Tuesday, April 30, 2013

the whimp...I mean the president, speaks

I was going to try to do a summary of that part of the press conference when Obama talked about Guantanamo but I was too pissed off to spend the time.
Thanks you Marcy for pulling it together here.

And if that isn't enough read this.

another petition.....

Dear H.Candace , 
Thanks for signing my petition, "President Obama: 

Close Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay ." 

Can you help this petition win by asking your friends 

to sign too? It's easy to share with 

There's also a sample email below that you can forward 

to your friends. 

Thanks again -- together we're making change happen, 

Morris Davis 


Note to forward to your friends:


I just signed the petition "President Obama: Close Detention 

Facility at Guantanamo Bay " on Change.org.

It's important. Will you sign it too? Here's the link:



Monday, April 29, 2013

Red Cross is Back....

The International Red Cross arrived back at the base on Saturday. I think it is time for the ICRC to publicly disclose exactly what is going on with the men....read about the ad hoc visit here....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A detainee speaks and "Life Under Lockdown"

Carol Rosenberg has a good article about life for the detainees under Obama- life right now at the base sounds a lot like the harsh life the detainees suffered through under Bush- before attorneys were allowed onto the base- for example, the men are now in solitary confinement  24 hours a day- they can have nothing in their cells with them except a small isomat, a sheet and a pillow-their showers are scheduled for them as is their force feeding- they are shuffled around in shackles. 

One detainee spoke to his attorney last week and told his attorney first hand what life is like right now.... "The cells were emptied of everything." They now only have a isomat, a sheet and a pillow. "No other items are permitted in the cell. No books, no soap, no toothbrushes. Nothing." They are in a 24 hour lock down and isolation but according to the detainee "This will not break the strike, this will push the resolve deeper in the men."

  In short their lives suck....but the men decided that it sucked even more to continue to sit and wait for something to happen. Nothing is going to happen with this president unless he is embarrassed into doing something. If the only thing that will embarrass the president enough to do something is more death-so be it.

The same detainee described the attack by the military on April 13th (hours after the ICRC left the island) " The Military stormed the camp without notice or warning. Many were hit with rubber bullets at close range. ...Only hunger strikers were hit. Everyone's hands were tied behind their back and the men were left on the floor for 6 hours in this position, face down. The men were not permitted to use the bathroom during this time. The men's clothes were soaked with pepper spray and this caused further illness. The treatment was "vicious." This was a one sided war, as the hunger strike is intended to be a peaceful protest."

That detainee who spoke out is also-like most of the men- on a hunger strike and is being force-fed. He described his force-feeding this way-"I am exhausted and completely skinny. ..The military is using a size 10 tube instead of size 8. I Requested an 8, but the military will not comply. The 10 is too big and induces vomiting. The 10 makes it hard to breathe. My entire body is tied down and the large tube is inserted."

"This is a peaceful protest.  There was a one sided war on April 13. The demand is the same. Surrender the Korans. There has been no communication with the men, only force. The men are asking that an official come and speak to them as humans. We wish to speak directly. We want the conditions to be the same as before the strike, but the military must speak with them to negotiate, not just exert force and use violence over starving and weak men. Allowing a rule that the men may surrendur the Koran will cause a majority of the men to begin eating again. The men are resolved to continue their peaceful protest and to negotiate with the military. The military is using their suffering to close Guantanamo. This is a peaceful protest."

I guess it must makes the military feel tough and strong to treat the detainees in this fashion. I only wish it would make the American people ashamed about what is being done in their name....but I guess they are too busy watching tv.


The bipartisan "torture report" concluded that yes it is true the good ole U S of A did in fact use torture- and it didn't make us any safer.
You can download a full copy or an abridged version here.
what a surprise....


Sorry for the long delay here is what we know about the hunger strike as of today:

* the military is now admitting what we (the attorneys) have been saying for more than six weeks- that most of the men being held at the base are on a hunger strike. We know the number is around 130- the military admits more than 100.;
*the military now admits that 20 men are being force fed;
*the military now admits it is not equipped to handle this many hunger strikers and that they had to ship in almost 100 medics;
* despair by the inmates is heightened by the failure to release even one detainee in several years and the periodic review boards (PRB's) that Obama promised more than one year ago -for the men who are not "cleared for release" have not occurred because the CIA refuses to allow the torture the men were subjected to be used in those hearings to explain things like admissions (admissions under torture);
*Sen. Feinstein called for a review of the moratorium of the Yemeni men (which she suggested... by the way...)
*at the same time that our clients are preparing to die rather than be warehoused indefinitely, getting to Guantanamo has become more difficult for the attorneys representing them- the one airline that flies to Guantanamo only flies on monday and friday which means an attorney like me would have to take off an entire week to visit my one client for a day. Military flights had been an option but the military just declared that the attorneys can no longer use those flights.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Talking Dog Interviews Eric Lewis

Eric predated me in the Gitmo litigation and so I never had the opportunity to meet him- but it is yet another fascinating interview....
read it here...

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Thursday, April 18, 2013

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under at Justinian

Glory, glory, hallelujah

Old guard rallies to the cause of female CIA agent glorified fictionally in Zero Dark 30... Latest from US Supremes, including forthcoming important gene patent case ... Secret no-fly lists tested in court ... DoJ's sweetheart deals with badly behaved banks and bankers ... George W. Bush's Liberty and Freedom Institute opens for business ... Our Man in Washington 
Brennan: ably assisted by CIA villains
JOHN BRENNAN has been sworn in as CIA director, using a copy of the Constitution without the Bill of Rights
Ably assisted by an interview committee composed of CIA villains, Mr Brennan is already busy advancing the careers of CIA operatives implicated in crimes, such as the acting and proposed director of CIA Clandestine Services.  
A right-wing Washington Post columnist was outraged that this worthy woman's (torturous) past might be held against her, just when it seemed the CIA's infamous glass ceiling might crack. 
Naturally, the torture counsellor John Yoo was also upset.    
More here and here on the promotion of the female CIA agent glorified fictionally in the filmZero Dark 30 (see January post).  
One of the accusations against this person is her unauthorised visit to Poland to witness the CIA torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, now being tried at Guantánamo.
The CIA acknowledges water-boarding two other men held in Poland, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah and, interestingly, the  now acting CS director helped organise the destruction of videotape evidence of their torture - formerly a federal crime.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lying Sacks of Sh*t

Yes, that would be the military. They are busy making shit up to explain the brutality it engaged in against a bunch of unarmed guys who haven't eaten in a few months. Emptywheel has done a good job of putting the lies all in one article- this is an excerpt:

Carol RosenbergRyan Reilly, and Charlie Savage have all posted their stories on the government’s attempt to make the raid on detainees sound better. (Except as noted, the quotes below come from Rosenberg.)
But the accounts only seem to make it worse. Start with the fact that two of the officers interviewed — Captain John and Lieutenant Hermoine (a pseudonym, according to Rosenberg) — refused to give their names to reporters.
Then there’s Colonel John Bogdan’s claim that, even though he watched the raid via video, no video of the raid exists. (Jim wrote about Bogdan here.)
The chief of the guard force, Army Col. John Bogdan, said he monitored the mission by video screen and radio but told reporters that no taped record existed of the skirmish to independent review what went on Saturday morning.
Given that the most seriously injured of the five detainees and four guards reportedly injured in the raid was a detainee who allegedly banged his own head against his cell, I find the claim of no video especially curious.


White House Petition

I am not very big on petitions- especially to that clown in the white house- but since they are so very close to the 100,000 mark and anything that could embarrass the white house is ok with me please take this as my invitation to you to sign this petition to shut the hell hole....
And thank you anonymous for posting the link....

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Talking Dog Interviews Cori Crider.....

Reprieve has been one of the anchors in the litigation for the men held at Guantanamo and of course the individuals leading Reprieve have been instrumental in this battle- today's interview is with Cori Crider and it is another great interview of yet another inspiring attorney fighting for the men at Gitmo. Read it here.
Thanks again to the dog for sticking with this....

Monday, April 15, 2013

Judge claims he has no jurisdiction...

So today we witnessed another example of our fine judges in DC who refuse to even try to do anything related to the men we are illegally holding at Gitmo-
calling the condition of detainee Madhwani "self manufactured" (because he is engaged in a hunger strike)  judge Hogan refused to intercede.
Just go to the back of the bus boys and quit complaining.......
you can read more here.

Gitmo is Killing Me....

Gitmo Is Killing Me

Published: April 14, 2013


ONE man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.

I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either.

When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a childhood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do better than the $50 a month I earned in a factory, and support my family. I’d never really traveled, and knew nothing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try.

I was wrong to trust him. There was no work. I wanted to leave, but had no money to fly home. After the American invasion in 2001, I fled to Pakistan like everyone else. The Pakistanis arrested me when I asked to see someone from the Yemeni Embassy. I was then sent to Kandahar, and put on the first plane to Gitmo.

Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.

I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.

I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleeping.

There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.

During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily. I called the interpreter to ask the doctor if the procedure was being done correctly or not.

It was so painful that I begged them to stop feeding me. The nurse refused to stop feeding me. As they were finishing, some of the “food” spilled on my clothes. I asked them to change my clothes, but the guard refused to allow me to hold on to this last shred of my dignity.

When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding.

The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being, not a passport, and I deserve to be treated like one.

I do not want to die here, but until President Obama and Yemen’s president do something, that is what I risk every day. Where is my government? I will submit to any “security measures” they want in order to go home, even though they are totally unnecessary.

I will agree to whatever it takes in order to be free. I am now 35. All I want is to see my family again and to start a family of my own.

The situation is desperate now. All of the detainees here are suffering deeply. At least 40 people here are on a hunger strike. People are fainting with exhaustion every day. I have vomited blood.

And there is no end in sight to our imprisonment. Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made.

I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.

Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, told this story, through an Arabic interpreter, to his lawyers at the legal charity Reprieve in an unclassified telephone call.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on April 15, 2013, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Gitmo Is Killing Me.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The International Red Cross admits its concern

Although normally the ICRC refrains from making any comments about its work at Guantanamo but the statement issued saturday claiming they are continuing to monitor things at the base "with concern" suggests things are as bleak as we have been guessing. Of course the big bad military waited until the ICRC left before it engaged in its latest brutal tactics and it is my hope that the delegation turns around and heads right back to the base before the deaths start.
Jim White over at emptywheel has a nice update on what we know now- including the improvised "weapons" that the men supposedly used when being roughed up by the military yesterday which included mops, brooms and empty water bottles wrapped in towels...seems like a threat to me! I guess we are lucky that the men were not shot and killed in response to the threat imposed on our military....

Talking Dog interviews Michael Mone

Another great interview- as you will read in this interview one of Michael's clients was released to Ireland back around the same time my client was released to Georgia- I had to laugh at the time when one of the first things offered to the men released to Ireland was cooking lessons- being of Irish descent I can tell you that the Irish have never been known for their culinary abilities- but all joking aside that was one of the many thoughtful things done for the men to make sure they could live independently.
Read the interview here.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Things are escalating at Guantanamo today...UPDATED

This press release just came from the powers to be at Gitmo... What this means is that the men are now all being held in isolation- in Camp 6 they had been held in communal living arrangements....All we know is that there was a major conflict yesterday and of course the other thing we know is that nothing the military says is to be believed...I would also note that all of this seems to have taken place hours after the International Red Cross left Guantanamo.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba The commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) ordered the transition of detainees from communal to single cell living at Camp VI to ensure the health and security of those detainees. The commander ordered this change at 0510, 13 April 2013. This action was taken in response to efforts by the detainees to limit the guard force’s ability to observe the detainees by covering surveillance cameras, windows, and glass partitions. Round the clock monitoring is necessary to ensure security, order, and safety, as detainees continued a prolonged hunger strike by refusing regular camp-provided meals.

 In order to reestablish proper observation, the guards entered the Camp VI communal living spaces to transition detainees into single cells, remove obstructions to cameras, windows and partitions, and to assess the medical condition of each detainee. Some detainees resisted with improvised weapons, and in response, four less-than-lethal rounds were fired. There were no serious injuries to guards or detainees. 

The mission of Joint Task Force Guantanamo is to provide for the safe, legal, and humane care and custody of detainees. All detainees will continue to be treated in a safe, legal and humane manner.

New York times has a tiny bit more here...

Perhaps they will claim they didn't want to go there anyway....

We can only hope more countries will ban these war criminals.....

MOSCOW -- Russia on Saturday named 18 Americans banned from entering the country in response to Washington imposing sanctions on 18 Russians for alleged human rights violations. The list released by the Foreign Ministry includes John Yoo, a former U.S. Justice Department official who wrote legal memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques; David Addington, the chief of staff for former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney; and two former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay detention center: retired Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller and Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson. The move came a day after the United States announced its sanctions under the Magnitsky Law, named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million in tax rebates. He died in prison the next year, allegedly after being beaten and denied medical treatment. Neither Washington nor Moscow put high-ranking or politically prominent figures on their lists, perhaps aiming to limit the effect on U.S.-Russian relations that have deteriorated, despite President Barack Obama's initiative to "reset" relations with Moscow. The Magnitsky law infuriated Russian authorities, and parliament quickly passed a retaliatory measure than banned Americans from adopting Russian children. Russia also has banned U.S. funding for any non-governmental organization deemed to be engaging in politics. "I think that both sides showed a definite restraint because in Washington and in Moscow there were hotheads demanding to inflate the list to an unthinkable size," parliament member Vyacheslav Nikonov, who focuses on foreign affairs, was quoted as saying by the news agency Interfax. The ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying there also is a "closed part" of the list of banned Americans and that the United States knows of its existence. The U.S. law in turn allows the administration to compile a separate classified list of Russian officials subject to visa bans. The public U.S. list includes Artem Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov, two Russian Interior Ministry officers who put Magnitsky behind bars after he accused them of stealing $230 million from the state. Two tax officials the lawyer accused of approving the fraudulent tax refunds, and several other Interior Ministry officials accused of persecuting Magnitsky, also were on the list. Absent were senior officials from Russia's President Vladimir Putin's entourage whom some human rights advocates had hoped to see sanctioned. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement Saturday that the U.S. sanctions struck "a strong blow to bilateral relations and joint trust." The U.S. Embassy in Moscow said it had no immediate comment. Also on Russia's list are 14 Americans whom Russia says violated the rights of Russians abroad. It does not give specifics of the alleged violations, but includes several current or former federal prosecutors in the case of Viktor Bout, the Russian arms merchant sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in prison for selling weapons to a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group. A federal judge, one FBI agent and four U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents also are on the list. Some of them were involved in the case of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot convicted for drug smuggling. "It's important that the criteria on which the Russian list was composed differ fundamentally from the Americans'. On the Russian list, including the closed part, are people actually responsible for the legalization of torture and indefinite detention of prisoners in Guantanamo, for arrests and unjust sentences for our countrymen," Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hot off the presses....

Rear Adm. Richard W. Butler, will be assigned as commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, U.S. Southern Command, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Butler is currently serving as deputy director, Air Warfare Division, N98B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. John W. Smith Jr., will be assigned as commandant, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk, Va.  Smith is currently serving as commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, U.S. Southern Command, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As one of my astute colleagues noted (hoped?) perhaps Butler will have better luck reining in Army Col. Bogdan or at least make him drink the water publicly.......

In other news...

Read this important article by Jim White over at Emptywheel which discusses not only the visit by the International Red Cross's (ICRC) President to the White House to discuss the alarming hunger strike situation at Guantanamo (following a visit by the ICRC to Guantanamo) but also a story that I somehow missed-military defense emails were turned over to the prosecution. This of course compromises every military commission proceeding- sigh.

Guantanamo in the news...

Thanks to the center for constitutional rights for keeping me and the other Gitmo attorneys up to date on the coverage of the hunger strike and other Gitmo news. The center has been the umbrella organization for the volunteer attorneys. If you have any spare change donate to them.
Here is the latest....

GTMO News Roundup 4/12/13




Monday, April 8, 2013

Musical interlude....

I haven't done one in a while- thank you whoever posted this in response to my article at Michael Moore's web page.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Talking Dog Interviews Matt O'Hara

As I mentioned yesterday the Dog has been on a wild run- with new interviews of Gitmo attorneys on a daily basis- today's is fellow Chicagoan Matt O'Hara. Another fine interview by the Dog and it makes me proud to be in such great company.
Read the interview here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights- Guantanamo "is in clear breach of International law."


The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday urged all branches of the United States Government to work together to close the Guantanamo detention centre, saying “the continuing indefinite incarceration of many of the detainees amounts to arbitrary detention and is in clear breach of international law.”

“I am deeply disappointed that the US Government has not been able to close Guantanamo Bay, despite repeatedly committing itself to do so,” Ms. Pillay said.  “Allegedly, around half of the 166 detainees still being held in detention have been cleared for transfer to either home countries or third countries for resettlement.  Yet they remain in detention at Guantanamo Bay.  Others reportedly have been designated for further indefinite detention. Some of them have been festering in this detention centre for more than a decade.  This raises serious concerns under international law.  It severely undermines the United States’ stance that it is an upholder of human rights, and weakens its position when addressing human rights violations elsewhere.”

Commenting on the current hunger strike by Guantanamo detainees, Ms. Pillay said that “a hunger strike is a desperate act, and one which brings a clear risk of people doing serious lasting harm to themselves.  I always urge people to think of alternative, less dangerous, ways to protest about their situation.  But given the uncertainty and anxieties surrounding their prolonged and apparently indefinite detention in Guantanamo, it is scarcely surprising that people’s frustrations boil over and they resort to such desperate measures.”

Ms. Pillay noted that four years ago she warmly welcomed President Obama’s announcement immediately after his inauguration that he was placing a high priority on closing Guantanamo and setting in motion a system to safeguard the fundamental rights of the detainees.  She welcomed a White House spokesman’s reiteration of this commitment last week (27 March), citing Congressional legislation as the prime obstacle.

“Nevertheless, this systemic abuse of individuals’ human rights continues year after year,” she said.  “We must be clear about this: the United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold. When other countries breach these standards, the United States – quite rightly – strongly criticizes them for it.”

“As a first step,” Ms. Pillay said, “those who have been cleared for release must be released. This is the most flagrant breach of individual rights, contravening the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.*  Last September's death of Adnan Latif -- the ninth person to die in detention at Guantanamo -- was a sobering reminder of the problems with the Guantanamo detention regime under which individuals are detained indefinitely, in most cases without charge or trial.  It is time to bring an end to this situation.”

Ms. Pillay said she was deeply concerned over the continued obstacles the National Defence Authorization Act of 2013 has created for the closure of the detention facility, as well as for the trial of detainees in civilian courts, where warranted, or for their release.  The Act was signed into law by President Obama on 3 January despite previous threats to veto its renewal.  The High Commissioner has repeatedly maintained that those Guantanamo detainees who are accused of crimes should be tried in civilian courts, particularly as the military commissions – even after improvements made in 2009 – do not meet international fair trial standards. 

“Anyone who is deprived of his or her liberty by arrest or detention is entitled, under international human rights law, to regular review of the lawfulness of their detention and to be released if the detention is not lawful,” she said.  “Any ensuing judicial proceedings must scrupulously respect due process and fair trial standards.”

So long as Guantanamo remains open, she added, the authorities must make every effort to ensure that detainees’ rights are observed.  “No one is suggesting that the United States should be ‘soft’ on people who have planned or carried out crimes or atrocities. Indeed, international law requires that there must not be impunity for such crimes.  Nevertheless, human rights are universal and apply to all persons, including those suspected of having committed the most serious crimes such as acts of terrorism,” she said.  “Under human rights law, people deprived of their liberty must be treated with humanity and with respect for their inherent dignity.”

The High Commissioner also called on the United States Government to extend an invitation which would allow full and unfettered access to the United Nations Human Rights Council experts, including the opportunity to meet privately with detainees.

*See: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CCPR.aspx

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been ratified by 167 States, including the United States of America

Talking Dog interviews Carlos Warner

I'm having trouble keeping up with the dog....but here is another great interview.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Talking dog interviews Matthew Melewski....

Wow the dog has been busy! Today interview is from habeas attorney Matthew Melewski. I would just add that each interview adds to both the humanity of certain American's and the inhumanity of this nation....
Read the interview here....

A Hunger Strike has taken over Guantanamo

You can find my latest article about the hunger strike at Guantanamo at Michael Moore's webpage...
click here to go directly to that article...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Talking Dog interviews Buz Eisenberg

 I am so proud as I read the interviews of the people I call my friends....people who I didn't know before the Guantanamo litigation- like Pat Bronte-whose interview was a few days ago and now Buz's interview which can be found here. My thanks to the talking dog for conducting these and the countless other Guantanamo related interviews over the years.

Monday, April 1, 2013

President announces Guantanamo will close on Friday.....

April 1, 2013

In a surprise move that is sending shock waves around the capitol President Obama stepped out onto the balcony of the white house and announced he will close the controversial detention center at Guantanamo Bay,Cuba on Friday, April 6, of 2013-. With his vice president and secretary of defense standing by his side, a cheerful Obama announced that he had been planning this day for “several years now-actually for a little more than six years truth be told. I was just having trouble working out some of the little details.” When questioned by members of the press as to which details were the most difficult, the president acknowledged that it was hard “really hard” to find the right mode of transportation to take all of the men off the island at one time. “you see- these men have been together for a long time and they have become friends- we didn’t want to just pull them off one by one and have the other men wondering where their friends went. I thought it important that each man be present while the others are set free- except of course for those men who we believe were involved in the attacks on the United States in September 2001.” 

Obama acknowledged that he spent literally “years working out the details” of getting all of the men off the island at one time and having them travel with each other as they each made their way to their homes- or in some cases their new homes "when a few months ago while I was watching the news about a distressed cruise ship in the Caribbean- a ship that lost its electricity and its water-it hit me that a cruise ship was the perfect mode of transportation for the men.” The president, lightly laughing, quickly followed up that announcement by saying “of course we don’t want a disabled ship. The men have complained that we provided tainted water to them at Guantanamo and we want to make sure they are on a ship with fresh water- plenty of fresh water. And good food too... like lemon chicken and rice pilaf.” 

The president then turned to secretary of defense Hagel to outline the plans for moving the men on Friday. According to Hagel “we first contacted some of the cruise lines to see if they had a ship that we could use- a working ship. But all of the ships were being readied to head to Alaska for the summer season so we had to come up with another plan. I was sitting in my new office late one night with a few of my interns discussing the Palestinian situation when one of them turned to me and practically yelled “why don’t we use the USS Abraham Lincoln?” I didn’t know what he was referring to and I told him it wouldn’t send the right message to send the Lincoln to the middle east because well that was the ship George W. Bush used to announce mission accomplished.” “My intern looked embarrassed as he acknowledged that he really wasn’t listening to what I was talking about but was instead thinking about Guantanamo- and well honestly I just smiled a big smile- what better ship could we use- not only were we finally accomplishing the very first mission the president established when he took office all those many years ago but it is a ship named after the very president that freed our slaves. Now our slaves ----I mean the brown men detained at Guantanamo- would be sailing home on the ship named after our great president who freed the black men so many years ago. It just felt right and I called the president immediately and told him I had a plan.”
Vice President Biden then stepped up to the mike and gently nudged secretary Hagel away with a weak smile on his face turned to the press and said “Chuck, I’ll take it from here.” Acknowledging that members of the press were probably surprised by today’s announcement, the Vice President said that a full itinerary of the men’s trip would be posted on the white house blog in the travel section later in the day but provided these basic details:

First, the men were told of the great news this morning and we hope to have them eating breakfast again today and helping them gain their weight back, for those that suffered internal damage-including brain damage, from not eating for almost two months we are providing vitamins- very strong vitamins.” “We are also going to start providing big macs and large sodas twice a day in the afternoon and we are bringing in pizza’s and fries for dinner- you know the kind of food that has made American’s so obese…we hope by Friday the men will be getting fat and happy. Of course that makes fitting the men for cruise wear a little difficult. We thought it would be unsightly for the men to be cruising in their orange jumpsuits so we are getting specially made jumpsuits in happy spring like colors- and jumpsuits with expandable waists so as the men eat all of the fast food we can give them they will still be comfortable.
The ship will set sail at sunset on Friday and from Guantanamo the ship will sail to the ports closest to each man’s home town-dropping them off while their friends on board wave their goodbyes. We will give each man a clean shirt and a pair of pants and $25- I know that doesn’t sound like much money but really in the countries they come from you can buy a lot for $25. We expect the trip to take about six months because – well frankly we can’t send all of the men to their home countries because we have called them terrorists and made people frightened of them and it has kind of made it hard for some of them to go to their own home countries ---so we will have to sit around at a few ports and see if we can’t talk some of those countries into accepting a few men. But we are American’s we know how to bargain and I feel confident that we can find a home for each man even if it means trading some arms and weapons in exchange for taking the men.”

“The last stop will be New York City-when we pull into the harbor and pass the statue of liberty we will only have twenty or so men with us- those men will be brought to the federal court and charged with real crimes. Of course, let’s be honest- we don’t know if those charges can stick after more than 11 years of being held without charge and tortured but that is our plan in a nutshell. Go to our website and read the details of this amazing end to Guantanamo and join us as we proudly say mission finally accomplished.”

As the three men stepped back into the doors of the White House President Obama turned to the reporters and lifted up both thumbs and proudly announced “yes we can.”