Tag: detainees

Oct 08

Obama Listens!

On Monday October 04…

…the Supreme Court said it would not take up a warrantless surveillance case, Wilner v. National Security Agency (NSA), filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The lawsuit argued that the Executive Branch must disclose whether or not it has records related to the wiretapping of privileged attorney-client conversations without a warrant. Lawyers for the Guantánamo detainees fit the officially acknowledged profile of those subject to surveillance under the former administration’s program, and the Bush administration argued in the past that the Executive Branch has a right to target them.

The Obama administration has never taken a position-in this or any of the other related cases-on whether the Bush administration’s NSA surveillance program was legal. In this case they claimed that even if it was illegal, the government has the right to remain silent when asked whether or not the NSA spied on lawyers,” said Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney of the CCR Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative. “Today the Supreme Court let them get away with it.”  […]

The plaintiffs [had] filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records of any surveillance of their communications under the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, which began after 9/11 but was only disclosed to the public in December 2005. The government refused to either confirm or deny whether such records existed, and the lower courts refused to order the government to confirm whether it had eavesdropped on attorney-client communications. The question before the Supreme Court was whether the government can refuse to confirm or deny whether records of such surveillance exist, even though any such surveillance would necessarily be unconstitutional and illegal.

more at CCR…

Real News Network’s Paul Jay talks with Shayana Kadidal** – Senior Managing Attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative (GGJI) at the Center for Constitutional Rights about the CRR’s initiative and about this case and the Administration’s eavesdropping.



Real News Network – October 08, 2010

Shayana Kadidal: Government refuses to disclose possible wiretapping of civil rights lawyers

Sep 01

Torture puts our Troops in Danger

At least according to this Counter-intelligence Afghanistan Vet:

Jay Bagwell, Afghanistan Veteran, Counter-intelligence



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Jay Bagwell:

My name is Jay Bagwell. I became a Counter Intelligence Agent in 2005, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2006.

As a Counter Intelligence Agent it is very clear to me, Torture puts our Troops in Danger.

Torture makes our Troops less Safe.

Torture creates Terrorists.


Jul 15

If you can’t Find the “Terrorists” — you can always Buy them!

How Guantanamo’s prisoners were sold

The president of Pakistan’s [Pervez Musharraf] attempts to publicise his memoirs throw light on the flawed and dishonest processes that the US uses in bringing “terrorists” to justice

by Clive Stafford Smith – NewStatesman – 09 October 2006

The payments help us see why so many innocent prisoners ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Musharraf writes that “millions” were paid for 369 prisoners – the minimum rate was apparently $5,000, enough to tempt a poor Pakistani to shop an unwanted Arab to the Americans, gift-wrapped with a story that he was up to no good in Afghanistan.

(emphasis added)

http://www.newstatesman.com/20…

I guess this is the True Meaning of Capitalism — if you can’t find the “bad guys” —  Buy Them!

Jun 29

Good News from the DOJ?

From The Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has determined that detainees tried by military commissions in the U.S. can claim at least some constitutional rights, particularly protection against the use of statements taken through coercive interrogations, officials said.

The conclusion, explained in a confidential memorandum whose contents were shared with The Wall Street Journal, could alter significantly the way the commissions operate — and has created new divisions among the agencies responsible for overseeing the commissions.

First, I have to wonder who in the Obama Administration would pick the Wall Street Journal to share confidential information with.

And although this decision would seem to be a no-brainer, it does show how far we’ve fallen that I would even call this good news.

Finally, they still won’t use the word torture … now it’s “coercive interrogations.”

More on the flip.

May 27

About Military Commissions

Last week the President made a speech about the closing of Guantanamo Bay Prison. Most of us politically savvy (obsessed?) folks have heard it and heard some of the various analysis of it. One area of concern was the President’s contention that, due to factors which happened in the previous administration, he might not be able to try all of the accused prisoners in Federal Courts as he had previously promised. He went further to saying he thought that a revamped Military Commissions structure could be used to do the job, and thus avoid trying these men in Federal Court.  

May 23

“I don’t care if we’re holding 15,000 innocent civilians! We’re winning the war!”

     

Brigadier General Janis R Karpinski:     “The secret here is getting these people released, and we’re holding innocent people out there. ”  

    And General Wodjakowski turned around and said to me ” I don’t care if we are holding 15,000 innocent civilians! We are winning the war! “

Cross-posted from dailykos.com

    That quote came from this 237 page official document which was released to the ACLU by a FOIA request. The actual quote by General Wodjakowski can be found on page 171.

    This document not only addresses the necessity and inability of our military to release detainees who were innocent and had no intelligence value at all, it touches upon the known abuse of innocent Iraqi citizens, as well as the over-crowded conditions within the detainees facilities.

    Rather than giving you my version of this document, I thought it would be more beneficial to allow you to read it for yourself and form your own opinion.

May 21

The President Called Us All Out To Work For The Rule Of Law

So the Dog had some vacation days which needed to be burned (use it or lose it vacation day policies suck!). This means he was able to watch the Presidents speech live on MSNBC. Since many of you will be at work, and won’t have gotten to see it the Dog thought that he would share what he saw with you, prior to the Traditional Media going over and over and over it, always spiced with the “Dueling Speeches” meme, since some old dried up War Criminal also gave a speech today. The Dog is not going to talk about the War Criminal’s speech at all.  

May 02

Guantanamo cases may go to military courts?(more)

For all the reading Ive done in recent months, I have not quite gotten to this whole issue of military versus criminal court systems for trying the Gitmo prisoners, so Im pretty clueless here. I can gather a few things from this article but I just don’t have the whole picture at all. The article has an awful lot of “could be’s” and “mights”.

New York Times has U.S. May Revive Guantánamo Military Courts today.

Anyone care to fill me in or comment further?

NOTE: This story was diaried last night at the orange, by marketgeek,  but went without much comment. It was late I guess.

Apr 29

Abu Ghraib Cremation Ovens Controversy

[Recently posted at the Daily Kos – please see questions about (unwarranted?) banning below]

On the holocaust anniversary yesterday, President Obama spoke eloquently about other holocausts in Rwanda and Somalia.  But he steered clear of discussing the human remains and ashes in US run prisons overseas:

there was something about living in cells at Abu Ghraib that never felt right. “We had some kind of incinerator at the end of our building,” Specialist Megan Ambuhl said. “It was this huge circular thing. We just didn’t know what was incinerated in there. It could have been people, for all we knew—bodies.” Sergeant Davis was not in doubt. “It had bones in it,” he said, and he called it the crematorium.

This was reported by award winning journalists in The New Yorker just over a year ago.  But for obvious reasons I've never heard any politician mention it.

Now that it's suddenly appropriate to discuss illegal US torture policy – and in honor of the holocaust anniversary – is it possible we can investigate why our soldiers report that Iraqi detainees were evidently burned in ovens?

Yesterday Obama said, “part of the responsibility for the Holocaust rests with people who accepted the assigned role of bystander.”

I think he means it.  So maybe he was too busy to read The New Yorker during the primaries.  

Rather than be bystanders, let's make sure he sees the article today.

 


Jun 06

The Trailer For The Gitmo Joke Show

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Today the US Government tried unsuccessfully to move the Gitmo death penalty show trial of five “enemy combatants” toward a “trial” by arraigning the accused. Unfortunately for the US, today’s proceedings were a complete and utter joke show.  And a complete embarrassment.  And they were the previews of the upcoming Gitmo Joke Show “trial”

Reuters reports:

The accused al Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks stood in a U.S. military court on Thursday, sang a chant of praise to Allah and said he would welcome the death penalty.

“This is what I wish, to be martyred,” Pakistani captive Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the highest-ranking al Qaeda operative in U.S. custody, told the Guantanamo war crimes court.

/snip

As the judge questioned him about whether he was satisfied with the U.S. military lawyer appointed to defend him, Mohammed stood and began to sing in Arabic, cheerfully pausing to translate his own words into English.

“My shield is Allah most high,” he said, adding that his religion forbade him from accepting a lawyer from the United States and that he wanted to act as his own attorney.

Isn’t that just a super beginning to the arraignment before a death penalty “trial”?  A “trial” that is supposed to lead to convictions and not acquittals?  A “trial” that is supposed to result in five executions?  But that’s not all.  Not by a long shot.

[Mohammed] criticized the United States for fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, waging what he called “a crusader war,” and enacting “evil laws” including those authorizing same-sex marriages.  /snip

The judge, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, tried to persuade the men to accept their military lawyers, but all refused.

Aziz Ali said he had barely been allowed to meet with his lawyer anyway and described him as “a signboard” hung up so the government could say, ‘Hey, we give these people lawyers.”‘

“All this is just a stage play,” he said.

Jun 04

Detainee sanity and government conspiracy

The Washington Post reports Lawyers fear for detainee’s sanity. The Bush administration says five years of solitary confinement without trial is A-OK.

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is obsessed with the noise variations in an industrial fan, the buzzing of fluorescent lights overhead and the preparation of his dinners. He has stuffed his air vents with food to prevent what he believes are noxious fumes from streaming into his cell, and he worries at times that his lawyers are part of a government conspiracy against him.

Hrmmm. Let’s see. The man has been held without a trial for 6½ years by a government that has lied about Iraq’s WMDs, has secret prisions, has used noise and loud music as torture… What part of “government conspiracy” is in question? The noxious fumes part?

Jun 02

With Liberty And Justice For All: US Secret Prisons, Then and Now: 2001-2005, 2008

Crossposted from ePluribus Media.

_____

My country ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing…

____

What happens when the checks and balances of our government are compromised, and justice is undermined?

What happens when the most criminally corrupt group of criminals rule with nearly complete control of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government for nearly two full Administrations, and the media fails to oppose, to challenge and to expose them?

Criminal malfeasance. Negligence. Dereliction of duty. Failure — multiple failures: failure to uphold the law, failure to act, failure to uphold the duty and responsibility of office.

Actively undermining the just due process of the law and Constitution. Actively interfering with the proper operation of government.

War crimes.

Eight years of crimes, unaccountable to anyone and protected by the entire Republican party — and Joe Lieberman.

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