Thursday, August 30, 2012


The justice department has now officially closed the investigation into the treatment of detainees by the CIA.
Emptywheel has more here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Although our constitution has suffered severe damage from Guantanamo it seems that the base withstood Issac with little damage. Despite the small amount of damage it was enough for the military to punt once again in regards to its kangaroo military commission things are put off until October while the government/military decides if the hearings can be seen but not heard.
Meanwhile- our lovely neighbor to the North-with its Bush wannabe prime minister- continues to refuse to take home its young son from Guantanamo who has been held in violation of international law since he was 15.
Judge Lamberth still has not ruled on whether the proposed new restrictions on lawyer visits to Guantanamo can go into effect-these new restrictions would leave it totally up to the military to decide when and for how long attorneys whose clients no longer have a habeas petition pending can visit their clients. Some accounts suggest that the judge was skeptical of the military's new proposed restrictions at the oral argument- but I don't think our military government has anything to fear with Judge Lamberth- he hasn't seen an argument from the government in regards to Guantanamo that he hasn't liked- and of course he even sunk so low as to engage in ex-parte discussions with government attorneys (in my own clients case....). Needless to say I am not holding my breath on this one.
I have been spending my spare time working on the appellate brief for my client Razak Ali- the appellate court in DC that hears all of the Guantanamo cases has not seen a Guantanamo detainee that it thinks should be set free so I do not hold out great hope- but I will do my best. My client lost his Habeas case more than a year and a half ago but it took the judge about 15 months to deny one of the post trial motions that I filed. That was understandable because everyone knows that it takes a long time to say "motion denied" which is really all he said.  Anyway, now I am working on Razak's appeal and unfortunately my client will just have to take my word for  it when I tell him I am doing my best-as the courts- yes all the way up to the Supreme Court have refused my request to provide an unclassified version of his Petition and the Government's response, so that my client could provide meaningful assistance in his appeal and understand exactly what the issues are- all of the courts have refused to allow him to participate in his appeal (and of course he was allowed not to provide assistance at his hearing either- unless you think listening in to the unclassified version of the opening statement in meaningful or assistance) ...confirming once again that habeas is truly dead.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A little break from the usual...

RIP Neil helped many of us dream great dreams ......h/o/t Hullabaloo

Adventures at Gitmo

I hope to get caught up on all things Gitmo during this coming week. Meanwhile here is an update on the conditions for the attorneys for the men at Gitmo and the forever decreasing number of hours we can spend with our clients after making the long journey. This shrinking schedule will definitely impact my ability to prepare -with my client- his appeal.

David Remes’ Latest GTMO Adventures
I returned from GTMO on Thursday, unexpectedly soon. I had flown down on Monday for an extended visit, but the visit was cut short when I and others were evacuated in the face of the threat from Tropical Storm Isaac.
A surreal flight back
We boarded a chartered commercial jetliner, bound for Andrews AFB, which is how the military ferries habeas lawyers and individuals associated with military commission cases to and from the base. On board were members of families of 9/11 victims, military commission judges and officials, commission prosecutors and defense counsel, translators, and, at the very rear, NGO observers and the media, and me. Aptly, all involved in this sad drama, except the detainees themselves, were bound together in this self-contained reality.
Before the cabin door was closed, crew members came down the aisle and told those of us in the last 34 rows (the media, observers, and me) to relocate to empty seats further up, to make room for a contingent of prisoners. We were incredulous, but we had heard this from the crew, and we anticipated a spectacle. Journalists began twittering and unpacking recording devices. I planted myself in row 33, expecting to see some of my clients. After about 15 minutes, crew members returned to tell us that it was all a misunderstanding and we could return to our original seats. 
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Click here to continue.....