Thursday, May 28, 2015

Omar Khadr....In His Own Words....

Open a window. Open a bank account. Get a driver's license. Get a library card. There are so many small skills to be learned by a man who has loomed large since he was shot and captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15 - a man who has never been allowed to speak publicly.
read the rest here.

The story of Muhammad Rahim

... one of the so-called high value detainees...

And since this sorry man is considered "high value" his story should make you shudder about the so called "low-value" detainees.....
read about him here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Meanwhile--- Abu Zubaydah continues to be ignored....

Abu Zubaydah is one of those names that many people recognize-- they recognize it because the Bush government claimed he was the number 3 in al- Qaeda and they water boarded him over 100 times...Oops on that one-- turns out he was not connected to A-Qaeda or the Taliban. So what happens to Abu Zubayda--- we ignore him.... and I guess hope that he just disappears from the world conscience. There is a good chance of that since the judge in his habeas corpus petition has been ignoring that petition for years.... Read more about that particular forgotten detainee here.

British Members of Parliament head to DC to demand return of Shaker Aamer

The ongoing battle to get Shaker Aamer back to Britain continues today with the help of some members of parliament... Read more here

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Poor Poland....

Seems the Poles do not want to pay for their sins....
Can't blame them as the US has never been held accountable.... but still?
Read more here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pete Townshend sings new song "Guantanamo" UPDATED

You can hear it here..

Rolling Stone has more here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

United Nations looks at the U.S. Human Rights Record...

And it is not a pretty picture!
The periodic review was last monday and the report has not been issued yet but from all accounts the U.S. received a scathing review... Police violence and racism were some of the issues but there is also the ongoing problem of the U.S. not allowing a full investigation of Guantanamo. Which is not too surprising since even our politicians are not allowed access to the place...
You can look at some of the concerns here.... and some of the questions here...
I will post the report when it is released.

CIA investigates its use of drugs in interrogation....not

Two interesting reports on the so-called investigation by the CIA into its use of drugs in the interrogation of detainees. One from Jeff Kaye here. The other from Jason Leopold here. Not surprising but the investigation by the CIA was quite limited......

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Little Bit of Good News...

It is actually a sorry state of things when what passes for good news is that a nurse who refused to force feed the detainees will NOT be discharged from the military. I am not suggesting this is not good news but WTF- it never should have been an issue.
Anyway you can read more about this nurse who refused to violate medical ethics by force feeding detainees here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Omar Khadr speaks after his release on bail.......

Center for Constitutional Rights is Reading the Summary of the Torture Report to the Department of Justice--- because the Justice Department refuses to read it....

If DOJ won’t read the torture report, CCR will read it to them

Five months after the release of the executive summary of the Senate CIA Torture Report, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to open an investigation of the government officials who authorized and covered up the heinous crimes detailed in it. This is not surprising given that, apparently, they haven’t even read the full report as doing so would make it subject to Freedom of Information Act requests seeking its declassification. The DOJ is abdicating its duty to investigate and prosecute these crimes, and we must not stand for it. To prevent future state-sponsored torture, it is imperative that the DOJ prosecute government torturers. Last week, CCR joined Amnesty International and other allies to demand that the DOJ read the report as a first step towards justice. The report shows unequivocally that the CIA tortured men like our client Majid Khan, whose name is mentioned hundreds of times, and lied repeatedly to Congress about the effectiveness of the program. If the DOJ won’t read the report, we'll read it to them, one page at a time, as a reminder of the state crimes they are willfully ignoring. In this video, CCR's Wells Dixon reads page 115, which concerns the rape of Majid Khan.

Friday, May 8, 2015

And a word or two from Khadr's attorney

I will not try to paraphrase. You can read his words here.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mr. Khadr you are free to leave....

And so, with those words Omar Khadr finally became a free man....well so to speak... he is out on bail.
congrats to Khadr and his legal team.
Read more here.

And Harper.... I hope you lose this coming election.....big time.

While we wait....

Today we will find out if Mr. Khadr will be allowed out of prison on bail. A psychological assessment of the young man discusses his attitudes and fears.

 "The statements from Mr. Khadr, now 28, are contained in an assessment by a prison psychologist that paints an unprecedented portrait of his inner life, often in his own words. A judge is to rule Thursday on whether the Canadian citizen can be set free after 13 years of incarceration in Afghanistan, the United States and Canada."

Read more about that assessment here.

I of course do not know what will happen today but I will say that the Canadian courts have generally been fair to Mr. Khadr-- it is the Harper administration that continues to cause the problems.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


That is the new date for the Canadian judge to decide whether to release Khadr on bail.
Read more here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Seems that British lawmakers have finally figured out why British resident Shaker Aamer has been held so long- despite being cleared for release for approximately 7 years. Many of us have long suspected it was because of torture that he witnessed. Maybe even the death of the three men whom the military claimed committed suicide at the same time. A story that has never rung true.
Anyway, maybe now British lawmakers will demand the return of Aamer.
Read the rest here.


So today Harper's Canada plans to make good on their mean spirited quest to block bail for Khadr (the Canadian teenager who was held at Guantanamo since he was 15 years old).
"The Canadian government announced Monday that it would seek an emergency stay on bail granted by a Canadian judge to former Guantanamo detainee and Canadian national Omar Khadr, who has spent almost half his life behind bars." 
Harper is justifying his actions by saying that he is doing it because the U.S. wants Khadr to stay in jail. But U.S. officials are not backing up that claim... appaarently Harper just made it up and thought the U.S. would agree- but we didn't (for once!)
Read the rest here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Really Harper?

I guess Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper is going to try one last time to keep the teenager- who was held at Guantanamo for more than 10 years - in a Canadian prison.
Harper is so pathetic.
We will know tomorrow whether or not Khadr will be released on bail.
Best of luck to Khadr's attorneys who have fought this battle all these years.
Read more here.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under at Justinian

Being droned to death

Show us the kill-list criteria ... New US attorney general needs to fix the FBI ... $4 million investment in judicial election paid off handsomely for litigant ... CIA whistleblower convicted ... Carrying a concealed gun is a "lifestyle" ... Fitch fails to snag a seat at crowded US Supremes same sex marriage hearing 
"It turns out I'm pretty good at killing people."– Barack Obama, in a light-hearted aside
NY Times headline, "First Evidence of a Blunder in Drone Strike", is old news.
The announcement was unsurprising, as thePentagon admits it doesn't always know who it's killing. 
More here.  
President Obama's death-by-drone policy continues to attract critics, e.g. Germans unhappy to hear it's coordinated through Ramstein AFB, one of many American enclaves still embedded in Germany 70 years after the war ended. 
Drone assassinations can still be averted by capture, as a lucky Texan discovered.  
Muhanad al Farekh was fortunate to be kidnapped in Pakistan and (irregularly) extradited to the US - he's been nominated for drone-death since 2013.
 More here and here
Meanwhile, there's a new ACLU lawsuit seeking "kill-list" criteria.


Friday, May 1, 2015

THE CIA's Man in the Senate....

I guess I should have really called this "one of the CIA's men in the Senate."
I don't even know where to start with Senator Richard Burr.... so maybe I will just start in a random place-- calling him a lapdog for the CIA is grossly underestimating his role but I will roll with that title for now-- seems Burr has been in a snit since Senate staffers unearthed a copy of a CIA report called the Panetta Review- which confirmed such things as the fact that the CIA exaggerated the "effectiveness" of torture. When the Senate staffers realized what they had (admissions from the CIA itself questioning the effectiveness of torture) they decided to take a physical copy- or at least a portion of the physical copy- and bring it to the senate offices. Its a long story but it seems this explains why the CIA broke into Senate computers back in 2013-- they wanted to see how much of the report the Senate had--- and what else the senate had. That brings me back to Burr....Seems Burr has been particularly irked about the leaking of information from the CIA's report and being the lapdog that he is he is now holding up the nomination of a lawyer for the department of defense who first discovered the report. Anyway, read this article as its a fascinating look at one of the enablers of the CIA's torture program.

"All the Presidents Psychologists...."

There was a lot of discussion about the role that the APA (American Psychological Association) played in the torture of detainees at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other "black sites" a few years back. It is back in the news again with a new report by a watchdog group tied to Physicians for Human Rights. This new report ties in newly unclassified information. You can read the report here.

And you can read more about the report here, here, here, and here.

And following the release of that report'
"The head of a body that advises U.S. terrorism interrogators on ethics on Thursday called for a special prosecutor to probe how the abuse of captured militants during the Bush administration's "war on terror" was allowed to happen." Read the rest here.