Category Archives: GITMO

One small step for humankind..

A Federal Judge has ordered the release of a Russian gent being held at Gitmo for eight years. From Jurist:

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday ordered the release of Russian Guantanamo Bay  detainee Ravil Mingazov. Judge Henry Kennedy Jr ordered the government to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Mingazov’s release forthwith.” Government lawyers are currently reviewing the 44-page ruling, which has not yet been declassified. Mingazov, a former ballet dancer, was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and turned over to US authorities. The Pentagon claimed he was captured in a raid on a suspected terrorist safe house and that he had attended a terror training camp, but Mingazov denied the claims. Mingazov is seeking release to a country other than Russia, after Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in 2007 that seven former Guantanamo detainees suffered abuse and torture at the hands of Russian law enforcement agencies following their release from US custody in 2004.

Thursday’s ruling brings to 35 the number of Guantanamo detainees who have prevailed in habeas corpus proceedings in federal court. The government has prevailed in only 13 cases. In March, the DC court denied the habeas petition of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Makhtar Yahia Naji al Warafi on its merits, allowing the US government to prolong the detention indefinitely. Earlier that month, a federal judge ordered the release of Mauritanian Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who had been accused of planning the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Slahi has been in US custody for over seven years and brought a habeas petition, claiming that he had been tortured in prison and had made confessions under duress. In late February, a DC judge ruled that the government can continue to hold indefinitely two Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainees, even though Fahmi Salem Al-Assani and Suleiman Awadh Bin Agil Al-Nahdi had been cleared for release by the Bush administration two years ago.

It’s a damn shame that it takes a judge to do the right thing…Wtf ever happened to doing whats right morally? So far 35 prisoners have been prevailed and that is a good thing ain’t it?

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Senate passes bill to allow Gitmo prisoners to be tried in US

The yahoo’s in the House passed their version last week. From Jurist:

The US Senate voted 79-19 Tuesday in favor of a bill permitting Guantanamo Bay detainees to be brought to the US for trial. The measure was part of a $42.7 billion spending bill for the US Department of Homeland Security.While the detainees still may not be released on US soil or housed in US jails, the bill requires the Obama administration to develop a plan for the anticipated closure date of Guantanamo Bay in January 2010. Navy Rear Admiral Tom Copeman has announced that he can clear the base of all detainees given only 10 days notice and appropriate logistical support. Meanwhile, a group of retired generals has launched a national ad campaign in support of closing the facility. Tuesday’s bill also extends the life of the E-Verify program, which permits employers to check on the immigration status of their new employees. The bill will now go to President Barack Obama for his signature.

This doesn’t mean the US can now house prisoners in the US proper..Oh hell no..the assholes in congress won’t allow that. My thought is they don’t want the scrutiny that would come with incarcerating them in US prisons.

Obama administration denies UN rights groups access to Gitmo

I would not of believed this if someone had told me about it. I had to read it with my own two eyes. From Jurist:

The US government has turned down requests from two separate UN investigators to visit the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, the Washington Post reported Thursday. UN special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak and UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin had each requested access to the facility as well as detailed information about the detention center and detainees. Nowak also requested interviews with several high-value detainees, but the requests were denied. US officials have said they are willing to cooperate with UN investigators but are unable to share secret intelligence information. While UN officials concede that the Obama administration is no longer engaging in many of the controversial practices of the Bush administration, Scheinin indicated that he is concerned that other countries are still citing US policies to justify abusive practices. Also Thursday, US Vice President Joe Biden said that Guantanamo will close by January.

Kinda makes me sick..how about you m’dear reader? What do they have to hide? Evidently quite a bit. Same shit just a different administration.

ps..out of town so please bear with me with regard to posting..I have no access to a computer except at night..very late at night.

Human Rights groups give Obama a piece of their collective minds..

Why shouldn’t they? He has flipped on several key issues lately. It was a private off the record meeting so there isn’t any news to report other than a few leaks or statements from attendee’s, like HuffPo’s piece or CBS new’s article and Michael Isikoff’s appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show this evening discussing the meeting:

From the HuffPo piece:

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Massimino detailed what she described as a “lively and detailed and serious” discussion on some of the days most vexing national security issues. Over the course of roughly an hour and fifteen minutes, Obama, along with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Attorney General Eric Holder, advisers Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, foreign policy hand Dennis McDonough, and counter-terrorism chief John Brennan, held court with a group of academics, as well as officials with the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

As for whether the discussions got heated or Isikoff’s statement that Obama was compared to Bush, Massamino said:

“I think that many of us were disappointed by the announcement about the military commissions and wondered what the reasoning was behind that. And to be honest, I am still wondering having been in this meeting today. I don’t think that this fits the overall framework that the president had articulated about using our values to reinforce a counter terrorism strategy against al Qaeda.”

Isikoff was much more negative on Maddow’s show, stating Obama wasn’t pleased with the Bush/Obama reference. The NYT writeup of the meeting contained this:

The discussion, in a 90-minute meeting in the Cabinet Room that included Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other top administration officials, came on the eve of a much-anticipated speech Mr. Obama is to give Thursday on a number of thorny national security matters, including his promise to close the detention center at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Human rights advocates are growing deeply uneasy with Mr. Obama’s stance on these issues, especially his recent move to block the release of photographs showing abuse of detainees, and his announcement that he is willing to try terrorism suspects in military commissions — a concept he criticized bitterly as a presidential candidate.

The two participants, outsiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the session was intended to be off the record, said they left the meeting dismayed.

*snip*

“He was almost ruminating over the need for statutory change to the laws so that we can deal with individuals who we can’t charge and detain,” one participant said. “We’ve known this is on the horizon for many years, but we were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.” (emphasis mine)

Stunning? I would say it’s extremely friggin ironic..

Gitmo lawyer reassigned after filing complaint


The assholes running the kangaroo court at Guantanamo are still screwing around with the truth, inspite of having a new Commander in Chief. From Jurist:

The US Navy on Friday reassigned Lieutenant Commander William Kuebler, a military lawyer who had been in charge of defending Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr, after Kuebler filed a formal complaint against a military official overseeing the case. Kuebler had worked on the case for two years before he was fired after alleging that the military’s chief Guantanamo defense lawyer, Colonel Peter Masciola, had a conflict of interest in overseeing the case. Kuebler said Masciola should be removed from the case because Masciola said Khadr should also face civil liability for the alleged killing of a US soldier, despite his role overseeing Khadr’s defense. Khadr is the only Canadian citizen currently being held in Guantanamo, and Canadian officials have said they may investigate the circumstances surrounding Kuebler’s removal.

Kuebler has long criticized Masciola’s handling of the case, and in February said that he had prompted an investigation of the defense team’s ethics based on Masciola’s leadership. In January, a US intelligence official said in pre-trial testimony that Khadr admitted he threw a grenade that killed a US soldier in 2002. He has been charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists, and spying. In January, US President Barack Obama ordered Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to halt all military-commission proceedings involving Guantanamo detainees pending a review of their detentions. That month, a military judge granted the Obama administration’s request for a continuance of Khadr’s case until May 20.

Khadr was 15 years old when he was tossed in Gitmo and the key thrown away. He is now in his 6th-fucking-year of being held at Guantanamo. Not only was this kid renditioned..he was also tortured. He has spent a quarter of his life behind bars in Guantanamo.

What kind of people torture children? What do they tell themselves so they can look in the mirror each morning?