Sunday, December 10, 2017

Human Rights Interlude continues

Human Rights Musical Interlude

Happy Human Rights Day...

We don't celebrate this particular holiday here in the U S of A but for those of you who live in countries where human rights are recognized we salute you. For the rest of us this musical interlude is  dedicated to you:








Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Some Good News...

But of course the good news does not emanate from my country- where every day the news is worse than the day before.... but I digress.
Saudi Arabia is releasing a group of the men that they agreed to take prior to Obama leaving office. The men have been held by the Saudi government in its so-called "deradicalization" program. The Saudi government also announce it will release another 4 next month.

Read about it here.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

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

*   *   *
GENERAL BAKER: RELEASED FROM CONFINEMENT AT CAMP JUSTICE
AT GUANTÁNAMO, THE PENTAGON HAS COMPLETED THE BIZARRE TRIAL OF AHMED AL-DARBI. HE WAS CONVICTED BY GUILTY PLEA - THE ONLY SURE WAY - IN A MILITARY COURT, FOR WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY CIVILIAN PIRACY.  
THE ACTS GIVING RISE TO THE PROSECUTION HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WAR, OR EVEN THE US, AND THEY OCCURRED IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS FAR FROM THE US. NO AMERICAN SHIPS OR CITIZENS WERE INVOLVED.   
MR DARBI WILL NOW BE A WITNESS AGAINST ABD AL-RAHIM AL-NASHIRI IN YET ANOTHER, EQUALLY IMPOSSIBLE, NON-WAR CASE (SO RECOGNISED SINCE IT BEGAN).  
AL-NASHIRI'S CASE WAS RECENTLY DERAILED BY THE RESIGNATION - FOR ETHICAL REASONS - OF THE DEFENCE TEAM, JUST AS THE SUPREME COURT EVADED NASHIRI'S VERY SOUND APPEAL
AT THAT POINT, THE NASHIRI COMMISSION EXPERIMENT BLEW UP, WITH THE NASHIRI JUDGE SENSATIONALLY HOLDING CHIEF DEFENCE COUNSEL JOHN BAKER - A BRIGADIER GENERAL AND THE SECOND RANKING LAWYER IN THE MARINE CORPS - IN CONTEMPT, SENTENCING HIM TO 21 DAYS AND A FINE.   
NEXT, THE GENERAL FILED HIS OWN HABEAS ACTION, BUT BEFORE DC JUDGE ROYCE LAMBERTH COULD RULE, THE PENTAGON'S "CONVENING AUTHORITY" SUSPENDED THE CONTEMPT ORDER PENDING APPEAL, AND GEN. BAKER WAS RELEASED FROM CONFINEMENT IN HIS MODEST TRAILER BEHIND "CAMP JUSTICE".
*   *   *
ENTARTETE KUNST
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION SHOWED ITS AFFECTION FOR THIRD REICH NATIONAL SECURITY KULTUR BY ADOPTING THE UNSETTLING GESTAPO EXPRESSION, VERSCHÄRFTE VERNEHMUNG: "ENHANCED INTERROGATION".
WHILE THE WEHRMACHT MIGHT HAVE SCRUPLED AT THE PLÜNDERUNG OF A PRISONER, OBAMA'S ARMED FORCES HAD NO PROBLEM PILLAGING THE LIFE SAVINGS OF DJAMEL AMEZIANE, A FORCIBLY-REPATRIATEDGUANTANAMERO: HE COULDN'T BE TRUSTED TO USE HIS FUNDS RESPONSIBLY.
UNDER TRUMP, THE PENTAGON HAS EXTENDED THIS PRINCIPLE TO CONFISCATE ART BY GUANTÁNAMO INMATES, ON THE SAME THEORY: THAT MONEY - E.G. PROCEEDS FROM A NEW YORK EXHIBIT OF THEIR ART - COULD BE PUT TO NEFARIOUS PURPOSES; TELLINGLY, AMEZIANE IS AMONG THE ARTISTS IN THE SHOW.    
CLEARLY, IT'S ENTARTETE KUNST.

Read the rest here.....

Monday, November 20, 2017

Military Rule overrides the Court's in the Good old U S of A

An attorney who was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service and forced to testify in a Guantanamo Bay terror proceeding is ready to take the government to the court. On Monday, Stephen Gill will take the first legal step toward suing the U.S. Marshals and the Department of Defense for $1.375 million, The Daily Beast has learned.
At issue is a question that could impact every American citizen: Do U.S. military commissions have the power to arrest Americans without showing them a warrant, fly them hundreds of miles away from their homes, lock them up without access to legal counsel, and force them to testify? The administrative claim—which is the first step to a lawsuit against the federal government—is being filed by Mark Zaid, a national security attorney who sometimes assists The Daily Beast with Freedom of Information Act litigation.
Read the rest of this troubling issue here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Talking Dog interviews Mark Fallon


Another great interview from the dog.

Read it here.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Speaking of Clusterfuck....

Seems Mike Flynn has had alot on his plate...with his background in the so-called "counter terrorism" strategy that proved so helpful for our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq- rounding up people like my clients and carting them off to Guantanamo, without rhyme, reason or cause. So, I guess it is no surprise that Flynn would use those same talents after retiring. Lying of course comes naturally to these guys (using guys in the generic sense- there were some prominent gals in this mix too). It is really no surprise that Flynn lied about his contacts with Turkey and miscellaneous misrepresentations about other topics, but the part that must have come most naturally to him (given his vast experience) is the apparent plot to kidnap Fethullah Gulen- the cleric living legally here in the US-but wanted desperately by Turkey's rogue president Erdogan. Illegal renditions were a main part of the strategy used by my government in our forever wars so maybe Mr. Flynn didn't really understand that it is illegal?? And since we paid bounties for most of the men brought to Guantanamo perhaps Flynn thought this was ok too? (Although as far as I know we did not pay $15 million for any of those men.) But I am sure Flynn has expenses so he probably thought that was a good price to pay for kidnapping the cleric and dropping him off at a Turkish Island prison.
Anyway, Marcy Wheeler has put together a good background on what might have been going on based on the news dripping out... read her analysis here.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Irony of it all....

Yes, there is something ironic about the General who is representing men being held at Guantanamo being himself detained (at Guantanamo but house arrest not in the prison itself!) and having to hire his own habeas counsel to file a habeas petition on his own behalf.
I am sure General Baker is not laughing at any of this but you have to wonder how much more absurd this is going to get.
Read more here... and stay tuned.

Let me back up for one minute... General Baker was "temporarily" released from his captivity prior to the article I posted above... You can read about his temporary release here.

The legal term for this whole scenario is clusterfuck.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Will the International Court look into my countries war crimes in Afghanistan?

This chief prosecutor for the International Court at The Hague has recommended an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan following the invasion by my country after the September 11, 2001 attacks. We have known for a few years that the prosecutor was looking into these war crimes but many of us were skeptical that the proseuctor would actually recommend an investigation- up until now the focus of the Court has been countries in Africa while the US led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq have been ignored. It is now up to the judges of that Court to make the final decision on whether to proceed- and make no mistake- this is a very political court....
we shall see.... maybe it will be time for me to head back to The Hague.

Meanwhile you can read more here.
And the prosecutors statement here.

And now he is going after the civilian lawyers.....

First the chief judge at the Guantanamo Military Commission found the lead defense attorney to be in contempt of court for following his ethical and statutory duty to resign after learning his and his teams attorney client communications were compromised and sentenced him to 21 days detention in his home (at Guantanamo) ... now the chief judge has his eyes set on two of the civilian lawyers who also resigned following their discovery of eavesdropping by the military in their attorney/client communications.
One of the (many) disturbing things about this is that the important information is under seal so we do not know the full scope of the eavesdropping- but I can tell you that attorneys would not take these kinds of steps unless the breach in their communications with their client was very serious.

You can read more here.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

From Our Friends Down Under at Justinian....

Nothing about Guantanamo this time around but since so many of you enjoy Mr. Fitch you can view this months here....

DEFENSE TEAM RESIGNATION HAS HEATED UP.....

Now the judge in the case has found the lead attorney to be in contempt of court- 21 days of home confinement...

Read the rest here.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Slahi- one year after his release.....

Many of you will remember Mohamedou Ould Slahi- the Guantanamo prisoner who was held for more that 14 years without ever being charged with a crime. Mohamedou wrote a book while he was in prison that was heavily redacted. I just learned that he has republished the book with the redacted words reinstated.
Read Mohamedou's reflection on his past year- after being released from Gitmo here.
And order his book here.

Monday, October 16, 2017

R.I.P.--- M.Cherif Bassiouni

I am proud to have known Mr. Bassiouni- having spoken along side him at several speaking engagements in regards to Guantanamo and other illegal activities in my country. The cause of justice has lost a dear friend.

As was noted in a recent World Can't Wait email, M. Cherif Bassiouni passed away on Sept 25. I have copied below what they wrote. 

His memorial will be held on Sunday, Oct. 29. The details are here, please share with friends who will want to know:


We were saddened to hear of the death of M. Cherif Bassiouni on Sept. 25. He was everything the obituaries in newspapers across the country said he was: war crimes jurist, the “godfather of international human rights law,” human rights champion. What U.S. media failed to mention was that Cherif was a tireless and eloquent opponent of the whole legal premise of the “war on terrorism” and its use as a justification of U.S. aggression and crimes of cruel and degrading treatment, torture and indefinite detention without trial. He raised his powerful voice to demand an end to those crimes on the part of the U.S. government, whether under Bush or Obama. Cherif was an advisor to World Can’t Wait whose counsel and support we valued deeply.
CloseGuantanmoNYTAd1
The Close Guantanamo Ad that Bassiouni helped organize
He titled his 2010 book The Institutionalization of Torture by the Bush Administration. Is Anyone Responsible? and he dedicated it to "the victims of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment…at the hands of U.S. public agents…” The answer of the Obama administration would prove to be “no," it would not hold any of those U.S. public agents responsible for their well-documented war crimes and crimes against humanity. Cherif, however, held the Obama administration just as accountable as its predecessor. 
When dozens of prisoners at Guantanamo went on hunger strike in 2013, desperate as it became clear that Obama was not moving to close that torture camp, they forced the horror of their plight back into the spotlight.  Cherif was instrumental to the success of our efforts to publish in The New York Times a full-page statement demanding “Stop the Torture! Close Guantanamo NOW!” on May 23, 2013. His letter to colleagues urging them to sign it and donate to its publication remains a powerful indictment of the legal premise and horrific practices of the war of terror. In 2015, he lent his voice to the efforts of students at DePaul, the university where he had taught for 45 years, when they demanded the firing of a dean involved in covering up the role of psychologists in facilitating torture at Guantanamo. 
His sharp analysis, passion for justice and sense of humor will be missed.