Sunday, September 30, 2018

The innocence of Abu Zubaydah

I have written alot about this man over the years. His saga overlaps with my remaining client's saga and so I have paid special attention to his plight. I believe that he is wrongly being held -- I can't say wrongly convicted because of course he has not been charged or convicted. Like my client he languishes at Guantanamo.

His attorney has written about his innocence. Read his story here.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


My friend, the talking dog, celebrated the 17th anniversary of his blog last week. I first met the dog when he was doing interviews of lawyers who represented men at Guantanamo. You can read his interview of me here. If you look on the left hand side of his blog you will see the complete roster of all the individuals that the dog has interviewed-- not just the gitmo lawyers but others involved in Gitmo related happenings.

My interview was in 2007. Since that time the dog and I have been friends. The dog has helped with my various supreme court petitions, appellate briefs and lots of other things inbetween. 

As the dog points out in his anniversary post...these have not been fun times... but hard times are easier with friends. And hope does die last.
Read the dog's anniversary post here .

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Lest we forget...9-12-1977

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


As I do every 9-11 I turn this post over to my friend the talking dog who was actually in New York City on that day.
Because of technical problems you will need to click on the link below.
Perhaps tomorrow this will be fixed.
Perhaps not.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Kavanaugh (Continued...)

My concerns about Kavanaugh go beyond what I have read about him -- I have appeared before him. It was not a pleasant experience.

After losing my client's habeas case -- following a "hearing" that was not only a farce but also a shameful display of shenanigans by the attorneys handling the case from the department of "justice." As I have mentioned more than once, having been an attorney for 35 years I have gone up against the best lawyers and the worst. The attorneys that I was up against in Razak Ali's case were amongst the worst I ever dealt with.... but I digress.

I filed the appeal and had some battles early on with the panel assigned to Mr. Ali's case which were disturbing. One of those battles involved  exculpatory documents (those are documents that are helpful to my client) that were withheld by the "justice" department until after the hearing was over. These were not just exculpatory.. they went to the very heart of my client's right to have habeas granted. The government claimed, disingenuously I might add, that they forgot to provide the document -- that the document was classified at the highest secret classification level -- and they therefore did not think that I should be able to see the document anyway... The government attorneys finally remembered this important document right about the time the judge was ready to enter his order (denying habeas). Unbeknownst to me the government attorneys and the judge met and talked about this issue several times after one of the attorneys privately told the judge about the mishap.  When the judge and the government figured out how they would proceed I was informed of all of this. (Kafka would have been proud.)

The judge announced that the government would still not agree to let me see the document and so the judge decided he would not look at the document either.The document was in regards to the government's main "witness" against my client (a fellow detaineed who had been brutally tortured by my government and in statements made by him under torture identified my client as having been in Afghanistan-- a place my client had never been until taken there by the military -- I guess I should also mention that the photo used by the military to get this tortured individual to identify my client was not actually a photo of my client...sigh.)  The judge, who didn't care that the government could come up with an accurate photo of my client, said he would disregard any evidence that came from that particular"witness."

The problem was the whole 5 day "hearing" was about the credibility of this one witness. The judge never did get a handle on that fact and I had to file 3 or 4 post hearing motions to get evidence that came from this individual out of the judge's opinion-- leaving my client's habeas denial down to the only "evidence" against my client -- that he was in a guesthouse where another guest was staying who was wanted by my government.

My appellate panel announced that they wanted to review that document and I fought like hell to keep them from reviewing a document on appeal that neither the judge below nor I had ever seen. They finally relented. I am guessing it was at that time that I learned that I had Kavanaugh on my panel. The only thing that I knew about Kavanaugh at the time was that he probably had lied to the Senate at his confirmation hearing about his role in Guantanao issues while at the white house. So I did what any rightous and hard working attorney would do -- I moved to recuse him. Less than 24 hours later my motion was denied without comment.

At the oral argument I watched this smug judge sit there and glare at me knowing that nothing I said about this case would matter. He is and was a rubberstamp to the Bush administration and that is what he will be to the republican agenda if he makes it to our highest court. I wrote to the judiciary committee this week and sent copies of everything to that committee. Since Mr. Ali's case is again working its way up to the Supreme Court I feel pretty confident that even this judge would have to recuse himself from hearing his case should we be so unfortunate as to have him sitting on that Court but regardless -- he should not sit on that court.

There is alot more I could say about this but that will have to wait for another day.

My good friend the talking dog has posted my letter to the judiciary committe (and the motion to recuse) on his website and you  can read it here.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Nightmare Nominee to the Supreme Court (UPDATED)

By a nightmare president:

I dont know if we will get to the bottom of this in time to stop Kavanaugh from winning confirmation to the supreme court but it is starting to look like he was more involved in torture than we prevously understood. This from emptywheel.

More emails from Kavanaugh have been released by Senator Booker. The senator is refusing to abide by the republican's designation of these email as "confidential." The emails show that the day after John Yoo wrote his torture memos Kavanaugh was pushing to have Yoo appointed to the 9th Circuit Court of appeals. Yoo however wanted to be made counsel to the CIA. Kavanaugh's fallback was to suggest Yoo be named counsel to the CIA for about a year and then moved to the 9th Circuit.

Read more about these released emails here.

Monday, September 3, 2018

musical interlude....

Because we need one about now.