Monday, March 30, 2015

Poland asks the US not to execute men tortured on their soil...UPDATED YET AGAIN....

Warsaw (AFP) - Poland wants the United States to rule out the death penalty for two men who were tortured by the CIA in its territory before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, according to a government letter released Tuesday.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned Poland for hosting secret CIA prisons, saying it knowingly abetted the unlawful imprisonment and torture of Guantanamo-bound detainees Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, and Saudi Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in 2002-2003.

Sadly Abu Zubaydah is on the forever to be detained but never to be charged list- because all of that torture just showed that he was a nobody! Maybe Poland can step up and ask the US to resettle Abu Zubaydah in Poland?

Today it was announced that Poland has apparently sent an "official note" to U.S. authorities seeking assurances that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri will not be subject to the death penalty.
More here.

So today I have learned more about why Poland is finally stepping up and asking that al-Nashiri not be executed. It seems Poland risks breaching the Court of Human Rights ruling. In addition, Poland has to turn over files and finish its investigation (that has been ongoing since 2008) and turn over the results of that investigation.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

So what does it mean when Obama claims the Afghani war is over??

Lawyers for Al Warafi, who was has effectively spent his entire adult life in jail,[at Guantanamo] filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last month to grant a writ of habeas corpus, which would require the government to release Al Warafi. The motion pointed to Obama’s public statements about the war, including his State of the Union Address, when he declared that “our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.”
Read the rest here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

International Court is now run by three women...

Not much attention is paid to the ICC here in the United States (wonder why that is???) anyway I did not want to let this historic moment go unnoticed.
Read more about it here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under at Justinian

Justinian in Guantanamo, International law, Military Commissions, Roger Fitch Esq, US Supreme Court 

At Guantánamo, the government has once again shown it can't be trusted to play nice at the innately unfair military commissions and the Convening Authority has resigned under pressure after adverse court rulings. 
Defence lawyers have already had to contend with FBI listening devices planted in smoke detectors of client interview rooms; government interference with and attempted co-option of a defence team member; and even real-time censoring of court proceedings by unidentified spooks. 
Now, an interpreter offered to the counsel for the "9/11" accused has been recognised by the defendants as an alumnus of the CIA team at their torture black site.  
Confronted by the judge, the Pentagon readily admitted the interpreter was a CIA asset, but wouldn't say where. The case is proceeding without him.
There was some good news. The Kafkaesque gag order, which had prevented the defendants and their counsel from even talking about their black site and other torture by the CIA, has been partially lifted.  
One of the first prisoners to benefit will be the 9/11 defendant Mustafa Hawsawi, now free to discuss being - uh - sodomised by the CIA (see December post). 

Marty Lederman is optimistic things are improving. More here

Read the rest of Roger Fitch's report here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Day in the Life at Guantanamo....

"Moath Hamza Ahmed al-Alwi, a Yemeni national who has been detained at the American prison facility at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, weighs only 98 pounds. Never charged with a crime, al-Alwi, now 35 years old, is one of many detainees at the camp who have gone on a prolonged hunger strike."
"Al-Alwi, who has described his strike as “a form of peaceful protest against injustice,” has said that he will not resume eating until there is some sort of legal resolution to his case. Prison officials have responded to his hunger strike by placing him in solitary confinement, denying him access to prescribed medical items and subjecting him to extreme temperatures in his cell."


Monday, March 23, 2015

France should investigate the torture claims of their nationals that were held at Guantanamo

On March 5, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) urged a French Appeals Court to fully investigate claims by three French nationals that they were sexually and physically tortured during their detention at the Guantánamo Bay prison in 2002. But a lack of cooperation from U.S. authorities has stymied the French investigation.
So citizens of France, is it really this easy to ignore the claims of torture???
Read the rest here.

In other Guantanamo related medical news....

The summary of the torture report which was released a few months back (I reported on it here) discussed a prisoner at Gitmo who is now subject to a military commission and who was sodomized as part of his torture. In February the attorneys for that man asked the judge for medical help for their client who still suffers from his torture:

In February, the attorney for Saudi captive Mustafa al Hawsawi asked the judge to intervene in the case, referring to a recently released portion of the Senate Intelligence Committee's “Torture Report,” and saying that the 46-year-old man had been rectally abused while in CIA custody — and that he continues to bleed now, at least eight years later.
“Some would call that sodomy,” said attorney Walter Ruiz, adding that “those acts caused longstanding chronic medical conditions that have yet to be resolved.”

Well it seems our great military commissions and their judges cannot (or perhaps more likely, will not) order medical treatment for the defendants in their court rooms...On friday (march 20) the judge released a short order:

Army Col. James L. Pohl wrote in a two-page order released by the Pentagon Friday that the Court's "jurisdiction is limited to try persons subject to the Military Commissions Act Of 2009. lO U.S.C. § 948d. Thereby, this Commission does not have the authority to address issues concerning medical care."  
The order was dated March 10.
Carol Rosenberg has more here.


Read more here:

Read more here:

Military finally realizing that force feeding might violate medical ethics and international law.....

In January, VICE News obtained a two-page document in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that contained the first known acknowledgement by the US military that force-feeding people who are capable of making informed decisions about their own health is a violation of medical ethics and international law.
This realization has only taken more than 13 years.....
Read the rest here.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

An update on the men released to Uruguay

I know from my own clients transition to the country of Georgia-- this is a difficult situation and it takes time.
Read the update here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Today's WTF Moment....

Apparently Obama now regrets not closing Guantanamo on his first day in office. sigh.
Read the rest here.

Another Detainee Cleared For Release...

Today the periodic review board announced that Saeed Sarem (235) won his Periodic Review case and is now cleared for release.

According to fellow Gitmo attorney Brian Foster the stats are now:

With this clearance, the prison population returns to equipoise, with 56 men cleared, 56 awaiting clearance, and 10 in the military commission system. 

Yemenis: 48 cleared, 25 awaiting clearance, 3 mil-comm

Others: 8 cleared, 31 awaiting clearance, 7 mil-comm

Why the U.S. Continues to Hold Shaker Aamer

Shaker Aamer has been cleared for release by both the Bush administration and the Obama administration. He is the last British resident to be held at Guantanamo. So the question is- why won't we release him?  It seems that the U.S. does not want Shaker to talk about what he witnessed at Guantanamo. More here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's day-- second musical interlude....

H/T's off to the 1st. District DNC delegate....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015


It seems the U.N. has been trying to do a further investigation into torture at Guantanamo....and take a look at our U.S. prisons where solitary confinement for extremely long periods (years and decades) is a long standing policy. For some reason my government has refused to cooperate! (I guess we all know the reason why my government refuses to cooperate--they don't want to help the world see the torture and inhumane treatement). Read the story behind the request here.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Murder At Camp Delta

 A few weeks ago I posted a link to the talking dog's interview of Joseph Hickman- author of the book Murder at Camp David: A Staff Sergeant's Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay. ( You can purchase the book here.) I had not finished reading the book when I posted the link so I did not say too much about the book itself. I have now finished the book.
For those of you who think you know everything about Guantanamo (like me, for example) pick up the book and be amazed and disgusted. For those of you who would like a primer on the US war crimes at Guantanamo in a nice readable book- this is the book for you.
How can it be both? Joe managed to find, describe and put in readable format not only the facts regarding the three men that died together on June 9, 2006 but also- through meticulous investigative work (with Seton Hall law students and professor Mark Denbeaux) on the cover up and on other war crimes against the men being held at the base-- it is the extent of the cover up that I was unfamiliar with and which could be strong evidence to be utilized in the off-chance there is ever a criminal investigation into the deaths and the other war crimes at Guantanamo.
Read the book.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


There are reports that Edward Snowden is trying to work out a deal to come home....IF-- he can have assuranes that he will receive a fair trial.
Ed, you can't get a fair trial. The system is pretty much broken at this point and although we have some good judges and some good proseuctors the system is stacked against you.
Stay where you are-- or find another safe haven but do not come back to the United States at this point in time.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Talking Dog Interviews Nancy Hollander

Another must read interview. Nancy Hollander is one of the attorneys for Mohamedou Ould Slahr
The current detainee whose diary has been published.
Read Nancy's interview here. And buy the book!