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Closing down Guantanamo Bay

Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Closing down Guantanamo Bay (rabble podcast from December)

Quote:

Since 2001, the United States has imprisoned over 700 people at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. Hundreds of people remain imprisoned without the benefit of any of the legal structures in place on the US mainland.

The National Lawyers Guild is calling on Barack Obama to release and repatriate prisoners there or send them for trial. We speak with Marjorie Cohn, president of the Guild.

Cohn says habeus corpus denied alleged terrorists. Gitmo is a legal black hole etc

NLG has called on Barack Obama to close Gitmo and repatriate, resettle, or provide internationally agreed upon legal trials for the accused held for several years at Guantanamo. "Kangaroo military justice" at Guantanamo. Three Obama advisers suggest that Obama's administration may create "new" US courts to try Guantanamo prisoners held illegally, even though existing US court system is perfectly adequate for trying alleged terrorists.

Who is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? And after five years of denying guilt in masterminding 9-11 terrorism,  why did he confess to attacking a bank founded after his arrest?  In the words of Lee Harvey Oswald, is KSM a patsy for the American inquisition?


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ElizaQ
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Joined: May 27 2005

Obama Signs Order for Closure

Quote:

US President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp within one year.

The order fulfils a long-standing pledge by Mr Obama.

At Mr Obama's request, military judges have already suspended several of the trials of terror suspects at the Guantanamo detention centre.

He has also ordered a review of the military trials and a ban of harsh interrogation techniques that many consider to amount to torture.

 I think the news said there's going to be a press conference about it, in about an hour. 

 


Fidel
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 Tripoli seeks repatriation of Libyans held in Guantanamo

Quote:

TRIPOLI (AFP) — Libya said Thursday it has asked the United States to repatriate nine Libyans held since 2002 in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

The request came as new US President Barack Obama ordered the closure of the Guantanamo prison within a year, in a dramatic repudiation of his predecessor George W. Bush.

"We are very concerned by the lack of information on the nine Libyans held in Guantanamo and we have asked for their repatriation many times," said Salah Abdessalem, head of a human rights association affiliated with the Kadhafi Foundation, a charity led by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son. . .

Despite his order to close Guantanamo, Obama has not resolved the question of what to do with terror suspects who have been there for years, some without being charged

Some without being charged? All "charges" by Kangaroo court systems are illegal period. Geneva conventions have been violated.

The US National Lawyers Guild urged Oabama to shut down this abomination of justice the day he takes office

Six Algerians have been held at Guantanamo for seven years and who were residing in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time . They were arrested in Bosnia(1000 miles from Afghanistan battlefield and the phony war) in 2001 for allegedly plotting to bomb the US embassy in Sarajevo. They were released from Sarajevo due to a lack of evidence implicating them and were sent to Guantanamo. A US judge ordered their release - no if's and's or buts - Bush admin setup two kangaroo courts - one to declare them "enemy combatants" 2nd to try them for war crmes - total hypocrisy.

And if the only evidence against Khalid Sheihk Mohammed is a confession extracted under torture after five years of denying any guilt whatsoever and in fact accusing his accusers of violating international law - and he is not found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a fair trial in the US - then that would mean that this current phony war on terror in Asia and Middle East are about as legitimate as Saddam's guilt for allegedly possessing weapons of mass destruction "WMD" I wonder how many of them will die mysteriously in the meantime or be rushed to execution?


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004
Chaos in the 9/11 courtroom 

In Guantánamo, the alleged 9/11 "mastermind" and his four co-defendants don't know the rules -- and neither does the judge

Quote:

When alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants entered the Guantánamo Bay courtroom Monday, they came armed with a plan to martyr themselves at the hands of a tainted legal system. By the afternoon, the plan was in disarray.

The five defendants wanted to plead guilty, but only if it brought them their desired outcome. "If we plead guilty, can we still be sentenced to death?" Mohammed asked U.S. Army Col. Stephen Henley, the military commission judge responsible for trying the men.

No one in the courtroom knew the answer, including Col. Henley. In perhaps the most important terrorism trial in American history, the rules of the game are still being made up along the way.

The judge then revealed the dilemma. All five defendants faced the death penalty, but in the seven-plus years since the military commissions were first announced, the government had obtained just three guilty verdicts. No one had attempted to plead guilty in a death penalty case. And the judge did not know whether or not he could accept a guilty plea in a death penalty case.

Forever tainted

 


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Quote:
The chief judge for US military commissions at the Guantanamo Bay detention center rejected Thursday the request of government prosecutors to delay the proceedings against alleged USS Cole plotter Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Prosecutors had sought the delay in response to an executive order issued last week by President Barack Obama ordering the closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison within one year, and instructing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates immediately to halt the military commission proceedings pending a comprehensive review of all Guantanamo detentions under the supervision of the Attorney General.

In his order, US Army Colonel James Pohl wrote:

Quote:
On its face, the request to delay the arraignment is not reasonable. The public interest in a speedy trial will be harmed by the delay in the arraignment. Granting the continuance do [sic] not serve the interests of justice. The government request for a continuance in the arraignment until after 22 May 2009 is DENIED.

Pentagon officials were stunned by Pohl's ruling and indicated that they were reviewing the ruling.


Source


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Obama’s Torture Loopholes

Quote:

Like many reacting to the president’s orders, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero expressed unbridled enthusiasm:

These executive orders represent a giant step forward. Putting an end to Guantanamo, torture and secret prisons is a civil liberties trifecta, and President Obama should be highly commended for this bold and decisive action so early in his administration on an issue so critical to restoring an America we can be proud of again.[1]

Torture by US officials has long been illegal, but the president’s executive order entitled “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations” seems to clarify, to some extent, what activities are proscribed.  Disappointingly, though, this order contains loopholes big enough to drive a FEMA camp train through them..

So any US government agency can carry on abducting and torturing  by "counterterrorism" operations except the CIA and ferret them off to secret US military gulags other than Gitmo.

===

Fidel Castro demands unconditional return of Guantanamo

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004
This is somewhat related to the torture and renditions. Apparently the US military has taken on these menial tasks, or what the CIA used to do covertly and is now focussed on more indirect methods of political interference in other countries, and thusly creating some minor separation of powers between various shadow government bureaucracies and cosmetic leadership

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes 'executive assassination ring'

Quote:

At a “Great Conversations” event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”

Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn’t written about yet.

In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were “an honest response to a question” from the event’s moderator, U of M Political Scientist Larry Jacobs and “not something I wanted to dwell about in public.”

Hersh didn’t take back the statements, which he said arise from reporting he is doing for a book, but that it might be a year or two before he has what he needs on the topic to be “effective...that is, empirical, for even the most skeptical.”

The evening of great conversation, featuring Walter Mondale and Hersh, moderated by Jacobs and titled “America’s Constitutional Crisis,” looked to be a mostly historical review of events that have tested our Constitution, by a journalist and a high government official who had experience with many of the crises. . .

At the end of one answer by Hersh about how these things tend to happen, Jacobs asked: “And do they continue to happen to this day?” . . .


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Re the preceding post:

Seymour Hersh: Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America - Democracy Now. 

Quote:
AMY GOODMAN: One question: Is the assassination wing continuing under President Obama?

SEYMOUR HERSH: How do I know? I hope not.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Five years and 183 waterboardings later, KSM confessed to everything Easy as pie. So now we know exactly who plotted and schemed the 9/11 attacks, besides the fact that KSM was one mentally and physically tough human being. Well, at least he once was.  No need for evidence or a real trial. And never mind reconsidering the phony war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world, because it's all out in the open now. "No one expects the inquisition."

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

U.S. has a 45-year history of torture

 

California Students' Call for Condi War Crimes Probe

Initiative of Stanford Anti-War Alumni and Students

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

"Rumblings about the impossibility of closing Guantanamo": Action, cut!

 

Quote:

Pornography, feminisation of the enemy? Confused over what Obama's view on Guantanamo and the backlog of torture images from Abu Ghraib? Join the club.

The centrepiece of United States President Barack Obama's PR campaign to show the world the US is the nice cop was to end the military tribunals, which he called "an enormous failure" during last year's presidential campaign, and close the infamous Guantanamo prison. This was Obama's first major "achievement" upon assuming office.

Rumblings about the impossibility of closing Guantanamo were being heard even as Obama took office. It appears there's no place to send the prisoners, most of whom are innocent of anything other than fighting invaders, if that. Congress does not want to allow them to come to stay in equally notorious US jails, where overcrowding, violence, drugs and AIDS are endemic. Nor is Congress willing to fork over any money to close Guantanamo. Of course this is nonsense. Venezuela's president offered to take them all, but Obama dare not accept any favours from someone so principled, lest his house of cards come tumbling down...

 

Theyre bringing in McChrystal to head up the torture program in Afghanistan. Wonderful. The struggle for democracy continues

 

 


Debater
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Joined: Apr 17 2009

Obama said today he still plans to go ahead and close it:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090521/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Debater wrote:

Obama said today he still plans to go ahead and close it:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090521/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama

He insisted the transfer would not endanger Americans and promised to work with lawmakers to develop a system for holding detainees who can't be tried and can't be turned loose from the Navy-run prison in Cuba.

"There are no neat or easy answers here," Obama said

Yes there are easy answers to the criminal regime's American inquisition, Obomba:

Quote:
"It's disappointing that Obama is seeking to revive rather than end this failed experiment," said Jonathan Hafetz, a national security attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.

 

"There is no detainee at Guantanamo who cannot be tried and shouldn't be tried in the regular federal courts system. This is perpetuating the Bush administration's misguided detention policy." Kenneth Roth, head of Human Rights Watch, said: "By resurrecting this failed Bush administration idea, President Obama is backtracking dangerously on his reform agenda."

USsA still backsliding on democracy after all this time.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Debater wrote:

Obama said today he still plans to go ahead and close it:

Sure he does. When all the detainees are dead, perhaps:

The prison at Guantanamo Bay will not be closed by President Barack Obama's deadline of January 22, according to reports.

Khadr lawyer not surprised by Gitmo delay

But don't worry, everything is legal:

President Obama Reaffirms Power of Indefinite Detention

 


Ghislaine
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Joined: Feb 15 2008

Hope and change, unionist, hope and change! Next on his list is 30-40 k more troops in Afghanistan and nudging us towards staying past 2011.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Stargazer
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Joined: Jun 9 2004

Obama is not going to do squat about gitmo. He continues to pander to the Rethuglicans and he does what he is told. He needs to grow a spine and stop with this nonpartisian stuff. He didn't get voted in to work with the neo-Cons.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

He's a cosmetic leader like all those before him.


Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/29/AR200909...

Retired military officers push to close Guantanamo Bay prison.


Diogenes
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Joined: Apr 1 2009

I am astonished at how much Obama has capitulated to the forces resisting him.  It shows how he little power he really has.

 


Stargazer
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Joined: Jun 9 2004

Sadly, it shows the power the far right has.


abnormal
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Joined: Aug 18 2001

Unionist wrote:

Debater wrote:

Obama said today he still plans to go ahead and close it:

Sure he does. When all the detainees are dead, perhaps:

The prison at Guantanamo Bay will not be closed by President Barack Obama's deadline of January 22, according to reports.

Khadr lawyer not surprised by Gitmo delay

But don't worry, everything is legal:

President Obama Reaffirms Power of Indefinite Detention

 

Everything is legal (not quite what he said during the campaign but hey, who believes politicians anyways).

But it looks like they will end up closing Gitmo - doesn't mean anyone will be released, just that they'll close Gitmo and open Son of Gitmo in it's place.  Mission accomplished and one campaign pledge honoured.


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Former Guantanamo Prisoner Binyam Mohamed Speaks: (vid)

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2009/09/27/former-guantanamo-prisoner-b...


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Diogenes wrote:

It shows how he little power he really has.

It shows nothing of the sort. Obomba is the most powerful man in the world.

It's all a matter of how he chooses to exercise that power.


Frmrsldr
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kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Oh well I never drank the Obama kool-aid and I keep saying that with him America has merely put the velvet glove back over the iron fist. Bush was just not subtle enough but one has seen this from Democratic Presidents before.  They are all imperialists no matter what language they use.


Diogenes
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Joined: Apr 1 2009

M. Spector wrote:

It shows nothing of the sort. Obomba is the most powerful man in the world.

It's all a matter of how he chooses to exercise that power.

That's a little cynical I think. I believe he would like to fulfill his stated intentions. Are you suggesting he says one thing and does another because that's the way he is?


abnormal
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Joined: Aug 18 2001

M. Spector wrote:

Diogenes wrote:

It shows how he little power he really has.

It shows nothing of the sort. Obomba is the most powerful man in the world.

It's all a matter of how he chooses to exercise that power.

If you accept that the career politicians in the Democratic Party are eating his lunch I suppose you can talk about "his" choice.  But reality is that he's coming across as someone in full election campaign mode who not only doesn't understand the difference between campaigning for President and being President but is so far out of his depth it'd be laughable if he wasn't President. 


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Quote:
In four years of researching and writing about Guantánamo, I have become used to uncovering shocking information, but for sheer cynicism, I am struggling to think of anything that compares to the revelations contained in the unclassified ruling in the habeas corpus petition of Fouad al-Rabiah, a Kuwaiti prisoner whose release was ordered last week by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (PDF). In the ruling, to put it bluntly, it was revealed that the U.S. government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth.

Andy Worthington


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

M. Spector wrote:
Quote:
. In the ruling, to put it bluntly, it was revealed that the U.S. government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth.


Khalid Sheihk Mohamed said similarly that he gave them false information under torture. It's what they wanted and were determined to extract from him and others.

Canadian Michel Chossudovsky said:
Quote:
The lies underlying 9/11 are accepted by the mainstream antiwar movement. US foreign policy is condemned, but the "Global War on Terrorism" is upheld. Wittingly or unwittingly, this endorsement of the GWOT by those who claim to be opposed to the US administration, provides a legitimacy to the inquisitorial order, which underlies the actual practice of US foreign policy. 

On the other hand, those who have serious doubts regarding the official 9/11 narrative, including the 9/11 Truth Movement, are branded as heretics and nonbelievers. The lies underlying 9/11 are accepted by the mainstream antiwar movement...

"Heresy cannot be destroyed unless heretics are destroyed and ... their defenders and [supporters] are destroyed,..." Pope Gregory IX, 1232



Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

Obama's Defense Bill restarts GTMO Tribunals:

Jason Ditz wrote:

With less than three months left to make good on his promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay within one year and virtually no effort made so far to do so, President Barack Obama has signed the military funding bill which will effectively restart military tribunals at the facility.

Today's move finalizes a plan concocted by the president in May, which would make a handful of cosmetic changes to the tribunal system, giving detainees a little control over their legal counsel and barring certain types of hearsay evidence.

Though some have praised the moves, many insist they don't go nearly far enough, and that the tribunals continue to have features, including the possibility of trying children, which violate international law.

Despite the move, President Obama insists that he is "serious" about eventually closing the Guantanamo facility, though he no longer appears to be touting his January 22, 2010 deadline and this is widely expected to have fallen by the wayside.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/28/obamas-defense-bill-restarts-gitmo-tr...


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