Friday, May 29, 2020

IACHR Gitmo decision-- Link Fixed

Last month the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued an important decision concerning the complaint filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of fomer Guantanamo detainee Algerian DJamel Ameziane.

"This is the first decision ever made by a major regional Human Rights body regarding the human rights violations committed at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and marks a historic victory for Mr. Ameziane and the rights of others detained at Guantanamo Bay to judicial reparations."

Read the entire report here.

h/o to Robert.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day USA 2020 (con't)

Memorial Day weekend- USA 2020

I will always remember this time. A time when my country and the rest of the world were engulfed in a pandemic that will undoubtedly kill hundreds of thousands of people...maybe millions. Yes, I will remember that there were plenty of hero's. Some of the expected ones-- medical professionals and some of the unexpected, and maybe unwittingly ones, -- people working in the grocery stores, and liquor stores.
But what I will always remember about this time is how my president lied and pushed false cures, before going out to play golf. I will remember how people went out to spread the virus without a care in the world for anyone else's health or safety. I will remember people walking around with automatic weapons demanding the right to freely infect others. I will remember stores refusing to allow people in who ARE wearing masks.
I will remember just how ugly this time was.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our Friends down under at Justinian...

With six months to go, Trump's election-year strategy has emerged: discredit the Mueller inquiry, and partly supported by his attorney general, create external scandals: the absurdTrumped-up "Obamagate". 
Barr: unstitching the Mueller convictions
In federal district courts, AG Bill Barr has been systematically sabotaging cases arising from the special counsel's report, while his dishonest response to an FOI case requesting the full report prompted DC judge Reggie Walton to rebuke the AG and question his candour
In the Roger Stone case, the Attorney General's flagrant meddling was successfully resisted by DC judge Amy Jackson Berman. Stone has been sentenced, though temporarily reprieved due to the corona crisis.
Barr interfered next in the trial of former national security director Michael Flynn, also indicted during the Mueller investigation. After installing outside counsel to review the case, Barr pushed out career prosecutors and filed for dismissal of the case, even though the retired general had already pleaded guilty - twice.
The Flynn judge, Emmet Sullivan, could reject the government's motion, and Barr, perhaps unwisely, has sneered at his critics, who call his submissions faulty, and likely to incite frivolous arguments in future criminal cases. 
Judge Sullivan has now appointed outside counsel to argue the case against dismissal. More here
The Attorney General's political manipulation of the courts has shocked lawyers, and over 2000 former DOJ officers have called for Barr's dismissal
Progressive organisations discern a Republican plot, now reaching fruition, to use the courts to undo most 20th century advances in federal and state legislation (report here).


Monday, May 18, 2020

musical interlude

Sometimes this is the only thing we can do... sit back and listen to the music and forget how fucked up things are:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Razak's loss in DC Circuit

My poor client is doomed to die at Guantanamo. The DC Circuit just denied his latest attempt to get the hell out of that place. Seems he should have known by 18 days that he was staying at the wrong guest house...
I could go on about how fucked up this is -- on so many levels-- but it will do no good. You can read about it here.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Speaking of where we are, how about how did we get here...

We (here in the US of A) got here because, as a nation, we were too busy watching TV, taking photos of ourselves, playing on social media and just acting like nothing mattered. Because nothing did matter. Do you want to know more of the details that are leading to the fall of the US?

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

And here we are....

It has been a while since I have linked to my friend The Talking Dog. The dog has been living in the trenches of NYC (Brooklyn to be exact) and reports on life from there is his latest post (you can read the entire post here, which I do recommend):

And so, now approaching two months of a local "half-assed lockdown" (the powers that be only recently mandated facial masks in all closed spaces like grocery stores and pharmacies, and near as I can tell, public parks, and of course, the NYC subways, remain open; and it seems our very own Secretary of Education is paying people to protest public health measures as a matter of a psychotic "personal freedom" that involves the peasantry conducting armed revolt to ensure more privileges for the aristocracy), most of the United States finds itself in a strange form of house arrest (as does a huge swath of the world's population). As we approach two months of this, we note a sudden resurgence in media interest in one of our themes of permanent house arrest inside a shipping container (that would be Guantanamo Bay), we have a Pulitzer Prize winning story of one of the released men, Mohamedou Salahi (I interviewed one of his attorneys Nancy Hollander), and a new podcast out detailing Abdul Latif, one of the poor bastards still held there. Perhaps a country that has unjustly held so many men without charge or trial based on its own irrational (and carefully media driven) fears of dark-skinned people now gets a perverse form of karmic payback. Indeed, while nearly 3,000 Americans died on 9-11, the coronavirus sometimes kills that number daily, and of course, most Americans are more or less pinned down in their homes. But I digress. We typical Americans (except for the over 2 million incarcerated persons!) aren't exactly living in GTMO.
Here in Brooklyn, of course, there aren't any gendarmes who will stop one from leaving their house and walking around, although a mask and social distancing will be required (especially for people of color). Even getting in a car or the subway and "going somewhere" aren't expressly prohibited, although most public gathering spaces such as bars and restaurants are shuttered (except for take out and delivery).
And so most of us have little choice but to "stay home," the prevailing public health advice that rational public officials would dispense, except of course, for that orange monster, who keeps saying "we have to open up America," even though it was never effectively shut down in the first place. Needless to say, state and local officials who are his political allies (and hence, more likely to value money over human life, especially the lives of the non-white and non-rich) are more likely to embrace this scientifically and economically insane "strategy" which is pretty much guaranteed to destroy both countless more lives and what remains of "the economy," but our "leader" operates on a twelve-hour time scale and lives in his own peculiar media bubble where the only thing that matters are some self-selected (and always favorable) polling data and of course that day's Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother's Day-- USA

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Trump Death Clock

Estimated Portion U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Due To POTUS Inaction
In January 2020, the Trump administration was advised that immediate action was required to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, “there was a lot of pushback” to this advice. President Trump declined to act until March 16th. Epidemiologists now estimate that, had mitigation measures been implemented one week earlier, 60% of American COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided.
More at:
Get updates by clicking on the title above:   
Total Estimated U.S. COVID-19 Cases:1,212,415
Total Estimated U.S. COVID-19 Deaths:67,285
Deaths Due to POTUS Inaction (60%):40,371
* Source:

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Pulitzer Prize Winner -- Ben Taub

You might remember Ben Taub's investigative piece "Guantanamo's Darkest secret" in the New Yorker. Ben just won the pulitzer prize for that wonderful writing.

"Taub won in the feature-writing category for a devastating account of a man who was kidnapped, tortured, and deprived of his liberty for more than a decade at Guantánamo Bay. Despite this litany of horrors, Mohamedou Salahi survived with his spirit intact and gained a new friend, a former Guantánamo guard with whom he reconnected after he was released. In its citation, the Pulitzer Board praised Taub for “blending on-the-ground reporting and lyrical prose to offer a nuanced perspective on America's wider war on terror.”

Congrats to Ben and thank you for brining Mr. Salahi's saga to the forefront.