Saturday, January 24, 2015

From Roger Fitch and Our Friends Down Under

At Justinian......

The torture chronicles

Splendid properties and the good life for the CIA's leading torturers ... Rectal rehydration deemed a normal medical procedure ... Feinstein report conveniently colour coded countries that hosted torture camps ... Blue, Black, Violet and Green ... Life at the Salt Pit ... Roger Fitch files from Washington  
A NEW year brings new challenges to the justice system in the US.
At Just Security blog, Jennifer Daskal has a list of the most important "national security" cases to watch in 2015, while Steve Vladeck gives his picks for 2014's "national security heroes," i.e. human rights upholders, national security having rather a bad name at the moment. 
Indeed, some things are looking up. There's even talk of observing the Geneva Conventions, with an end to military detentions linked to the Afghan war, now officially over.  
Significantly, the Supreme Court has never ruled that Congress's 2001 "Authorisation to Use Military Force" (AUMF) applies outside the Afghan adventure. 
In the court's 2004 Hamdi decision, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said: 
"The United States may detain, for the duration of these hostilities, individuals legitimately determined to be Taliban combatants who 'engaged in an armed conflict against the United States.' If the record establishes that United States troops are still involved in active combat in Afghanistan, those detentions are part of the exercise of 'necessary and appropriate force', and therefore are authorized by the AUMF."
It may not be easy to dispose of the remaining Guantanameros, some held over 13 years. Will Obama release them? Even his most liberal supporters continue to prattle about men "too dangerous to release" - history and Geneva be damned.


Stand with Shaker....

Shaker Aamer is a british resident who has been cleared for release since 2007. The brits have refused to ask for his return and so he sits. Earlier this month Prime Minister Cameron met with Obama and I guess he finally asked for Shaker's return. According to reports Obama has now prioritized the release of Shaker. [sigh... I remember when Obama prioritized the closing of Guantanamo back in 2009...]
Anyway, the "stand with Shaker" campaign is going strong- I wanted to put the actual video of Roger Waters on this page but since I don't facebook I can only give you a link.. It's worth the watch as Roger of Pink Floyd fame reads a letter written by Shaker. Its nice to see that Shaker apparently still has a sense of humor.
And if you can check out the "stand with Shaker" campaign here and add your voice to the campaign.