Saturday, September 29, 2012


Omar Khadr one of Guantanamo's more famous children has finally been repatriated to his home- Canada.
Khadr was 15 years old and badly wounded when he was brought to Guantanamo- now ten years later he is finally released to finish his prison sentence in Canada. Under Canada law he should be released very soon despite the fact that he has a long sentence- because Canadian law recognizes that a sentence like his-imposed on a child is not only illegal but unconscionable. Hopefully Bush wannabe Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper will not interfere with Khadr's release and rehabilitation. If Khadr had been held in virtually any other country he would have been treated as a victim instead of a war criminal.
Shame on the US (of course) but also shame on Canada for allowing Khadr to be imprisoned for these many years.
Read more here and here.

Friday, September 21, 2012


So today the Bush  I mean Obama administration released the names of those men that Obama's task force cleared for release back in 2009. This would be the list of those who were cleared by all of the big name groups (FBI, CIA, State Department, Military etc) and are still sitting around year after year with no charges against them and no prospects of getting out alive- the ones who were cleared and have been transferred are off of this list- as are the men who were cleared and are now dead. This list had been protected by the Obama administration with the threat to us attorneys of being held in contempt of court and losing your security clearance if you had dared to mention to anyone that your client was "cleared." Latif- the man who died earlier this month was cleared for release- but his attorneys could not even mention it after he died....until they got permission and of course being dead means no longer being on the list.
Some years ago I had a battle with the DOJ over this issue-they threatened me with contempt of court after I learned that my client was cleared from a reporter before the government told me and I wanted to talk about it. The judge said no I couldn't talk about it. Later I asked the judge could I please-please- just tell my clients wife that he is cleared so that maybe she would wait for him- he still said no. Many months later I was talking to my clients brother on the phone and the brother told me how happy they all were that my client was cleared for release. I asked him how he knew and he told me that the ICRC told the whole family. So this was just another bullshit rule placed on the attorneys to make our representation more difficult.
so I leave you with this:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Death at Guantanamo Bay

From the New York Times:

Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Yemeni citizen and one of the first detainees sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in January 2002, died there earlier this month. There is no official autopsy report yet, but in his decade in prison he had gone on hunger strikes and made several suicide attempts.
Amnesty International
Adnan Latif, left, with Hussain Almerfedi, another Yemeni man imprisoned.

Click here to read the entire Editorial


by Baher Azmy

BEFORE he died on Sept. 8, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif had spent close to 4,000 days and nights in the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was found unconscious, alone in his cell, thousands of miles from home and family in Yemen. READ THE REST HERE

Tuesday, September 11, 2012





Adnan Latif's death in U.S. custody at Guantanamo is a tragedy. It could have been avoided. Adnan spent more than ten years in Guantanamo nearly a third of his life but, like mosGuantanamo detainees, he was never charged with a crime or accused of violating any law.

Adnan was slightly built and gentle, a husband and a father. He was a talented poet, and devoutly religious. The Administration cleared him for transfer back in 2009, but he was a Yemeni, and the Obama Administration will not send Yemenis home even if, like Adnan, they have been cleared for transfer by a unanimous decision of all responsible agencies after a comprehensive review of the evidence.

Because Adnan was from Yemen, he remained imprisoned for three more years after being cleared not for anything he supposedly did, but simply because of where he came from.

More tragic ironies abound. In 2010, a federal judge ruled that he should be released, but a divided appeals court overturned that ruling in a widely criticized decision a year later. Three months ago, the Supreme Court declined to restore the ruling, and instead let his case go back to district court for a new hearing that, sadly, will now never occur.

Amnesty International was about to launch a new worldwide campaign on his behalf.

Adnan consistently denied the government’s claims and maintained his innocence. He said that he was in Afghanistan when the United States began bombing in October 2001 because he was seeking free medical treatment for injuries he had suffered in a car accident as a teenager.

Fleeing Afghanistan, Adnan was captured and brought to Guantanamo, and held on claims that he was part of the Taliban. He was among the first detainees to arrive in January 2002. The military and the Administration cleared him for transfer, yet fought in court to keep him imprisoned.

Adnan endured great suffering at Guantanamo physical and spiritual and lived in constant torment. He complained of physical pain, impaired hearing and vision, untreated rashes, open sores, and unexplained bruises. He protested what he saw as the injustice of his confinement by hunger striking and injuring himself. He became mentally fragile and was at times sedated, placed on suicide watch, and sent to the prison’s psychological unit.

Adnan spent more than ten years in a foreign land separated from his family, his loved ones, and his home. He was charged with no crimes. He was cleared for transfer because the government did not believe his detention was necessary for our national security.

Yet he could see no end to his confinement.

However he died, Adnan’s death is a reminder of the injustice of Guantanamo, and the urgency of closing the prison. May this unnecessary tragedy spur the government to release the detainees it does not intend to prosecute.
David Remes
S. William Livingston
Alan Pemberton
Brian E. Foster
James M. Smith
Philip A. Scarborough
Roger A. Ford
Marc D. Falcoff

Monday, September 10, 2012


We don't know who or the circumstances yet...only the bottom line-the detainee supposedly died on saturday and they claim to be reaching family members before they announce.
Read the little there is here.
A little more information is available here. He was in Camp 5 which means he was being held in solitary and had been a hunger striker until June. They say he was not facing military commission charges-which probably means we have been holding him indefinitely with insufficient evidence to charge him with anything. Sigh.

This seems to be the only way out of Guantanamo for the remaining men.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Maybe with this visual people will start to understand why it is called "torture."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Human Right's Watch report on Qadaffi and Bush-joint torture

After the fall of Qadaffi (yes, I think I really do spell it differently every time...) the secret intelligence office was raided by the populace and many of the documents detailing the abuse and torture of men turned over to Qadaffi by the Bush administration came to light. The report is long but click here to read it (I am just starting to read it). For the clifnotes version Scott Horton has this...

Judge Lamberth's surprise- UPDATED AGAIN

And here I thought he would never rule against the government on anything related to Guantanamo. I guess this was even too outrageous for him. At least until the DC Circuit gets hold of this issue the attorneys for men who lost their habeas case can still communicate and visit with their clients. Read the corrected decision here (sorry it takes awhile to load). The judge corrected the decision to reflect that a handful of men have had legal proceedings...actually only one has had a truly legal proceeding-the one (Ahmed Ghalani) that was moved to NY to be tried. (h/o to D. Remes for the name and last link below!)
Emptywheel has more here.
Lyle Denniston has more here.
Scott Horton has more here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History-Updated

sorry I don't know too much about this yet but there are works of art and thoughtful writings- it is a wonderful site so check it out. One thing I would add is the caveat about the closing of Guantanamo-I expect this is meant to be a little tongue in cheek but please note that Guantanamo is not closed. Unfortunately when I talk to people about my representation of men at Guantanamo I too often get the response "I thought Obama closed that."
Here is the link:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

TUTU asks that Bush and Blair be sent to The Hague- UPDATED

Thank you Desmond Tutu for making that important public statement....which also included these words:

"The then-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand — with the specter of Syria and Iran before us," said Tutu, who last week withdrew from a conference in South Africa due to Blair's presence at the event.

Juan Cole has more here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

From Roger Fitch and our Friends down under at Justinian

The President's right to kill Americans

Clients at the Bay ... Everyone's getting tired of "targeted killings" by the "serial assassin" ... Brits pay compo to resident mistreated at Gitmo ... How to make cases go away ... DoJ drops Goldman Sachs prosecution ... Huge public disapproval of Congress ... Roger Fitch reports from Washington 
THE Pentagon wants to curtail Guantánamo counsel's access to their clients once they lose DC habeas cases.
See also and here
Lawyers are likely to learn new things, and it's inconvenient when they put to use what they learn. 
The government still claims every word a detainee utters is a secret, presumptively classified from the moment spoken.
It's a contention presently being contested by the ACLU in Guantánamo's "9/11" trial. 
The Pentagon worries that talk about rendition and torture, sorry, "detention and treatment," could cause "exceptionally grave damage".
Quite so: to the government and its staged military prosecutions. 
To be on the safe side, the Obama administration now claims the bare right to counselexpires after habeas cases are adjudicated. 
The New York Times called the action unconstitutional, and a disapproving op-ed appeared in the Washington Post.
DC Chief Judge Royce Lamberth heard the matter and seemed unpersuaded by the government's arguments.
All of the lawyers have security clearances (so do 4.8 million others in the US), so what's the problem?