Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Dark Times in the good ole U.S. of A--UPDATED

It is hard to keep track of all of the things that trump is doing- which I guess is part of his point. Anyway, as EmptyWheel has pointed out- Trump fulfilled another campaign promise on Sunday- he killed the 8 year old American daughter of Anwar al-Awaki (Obama killed American al-Awaki in 2011 and then two weeks later killed his 16 year old (American) son). I wrote about those killings by Obama here.

On the campaign trail Trump promised to go after the families of terrorists and so he has lived up to that promise...even though this particular  "terrorist" was already dead for more than five years by the time Trump got around to killing his 8 year old daughter. I wonder if it is as meaningful to kill the 8 year old daughter of an accused terrorist when her father is long dead?  Maybe someone can ask Trump?

Read the rest here.

By the way- I mention that these murders were of Americans not because I believe that American lives have more worth but there was a time when in this here country of mine the President couldn't just kill it's citizens without some kind of process. We have long killed those in other countries without any kind of process but Bush, Obama and now Trump have approved the killing of Americans too. No one is off limits anymore. Trump of course is the first of these presidents to pledge to kill the families of "terrorists." so I guess that sets a new standard.

Update: The military is now throwing Trump under the bus, "U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations."

Read More Here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump and Gitmo, Torture and Black Sites.....

Trump is a dangerous lunatic and he is proving just how dangerous he is with his statements concerning torture, the men who are still at Guantanamo, and his attempts to resurrect the "black sites."  Right now it is uncertain whether the Trump administration will continue with the periodic reviews of the men still being held (without ever having been charged with any crime). The word right now is that the reviews are being halted- at least for a time. But no official word has come out.

So, as I sit and wait to hear whether my client will even have a chance of getting out of there, I leave you with this statement from the Center for Constitutional Rights:

January 25, 2017, New York – In response to news reports about a new executive order concerning Guantanamo and the CIA torture program, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

We have fought to close Guantanamo Bay and to end torture there since the prison was established in 2002.  We will continue to fight for the men held there today, and anyone who may be brought there in the future, regardless of who is president.  We will not stop until the prison is closed.

The suspension of all transfers from Guantanamo would place the U.S. in violation of the Geneva Conventions.  As Navy Admiral Patrick Walsh concluded in 2009, transfers must continue in order for the U.S. to comply with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.  

The suspension of transfers pending further review by the Trump administration is also unnecessary.  A comprehensive review process already exists, approving detainees for transfer only by consensus of all relevant military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.  Second-guessing transfers approved through that rigorous inter-agency process serves no security purpose, but would impose punitive, indefinite delays in the release of detainees, many of whom have already endured fifteen years of imprisonment without charge or trial.

The Center for Constitutional Rights also reminds the administration and members of Congress that torture is absolutely prohibited in all circumstances by U.S. and international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture.  The United States cannot legalize torture by enacting or repealing its laws.

This statement is available online here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gitmo by the Numbers...

The final report of the Gitmo numbers from the Obama administration:

The prison population now stands at 41:

  • 5 are cleared, 26 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 5 cleared, 1 (20.0%) is a Yemeni and 4 are non-Yemenis. 
    • Of the 26 awaiting clearance, 10 (38.5%) are Yemenis and 16 are non-Yemenis.
    • Of the 10 in the military commission system, 3 (30.0%) are Yemenis and 7 are non-Yemenis.

PRB Data

The PRB has approved for transfer 38 of the 64 detainees for whom it has issued decisions (59.4%).

  • 38 detainees were cleared.  36 of these men have been released; 2 remain.  (See “Cleared Detainee Data” below for details.)
    • 31 detainees were cleared after a first hearing.
      • 29 have been released; 2 remain.
    •   7 detainees were denied after a first hearing, granted a second hearing via file review, and cleared after the second hearing.
      • All 7 have been released.
  • 26 detainees were denied clearance and are in the file review/second hearing process.
    •   1 detainees was denied after a first hearing, was granted a second hearing via file review, and is awaiting decision from the second hearing (ISN 27).
    •   3 detainees were denied after a first hearing, were granted a second hearing via file review, and are awaiting the second hearing (ISNs 1017, 1094, 1457).
    •   4 detainees were denied after a first hearing, have received initial file review, and are awaiting decision (ISNs 63, 685, 1463, 3148).
    •   2 detainees were denied after a second hearing, and are awaiting file review (ISNs 28, 841).
    •   1 detainee was denied after a first hearing, was denied after a third file review, and is awaiting a fourth file review (ISN 242).
    •   1 detainee was denied after a first hearing, was denied after a first file review, and is awaiting a second file review, which has been scheduled (ISN 569).
    •   2 detainee were denied after a first hearing, were denied after a first file review, and are awaiting a second file review (ISNs 1453, 10025).
    •   3 detainees were denied after a first hearing and are awaiting initial file reviews, which have been scheduled (ISNs 682, 708, 1460).
    •   9 detainees were denied after a first hearing and are awaiting initial file reviews (ISNs 1456, 1461, 10016, 10017, 10019, 10021, 10022, 10023, 10029).

For more details, see the PRB web pages tracking detainees’ initial hearings, file reviews, and second hearings.

Cleared Detainee Data

3 of the 5 cleared detainees remaining at the base were cleared by the Obama Task Force.  The other 2 were cleared by the PRB:

  •  1 is a Yemeni approved for “conditional detention” by the Obama Task Force (Tawfiq al Bihani, ISN 893)
  •  2 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer by the Obama Task Force (ISNs 38 (Ridah bin Aleh al Yazidi, Tunisia), 309 (Mjuayn al-Din Jamal al-Din Abd al Fadhil Abd al Sattar, unknown/UAE))
  •  2 are non-Yemenis approved for transfer after a first PRB hearing* (ISNs 244 (Abdul Latif Nassir, Morocco), 694 (Sufyian Barhoumi, Algeria))

*Barhoumi was previously referred for prosecution by the Obama Task Force.  Nassir was slated for indefinite detention.

H/O to fellow Gitmo lawyer Brian Foster for keeping track of all of this.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Proud To Be Marching Today

Although  I was not in DC-- not even in Chicago- but I did manage to find a march in Northern Michigan. Several thousand strong in a relatively small and conservative part of the state. Unfortunately the local newspaper couldn't be bothered covering the march so I have no local newsstories or photos to share. I was going to post the great song-- "I aint a marchin any more....." but I think I will be marching quite a bit in the near future.

So let's go with this:

post inaugural blues

Thursday, January 19, 2017

And to the women protesting....

Inaugural Blues-- Con't

Inaugural Blues

It was not a hard goal post- but he made it.....

In the last hours of his presidency Obama managed to get out 4 of the remaining 6 detainees that were cleared for release.

Three of the newly transferred men — Yasin Qasem Muhammad Ismail, a Yemeni, Ravil Mingazov, a Russian, and Haji Wali Mohammed, an Afghan — were resettled in the United Arab Emirates. The fourth, Jabran Said Wazar al Qahtani, was repatriated to Saudi Arabia just two months after a parolelike board made up of six agencies had moved him to the transfer list. Each had been held for about 15 years.

Obama left behind a shameful legacy of 41 men, 26 of whom he declared our government had insuffient evidence to try--- but what the heck let's keep them locked up anyway..... one of those men is my remaining client. My client's crime? Being in a guesthouse where someone they thought was a bad guy was also staying,  WTF... my client has been at Gitmo going on 17 years because my government would really like to have someone being held at Guantanamo that it can claim is a bad guy.. even though they have no evidence he is a bad guy and no evidence to try him in a court of law.

And now we move on to the man who will run my country--- The lunatic. He does not care about evidence, laws or anything for that matter....

I can only hope my government becomes so obsolete in the world view that no one gives a shit what is happening here.

Pre-Inaugural Blues...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Obama finally concedes what we already knew...

Obama has finally conceded that he cannot close Guantanamo. I guess the only question remaining is, can Obama at least get the remaining men who have been cleared out of the place before the lunatic takes over? It won't effect my client but it would be nice for those men.

Read more here.

More on the dismal attempts by Obama to close the place here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Now if we could get Snowden pardoned!

just sayin....

Not Directly Related....

Thank you to all of you who took action urging President Obama to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence. It has just been announced that he has commuted her sentence and on May 17, 2017, she will walk free.

Read more here.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Unconfirmed reports that 10 detainees went to Oman today.

Read more here.

The New York Times has more here.

Because of the Martin Luther King holiday the military did not release the names of the men released yesterday.,.
they are:
Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani, Mustafa Abd al-Qawi Abd al-Aziz Al-Shamiri, Karim Bostam, Abdul Sahir, Musab Omar Ali Al-Mudwani, Hail Aziz Ahmed Al-Maythali, Salman Yahya Hassan Mohammad Rabei'i, Mohammed Al-Ansi, Muhammad Ahmad Said Haider, and Walid Said bin Said Zaid.

I recognize a few of those names- men who were in the same guest house in Pakistan as my remaining client- It is a travesty that they were held so long but at least they are on their way (unlike my client).

You can read the defense department's announcement here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


If Obama is going to make good on at least the cleared men his days are numbered. It seems unlikely that 15 men will head home before friday.... but if not now, when?

As for my client, and the 22 other men who are not cleared, we can only hope for the status quo- in other words- we can only hope that things do not get worse.

Dark times ahead for all of us here in the U.S. of A but especially for the men at Gitmo

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It was 15 years ago that the first men were brought to Guantanamo

55 remain.

19 are cleared.

23 remain.- uncharged.

23 NEVER charged with a fuckin crime.

Happy Anniversary.

And the many others who mourn this anniversary

And so... for the mothers of the men "detained" at Guantanamo

On this anniversary

There is so much I want to say....

so instead I will post these songs...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

4 on their way to Saudi Arabia

Well it is a start....

read more here.

55 detainees remain at Gitmo. 19 are cleared and  26 are awaiting clearance (including my client!).

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No Sooner Had I Asked....

It seems that the delay in transfering the cleared men could be that countries that were willing to take the remaining men that are cleared are now having second thoughts.... maybe they are afraid of pissing off the incoming lunatic?

Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald has reason to think that is the problem. The interview is also an important read on the forever prisoners like my client.

Read more here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Obama- what is taking so long??

There are 23 cleared detainees at Guantanamo. None of these men have been charged with a crime and many have been cleared for release for years. There is no excuse for this delay and if they are not released before January 20th it seems pretty certain they will not be released under Trump.

Unfortunately my client is not on the cleared list- he has never been charged with anything- and I am guessing that he will remain for another 4 years unless something unforeseen happens.

Darker times ahead for the remaining men at Guantanamo.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year??

Well, not to put a damper on things, but things aren't looking too good here in the U.S. of A. We elected a maniac as president and despite the fact that he doesn't take office for another couple of weeks he just does not seem to be able to wait his turn to fuck things up.
things are not looking too good in much of the rest of the world either. So, instead of starting off the year with something hopeful, I will be more realistic this time around.