as a result of a court order issued on October 7, 2008 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and are voluntarily resettling in El Salvador. 
            As directed by the President's January 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases.  As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these individuals were designated for transfer by unanimous consent among all six agencies on the task force.  In accordance with statutory reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals. 
            The United States coordinated with the government of El Salvador to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with appropriate security and humane treatment measures. 
            Today, 169 detainees remain at the detention center in Guantanamo." (emphasis added)

         So yes, the Court ordered these men to be released in 2008...but that wasn't good then the Obama Gitmo Task force in 2009 "okd" the release that had been ordered by the Court  and now three years after that the men are finally free.

Justice U.S. style.
I wish these two men the best of luck.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Drone Murder of a US Teenager (con't)

Back in October I blogged about the American teenager that we (the US) murdered in Yemen- Abdulrahman al Awlaki. Abdulrahman had just turned 16 when he was murdered by drone. His crime was that he was the son of another US citizen that we murdered by drone a few days earlier, Anware al Awlaki. Abdulrahman was murdered along with some cousins who were enjoying a barbq in their backyard...and the US first tried to paint a picture of Abdulrahman as being someone older and more militant- as though that justified his murder-the truth was pretty muffled here in the ole U S of A but if you searched you could find it. Emptywheel now reports that the person that the US was really trying to murder was not even present. For more on AbdulRahman's death just being more collateral damage read this account by Michelle Shephard.
I don't know what else to say except to emphasize that Obama really is worse than GW.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Zelikow memorandum.... emptywheel stated "Phillip Zelikow saves Condi Rice's hiney (again)"..... so, I first read about the memo on emptywheel and I think it is helpful to start there for the general background and the always excellent discussion that followed.
From there move on to Scott Horton's "no comment". where Scott give a more detailed look at the importance of this particular memo in the context of the war crimes that were taking place in the Bush administration and the actual knowledge by the administration that not only were these war crimes but that every single copy of the Zelikow memorandum should be destroyed.
I guess they missed one or two copies....thank the gods for incompetence.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Guidebook to False Confessions"

I have clipped a few paragraphs to get you interested.....

The CIA claimed Zubaydah, who at the time was being held at a black site prison in Thailand, was "withholding imminent threat information during the initial interrogation sessions," according to documents released by the Senate Intelligence Committee in April 2009.
So, "attorneys from the CIA's Office of General Counsel [including the agency's top lawyer John Rizzo] met with the Attorney General [John Ashcroft], the National Security Adviser [Rice], the Deputy National Security Adviser [Stephen Hadley], the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council [John Bellinger], and the Counsel to the President [Alberto Gonzales] in mid-May 2002 to discuss the possible use of alternative interrogation methods that differed from the traditional methods used by the U.S."
One of the key documents handed out to Bush officials at this meeting, and at Principals Committee sessions chaired by Rice that took place between May and July 2002, was a 37-page instructional manual that contained detailed descriptions of seven of the ten techniques that ended up in the legal opinion widely referred to as the "torture memo," drafted by Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) attorney John Yoo and signed by his boss, Jay Bybee, three months later. According to Rice, Yoo had attended the Principals Committee meetings and participated in discussions about Zubaydah's torture.
That instructional manual, referred to as "Pre-Academic Laboratory (PREAL) Operating Instructions," has just been released by the Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The document sheds additional light on the origins of the Bush administration's torture policy and for the first time describes exactly what methods of torture Bush officials had discussed - and subsequently approved - for Zubaydah in May 2002.