Sunday, March 29, 2020

Gitmo during Covid- 19

For the 40 men remaining at Gitmo the risk of infection is as high as any other prison in these here "united" states. In other words, the risk is very high. This is also an at-risk population as many of the men are older now (senior category) and many have had their immune systems compromised after more than 18 years of captivity. We have heard that there has been exposure to the virus at the base, although typical of the secrecy that has surrounded this base all of the years it has been open, we do not know the specifics. New rules have been implemented and if we wanted to go and visit our clients we would have to plan a trip of more than 14 days as we would be quarantined the first 14 days. That leads to many questions, for example, how would we get food while quarantined? Anyway, I don't think many of us are thinking of heading that way right now. The trip is also made difficult by the lack of flights going down there and the inability of habeas counsel to utilize some of those flights.
Other measures are in place if one of us decides to make the trip but most of those make sense in the time of this virus -- having your temperature taken, staying 6 feet away, no sharing of food, etc.

Ramadan starts in late April and that will add new challenges as many of the men will be fasting during the day. One of the habeas counsel has, for the last few years, taken on the task of gathering items for the men for the feast at the end of Ramadan. Many of us contribute to her effort but clearly the big job is collecting everything and getting it down to the base. Hats off to Beth for coordinating that effort.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

musical interlude

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Musical interlude during a "stay in place" order...

Yesterday at 5pm (1700 hours) Illinois became the 4th state to order everyone to stay in place in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. At 7pm last night Chicagoan's (and others across the state and in other states) joined in a mass singalong --- from their porches, balconies, backyards, open windows etc. Read about it here. The song was Bon Jovi's "Livin on a prayer..." and Bon Jovi heard about it too and joined in.

So, in honor of our group effort to stop the virus I leave you with this:

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Many of us that were on the front lines in the Gitmo litigation worried about what could happen next if the brakes were not put on our government. And now with our corrupt government (president and republican congress) the fear is becoming more real:

DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic

The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States.
Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions.…

Thursday, March 19, 2020

We will take whatever good news we can....

yesterday a once accused Al Queda Sympathizer was released after 17 years in prison. His conviction was thrown out and he has agreed to leave the country and head back to Pakistan. The short version is that he was granted a new trial when evidence came forward questioning the government's case. The government was ordered to go through all of the potential new evidence and provide his attorney's with any and all potentially exculpatory information. Seems that the DOJ couldn't quite get around to going through all of the evidence and with a trial set for next week the government agreed not to retry him.  The man's father is being held at Guantanamo and I am just betting that the father is being held based on the same flimsy evidence and that the father also had this exculpatory evidence withheld. Of course the whole system of disclosures is different in the Guantanamo context... where the rules on what needs to be disclosed are loose to say the least.
Anyway you can read the story here.
H/O to Mr. Paracha's great attorneys - Ramzi Kassem and Josh Dratel. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St. Pat's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Speaking of the talking dog....(ie the author of Donald J Putin)

The Dog family arrived back from Spain shortly before the latest clusterfuck our criminal president started at airports--- causing crowds of people to wait in close quarters for hours on end so that they could be asked if they were in contact with any one that had the virus. Of course now they are all potentially infected.
And it has only been discussed below the radar but the reason that there has been no testing here is because our criminal president was trying to get his friends to develop a test (instead of using the WHO test) that could then be patented and they could of course make money. Of course his friends are as incompetent as he is and they couldn't get it together. Complete with actually contaminating the tests. (I'll provide the link later).
And our criminal president also tried to buy off a german company that is working on a vacine -- so that he could grab the vacine- use it only for the US and make big money.
So I leave you with some observations from the dog that he wrote yesterday -- yes, beware the ides of march.... or where is brutus when we need him? (I of course say that in jest but I do not say in jest that this criminal president should be tried for his crimes against all of us.)

Sunday, March 15, 2020


As we hunker down and wait out the virus, those of us in the US can read this book that shows just how awful our health system (and other aspects of American life) are and have been for quite awhile. Those of you outside the US have probably been watching our demise more critically than the general population here but there are still some facts in this book that might startle you!

Donald J. Putin on American Exceptionalism : It's Not You, It's Just America Being America by [Putin , Donald J.]

Donald J. Putin on American Exceptionalism : It's Not You, It's Just America Being America

Get the book here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under at Justinian....

The rogue state

•   •   •
Trump at another Taj Mahal 
Trump has dialed-up his shameful and unprecedented ad hominem attacks against courts and prosecutors: in his assault on justice he may have outdone Nixon. It's not just lower court judges like Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over the Roger Stone case, but individual supreme court justices, and even jurors
While in India (and visiting the real Taj Mahal, quite different from his eponymous twice-bankrupt casino), Mr Trump glimpsed a misleading "chyron" on Fox News, and instanter decided Justice Sotomayor would henceforth have to recuse herself from cases involving him - Justice Ginsburg, too
Alarmed, the federal judges' association called an emergency meeting to discuss how to deal with America's rogue president, a man who attacks the judiciary and whose attorney-general flouts court orders and disregards bedrock American law.


Saturday, March 7, 2020

International Women's Day part 3

On this day we should also remember the mothers. Mothers who have lost their children to war, to the powerhungry and to drugs.

International Women's Day part 2

Happy International Women's Day ( a day early)

Friday, March 6, 2020


It is ironic but on March 4th two things happened. First, and must to my glee the International Criminal Court has agreed to investigate the war crimes from the Afghanistan war. The time frame starts with May of 2003. I am not sure how that date was picked as it leaves out some important evidence. However, the important thing is that there will be an investigation. I spent time as a visiting professional at the court in 2008. In my own way I have been pushing for an investigation since that time. And I have at the ready my own investigative documents. I know this will be a battle but since things tend to drag on at the ICC there is a good chance that Afghanistan will still be under investigation when (or if) we finally get a president and congress that believes in the rule of law. You can read more about the ICC's decision here.

The second thing that happened on March 4th is that Trump appointed one of the facilitators of the torture program to be his "nuclear envoy."  Keeping to the Trump playbook the man has a long record as a hawk on nuclear issues.

 "The proposed special negotiator, Marshall Billingslea, is currently the under-secretary for terrorist financing at the US Treasury. His nomination last year for a top human rights job at the state department was stalled by controversy over the extent of his involvement in the torture programme established by the George W Bush administration, in which he oversaw the conditions of detainees in Guantánamo Bay."

Sigh. You can read more here if you dare....