Sunday, March 2, 2014

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under At Justinian


Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian


More delicious NSA revelations ... Getting off the no-fly list ... Guantánamo update ... Remaking the law of war ... Botched executions ... Wall Street's lack of conviction ... Roger Fitch files from Washington 
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Pirates on trialThe Guantánamo military commissions continue.
Ahmed Al-Darbi was charged with a peculiar offence - one also charged against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, whose hearings resumed in February - and one of the strangest "war crimes" implausibly alleged to affect the US.  
The Saudi is charged with the 2002 Gulf of Aden bombing of a French-flagged Malaysian-chartered oil tanker that killed a Bulgarian crewman (see post of February 2013).
There wasn't a war at the time, and the defendant was actually in US custody.  
There's no connection to the US at all, and it doesn't seem likely that either France or Malaysia was at "war" with al Qaida in 2002.
Of course, Al-Darbi could have been lawfully prosecuted for piracy - by someone - in a civilian court, but the Pentagon needs his testimony to grass-up the heavily-tortured al-Nashiri in a military commission. 
In the end, Al-Darbi, like David Hicks and Omar Khadr before him, decided to plead guilty to imaginary law of war violations just to get out of Guantánamo - one day. The Miami Heraldhas more.  
The Obama administration may be planning to try more pirates at Guantánamo, where the government always wins.  
Al-Darbi's isn't the only new commission. There's also one planned against Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, and, distaining the recent decision of the DC Circuit confirming that conspiracy is not a war crime, the Pentagon has provocatively added that very non-crime to a list of fake war crimes being charged against the Iraqi held at Guantánamo, even as the government appeals its conspiracy loss - the Al Bahlul case - in the courts.  
Steve Vladeck at Just Security has more.  
Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


The Obama administration refuses to release information about the costs for Camp 7 (where the so-called High Value detainees are quartered). Read about the refusal here.

One thing I will note from this article- at least the government seems to understand the stigma that comes with being involved in Guantanamo related matters on the government side....but people choose their work and they could have followed Nancy Reagan's advice and just said no....

And of course using every opportunity they can to talk in private with judges they filed an ex-parte (a filing between the government and the judge) filing explaining why it would be so detrimental to the government to disclose this one page document. Something to do with the stigma that would surround the employee(s) working on these matters. haha they should have thought about that a long time ago--. Unfortunately the judge will probably just go along with whatever the government wants, that is what the judges do in the Guantanamo cases- when they bother to do anything.

Gitmo Updates...

I have had alot going on of late and haven't been able to keep up with all things Gitmo. On February 14th the government will file a response to the en banc petition that I filed on behalf of my client Razak Ali. I wish I had a way to link to the government's motion for more time as it is quite farcical...but you will just have to take my word for it. Anyway I opposed the government's request for more time but due to time constraints I couldn't file a response so they got the extra time... 
 In other news the government is now allowing the media and certain advocay groups to watch the PRB proceedings--these are proceedings that allow those detainees on the "forever detainable" list to try to show that they should be taken off that list. That would be my client Razak Ali--one day I should get notice that a date has been set for his day.

Anyway a week ago the first PRB that was semi public took place-Abdul Malik Wahab al Rahabi.

I don't know much about al Rahabi but I will say that I laughed when I saw him described as a body guard of Bin Laden--- almost every man at Guantanamo has been accused of being a body guard--most of the accusations came from one man- a mentally challenged individual. My client who was released- al -Ghizzawi was also accused of being a body guard and at the time I did a count of the number of men that this one individual had accused and although i can't remember the actual number it was in excess of 50. Anyway here is one look at the hearing....

Meanwhile the hunger strike continues....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snowden--American Hero- UPDATED

For some reason this video is not getting much attention in this country so I want to do my part.
also this from Juan Cole...people who should be jailed instead of Snowden.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014



When will we ever learn?


Today we celebrate the life of Pete Seeger.....

RIP Pete Seeger

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Today the DC Circuit ordered the government to respond to the en banc petition I filed on Monday. Word on the street is that is a pretty fast turn around...As Studs Terkel was fond of saying.... Hope dies last..... Here is the Order: Docket Text: CLERK'S ORDER filed [1475512] Upon consideration of appellant’s petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc, it is ORDERED, on the court’s own motion, that within 15 days of the date of this order, appellees file a response to the petition for rehearing and petition for rehearing en banc not to exceed 15 pages. Absent further order of the court, no reply to the response will be accepted. [1474856-2] [1474856-3] [11-5102]

Monday, January 13, 2014

I was in DC over the weekend but unfortunately I was not able to participate in this amazing protest because I was busy preparing an en banc petition for my client at the "secure facility"-- the place where those of us who represent detainees must prepare our court papers. But take a look at this protest: Vowing to “Make Guantanamo History,” human rights advocates from around the country marked the beginning of the thirteenth year of torture and indefinite detention at the prison camp with a dramatic protest at the National Museum of American History. 150 activists occupied the atrium of the crowded museum for more than two hours, speaking out against torture and calling for Guantanamo to close. The activists hung banners, stood in stress positions in hoods and jumpsuits, spoke to the tourists, and with their bodies and voices revised the museum’s “Price of Freedom” exhibit to include twelve years of torture and indefinite detention as the bitter cost of the United States’ misguided pursuit of “national security.” If you are having trouble viewing this go to this website for the full story.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Enemy Combatant

Professor Peter Honigsberg looks at the origin of the term "enemy combatant" in this huffington post article. Seems appropriate to think about that "title" with the anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo coming up on saturday. IF YOU CAN PLEASE JOIN IN A DEMONSTRATION ON SATURDAY ASKING OUR GOVERNMENT TO FINALLY CLOSE THE PLACE. As for me, I will be in DC preparing to file my clients en banc petition with the DC Circuit Court. Seems an appropriate way to celebrate the beginning of the 13th year of my client being held without charge.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lynn Stewart released....

In one of the saddest portrayals of our dysfunctional justice department civil rights attorney Lynn Stewart was convicted of aiding a terrorist and sentenced to something like 18 years in prison. Yesterday the justice department asked for a compassionate release since Lynn is dying of breast cancer. The judge signed it immediately and word on the street is that Lynn will be home today. Read more about Lynn's plight here. Welcome back Lynn.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


They were "ordered" by the court to be released in 2008 and now they are finally released. Their transfer has nothing to do with the bill Obama signed a few days ago---this could and should have been done years and years ago. Carol Rosenberg has more on this sad chapter here. I am copying the government press release just because it is such an incongruous description of the misery we have provided these three men: Detainee Transfer Announced Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following: "The Department of Defense is announcing today the transfer of Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia. "These three are the last ethnic Uighur Chinese nationals to be transferred. They were subject to release from Guantanamo as a result of a court order issued on Oct. 7, 2008, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and are voluntarily resettling in Slovakia. "As directed by the president's Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these individuals were designated for transfer by unanimous consent among all six agencies on the task force. "In accordance with statutory reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals. "The United States is grateful to the government of Slovakia for this humanitarian gesture and its willingness to support U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the government of Slovakia to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with appropriate security and humane treatment measures. "This transfer and resettlement constitutes a significant milestone in our effort to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Secretary Hagel remains grateful to the Defense Department's Special Envoy Paul Lewis, and Department of State Special Envoy Cliff Sloan, for their and their respective teams' many efforts that facilitated this successful transfer. "Today, 155 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay."

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We need to put the pressure on to Close Guantanamo NOW

January 11th is the anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo and it will mark the beginning of the 13th year of being held without charge for most of the remaining men. Please let your voices be heard loud and clear that it has to close and it has to close now.