Monday, December 31, 2018

good riddance 2018

Yes, I say goodbye to 2018 knowing it was just another year in my country's downward spin. How much worse can things get? I have thought so many times that we couldn't go any lower and yet....

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The forever prisoners...

Saifullah Paracha, the oldest prisoner in Guantánamo Bay, will probably die in detention without ever being charged. His son is currently in a US prison. Both have been in custody for almost 15 years, accused of aiding al-Qaida. But did they?

Read the rest here.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy holidays.... sigh.

Although I don't believe everything Steve says in his prelude.... it is a damn good song.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

RIP John Gibbons.

One of the leaders in the Guantanamo litigation died this past week. Retired Judge John Gibbons argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the famous Rasul case -- the ruling that allowed the men at Guantanamo to have legal representation and to contest their detention in the courts.
The Rasul case was an important case, even though most of the men that were released were not released through the court process, because having legal representation allowed a window into Guantanamo. That window had been shut tight by GW Bush and the military but after Rasul it was more difficult for the military to engage in some of their worst practices --because we were allowed in and publicly exposed those practices. Although there have been many battles over the ensueing years when our representation was again threatened the Rasul case was pivotal.
Gibbons was a true patriot in the best sense of the word.

Read more about John Gibbons here and here.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

6177 Days....

That is how long Guantanamo has been open. Sixteen years, ten months and 28 days. Andy Worthington, our Gitmo historian, comments on the time these men have spent in prison ( i am reporting this two days later which is why the number of days has fluctuated from Andy's.

When I first volunteered to represent a man at Guantanamo (first one man and then a few months later I took on another client-- my second client still remains at Guantamamo) I remember discussing the probono project with a few of my friends and I naively thought that my representation would last about a year. That was in 2005. Unfortunately I was way off the mark on that one!

Unfortuantely, I had not come to terms with just how cruel and lawless my country had become (yes, my country has had a long history of lawlessness). Depite our lawless past the detention of these men and the positions taken by our justice department were still shocking to me. Now, nothing my country does shocks me as I watch every day with horror the new lows we continue to reach.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A word from our friend----the talking dog.

Although the dog's post is not about Guantanamo this time around I thought it was important to share for two reasons:
1. To show that we can all be trying to do something to help those here in our country who are being treated like shit;
But also,
2. It reminded me of the plight of Mr. Al-Ghizzawi who was sent from Guantanamo to the country of Georgia in the dead of winter with absolutely nothing but the clothes on his back... and of course the clothes on his back reflected the tropical conditions of Guantanamo. My husband and I flew to Georgia to meet up with Mr. Al-Ghizzawi upon his arrival and we brought with us winter clothes that we, and several of our neighbors, donated. Like the man seeking asylum and held in detention for 7 long months -- Mr. Al-Ghizzawi, after being held in detention for more than 10 years, was in awe of  his new found freedom -- the taste of real food and the ability to walk around without shackles.

Read about the talking dogs help for one immigrant seeking asylum here.