Tuesday, December 31, 2013


They were "ordered" by the court to be released in 2008 and now they are finally released. Their transfer has nothing to do with the bill Obama signed a few days ago---this could and should have been done years and years ago. Carol Rosenberg has more on this sad chapter here. I am copying the government press release just because it is such an incongruous description of the misery we have provided these three men: Detainee Transfer Announced Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following: "The Department of Defense is announcing today the transfer of Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia. "These three are the last ethnic Uighur Chinese nationals to be transferred. They were subject to release from Guantanamo as a result of a court order issued on Oct. 7, 2008, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and are voluntarily resettling in Slovakia. "As directed by the president's Jan. 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 is grateful to the government of Slovakia for this humanitarian gesture and its willingness to support U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the government of Slovakia to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with appropriate security and humane treatment measures. "This transfer and resettlement constitutes a significant milestone in our effort to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Secretary Hagel remains grateful to the Defense Department's Special Envoy Paul Lewis, and Department of State Special Envoy Cliff Sloan, for their and their respective teams' many efforts that facilitated this successful transfer. "Today, 155 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay."

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We need to put the pressure on to Close Guantanamo NOW

January 11th is the anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo and it will mark the beginning of the 13th year of being held without charge for most of the remaining men. Please let your voices be heard loud and clear that it has to close and it has to close now.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

well he signed it.....

Word is out that the president signed the "new and improved" National Defense Authorization Act which the president claims will allow him to release a bunch of the men at Guantanamo. You will note that not having the "new and improved Act" did not stop Obama from releasing 5 men over the last two months....sigh. Anyway you can read about it here.

Things you might have missed over the last week or so....

While we await the president's signature on the relaxing of transfers out of Guantanamo (he could have released most of the men without that provision but now he will have no excuse....) let me share some stories that surfaced over the last week or so: The first commander of Guantanamo called for its closing. You can read about it here. One of the men being "tried" in the military commission was kicked out of court for daring to mention the secret detention sites in other countries. Read it here. Prisoner Shaker Aamer discusses the censoring of books at Guantanamo. Read it here. Child soldier Omar Khadr continues his battles agaist the repressive Canadian government of Harper. read it here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRISTMAS TIME IN Washington....

Friday, December 20, 2013



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sudanese Guantanamo Detainee Says He Was Tortured KHARTOUM, Sudan December 19, 2013 (AP)

One of two Sudanese Guantanamo detainees who arrived home Thursday after release from the U.S.-run facility in Cuba said his jailers had "systematically tortured" him, with punishment "doubled" for those who attempted hunger strikes. Ibrahim Idris made his remarks in a news conference in Khartoum, hours after arriving in a U.S. military plane along with Noor Othman Mohammed. Mohammed pleaded guilty in February 2011 to terrorism offenses in a plea deal that spared him the possibility of a life sentence. He was sentenced to 14 years, and all but 34 months were suspended. Idris is mentally ill and has spent much of his 11 years at Guantanamo in psychiatric treatment. A federal judge ordered his release after the U.S. dropped its opposition in October. Frail and speaking weakly, Idris said, "we have been subjected to meticulous, daily torture," adding that those who tried to hold a hunger strike were "double tortured ... on an isolated island, surrounded by weapons." "We were helpless," he said. The second freed inmate, Mohammed, was unable to attend the conference because he was convalescing in the hospital, Idris said. He commended the Sudanese government and civil society organizations for working to secure the two's release. The head of rights group Sudanese Civil Aid, Mustafa Abdul-Mukaram, vowed that his group will continue to press for "due rights" of Sudanese detained in Guantanamo, and demand a U.S. apology for the imprisonment. He accused the United States of holding the prisoners for years based on false information. He added that some of the ex-detainees had pleaded guilty through unfair settlements to secure their release. Hunger strikes have been employed by men held at Guantanamo since shortly after the prison opened in January 2002. The U.S. has long disclosed how many are refusing to eat and whether they meet military guidelines to be force fed. Spokesman at the facility said earlier this month that the U.S. military will no longer disclose to the media and public whether prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are on hunger strike, eliminating what had long been an unofficial barometer of conditions at the secretive military outpost.

Government releases two to Sudan

GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT BELOW: NOTE (t/h to TW) "THE IRONIC, UPSIDE-DOWN NATURE OF GUANTANAMO WHERE THOSE CONVICTED ARE RELEASED AND THE OTHERS, WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN CHARGED, AND MOST OF WHOM HAVE BEEN CLEARED, REMAIN IMPRISONED." Detainee Transfer Announced The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Noor Uthman Muhammed and Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Sudan. On Feb. 18, 2011, Muhammed pleaded guilty in a military commission to offenses under the Military Commissions Act of 2009, and was sentenced to 14 years confinement. In exchange for his guilty plea and Muhammed's cooperation with prosecutors, the Convening Authority for Military Commissions agreed through a pre-trial agreement to suspend all confinement in excess of 34 months. Following the completion of the unsuspended portion of his sentence as of Dec. 3, 2013, the United States Government has repatriated Muhammed to Sudan. Idris was released from Guantanamo in accordance with a court order issued on Oct. 4, 2013, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Idris has been designated for transfer since 2009 by unanimous consent among all six departments and agencies on the Guantanamo Review Task Force. As directed by the president's Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the task force conducted a comprehensive review of Idris's case, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, in making that designation. In accordance with congressionally mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals. The United States coordinated with the Government of Sudan regarding appropriate security measures and to ensure that these transfers are consistent with our humane treatment policy. Today, 158 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Two released to Saudi Arabia

U.S. officials say the two Saudis have been transferred to the custody of their own government after a security review. The men are 35-year-old Saad Muhammad Husayn Qahtani and 48-year-old Hamood Abdulla Hamood. According to the military's press release "As directed by the President's Jan. 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 men were designated for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the task force. In accordance with congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals." What the military does not mention is that these men were cleared for release more than 3 years ago..... Carol Rosenberg has more here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


As I mentioned here my client's habeas appeal was denied about 10 days ago in a rather frustrating opinion by the DC Circuit--frustrating not only because of the misstatements of fact in the opinion itself-- but also because the appellate court continues to refuse to provide a serious look at the Guantanamo habeas cases. They have denied every single habeas appeal. Linda Greenhouse provides that serious look here in this op-ed. Thank you Linda Greenhouse for explaining so eloquently why everyone in this country should care about my client... and the other men at Guantanamo.

75 Gitmo detainees hold hunger strike

Hot on the heels of the military's decision not to further discuss hunger strikes at Guantanamo with the media word has leaked out that at least 75 of the men are currently on a hunger strike. I would quote the only article that I have seen about the latest hunger strike but it only contains military propaganda....word has been leaking out for the last week or so that the hunger strike was back in full swing and that the strike is most likely related to Obama sending the two men back to Algeria who had legitimate fears of going back to that country. The fact that the military is acknowledging that 75 of the men are engaged in the hunger strike probably means that most of the 162 remaining prisoners are participating. When I have more information I will update.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Talking dog interviews John Hickman

Author of the book--Selling Guantanamo: Exploding the Propaganda Surrounding America's Most Notorious Prison. Read the interview here....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Two Repatriated to Algeria--but not my client.

This is probably old news to those of you who follow Guantanamo news but last week the U.S. released two men to Algeria. For these two men it was distressing news as they both have legitimate fears of going back to Algeria. One of the men fled Algeria two decades ago to avoid political prosecution and the U.N. agrees with his fears. See also this account from Carol Rosenberg. Then there is my client who is also from Algeria. My client's only fear about returning home is that the stuff our country has made up about him might land him in prison in Algeria if he returns home. He is willing to take that chance as he just wants to get the heck out of the hell hole we call Guantanamo. Unfortunately last week the DC Circuit Court upheld the district court's denial of his habeas petition. Although I was not surprised that the panel decided the way it did--they have found reasons to deny every single Guantanamo habeas petition that went up to the circuit court but this is especially frustrating because the DC Circuit is willing to disregard those government documents that show the government is wrong in favor of non-evidence that shows the government is correct. Anyway, the last three pages of the decision have warmed my heart as it gives my client a shot at a cert petition before the Supreme Court-- In his concurrence,which is essentially a dissent (but for technical reason that I won't go into here it is called a concurrence) Judge Edwards said "The troubling question in these detainee cases is whether the law of the circuit has stretched the meaning of the AUMF and the NDAA so far beyond the terms of these statutory authorizations that habeas corpus proceedings like the one afforded Ali are functionally useless." So thank you Judge Edwards and I shall run with your words. As Studs Terkel was fond of saying, "hope dies last."

Speaking of Battlefields....

The "commander" of Gitmo- the now notoriously perverse Col. Bogdan- the man responsible for the current conditions and policies at the base (genital searches for detainees who want to visit or accept a call from their attorneys; genital searches before phone calls with family- an event allowed only twice a year; the taking of all of the mens personal papers,including legal papers and family photos; the unethical force feeding of protesting detainees).. the list goes on but I will get to the point... Bogdan stated on 60 minutes "that Guantánamo guards suffer nearly twice as much Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as combat troops." It was one of those statements that actually had a ring of truth about it---I mean these young kids at the base must see what we are doing -holding the men in these horrific conditions- indefinitely- with no charges pending against them...It is heartbreaking, infuriating and depressing. Couple that with the new protocals of searching the mens genitals before they can talk to their lawyers or families and I could actually see how the contradiction of the values of these mostly very young soldiers who want to protect "their country" could be upsetting to them when they see what "protecting their country" means to the powers of this country.... Anyway, it seems that the notoriously perverse Col. Bogdan was either not exactly telling the truth (or if he was telling the truth it is not the kind of truth our government would want to make known....) The military has now retracted the statement of the perverse Col. Bogdan as it seems he just made up that particular fact- as he seems to just make up most of the facts he throws around to justify his perverse actions. Anyway, the DC Circuit is reviewing the practice set up by Col. Bogdan earlier this year--to search the men's genitals and maybe they will have a ruling some time in the not too distant future...and maybe just maybe they will understand what a pervert this guy is and stop the policy- which would be nice as I would like to visit with my client again.

Definitive Report on the Hunger Strike probably the reason the Military will no longer discuss hunger strikers...

The Guantanamo Testimonials Project out of U.C. Davis is probably one of the most comprehensive sources here in the U.S. regarding all things Guantanamo. On November 20, 2013 the Project posted this report on the latest hunger strike by the men at the base. It took less than two weeks for the military to decide that it would no longer provide any information about the hunger strikers: “JTF-Guantanamo allows detainees to peacefully protest, but will not further their protests by reporting the numbers to the public,” Filostrat said. “The release of this information serves no operational purpose and detracts from the more important issues, which are the welfare of detainees and the safety and security of our troops.” My guess is that this is not a coincidence. The facts as outlined in the report from the Guantanamo Testimonials Project show in hard cold numbers the extent of the hunger strike and the unethical response by the military to that peaceful process. Truthout has more here.

Nelson Mandela was on the US list of terrorists until 2008...

You can read the story here and keep this fact in mind--- that Nelson Mandela was on the U.S.lists of terrorist-- when this same government (my government) makes its absurd claims about the men held at Guantanamo. As one of the other attorneys from the Gitmo bar mentioned,these government officials that considered Mandela a terrorist are the same people/agencies that have claimed that all the men at Guantanamo are terrorists....and these are the same people/agencies that have claimed that the men released from Guantanamo have high recidivism rates. Unfortunately my country has come to believe that anyone who questions authority (especially the authority of the U.S.)is a terrorist---which of course put Mandela at the top of the list--- but that list also contains the names of former Guantanamo "detainees" who dare to speak out in protest about their captivity and dare to challenge the U.S. government with their words (not with guns or drones)....My government claims that those former Guantanamo detainees have returned to the battlefield--that is because the battlefield is not in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, etc.... the battlefield is in the hearts and minds of people around the globe that challenge corrupt authority. It was probably words like these that kept Mandela on the U.S. list of terrorists for so many years: “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care,” he said."

Friday, December 6, 2013

RIP Nelson Mandela

musical interlude

A lot going on right now but I hope to catch up on things here on Monday. Meanwhile---

Saturday, November 23, 2013

First PRB hearing

The first of the periodic review board (PRB) hearings took place last week. The title is misleading in that it suggests that these reviews of the detainees who ARE NOT cleared for release would take place periodically to ascertain whether the detainee should now be cleared for released (for whatever good that does as the cleared guys are not going anywhere). The rules for these reviews were set up back in 2011 and we just now had the very first hearing....One day my remaining client will have such a hearing...but at this pace I am not holding my breath. Carol Rosenberg has more here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Abuses at Guantanamo continue....

From Truthout: "One of the remaining hunger-strikers, Moath al-Alwi, a Yemeni national who has been in Guantanamo since 2002, is one of the four dozen prisoners designated for indefinite detention. He wrote an article that was published in Al-Jazeera America and translated into English from Arabic by his attorney Ramzi Kassem. Al-Alwi writes that he still is being force-fed, which gives him "bouts of violent vomiting" and "sharp pains in my stomach and intestines." He says the "U.S. military prison staff's intent is to break our peaceful hunger strike." Like many prisoners, al-Alwi has been subjected to invasive body searches by prison guards. Al-Alwi explained that some prisoners ended their hunger strike because of the "brutal force-feeding practices and the cruel punishment inflicted by the prison guards and military medical staff." Others did so because they wanted to give Obama more time to close the prison. Some of the remaining strikers weigh as little as 67 pounds. Despite this, al-Alwi proclaims, "We will remain of hunger strike. We pray that the next thing we taste is freedom. ... May God continue to sustain us all until we achieve our goal of justice." READ THE REST HERE.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


In keeping with our transparent government the reviews of the men who are not cleared for release will be conducted in secret. My remaining client is one of those men who will be reviewed in the secret proceeding. I have not received notice of my client's review and from what I understand from other counsel is that the proceedings are moving at a snails pace... Carol Rosenberg reports on the attempts by the press to witness the proceedings-- "WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has begun notifying would-be observers that it plans to hold the first session of the long-awaited parole-style boards at Guantánamo in secret. President Barack Obama ordered his administration to set up the so-called Periodic Review Boards March 7, 2011. In July, Defense Department officials said the boards would review the files of 71 Guantánamo prisoners’ cases — 46 so-called “indefinite detainees” and 25 men once considered candidates for war crimes trials. Now, as the administration is poised to hold the first hearing — on Nov. 20 at Guantánamo, with 33-year-old captive Mahmud al Mujahid’s plea for release — the Pentagon says it’s unprepared to let reporters watch. Read the rest here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

And on to the next anniversary....

The anniversary of the first men being held at the gulag is January 11th. In 2014 that will be the 12th anniversary and the articles are starting to come out: RT in Gitmo: Is there end in sight for US ‘Gulag’ 12 years after opening?

A not so nice anniversary-----

As Moe Davis points out in this article "Twelve years ago, on 13 November 2001, President George W Bush signed an order authorizing the detention of suspected al-Qaida members and supporters, and the creation of military commissions. To borrow a line from the Grateful Dead: "What a long, strange trip it's been."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Guided Tour...

An explanation of the guided tour given to journalists and politicians at Guantanamo. I would just point out that the photo's that the journalist claims are of camp IV are really camp V.....other than that mistake it looks pretty much like the tour given over the years at our little gulag. Read the article here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guantanamo - an over view

For those of you who need a primer about the early days of guantanamo this is a good overview by the BBC.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Missing the point at Guantanamo...

"Two recent stories about Guantánamo from two of the country's most respected news organizations highlight just how little attention the American press has paid to the facts about the extralegal prison, and the general lack of understanding about the core legal and Constitutional issues involved." Read the rest of this important article by Tom Wilner here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Khadr To Appeal Judges stupid ruling....

Read more about the lower court's decision and his upcoming appeal here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Torture Doctors...

Scott Horton discusses the report by an expert panel that concluded that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath. Read his account here. And read the actual report here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

David Hicks fights back....

David Hicks---The Australian man whose only way out of Guantanamo was to plead guilty to a crime that wasn't even a crime when he supposedly did "it" is now trying to clear his name. If there was any justice out there this would not be a difficult job but well- enough with justice, aye? Read about David's lawsuit here. and here.... and here and finally here. Best of luck David.

"Please, we are tired...."

"Either leave us to die in peace ---or either tell the world the truth. Let the world hear what's happening." Those are the words uttered by Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer to a CBS television crew. His words are not as amazing as the fact that this was not subjected to the usual U.S. government censorship. Pretty sad that the biggest news is not what Shaker is saying but the fact that we can hear his voice. Anyway---read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

U.N. Reviews Military Tribunals...

GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Military tribunals, convened outside the civilian justice system, need to conform to basic standards for due process, a U.N. rights official said from Geneva.
Gabriela Knaul, U.N. special envoy on judicial independence, said U.N. member states need to enact tighter principles to govern military tribunals.
"Irrespective of their military status, these tribunals must be an integral part of the general judicial system," she said in a statement Monday. "It is also essential to ensure that military tribunals are compatible with human rights standards, including the respect of the right to a fair trial and due process guarantees."
Amnesty International in June said a military tribunal in Indonesia was being used to shield human rights violators from the rule of law. The rights group said a trial for 12 soldiers accused of the extrajudicial execution of four detainees was a sham.
Human Rights Watch, in a separate statement, said it's "convinced" the use of military commissions to try suspected terrorists at the U.S. Navy's detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is a serious error. It said the justice system there is "substandard."
Knaul did not single out any particular system in her statements. She served as a Brazilian judge before starting service with the United Nations in 2009.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2013/10/29/UN-reviews-military-tribunals/UPI-82601383059792/#ixzz2jE3QVrJC

Khadr's doctor speaks out....

Khadr's doctor, retired U. S. General Stephen Xenakis, spoke out about the treatment of his patient Omar Khadr in Edmonton yesterday. The whole notion that this young man who was arrested at age 15 and had to plead guilty to charges- some of which were not even a crime at the time- to get out of the hell hole commonly known as Guantanamo is beyond the pale. My Canadian friends---Please don't let your country start mimicking the worst of our traits here in the U. S. ---or I guess I should say Please don't let your country continue to mimic our worst traits....
Read more about the good general here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

General and Systematic violation of Human Rights.......

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Monday demanded the United States explain abuses allegedly committed at Guantanamo prison, especially its practice of force-feeding inmates on hunger strike.
“The information we have indicates that there was a general and systematic violation of human rights” in Guantanamo, said Rodrigo Escobar Gil, one of the Washington-based body’s seven commissioners.
The allegations of forced feeding of Guantanamo prisoners on hunger strike constituted “cruel and inhumane treatment,” he added.
Read the rest HERE

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ohhhhh Canada....

Shame on you.

Court denies former Guantanamo detainee's transfer
(AFP) – 3 days ago  
Ottawa — A Canadian court on Friday denied former Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr's transfer from a maximum to a minimum security prison where he might be eligible for parole.
Khadr, now 27, sought to have his detention in a federal penitentiary for dangerous criminals in Edmonton declared illegal.
His lawyer Dennis Edney argued that because Khadr was 15 at the time of his offenses he should be jailed in a more comfortable provincial correctional facility for petty criminals and youth offenders.
But Canada's government opposed the move, calling it an attempt to lessen his punishment.
In his ruling, Judge John Rooke said the case was "not about any determination of the level of punishment," but rather a simple interpretation of legislation on housing prisoners transferred from abroad.
"The interpretation by the CSC (Correctional Services of Canada) that Mr. Khadr should be placed in a penitentiary is the correct statutory interpretation," he said.
The broader implication for Khadr is that it will be harder for him to obtain early release as long as he is classified a maximum-security risk by his jailers.
Edney told public broadcaster CBC that he would appeal the decision.
He noted that the United States and others have deemed Khadr to be a minimum security risk, and "posed no violent threat to anybody."
The lawyer lamented that as long as Khadr is designated a maximum security risk by Canadian authorities "that he will never get out of prison before his time's up."
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney welcomed the ruling, saying Khadr had "pleaded guilty to heinous crimes."
Khadr was repatriated to Canada in September 2012 after spending 10 years in the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba following his arrest in Afghanistan as a teenager in 2002.
He was sentenced to eight years in 2010 following a military hearing in which he agreed to plead guilty to murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying.
The murder charge related to a grenade attack that killed a US soldier.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fed's decide not to oppose habeas petition for Sudan prisoner

Ibrahim Idris has been held for 11 years- he has severe physical and mental illnesses and the government has known this for 11 years. Finally the government has agreed to "not oppose" his habeas petition--Read more HERE.

And congrats to the lawyer team at Debevoise for their hard fought battle.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

From My Friends Down Under At Justinian....


Israel given unfiltered NSA data ... All phone calls in the US are "relevant to terrorism" ... Defence contractor successfully sues torture victims for costs ... NY designates city mosques as "terrorism enterprises" ... US Supremes in need of a code of conduct ... Nixon on judicial appointments ... Roger Fitch files from the town in the process of shutting down 

CONFLATING war with civilian terrorism in order to justify indefinite military detention is still a popular pastime of the US government.
A critical study of America's other Guantánamo - Bagram prison in Afghanistan, which holds non-Afghans - mainly Pakistanis - has been released by the human rights law firm Justice Project Pakistan.  
At the moment, non-Afghan Bagram prisoners have three habeas claims in court in the DC Circuit for the second time.  
There's more here on Maqaleh and other non-Afghans held in Afghanistan, some taken to a war zone for the express purpose of defeating their habeas claims. 
One of the petitioners, the Pakistani Amanatullah, was removed from occupied Iraq to Afghanistan.
According to British courts who heard the case of the similarly-situated Bagram prisonerRahmatullah that's a war crime.  
Scotusblog has more on the DC cases. 
Some prisoners of the US who remained in occupied Iraq - in accordance with the Geneva Conventions - were left to the tender mercy of mercenary interrogators at the Abu Ghraib prison.
A few brought civil suits in the US for their mistreatment. Recently, these plaintiffs unexpectedly lost their suit, based on the trial judge's contentious interpretation of the Supreme Court's recent Kiobel decision (see post of July 2013) on the scope of the Alien Tort Statute.
The triumphant defence contractor CACI International, who provided the contract "interrogation services" at Abu Ghraib, had the chutzpah to counter-sue the torture victims for costs, and they've been granted.
There's background here and here, plus earlier posts on the case here and here


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

An Update...

Some things that went on last week while I was busy with other things....

Omar Khadr has been moved out of the prison where he was being kept in solitary confinement---now he is in a different prison in Alberta... read more here.

The full D.C. Circuit Court heard arguments yesterday on whether or not it is lawful in this here country to convict individuals of crimes that were not crimes at the time (we in the lawyer biz call those ex post facto laws and our constitution forbids them)...sigh.
Read more here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

And Today's WTF moment

(Reuters) - Using the Wi-Fi connection at Starbucks was a better bet than risking putting confidential defense documents on a glitch-prone Pentagon computer network, a senior Defense Department official testified on Thursday at the Guantanamo trial of five prisoners charged with plotting the September 11 hijacked plane attacks. Read the rest here.

Omar Khadr--another birthday behind bars...

As Andy Worthington reports life has not been good for Mr. Khadr- imprisoned at Guantanamo at age 15 and finally released to Canadian authorities after more than ten years at Guantanamo only to continue being imprisoned north of the boarder in maximum security conditions. Instead of being treated-at most- as a child soldier he was forced to plead guilty to trumped up charges just to get the hell out of Guantanamo. Unfortunately Canada has a right wing government that has tried to emulate GW Bush....sigh. Poor Mr. Harper- he thinks by treating Mr. Khadr as a demon it makes him look tough--I await the day when Canada again becomes the progreesive and caring country of my youth....but I am not holding my breath.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Filing in the Supreme Court

From Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS:

GTMO and war’s end in Afghanistan

A Kuwaiti national held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay for more than eleven-and-a-half years, who figured in an important Supreme Court ruling nine years ago, is making a new plea for his release — just as soon as the U.S. completes its withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan.  At that point, lawyers for Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad al Odah argued in a new filing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the U.S. government will no longer have a legal basis for holding him.
The habeas petition contended that the Supreme Court has allowed detention of prisoners captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan only as long as “armed hostilities” continue for U.S. forces in that region.   With the Obama administration’s planned end of those operations by the end of December 2014, the document contended, al Odah must be sent home to Kuwait.
The document illustrated once more that the American lawyers who provide legal aid to the Guantanamo prisoners — often working without fees — will continue to work out new pleas to challenge the years-long confinement of their clients.   The al Odah filing is the first to be based on the plea that the Afghan war will change the entire legal framework for detention of individuals suspected of terrorist roles.  The government has never faced that claim before.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kudos to Jason Leopold.... (misspelling fixed....)

Jason Leopold- now writing for al-Jazeera news has long been fighting to report on Guantanamo and unveil the secrecy that permeates the proceedings by filing FOIA claims and intervening in cases. Yesterday Judge Lamberth agreed that the procedures the military is using right now to interfere with attorney representation should not remain "protected" and out of the public eye after the government publicly released part of those procedures back in august. Read more here....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The only pictures from the military "hearings"...

Are from sketch artist Janet Hamlin....you can see some of them here.

No one reads Kafka at Gitmo....

More from artist Molly Crabapple regarding the surreal existence at Guantanamo

Thursday, September 12, 2013


you can blow out a candle but you can't blow out a fire....

Oh....and cheers from the dog...

My friend at the talking dog is the only person I know personally who was around to actually witness the events of the U.S.  9/11 in NYC---so I always find his comments pertinent...and lest I forget that the dog's college roommate is now the figure head for this formally great country (making his comments perhaps more pertinent....)  I leave you with this from the dog.....

A song to commemorate another 9/11 ....

Seems my country managed to screw with Chili on this same date (although a few years earlier)....the land of Allende and my favorite poet Pablo Neruda...
this from Firedoglake.....
"The band who performed it, Inti Illimani, from Chile, was out of the country touring in Europe when the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown in a military coup supported by the U.S. on …. and get this … 9 11 1973. Their friend and fellow performer Victor Jara was arrested and tortured along with over two thousand of his countrymen in the National Stadium.
Victor, hands broken, a guitar thrown at him and mockingly told to try playing now, actually began to sing with many of the other victims before he was shot through with machine gun fire and his body thrown in the street in Santiago.
After fifteen years in exile Inti Illimani returned from exile. This song was written to commemorate their return to their homeland.
Two 911s, one of which when considered against the background of the other perfectly illustrates the horror of American exceptionalism . The puppet dictator installed by the US in Chile on 911 1973 ran concentration camps for political dissidents for decades and ruled the country with an iron fist . This event was far worse than our own 911 in the US. This short film does a remarkable job of documenting this and I highly recommend the few minutes it takes to watch."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

secret ruling on secret motion in secret proceeding....

From Der Prozeß, by Franz Kafka:

K. must remember that the trial would not be public; certainly if the court deemed it necessary it could be made public, but there is no law that says it has to be.  Naturally, therefore, the accused and his defense counsel do not have access even to the court records, and especially not to the indictment, and that means one does not know - or at least not precisely - what charges to meet in the first plea. . . . Conditions like this, of course, place the defense in a very unfavorable and difficult position.  But that is what they intend. In fact, defense is not really allowed under the law, it's only tolerated, and there is even some dispute about whether the relevant parts of the law imply even that. 
(hats off to F.G.) 

Oh wait.... this is justice American style...... more here.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

And pass the word.....another WTF issue with Obama

So now the president wants to appoint an attorney to be a federal judge for a lifetime appointment who believes that our constitution is only for the powers to be...... the vote on her nomination came up rather quickly and is set for tomorrow.
Can we defeat her????
Please do your part if you can.

And Thank You Sweden....

I was pleased to see that artists in Stockholm put orange masks on many of that beautiful cities sculptures...ahead of Obama's visit to the city.
Obama can run but he can't hide.
View some of those sculptures here and here.

The secrecy at Guantanamo....

Truthout has an excellent article on the "secrecy" that surrounds everything Guantanamo- including the secret camp 7.

Update on the two released Algerians...

The men have been released on "parole" by the Algerian government. More here.

Meanwhile Nabil Hadjarab's attorney is working to get his client back  client back to France where his entire family resides. There are alot of you from France who visit this blog--please help Mr. Hadjarab return home.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Question of the Day.....

Who knows more about detainee Ammar al Baluchi Hollywood or his Gitmo defense attorneys...??

Defense lawyers at the Guantánamo war court are turning the adage that art imitates life on its head with a legal motion that argues the makers of Zero Dark Thirty know more about what the CIA did to an accused Sept. 11 conspirator than the defendant’s lawyers do.
In a 418-page legal filing, lawyers for Ammar al Baluchi seek government documents on how CIA interrogators and other U.S. officials helped director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal prepare the first 20 minutes of the film. In it, interrogators waterboard, strip naked and string up on a rope a man named “Ammar” who is described as the nephew of the 9/11 mastermind who helped finance the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/30/3596920/who-has-more-info-guantanamo-lawyers.html#storylink=cpy
not surprisingly it is Hollywood.....read the rest here....

My Governments "secret" plan to close Guantanamo....

This so-called plan is probably the best explanation as to why Guantanamo has stayed open all these years under Obama- this is not a plan, it is a summary of the problems with very little thought being put on the actual closing of the gulag...typical Obama....
Anyway--Jason Leopold has more on the "secret plan" here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

For Nabil and Mutia---

Two Algerians released.....

Not my client but at least two are going home:
  The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Algeria.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

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

You're under surveillance

Attorney General Holder promised the Russians that the US wouldn't torture Snowden, and they still wouldn't hand him over ... NSA's "network security agreements" with helpful telecoms ... Stacking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court with Republicans ... Roger Fitch, Our Man in Washington, on the inner workings of a non-functioning democracy 
"Gentlemen do not read each other's mail" - Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of State (1929) 
"You need a haystack to find a needle" - Gen. Keith Alexander, Director, National Security Agency
*   *   *
IT was a surreal Post-Cold War moment, not unlike the day a humble Donald Rumsfeld visited the former KGB torture site in Vilnius, Lithuania - now a memorial to Soviet brutality - as the CIA tortured Pentagon captives nearby.
This time the irony lay in a US Attorney General writing to his Russian counterpart - whose president is a retired KGB Lt. Col. - solemnly assuring him that the US wouldn't torture or kill Edward Snowden if he returns to the US.   
AG Eric Holder also offered to issue Snowden a special travel document for the US - how nice is that?
Even if Russia had an extradition treaty with the US, some countries reject extradition to America on the basis of its civil and military justice systems.  
In 2011, the Canadian courts refused to extradite Omar Khadr's brother Abdullah, and last month a Dutch court denied extradition of a terrorist suspect possibly tortured in Pakistan with US connivance.  
The flight of Snowden - and the secrets he holds about National Security Agency surveillance (more here) - has led to an unusual outbreak of interesting political journalism in the US. 
Snowden: the US promised the Russians he would not be tortured
The Atlantic and FindLaw had ideas for avoiding surveillance.  
More suggestions are here, but they're all doubtful in light of NSA's just-disclosed XKeyscore program.   
The Guardian noted that the encryption services used by many people (see last post) can be bypassed by NSA through its collaboration with Microsoft.
Both organisations pay dubious "bounties" to freelance hackers who find flaws in computer codes, theirs or - in NSA's case - someone else's . 
The Washington Post described the "Network Security Agreements" the NSA enters with helpful telecoms, designed to make electronic communications insecure enough for the agency to save, record and read them unhindered.

Gitmo through the eyes of a sketch artist

This is an amazing piece by a sketch artist who has been covering the Gitmo military tribunals...

Monday, August 12, 2013

John Grisham on Guantanamo detainee...

... Nabil Hadjarab an Algerian man with no ties to Algeria but apparently the French won't take him back to his real home...Lyon France.

It is always nice when important- visible people lend their voice...So thank you John for this op-ed.

Now--all you French people out there who regularly read this blog--do something. Tell your government to let Nabil Hadjarab go back to his family in France and while you are at it....put pressure on my government to send my client Razak Ali back to his home and family in Algeria....sigh. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My "transparent" government will not tell us why.....

they fired the top enlisted soldier at the Guantanamo "medical" facility....
Could it be because of the torture the men on the hunger strike are being subjected to? oh wait---my government does not torture....
but my government also does not hold anyone accountable for anything (oh--except whistle blowers like Mr. Snowden).
So is this guy a whistle blower?
Or was he so terribly awful that even this government of mine couldn't keep him in this position.
Read more here...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Counting the Seconds....

Since Obama's latest promise to close Guantanamo.....here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Will the Yemeni men ever go home...

Reminding us once again as to why we hated the Bush administration-and as to the similarities between Obama and Bush-- the Obama administration is trying to distract us from its illegal surveillance behavior by talking about "the terrorist threat".....
The talking dog has more here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Redactions--U.S. Government style....

I have long said that the saving grace with all of this surveillance and secrecy here in the U.S. of A is the incompetence of my government. Jason Leopold highlights this incompetence in a piece at Al Jazeera....

"In a 13-page brief filed on Friday in federal court in Washington, DC, government lawyers assert that a June 3 declaration signed by Guantanamo prison warden Colonel John Bogdan, which sought to justify the rationale behind the genital search policy, contains details about "operational-security and force-protection procedures" that, if made public, "would better enable our enemies to attack the detention facilities at Guantanamo."....[SNIP]

"the government on Friday released a partially redacted version of Bogdan's declaration, and argued that the blacked-out passages in the document should remain secret - because they contained sensitive "operational-security information" about Guantanamo.
But it appears government lawyers were unaware that another version of Bogdan's declaration - one that contained a different set of redactions - was publicly released last month, in documents filed with the federal appeals court when the government asked [Judge] Lamberth's decision to be put on hold.
Redacted passages that the government says needs to remain secret are unredacted in the earlier version filed on the public record as part of the government's appeal. At the same time, some unredacted passages in the declaration submitted on Friday are redacted in the public version of Bogdan's declaration filed with the appeals court last month....

tory - 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Framer of Guantanamo now says it should never have been opened...

In today's WTF category:

Why we should shut down Guantanamo: Prison camp's jailer-in-chief makes jaw-dropping U-turn and says it should never have been built

  • *William Lietzau had key role in creating Guantanamo under George Bush
  • *He has now argued the detention camp should never have been built
  • *He said detainees should have been PoW's and held in Afghanistan
  • *If charged, they should have been taken to American prisons, he said

This of course would be the same Mr. Lietzau who resigned from his post last week as per my blog earlier in the week.
READ THE REST whole article here.

Friday, August 2, 2013

In other news....

Shaker has been held at Guantanamo for more than 11 years- he has been cleared by both the Bush administration and the Obama administration. He is a British resident and he has never met his youngest child. Why is he still being held? The Brits refuse to demand his release- probably because of everything Amer has seen (and heard) over his years in captivity- including the complicity of the Brits....perhaps because he is a witness to the murder of some men at Guantanamo a few years ago?
The threat now is that this transparent government of mine might send him to Saudi Arabia- where he can continue to be silenced.
Shaker Amer subjected to assaults on a daily basis...some sexual.

The Talking Dog on Snowden -et al....

Funny thing having to seek sanctuary in Russia- The supposed arch enemy of all freedoms...until of course the U.S. surpassed Russia on that front a few years ago. So I wish Mr. Snowden the best of luck, I am glad he is safe from my rogue country- at least for now. And most of all I hope that if he has more to share with the people of this country (and the world) on the illegal actions of this here government, that he has a safe place to set that information free.
The dog has more here.....

Monday, July 29, 2013


At the same time that the administration was announcing the anticipated release of two Algerians back to Algeria the top pentagon official currently responsible for the mess we call Guantanamo announced his resignation--William Lietzau.
We could ask why in the world would Obama kept this guy on for so long while at the same time promising to close the place but I guess it is just another example of Obama's spinelessness.

From Charlie Savage at the NY Times : 
Mr. Lietzau has played a major role in shaping detention policies across two administrations. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when he was a uniformed lawyer for the Marine Corps, he served as an adviser in the creation of the first version of President George W. Bush’s system of military commissions trials.
In the Obama administration, he has been the primary official shaping policies for “law of war” detention at the prison at Guantánamo Bay and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
Read the rest here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Two being released to Algeria....

Keeping with our government's transparency they have apparently not told the counsel for the men so we do not know which two of the seven Algerian men are going home. My client is one of the seven and as I am so fond of quoting Studs Terkel's favorite line "hope dies last".... I will hope- but I am not optimistic.

Statement by the Press Secretary on Guantanamo Bay

As the President has said, the United States remains determined to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.  In support of those efforts, today the Department of Defense certified to Congress its intent to repatriate an additional two detainees to Algeria.  We are taking this step in consultation with the Congress, and in a responsible manner that protects our national security.

We continue to call on Congress to join us in supporting these efforts by lifting the current restrictions that significantly limit our ability to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo, even those who have been approved for transfer.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"I am fallen into darkness..."

This new amnesty report on the guantanamo prisoners is available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/051/2013/en and a short (and powerful) summary accompanying the report is available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/053/2013/en

Saturday, July 20, 2013


On March 7, 2011 President Obama signed an executive order to establish additional review procedures for Guantanamo detainess to determine if continued detention is warranted. The review procedures, consisting of an initial hearing with an interagency Periodic Review Board (PRB), were to have begun some time that year.  It was a flawed plan because it did not allow for the attorneys to participate in any meaningful manner but it didn’t matter because like so much of Obama’s promises—it never happened. Flash forward two years and four+ months later---
Tonight Friday July 19th, 2013 at 9:12 pm (central time) I received the following email from a certain military official:
Habeas Counsel:
As required by Executive Order 13567 and the National Defense Authorization Act FY2012, a new Periodic Review Board (PRB) process will review the continued detention of certain detainees to assess whether continued law of war detention is necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States.  The process does not address the legality of any detainee's law of war detention, but rather makes discretionary determinations about the individual's threat and the necessity of continued law of war detention.  The review process will include a hearing before a PRB composed of senior level officials from various U.S. Government agencies.  Detainees receiving hearings will be notified by a Personal Representative assigned to assist them in the process.  Counsel who have a prior relationship with detainees who will receive a hearing will be contacted in advance of the notification to the detainees.

Any questions about this process should be directed to…..( I am really being nice by not including that information….)

My client is one of the men who will perhaps be reviewed by this board--- he is on the list by the Obama administration of men at Guantanamo who are too dangerous to be released but whom the government has absolutely no evidence to try in any court of law…. And the Obama administration’s idea of review includes shutting out the very people who know the most about the client- the attorneys for the client. In fact, because of the rules set up for these men we attorneys know even more than our clients because we are allowed to review evidence that we are not allowed to discuss with our clients.

And I guess I should add that the U.S. government has yet to implement the determinations of the last interagency entity--the Guantanamo Review Task Force, which approved for release over half of the current prison population at Guantanamo back in 2010. The overwhelming majority of those men still languish at the prison today.

For the Periodic Review Boards to be taken seriously, the U.S. government should begin releasing the men that were cleared for release by the previous interagency entity years ago.

For those interested here are the guidelines that were issued in 2012 but never utilized.
This concludes today’s WTF moment. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Who provides the "contraband?"

This question comes from an article in the Atlantic Wire. It does miss the point though--- interrogators are the biggest source of gifts to the men---and yes, even after 11 years the men are still interrogated and if they cooperate they get gifts that they can showcase to the other men.  Everything we (the attorneys) bring to a visit is searched- although so far we have not been subject to genital searches---(hate to give the pervert any ideas, but just sayin....)

The Drone killing of an American teenager....correction and updated YET AGAIN

I have commented on this in the past (and again here) but today there is an op-ed in the new york times by the boys father. OOPS- don't know how I made that mistake- the father, also a US citizen was assassinated by drone shortly before his teenage son was killed by drone- the op-ed is from the grandfather.... It should be mandatory reading in this here country of mine and it should provoke questions if not outrage.....unfortunately the american people are asleep at the wheel and our president is worse than asleep at the wheel- I would say he lost his steering wheel but I am not sure he ever had one....
Jim White over at emptywheel has a good discussion on this here.

This morning there was a hearing on the government's motion to dismiss the case-Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS has more here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

military refuses to stop genital searches...-correction and update

Last week a judge ordered that genital searches be stopped. So now the Obama administration is going back to the judge to ask him to reconsider his Order stopping the genital searches....the little pervert claims that stopping genital searches will cause irreparable harm. Jason Leopold has more here. Politico has more here.

The issue is now out of the judges hands---the irreparable harm of not being allowed to search the men's genitals before and after telephone calls- lawyers visits etc- has been appealed by the government and the department of justice sought and received an immediate stay from the DC circus court...- so the military can continue with its abusive conduct....

The Obama administration should be ashamed of itself---but this is business as usual for Obama....

Sunday, July 14, 2013

In Memory of Trayvon Martin

KIDS WHO DIE ....... by Langston Hughes
This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.
Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.
Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers
Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,
Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets
To frighten the people—
For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people—
And the old and rich don’t want the people
To taste the iron of the kids who die,
Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power,
To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together
Listen, kids who die—
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come—
You are sure yourselves that it is coming—
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky—
The song of the life triumphant

Through the kids who die.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Edward Snowden speaks....and again I say thank you to Mr. Snowden.....

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates.
It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.
I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.
That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.
Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president's plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.
Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.
I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela's President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.
This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.
If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.
Thank you.