Tag: Guantanamo (page 4)

Al-Nashiri Hearing at Guantanamo: What Happens If He's Acquitted?

As Guantanamo detainee Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed Abdu Al-Nashiri is arraigned on capital charges of masterminding al Qaida's 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, lawyers are also arguing some important motions. Chief among them is: If al-Nashiri is acquitted, will he be released? Miami Herald Reporter Carol Rosenberg is live-tweeting the proceedings. Here's a handy twitter link to many of the reporters' live tweets in one place.

What are the possible outcomes of al-Nashiri's trial? If there are only 3, guilty and a death sentence, guilty and a sentence less than death, acquittal followed by indefinite detention, probably for life, why bother with a trial? A trial with no possibility of release is nothing but a show trial.

The defense argues that the military jury that will decide al-Nashiri's fate should be told that an acquittal means continued incarceration, if that's the case. Its motion is here. [More...]

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Guantanamo: Most Expensive Prison on the Planet

Carol Rosenberg of McClatchy reports on the cost of housing inmates at Guantanamo in the Miami Herald. It costs $800,000 a year to house one detainee, according to a letter Eric Holder and Leon Pannetta sent Congress this summer. There are 171 detainees still at Guantanamo.

Congress, determined to keep Gitmo open, authorized provided $139 million for its operation last year. Why isn't it under consideration for part of the $1.5 trillion budget cut?

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Navy Offers $3 Mil Contract for Updating Guantanamo Bowling Alley

This has been the worst week for the stock market since 2008.

The Dow lost 6.4 percent for the week, its biggest drop since the week that ended Oct. 10, 2008, when it fell 18 percent. That was at the height of the financial crisis.

Investors fear a recession or worse. The Administration is out pushing its deficit/jobs plan and telling us there are hard choices to make.

Yesterday, the Navy published a notice seeking a contractor to repair the bowling alley, youth center and Liberty Center at Guantanamo, at a cost of $3 million. (Note, this is not for the detainees, but the military employees.) [More...]

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AG Holder Says Obama Will Still Try to Close Guantanamo

In Brussels, Attorney General Eric Holder said Obama remains committed to closing Guantanamo despite Republican opposition. If he doesn't get it done before the election, he'll keep trying after.

"We will be pressing for the closure of the facility between now and then - and after that election, we will try to close it as well," Holder said. "Some people have made this a political issue without looking at, I think, the real benefits that would flow from the closure of the facility."

He also said there will be no return to harsh interrogation techniques/torture:

Holder also said that the United States would stick to the "fundamental break" with some interrogation techniques that were criticized around the world as amounting to torture...."We have indicated that certain techniques that were used previously are in fact torture, and will not be engaged in again by the United States," Holder said.

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House Passes Funding Bill With World-Wide War and Detention Authority

Yesterday, the House passed its version of the the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (available here.) The roll call vote is here. The bill, which is a renewal of the 2001 authority for war, expands the authority world-wide. The bill passed by a vote of 322-96 and contains a $553 billion Pentagon base budget and $119 billion for overseas contingency operations.

It also blocks federal criminal trials of suspected terrorists who are not U.S. citizens. An amendment to strike the worldwide war provision failed. Obama has promised to veto the bill due to the world-wide war authority provision.

The bill also delays implementation of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and provides that those considered for indefinite detention at Guantanamo may not be represented by legal counsel, only a military representative. It also prohibits the Guantanamo detainees from receiving family visits. [More...]

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Another Suicide at Guantanamo

Detainee Hajji Nassim, aka Inayatullah, committed suicide at Guantanamo yesterday. He is the sixth detainee to kill himself at Guantanamo.

He was captured in Afghanistan and sent to Guantanamo in 2007. He was represented by the Federal Defenders of Miami, who say at one point they arranged for a civilian psychiatrist to visit him.

Wikileaks has no documents on him, but his the pleadings in his habeas case, available on PACER, (Case No. 09-cv-01332-HHK) detail more than 60 interrogations, the first of which was on September 13, 2007. He was an Afghan national who co-owned a cell phone store in Iran. He was suspected of providing safe housing and/or transit from Iran to Pakistan to Turk/al Qaeda fighters. On one occasion he may have delivered a message. He had a wife and six children. He was very concerned about his brother Hidayatullah who he thought was imprisoned at Bagram. [More...]

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Guantanamo Documents Show Detention Policies Were a Failure

McClatchy's Carol Rosenberg and Tom Lasseter have an analysis of the new Guantanamo documents released by Wikileaks to various news organizations. Shorter version: Bush and Rumsfeld's detention and interrogation policies were a flub.

a collection of secret intelligence documents from George W. Bush's administration, not meant to surface for 20 years, shows that the military's efforts at Guantánamo often were much less effective than the government has acknowledged. Viewed as a whole, the secret intelligence summaries help explain why in May 2009 President Barack Obama, after ordering his own review of wartime intelligence, called America's experiment at Guantánamo "quite simply a mess."

The information from detainee-informants was unreliable. [More...]

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NY Times Obtains Classified Documents on Guantanamo Detainees

The New York Times and other media outlets have major reports tonight on leaked classfied documents regarding Guantanamo detainees. You can view several of the leaked documents, courtesy of Wikileaks, here. the Times reports some of the leaked files pertain to detainee suicides.

[A] collection of secret detainee assessment files obtained by The New York Times reveal that the threat of suicide has created a chronic tension at the prison — a tactic frequently discussed by the captives and a constant fear for their captors.


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DOJ to Announce Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to Be Tried By Military Commission

Attorney General Eric Holder will announce at 2:00 pm today that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 detainees at Guantanamo will be tried by military commission instead of in federal criminal court.

Obama and Holder deserves there lumps over this, but the primary fault lies with Congress and officials in New York. [More...]

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Obama Adminstration Urges Civilian Trials Remain an Option for Detainees

Jeh Johnson, the General Counsel for the Department of Defense, is urging Congress not to rule out civilian trials of detainees.

Jeh (Jay) Johnson said a Republican bill to virtually remove the civilian option would make it more likely that courts would step in when detainees challenge their detentions. He testified Thursday before the House Armed Services Committee.

Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald has much more on new Republican efforts to prevent closing Gitmo:

But the focus was the Republican draft legislation that would further thwart Obama’s efforts to close the detention center in southeast Cuba. It also would give the defense secretary rather than the attorney general final say on keeping a detainee in military custody. The bill imposes such tough requirements on transfers of the last Guantánamo captives that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he might not be able to approve any release.

Best line from the hearing:

They turn Guantánamo Bay into the Hotel California,” said the top Democrat on the committee, Washington Rep. Adam Smith. “You can check out any time you want but you can never leave.”


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Obama Issues Order Resuming Guantanamo Military Commission Trials

President Obama issued an executive order today clearing the way for more military commission trials at Guantanamo. The ACLU says Obama has now "institutionalized indefinite detention." It calls Obama's new review process "window dressing."

Here's the Order. Here's the administration's Fact Sheet. From Obama's statement. [More....]

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7th Detainee Dies at Guantanamo

Awal Gul, a 48 year old detainee at Guantanamo, has died. The Pentagon says he suffered a heart attack in the shower after exercising on an elliptical machine. Its press release is here.

Gul is the 7th detainee to die at Guantanamo. Five committed suicide (according to the Pentagon) and one died of colon cancer

The Center for Constitutional Rights responds here. His public defenders, W. Matthew Dodge and Brian Mendelsohn, call the press release outrageous. Here's their statement: [More...]

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Guantanamo Military Comm. Trial Set for Feb. 14

The military commission trials at Guantanamo are gearing up. Next up: Feb. 14, United States vs. Noor Uthman.

Media reservation requests should be e-mailed to Tanya.bradsher-at-osd.mil. All requests must be received by 5 p.m. EST, February 4, 2011. Due to a limited number of seats aboard the flight and limited accommodations at Guantanamo Bay, media travel is not guaranteed.

One more day of 20 below weather and I might volunteer (Except I probably don't have the necessary security clearance.) No matter, Carole Rosenburg of the Miami Herald will be there and she does a great job of both reporting long style and tweeting the essential updates.

You can read about Noor Uthman's case here.

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Obama to Resume Guantanamo Military Commission Trials

President Obama is about to lift the ban on military commission trials at Guantanamo.

One of those expected to be recharged and tried is Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who was captured in 2002. Al-Nashiri was originally charged by the Bush Administration with participating in the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. He was facing the death penalty. The Obama Administration moved to dismiss the charges against in in 2009. Al-Nashiri's co-defendants were moved to federal court. Why wasn't Al-Nashiri? The obvious answer is because the evidence against him was obtained by torture. His lawyer, Lt. Com. Stephen Reyes says:

“Nashiri is being prosecuted at the commissions because of the torture issue,” Mr. Reyes said. “Otherwise he would be indicted in New York along with his alleged co-conspirators.”


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Obama's Weak Signing Statement on Guantanamo Transfer Ban

As predicted, President Obama has signed the defense funding authorization bill into law, issuing a signing statement that registered his objections but did not assert the provisions banning funding for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees was unconstitutional.

Despite my strong objection to these provisions, which my Administration has consistently opposed, I have signed this Act because of the importance of authorizing appropriations for, among other things, our military activities in 2011.

Nevertheless, my Administration will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future.

Good luck with that. Once you give power to the Government, it rarely gives it back.

Human Rights First has issued this response. [More...]

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