Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My My ---UPDATED...

Seven years and one month after Obama announced he was going to close Guantanamo he finally released a plan to close the place....
The plan is short on details... (like where will the men, like my client, be housed whom the president has claimed cannot be released but cannot be tried) you can read it here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has released a statement blasting Obama's so call "plan"

Meanwhile, the centerpiece of the plan – moving those detainees who have not been and will never be charged with any crime to a prison in the U.S. – does not “close Guantánamo,” it merely relocates it to a new ZIP Code. The infamy of Guantánamo has never been just its location, but rather its immoral and illegal regime of indefinite detention. Closing Guantánamo in any meaningful sense means putting an end to that practice.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Current Guantanamo statistics.....

 Yesterday it was announced that the Review board (PRB) has approved for transfer Yemeni Majid Mahmoud Ahmed (ISN 41).

The prison population remains at 91: 35 are cleared, 46 are awaiting clearance, and 10 are in the military commission system (of those, 7 are in “active” “trial” proceedings while 3 have been “convicted”).

Of the 35 cleared, 29 (82.9%) are Yemenis and 6 are non-Yemenis. 

Of the 46 awaiting clearance, 20 are Yemenis and 26 are non-Yemenis.

The PRB has approved for transfer 18 of the 21 detainees for whom it has issued decisions.

Of the 46 detainees who are PRB-eligible and still awaiting clearance, three were denied clearance in their initial appearance before the PRB; 10 are officially in the PRB process and awaiting their first hearing or decision; and the remaining 33 have not yet officially begun the process.  (For these purposes, a detainee is “officially in the PRB process” when he shows up on the PRB web page tracking individual detainees’ proceedings.)

h/o to fellow Gitmo attorney Brian Foster for providing these updates.

Friday, February 19, 2016

CIA admits that some torture findings by Senate that it previously denied are in fact accurate....

The CIA has for over a year taken issue with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,700-page report on the agency’s torture program, which among other things, claims the CIA mismanaged and abused its interrogation authorities, subjected detainees to torturous interrogation methods and misled Congress, the Justice Department and the White House about the program. In its formal response to the Senate study, dated June 2013, the agency pushed back against many of the study’s claims.
However, in a document released in December 2014 alongside the agency’s formal response to the Senate investigation, the CIA corrected substantial errors in its own response to the Committee, effectively conceding that some of the Senate’s harsh findings were in fact accurate.
“Senior CIA officials who have since been promoted vehemently denied these facts in the summer of 2013,” said a source with knowledge of the Intelligence Committee’s report. “Having the CIA officially admit, to at least some of the factual inaccuracies in their response, is significant.”

Sunday, February 14, 2016


When it came to Guantanamo Justice Scalia not only thought that every man at Guantanamo should stay there until the military decided otherwise-- but he also thought that the attorney's representing the men should not be provided any information (discovery is the legal term) that the military collected regarding the men...(or as more accurately described-- the information that the military fabricated about the men).
To Scalia we (the attorneys) were as much the enemy as the men being held.
In his dissent in Bush vs. Boumediene Scalia stated:
  "But even when the military has evidence that it can bring forward, it is often foolhardy to release that evidence to the attorneys representing our enemies."

Scalia was of course suggesting that the attorneys representing the men could not be trusted to maintain the confidentiality of the "classified information." However the irony is that it was foolhardy to let us have that information not because any of us would break the law but because we then fought to have the information made public so that the world could see the fabrication and lies by the military to justify holding these men.

Scalia's criticism did not stop with the attorneys who represented the men at Guantanamo- he went so far as to claim that the majority's opinion in Boumediene-- allowing the men to challenge their detention--"will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed." He was of course wrong about that- just like he was wrong about so many things.

And let's not forget torture. When it came to torture Scalia's view was as lawless as those who engaged in the torture. Unfortunately, like many of his views, they seemed to stem from TV shows- instead of legal principles. You can get a glimpse of his lawless views on torture here.

Scalia was the quintessential enemy of the common person and his decisions not only ignored decency and compassion, which he felt did not have a place in the law or in interpreting our constituion, but actually ridiculed those who advocated for those values. Unfortunately his decisions also ignored well established legal principles if those established legal principles did not comport with his dogma. As a country we could and should demand better from our Supreme Court. Hopefully we will not have any more like Scalia added to the bench.

The talking dog has more on Scalia here.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Prosecutors disconnect....

It seems that the military's prosecutor at Guantanamo agrees that the brutal (and illegal) treatment that the men at Guantanamo who are facing the military commission received-- as outlined in the senate summary is accurate. In other words that prosecutor is not contesting the treatment that these men received while being held by the CIA and military. However, the prosecutor also thinks that the torture the men were subjected to is irrelevant. In other words.....who cares?
Read more here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Thanks to continuing lawsuits by the ACLU the torture photo's continue to be released-- bit by bit. Read more here and view the 198 new photos if you care to.

As explained in this Huffington Post:

The images released Friday are mostly closeup pictures of cuts, scars, or bruises on unidentified men. Some show prisoners handcuffed. In most images, the Pentagon redacted identifying features, such as prisoners’ eyes, but also blacked out parts of their bodies that do not appear to be identifying. In one image, one of a prisoner's eyes is visible, but his nose is blacked out. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a question asking for an explanation for the apparently excessive redactions.

For some reason the military seems to think that by showing us these close ups we will not understand the whole picture. I actually think these close ups are a very good guide as to what my country did to these (mostly) men and provides even more conclusive proof that war crimes were committed.

The ACLU also has put together a Torture Database containing over 100,000 pages of evidence that the ACLU obtained through various lawsuits which clearly documents the abuse and torture implemented by the military.

If you have not already you should donate to the ACLU so they can continue this important work.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If all else fails.....

Maintain your sense of humor!