Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Five transferred to Kazakhstan...

Three Yemeni and two Tunisians. Read the story here. Thank you to the people of Kazakhstan!

Monday, December 29, 2014

By any other name....its still the same old war.

Yesterday I received this announcement by the military:

"At the end of this year, as our Afghan partners assume responsibility for the security of their country, the United States officially concludes Operation Enduring Freedom. Our combat mission in Afghanistan, which began in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, will come to an end. "

But just because we have ended "operation enduring freedom" does not mean that we have ended our invasion of Afghanistan.... the next paragraph of the military announcement stated this:

"In 2015, we begin our follow-on mission, Operation Freedom's Sentinel, to help secure and build upon the hard-fought gains of the last 13 years."

And just as a rose is a rose -  this war by any other name is still this war.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2014


So now that we have finally had some movement with detainees being released we have this news-- the man Obama appointed 18 months ago to oversee the release of the cleared men is stepping down.
Read more here.

More on the four released to Afghanistan

Al Jazeera has more on the four men here.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


The military just announced the release of 4 men to Afghanistan. One of the men is Shawali Khan- the client of my friends Len Goodman and Kent Spriggs. I also had the honor of working  on Shawali's habeas hearing-- I went to Guantanamo to handle Shawali's direct exam from the base while Len and Kent were in the courtroom in DC. Like so many of the men at Guantanamo the fact that Shawali was held for all of these years was a travesty and I wish him the best of luck.
Carol Rosenberg has more here.

The announcement from the military is below.

Detainee Transfer Announced

The Department of Defense announced today the repatriation of Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani, and Mohammed Zahir from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
As directed by the president's Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of this case. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force.
In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the United States' intent to transfer these individuals and of his determination that this transfer meets the statutory standard.
The United States is grateful to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.
Today, 132 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


The only way habeas counsel have been able to get to the base to visit clients has been through a small commuter/cargo plane that takes over three hours to get from Ft. Lauderdale to the base (except for a short period of time when the military allowed us to take a military flight--but I never got to experience that travel arrangement as it required flying to the DC area and being available for a flight around 4:30 am---anyway that arrangement did not last very long).
Today the US government has finally decided to resume diplomatic ties with Cuba. The AP has more here. So will we get to fly to mainland Cuba and work our way to the base? Time will tell.
I don't know if we have ever recognized Cuba during my lifetime--I was pretty young during the cuban missile "crisis" and all I remember about that event is the basement bombshelter that my father built so we could hide when the bomb hit.! Anyway I am anxious to visit Cuba and perhaps find a new route to visit my client that does not require flying on a substandard aircraft. This is also very timely as the substandard commuter/cargo airlines has recently restricted the schedule of flights to the base to once a week. That means when we fly to visit our clients we have to stay on the base (on the lawyers side of the base!) for an entire week. It kind of puts a dent on the rest of our work week!
We shall see.....

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Imagine that....OOPS

Seems one of the CIA's black sites was right there at Guantanamo. I think that explains alot--it might even explain those deaths back in 2006 (not 1985!)--the three men who supposedly committed "suicide" on the same night.
Read more here.
It would be nice to read the whole torture report instead of just the summary!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy International Human Rights Day......

We of course don't celebrate this particular holiday in these here United States-- but to those of you that are so fortunate as to live in a country that celebrates human rights, have a nice day!

I will note that the U.N. special rapporteur on counterterroism and human rights is celebrating this day by calling on the US to prosecute those responsible for the torture and other human rights violations that were unveiled in yesterdays report.

"The summary of the Feinstein report which was released this afternoon confirms what the international community has long believed - that there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law."

Read his entire statement here
Jim White at Emptywheel has more here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Summary of the Torture report has been released

Today the senate released the summary of the torture report. You can find it here. They missed releasing it on international human rights day by a day! It is a big file (500ish pages) and it is heavily redacted. We still have to push for the full report which is several thousands of pages. And of course we still have to push for accountability. These were crimes against humanity and the the torturers and the higher ups (BUSH and CHANEY TO NAME TWO) should pay for these crimes. Sen. Feinstein's summary of the summary is here.
According to Feinstein these are the Key findings:
The study’s 20 findings and conclusions can be grouped into four central themes,
each of which is supported extensively in the Executive Summary: 2
1. The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” were not effective.
2. The CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the
program and its effectiveness to policymakers and the public.
3. The CIA’s management of the program was inadequate and deeply flawed.
4. The CIA program was far more brutal than the CIA represented to policymakers and
the American public.

One of the key findings in my opinion is one shared with bmaz at emptywheel and that is that they knew it was torture and they knew it was illegal before they started and when they were doing it-- and they did it anyway:

Here, from page 33 of the Report, is the language establishing the above:
…drafted a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft asking the Department of Justice for “a formal declination of prosecution, in advance, for any employees of the United States, as well as any other personnel acting on behalf of the United States, who may employ methods in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah that otherwise might subject those individuals to prosecution. The letter further indicated that “the interrogation team had concluded “that “the use of more aggressive methods is required to persuade Abu Zubaydah to provide the critical information we need to safeguard the lives of innumerable innocent men, women and children within the United States and abroad.” The letter added that these “aggressive methods” would otherwise be prohibited by the torture statute, “apart from potential reliance upon the doctrines of necessity or of self-defense.”
AND BY THE WAY-- THE GOVERNMENT NOW ADMITS THAT ABU ZUBAYDAH  WAS NOT PART OF AL-QUEDA -- they tortured the man and produced false information from the torture that was then used to scare the American people and falsely imprison many others....and now they admit that he was a nothing. I will have more on this later. Meanwhile the Intercept has a very good working summary here.

More on the men released to Uruguay

Free at last.

Read the update here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Preparing for the torture report....

Well I am not sure the summary (the full report is thousands of pages long and we will probably need a crowbar to get that released any time soon) will really be released tomorrow--but that is todays rumor. So, in preparing yourself I suggest you start with emptywheel's  "torture facts" for a little background.

WAR IS OVER.... (if you want it.....)

Well, keeping with all things Kafka that has surrounded Guantanamo let me place this in the hopper-- The U.S. and Nato held a ceremony today ending the "Afghan Mission." I wonder if the shooting will stop? I wonder if the drones will stop flying?  I wonder if that means they will let all of the prisoners of war go home?
Of course none of this will happen.

Read more here about this end of the war.

And of course the war really isn't over. They couldn't even announce the ceremony or have the ceremony on the day the war is really supposed to be over because of the ongoing violence--sometimes referred to as war.

And while you are thinking about the absurdity of this ceremonial end of the war watch this:

The war will only be over when we demand it be over.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thank You Uruguay- six men transferred yesterday-UPDATED

Department of defense press release:

The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Ahmed Adnan Ahjam, Ali Hussain Shaabaan, Omar Mahmoud Faraj, Abdul Bin Mohammed Abis Ourgy, Mohammed Tahanmatan, and Jihad Diyab from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Uruguay.

As directed by the president's Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of this case. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force.

In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the United States' intent to transfer these individuals and of his determination that this transfer meets the statutory standard.

The United States is grateful to the Government of Uruguay for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of Uruguay to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.

Today, 136 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

Emptywheel has more here-- including the statement from the attorney for one of the men.
Carol Rosenberg from the Miami Herald has more here
Glenn Greenwald at Intercept has more here. (including a great photoe capsulizing how things never changed from Bush to Obamam.....)

Friday, December 5, 2014

The murder of unarmed people of color in the US...

Every once in a while I go off topic and this is one of those times. Actually there is alot of similarity between the plight of the Guantanamo detainees and the mass incarceration and murder of men of color in this country. In fact, I believe that most of the men at Guantanamo would have been summarily executed by Drone if the drone use was as widespread 13 years ago as Obama has made it now.
So with this in mind I leave you with this musical interlude. I usually post this song on September 12 in rememberance of Biko's murder but it seems very appropriate today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Transparency---Obama Style

Yes, once again showing his true colors Obama's department of justice filed an emergency motion to keep the force feeding video tapes out of public view---so that the world cannot see the torture inflicted on the men at Guantanamo who have engaged in a hunger strike. Read the spineless motion here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Updating our unlawful definitions.....

Hats off to hullabaloo.

Secrecy News

DoD Updates Doctrine on “Detainee Operations”

When it comes to Department of Defense doctrine on military treatment of detained persons, “unlawful enemy combatants” are a thing of the past. That term has been retired and replaced by “unprivileged enemy belligerents” in a new revision of Joint Publication 3-13 on Detainee Operations, dated November 13, 2014.
Among other changes, the revised Publication adopts Article 75 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions which provide minimum standards for humane treatment of detained persons. It also presents expanded discussion of biometric capabilities that are applicable to detainees.
The previous edition of Joint Publication 3-13, published in 2008, is available here for comparison.

European delegation to visit Guantanamo tomorrow....

I can't help but wonder if they will get the usual PR tour given to the press and US politicans. Read more about this visit here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

U.S. not in compliance with Convention Against Torture.......UPDATED

UN panel raps US record on torture--
From Associated Press
November 28, 2014 8:50 AM EST
GENEVA (AP) — A U.N. panel has concluded that the United States falls short of full compliance with an international anti-torture treaty.
The report by the U.N. Committee Against Torture cites police brutality, military interrogations, maximum security prisons, illegal migrants and solitary confinement among areas of concern.
Alessio Bruni of Italy, one of the panel's chief investigators, told reporters Friday in Geneva "there are numerous areas in which certain things should be changed for the United States to comply fully." The U.N. Convention Against Torture took effect in 1987, and the United States ratified it in 1994.

The U.N. committee's 10 independent experts are responsible for reviewing the records of all 156 U.N. member countries that have ratified the treaty against torture and all "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Talking dog interviews another Gitmo attorney

Click here for the latest talking dog interview. Attorney Jon Eisenberg has been at the forefront of a number of the issues confronting the Guantanamo detainees. His account is both frustrating and inspiring.
Dare I say "happy thanksgiving?"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

By the numbers

One of my fellow gitmo colleagues is kind enough to keep track of the numbers for the rest of us. Here is the latest:
73 cleared for release--all but 19 are from Yemen.
59 forever detainees who have never been charged with anything (Including my client Razak ali)
7 facing charges in the made up military commission.
3 convicted in the made up military commission.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

One more released.....

The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Muhammed Murdi Issa Al-Zahrani from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Saudi Arabia.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Hashim Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti and Husayn Salim Muhammad Al-Mutari Yafai from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia.

The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi, Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim, and Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Georgia.

Best of luck to these five men.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Release the Torture Report Now!

Sign the petition to Sen. Mark Udall: If you enter the torture report into the Congressional Record, we'll have your back.


Saturday, November 15, 2014


Bush, Howard and injustice at Guantanamo


So part of the problem I had when searching for this book is that I know the author as "Dan Mori" not Michael Mori. Ah well--- as a fellow middle name user I won't say anything more about that but I am going to refer to the author as Dan in this review.

The book was sent to me by a friend in Australia and Dan wrote a nice inscription to me (thank you Dan). When I started reading the book it quickly became one of those books that was difficult to put down. I finished the book over three evening reads. Dan managed to put into words the frustration, anger and heartache of representing someone at Guantanamo without sounding angry or maudlin.
Dan represented David Hicks-- an australian man who was turned over to US forces in Afghanistan for a bounty and who was one of the first to arrive at Guantanamo. Dan's account is not just about the fight to get Hicks out of Guantanamo and the constant shifting of the rules in the military commission -- but also the other side of the fight- the political fight in Australia and Dan's brilliant use of the media to inform the Australian people of the plight of his client and the complicity of the Australian government in Hicks's long detention at Guantanamo.
Dan doesn't spend much time on the personal toll- he was a military lawyer in the marines and was assigned the Hicks case. But there was a personal toll-- like all of the military defense lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees Dan was denied his next promotion and faced cowadly complaints about his activism in representing his client. So it was not just that walls went up at every corner and resources for the defense side were lacking-- but the military made it personal because Dan was fighting hard for his client.
Read the book- Dan describes the feel of the base during this time period (2005-8) better than any other account I have read and he also describes quite eloquently what it is like for a lawyer committed to the rule of law to watch his country's legal system disintegrate before his eyes.
Dan now lives in Australia. I mention this because it underscores the toll on the attorneys in representing Guantanamo detainees. Dan is not the first Guantanamo attorney to leave this country and I do not think he will be the last.
It seems the only place in the US to get this book is on-line via australia. Click here.


Please join me in urging Senator Udall to read the torture report into the congressional record before he leaves the senate. You can contact the senator here. I couldn't quite figure out which of the pull down topics to use so I settled on "defense" and for the subtopic I put "torture report."

Friday, November 14, 2014

U.N. Committee on Torture is NOT a Rubber Stamp

Yes, it seems that the U.N. Committee is asking the right questions and demanding answers. Marcy at emptywheel discusses the questions here and Jim White at Emptywheel has more here.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Former Gitmo guard speaks out on the torture of Force feeding....

Former Guard: 

Guantanamo's 'Safe, Humane, Legal, 

Transparent' Motto 

Is Simply Not True

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Detainee released to Kuwait--Updated

 Read more here.

“Administration officials said that an end-of-year flurry might be coming: The Pentagon has notified Congress that nine other detainees, including six bound for Uruguay, may soon be transferred.”

Friday, October 31, 2014


Months after President Obama frankly admitted that the United States had “tortured some folks” as part of the War on Terror, a new report submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture has been released that excoriates his administration for shielding the officials responsible from prosecution.

Talking Dog interviews Todd Pierce

Major Todd Pierce (U.S. Army, Retired) is an attorney who served as a Judge 
Advocate General (J.A.G.) officer in the United States Army. In that capacity, 
he has served on the defense teams for two Guantanamo military commissions 
defendants. On October 13, 2014 The Talking Dog had the privilege of interviewing Maj. Pierce 
by telephone. 

Read the interview here.

Monday, October 27, 2014


After a 13 year separation my client Mr. Al-Ghizzawi has finally been reunited with his wife and daughter. When he had last seen his daughter she was only a few months old. The talking dog shares in the good wishes to Mr. Al-Ghizzawi and his family.


Twelve nobel peace prize winners have signed an open letter to Obama urging him to release the torture report and finalize plans for closing guantanamo. Read the letter and sign onto their petition here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014



A link to the report is here and the links below are attached for those interested in the news story as published by Mr. Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept (previously with The Guardian).


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cert Denied

A disappointing end to the latest saga in Razak Ali's fight for freedom. The Supreme Court last week denied the cert petition. As I mentioned earlier the chances were pretty slim to start with but I hung my hope on the Court feeling the need to address the issue of "indefinite detention" "guilt by guesthouse" and/or the legality of detaining Razak in Pakistan under the AUMF. I have had alot on my plate these last few months and I wish I could have put more time on the petition but it is what it is. I will now have to figure out my next moves for my unfortunate client.
Stay tuned......

Saturday, October 4, 2014

From Our Friends Down Under at Justinian

From Roger Fitch and our Friends at Justinian

Click here to read the whole article..

Alien Tort law gives a leg-up to Abu Ghraib victims ... Preview of new Supreme Court term ... DoJ's misuse of state secrets privilege ... US ranking of billionaires according to their political influence ... Latest report on judicial corruption ... Roger Fitch, Our Man in Washington, reports 
Alien Tort cases reinstated by 4th Circuit
HURRAH, the Alien Tort Statute lives again!  
This 1789 Act of the young American republic was used to hold US-based corporations to account for their foreign depredations, until the Supreme Court in its 2012 Kiobel decision ruled that overseas conduct must "touch and concern" the US with "sufficient force" to overcome a presumption against extraterritorial application of the statute.
As recently as July, the reliably-conservative 11th Circuit ruled, in the Chiquita case, that there was no ATS jurisdiction over a US corporation for its admitted misdeeds in Columbia.
Now, following Mr Obama's judicial appointments, the formerly conservative 4th Circuit has reinstated, en banc, ATS cases brought by former Abu Ghraib prisoners against the mercenary torturers, sorry, contract interrogators, hired by the US to provide "services" at the infamous Iraqi jail.  
Here's the latest twist in Al Shimari v CACI.  
It's hoped that the 4th Circuit's change of heart will spread across the Potomac to the DC Circuit, where there's been a request for en banc reconsideration of the civil case of Allaithi v Rumsfeld.
That case notoriously found that military wrongdoers acted within the scope of their employment, and anyway, Guantánamo internees weren't "persons" under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Another DC case where en banc will be sought - now that Obama's four appointments have broken a right-wing Republican stranglehold on the circuit - is the Guantánamo counsel access case, Hatim.  
Yet there's a problem: the panel decision being appealed included a Democrat, Chief Judge Merrick Garland. 
Steve Vladeck has more.  
After his en banc partial win, the Guantanamero Ali Hamza Al-Bahlul is making another attempt before a DC Circuit panel to have his "conspiracy" conviction(s) thrown out.  
Here's the supporting amicus brief of the National Institute of Military Justice. Steve Vladeck comments.  
David Glazier also has a brief. Others are here, and none of them support the government. 

Click here to read the rest.....


The force-feeding hearing is before Judge Kessler at the DC District Court this Monday and Tuesday (October 6 and 7) at 10 AM. If you are in the DC area please find some time to go and watch for a few minutes and show your support for the men illegally detained at Guantanamo.


Friday was a busy day. Judge Kessler stepped up to the plate and not only ordered that the force feeding hearing be made public (she specifically found the gamesmanship of the government of waiting until less than two weeks before the hearing to request that the hearing be done behind closed doors "deeply troubling"). The good judge also ordered that the video tapes of the force feeding of Dhiab be unsealed and available to the press. The judge deserves credit for these two orders as all of the judges in the DC District Court of late have side stepped their judicial roles in the Guantanamo cases apparently waiting for something to happen in the political process. This lack of action by the judges has been worrisome-- maybe some of the other judges will decide to also step up to the plate and hold the government accountable for conduct in the Gitmo proceedings.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

secrecy please.....

The government wants to keep the hearing on the force feedings at Guantanamo secret. Why? The government says it is important for "national security." The rest of us say "bullshit"--they don't want the ongoing torture of these men to be public. Intercept has more here.

Moazamm is Free Again....

Since being released from Guantanamo Moazamm Begg has been a steadfast fighter for those still held at Guantanamo. Earlier this year after returning from Syria he was again charged with engaging in terrorists activities. The charges have now been dropped. Read more here...and here and here.
check out his organization "Cage"  here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Court Again Rejects Shawali Khan's Habeas Petition

I had the honor of helping in Shawali Khan's habeas hearing and the fact that Mr. Khan is still being held at Guantanamo is a travesty. 

"In a 26-page decision dated Sept. 26, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates acknowledged that “the government’s case for continued detention of Khan has been weakened slightly by recent developments.” In particular, the government has stopped relying on statements once made by Khan following his capture."  [I would just note that it would be more accurate to say that the government stopped relying on statements that Mr. Khan disputed every saying....."] Read more here.

Read more here:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mori's book is out.....

Michael Mori, the former US Marine lawyer who spent four years defending David Hicks released a book this week:
In the company of cowards: Bush, Howard and injustice at Guantanamo, "a compelling and sobering account of a western democratic government losing its head and sacrificing principles in the cause of national security."
Read more here.
Good luck trying to buy it in these United States....

Kafkaesque is really the only name for it...

And like my remaining client who will never be tried in the military commission or in a criminal trial....--

 “The more guilty you are, the better off you are,” says Bogucki. “The more innocent you are, the worse your situation is. If the government has no evidence against you, they won’t take you to court. You stay in Guantanamo forever.”
Read the whole story at the link...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jose Padilla- an american citizen tortured on american soil

I would be amiss in not addressing the disgraceful decision of the Judge in Jose Padilla's case to increase his sentence to 30 years. I will let Andy Worthington tell the story while I hang my head in shame at all of the judges involved in this case. Every American should be ashamed of what happened to this man but instead the American public just keeps the blinders on...

Obama's new rules on detainee detention--- giving a thumbs up on abusive tactics

Jeff Kaye has this summary of new department of defense directives for prisoners like the Guantanamo prisoners. The last version was dated back in 2006 so if anyone had doubts that Obama does not own Guantanamo this should put that assertion to rest.

A summary of Jeff's article by Jeff--

The new directive expands upon what “humane treatment” means for those caught in its “detainee program.” It also adds an item about the collection of biometric identification information (BII). Such information “will be collected from all detainees in accordance with DoDD 8521.01E.” In addition, it includes a statement of how long a detainee can be held, which appears to operationalize Obama’s policy of indefinite detention of detainees. Finally, the directive greatly expands on the issue of who can be held, how charges can be brought against detainees, and what procedures are necessary for a detainee’s release. (This article will not cover the very last item.)

Steve Vladek at Just Security has more here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More on the Gitmo nurse who refused to force feed detainees....

Jeff Kaye has an update on the nurse who refused to violate the oath he took as a medical provider---seems the military has decided not to court martial him but they are doing an "administrative review"-- so his worries are not over and he could still be discharged and lose all benefits. Read more about his plight here

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lest we forget....

September 12, 1977.


(SORRY ERASED THIS BY MISTAKE).  As usual I turn to the talking dog for the 9-11 message as he was a block from the twin towers at the time (as opposed to Mr. Obama and the other hysteria mongers).  Here is what the talking dog has to say.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More news on torture

While we wait for the redacted torture report to finally be released there is this news about some of the torture we might read about in that report. It is unclear if the leak was made to start getting us ready for what we may be allowed to know from the heavily redacted report--or if perhaps some of the report is getting into the hands of people who might actually let us read the whole thing-- unredacted.
I for one am hoping for the latter.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Limbo and Cruelty at Guantanamo

Many of us Gitmo attorneys are concerned about a deafening silence and the complete halt to the review committee. Is there a deal underway to move the men to the US? I shudder at the thought--not of course because I think these men are dangerous-- quite the opposite. I fear moving these men to maximum secure prisons here in the US--where the legal battles will begin anew.
Meanwhile the NYT has more on the never ending plight of these men.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

So is this why it is finally ok to call waterboarding torture?

Seems that ISIS is following our lead and waterboarding its now waterboarding is torture.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


More on the nurse who refused to force feed detainees at Guantanamo here?  Will they dare to court martial him for refusing to abandon the oath he took as a medical professional? Stay tuned....


The military lawyer representing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is forced off the case and out of the army. Read his story here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

And so we wait....... UPDATED

As I am sure you have noticed I have not discussed my remaining client at Guantanamo for quite a while. That is because his case had been pending in the D.C. Court of Appeals until this spring and then I filed a Cert Petition in the U.S. Supreme Court over the summer. Last week I filed the final brief in this matter- the reply to my cert petition. The likelihood that the Supreme Court will hear my client's case is small- the Court only takes a tiny fraction of the cases that are filed but as Studs Terkel was fond of saying "hope dies last..." and so I wait and... hope. It has been ten years since I last (and first!) argued in the Supreme Court so perhaps it is my time again.
Marty Lederman has more on my clients Cert Petition here with links to the Petition, Opposition and Reply.
The Court will (most likely) make its decision on September 29th.

HAHAHA-- it was just pointed out to me that I spelled Barack Obama "Barrack Obama.".... kind of a fun typo if you ask me....while my client sits in the barracks at gitmo for going on 13 years.

Friday, August 15, 2014

More on my Country's right to kill me and other U.S. citizens without due process.....

I have discussed several times on this blog my governments assassination of american citizens. The memo justifying those murders has been released- although heavily redacted- because we don't have the right to know the full "analysis." Firedoglake has the memo and some discussion here. Emptywheel has more here and here. the bottom line? Well I leave that for all of you...but if you are a U.S. citizen you should be worried. If you are not a U.S. citizen you were probably already worried.

Judge demands answers regarding force feeding...

We of course don't know what she will do with the answers but at least she is asking the questions......and letting us (the public) know what the questions are!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What are we going to do about it?

That is the question Edward Snowden has put to all of us? Read this important story and then ask yourself that same question.

Monday, August 11, 2014

oh, and perhaps even more importantly -- Free James Risen

Today, fourteen Pulitzer Prize winners have issued statements in support of journalist James Risen and in protest of the Justice Department's attempt to force Risen to testify against his sources. Risen has vowed to go to jail rather than give up his source, but the Justice Department has steadfastly refused to drop its pursuit. On Thursday, many of the major US press freedom organizations will hold a press conference in Washington DC and deliver a petition with over 100,000 signatures to the Justice Department, calling on them to do the same.
what a cluster F*** our president has turned out to be...

Sunday, August 10, 2014


There are quite a few people that access my blog from government agencies. I assume not all of them are watching the blog for business reasons! So, for those of you out there working for the government with access to the torture report- why don't you do our country a favor and leak it to the press----No, not to me---but to someone out there that will make sure we all get to see the full report. This government secrecy has got to stop.

Friday, August 8, 2014

August 8, 1974

Nixon resigned in disgrace. I was so very proud of my country.... but we (or at least I) did not know the half of it. he was not just a crook he was engaged in treason.

Yes--Torture is torture and by any other name......

The news media has been complicit in my countries criminal activities by refusing to call torture what it is--torture. Instead they used words like "enhanced interrogation" to somehow make the torture seem more palatable. Yesterday the New York Times finally agreed that it should use the proper word....emptywheel has more here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

oh, and in case you didn't hear

After 9/11"we tortured some folks..".

That would be my president speaking.
 I noticed shortly after he was elected he started holding himself like GW Bush-- the way he walked and his haughty stance. Then he started talking like that imbecile GW. This is a great example of Obama becoming Bush.
What an asshole.

Excuse me while I vent.....UPDATED

I am sick and tired of the DC Circuit allowing the military to do any god damn thing it wants to the men at Guantanamo..... todays decision can be found here.
enough said.

Steve Vladeck has more on the DC Circuit opinion here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More on the decision by the European Court of Human Rights...

And that is precisely why accountability is so vital to American democracy. We cannot have reached the stage in our development as a country where the very enormity of the government's misconduct becomes its shield against exposure. We cannot, in other words, reward the government for its wrongdoing by promising that only modest and insignificant transgressions will be brought to light. To do so would be to encourage the government to break its solemn faith with us, not by unfortunate and excusable negligence, but by unforgivable and deliberate venality. Our government would then cease to be our servant in any sense that does justice to the word. I cannot believe we have fallen that far.
Reacting to the court's decision, a spokeswoman for the Polish president said it was "shameful for Poland." But Poland at least has the opportunity to make amends, to purge its shame by confronting its past. One day the United States may do the same, but only if Americans demand more of their government. The "overriding point," we should remind our leaders, is not simply "that this program no longer exists."
 Read the entire op-ed by Joe Margulies here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


If you want to know how the US government decides who to track ---the rule book and a guide to to the rule book can be found here. The short version is that there are no real rules....

 "The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept."


For the last few years both the US and Poland have denied what was clearly true--that the US ran a torture compound in Poland. Now the European Court has agreed. You can read more about it here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

More on last weeks En Banc decision

Outside Congress, it seems that no one believes that the military commission system should continue to stand. For twelve years, the system has created nothing but embarrassment for its proponents as the highest-profile prosecutions have repeatedly tripped over their own feet. The first cases have also created waves of fundamental legal challenges. This week's decision simply postponed the most basic issues to be resolved by some future case. That leaves a very real prospect that the 9/11 prosecutions fall apart up on appeal years after trial court proceedings are over, as Bahlul's material support conviction did. The administration wants to try terrorism suspects in federal court for good reason. Congress should not stand in its way

Read the entire article here: Russia

Putin expands the list of people who cannot go to Russia because of their ties to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. The list is much too short but it is a start (there is a link to the list in the article) ....I could suggest quite a few names if anyone cares to ask me.
Now, if only more countries would do this!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Snowden and Guantanamo

Let me start out by publicly proclaiming that I will take on the represenation of Edward Snowden if he ever ends up at Guantanamo.....but in all seriousness (he will never be held at Guantanamo) I really hope that Mr. Snowden understands that he will never get a fair trial in these United States....the deck is stacked in favor of the government and Snowden would spend the rest of his life in prison. Ed you cannot come home again, do not trust anything anyone in this godforsaken country/government tells you. Please find a safe and secure home.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Six to be sent to Uruguay?

This deal has been in the works for a long time.... seems Hagel finally got around to approving it. Read more here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Although my blog is blacklisted and banned at the base I hope that the word filters through and my most heartfelt thanks goes to the nurse at Gitmo who refuses to forcefeed the detainees. It takes great courage for a member of the armed forced to refuse an also takes great courage to put your life on the line by going on a hunger strike--- somehow these courageous people came together and said "ENOUGH."
Read more about this nurse who is following his real duties as a nurse here....
and here.....
and here

Monday, July 14, 2014

Al- Bahlul D.C. en banc decision today

Today the much awaited decision by the D.C. full circuit court was handed down. Suffice it to say it raises more questions than it answers. Steve Vladeck has a summary here.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

He Made Life Hell for the Detainees....

At least he is gone now. Good riddens commander Bogdan. May the rest of your life be as miserable as you made the lives of the men at Guantanamo these past few years.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under At Justinian.....

End of term
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Justinian in Guantanamo, Law of war, Military Commissions, Roger Fitch Esq, Same-sex marriage, US Supreme Court
Supreme Court lets God into the Affordable Care Act ... And strikes down certain compulsory union dues ... At last - a Guantánamo detainee charged with a genuine war crime ... Obama's Taliban prisoner swap ... Whatever you do, don't shoot at an American in a war ... From Our Man in Washington, Roger Fitch 
THE Supreme Court ended its term with a bomb.  
In Burrell v Hobby Lobby, a new class of God-fearing corporations has been allowed to evade – on religious grounds – the contraception coverage that the Affordable Care Act requires in employee health insurance. 
This new-found piety in closely-held corporations is based on the First Amendment's personal religious freedom, but the all-Catholic-male majority put its faith in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
It's the same RFRA whose protections were denied to Muslims in Guantánamo by the DC Circuit in Rasul v Myers on the basis that Gitmo detainees were not persons in the meaning of the Act (see Fitch of January 22, 2008). 
Thus, some corporations now have personal religious freedoms, while other, flesh-and-blood persons don't.