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

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.....