On January 13, in a declaration submitted to a Washington D.C. District Court in the case of Guantánamo prisoner Mohamed Jawad, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, a former prosecutor in the Military Commission trial system, delivered perhaps the most blistering attack on the US military’s detention program by a former member of the Pentagon’s team to date.
Speaking of the man he was once tasked to prosecute, Vandeveld said prisoner Mohamed Jawad’s continued detention is “something beyond a travesty,” and urged that Jawad be released given a “lack of any credible evidence.”
Some of this information was revealed in September 2008, after Vandeveld (who has served in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan in the years since the 9/11 attacks, and has received several military awards) resigned as a prosecutor, complaining that “potentially exculpatory evidence” had “not been provided” to Jawad’s defense team, and that his accidental discovery of information relating to Jawad’s abuse helped convert him from a “true believer to someone who felt truly deceived.”
However, other information has never before been revealed in public, and Vandeveld’s declaration, in a habeas corpus review triggered by a Supreme Court ruling last June, constitutes the most sustained criticism of the Bush administration’s flagship trial system for terror suspects since Col. Morris Davis, the Commissions’ former chief prosecutor, resigned in October 2007. Davis explained that he had done so because of the politicization of the trial system, attempts to endorse the use of evidence obtained through torture, and the refusal of Pentagon chief counsel William J. Haynes II to accept that any planned trials could end in acquittals.
Vandeveld’s statement explained that he joined the prosecution department of the Office of Military Commissions (OMC-P) in May 2007, and described how, based on his civilian experience as a Senior Deputy Attorney General in Pennsylvania, he initially thought that Jawad’s case “appeared to be as simple as the street crimes I had prosecuted by the dozens in civilian life.”
Jawad, an Afghan national, was accused of throwing a grenade at a jeep containing two US Special Forces soldiers and an Afghan interpreter, while the vehicle was stuck in traffic in a marketplace in Kabul on Dec. 17, 2002. Vandeveld said he initially thought Jawad was guilty because he had been arrested “almost immediately” by Afghan police officers and members of the Afghan National Army, and had, it was claimed, “freely confessed” to throwing the grenade. In addition, he had apparently explained that he had been recruited by Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, an Afghan insurgent group, had “claimed sole responsibility for the attack” and had “proclaimed his pride in conducting the attack,” and had also stated “that he would repeat the attack if given the opportunity.”
Backing up this confession was another statement, made a few hours later to US Special Forces soldiers from the same unit as those who were wounded in the attack. Vandeveld explained that, according to the interrogation report, the soldiers took Jawad to a forward operating base, where, after initial denials, he “eventually confessed to his role in the attack, this time on videotape recorded by US personnel.”
However, as Vandeveld began to investigate the evidence in Jawad’s case, he was shocked to discover that locating relevant documents was extraordinarily difficult, because the Commissions’ prosecution department was in a “state of disarray” and “lack[ed] any discernable organization.” He explained that he did not “expect that potential war crimes would be presented, at least initially, in ‘tidy little packages,’” such as those that would be “assembled by civilian police agencies and prosecution offices,” but was dismayed to discover that
the evidence, such as it was, remained scattered throughout an incomprehensible labyrinth of databases … or strewn throughout the prosecution offices in desk drawers, bookcases packed with vaguely-labeled plastic containers, or even simply piled on the tops of desks vacated by prosecutors who had departed the Commissions for other assignments. I further discovered that most physical evidence that had been collected had either disappeared or had been stored in locations that no one with any tenure at, or institutional knowledge of, the Commissions could identify with any degree of specificity or certainty.
As a result, Vandeveld was unable to locate crucial documents, such as Jawad’s videotaped confession and any information that would enable him to corroborate statements made by “two alleged eyewitnesses to the attack, who had allegedly told a US interrogator that they had personally witnessed Jawad throw the grenade.” Although he explained that it was “difficult” for him “to accept that the US military could have failed so miserably in six years of effort,” he began to doubt “the propriety of attempting to prosecute Mr. Jawad without any assurance that through the exercise of due diligence I could collect and organize the evidence in a manner that would meet our common professional obligations.”
Despite these misgivings, Vandeveld stated that he clung to a belief that the case could be prosecuted “ethically and successfully” until May 2008, when a succession of discoveries led to his dramatic departure.
The first took place after a new military defense attorney, Maj. David Frakt, was assigned to Jawad’s case. While attempting to gather records for Frakt following a request for discovery, Vandeveld obtained a copy of Jawad’s Detainee Incident Management System records, which log the prisoners’ every move. In the records, he discovered that Jawad had attempted to commit suicide on December 25, 2003 “by banging his head repeatedly against one of his cell walls.” After notifying the defense team of this incident, Frakt responded by pointing out that the records also “reflected 112 unexplained moves from cell to cell over a two week period, an average of eight moves per day for 14 days.”
After further investigation, Vandeveld and Frakt ascertained that Jawad had been subjected to a sleep deprivation program known as the “frequent flier program.” Vandeveld added that Jawad had mentioned this in a hearing at the start of May, but that he had dismissed his claims as an “exaggeration,” and explained, “I lack the words to express the heartsickness I experienced when I came to understand the pointless, purely gratuitous mistreatment of Mr. Jawad by my fellow soldiers.” He later discovered that, although the program had supposedly come to an end in March 2004, it “was carried out systematically on a large number of detainees at least until 2005,” and was regarded as being “part of the standard operating procedure at the time.”
Further disturbing revelations followed. Vandeveld discovered that media accounts and intelligence reports “indicated that at least three other Afghans had been arrested for the crime and had subsequently confessed, casting considerable doubt on the claim that Mr. Jawad was solely responsible for the attack.” He also discovered that, “[t]o the extent that any evidence indicated that Mr. Jawad was present at the scene and may have thrown the hand grenade, there was also evidence that he may have acted under duress and that he may have been drugged by unscrupulous recruiters.”
Delving deeper, Vandeveld found that Jawad’s statement in Afghan custody, which was presented as his “personal confession,” could not have been written by him because he was “functionally illiterate.” He ascertained that it had actually been written one of the Afghan police officers, who had written it in Dari rather than Jawad’s native language of Pashto. Moreover, when he obtained a summary of Jawad’s subsequent US interrogation — which “required a ludicrous amount of time” to obtain — he discovered “material differences” between the statements, “causing me and other prosecutors to wonder whether either could be used to establish the truth.”
Vandeveld explained that he then began to suspect that Jawad’s first statement “had simply been contrived by one of the Afghan policemen,” who “amateurishly sought to ‘authenticate’” it by adding Jawad’s thumbprint, but added that even this turned out to be a fake. The print was “sent to the Army’s crime lab for analysis, which concluded that [it] was not Mr. Jawad’s.”
Further investigation unearthed more evidence of systematic abuse. “[B]y sheer happenstance,” he “stumbled across” a summary of an interview with Jawad, conducted by an agent from the Army Criminal Investigation Division, “which had been added to the record of trial in a case where a guard at Bagram prison had been charged with the murder of a detainee.” From this interview, Vandeveld learned that Jawad “had experienced extensive abuse” while held at Bagram from December 2002 (when two prisoners died at the hands of US forces) to February 2003, which included being “shoved down a stairwell while both hooded and shackled.” The agent, who testified at a hearing in Jawad’s case last August, explained that Jawad’s statement “was completely consistent with the statements of other prisoners held at Bagram at the time, and, more importantly, that dozens of the guards had admitted to abusing the prisoners in exactly the way described by Jawad.”
Around the same time that he found the Bagram statement, Vandeveld also received a copy of a report by a Behavioral Science Consultation Team psychologist, who had “prepared an assessment of Mr. Jawad’s mental condition.” He was disturbed to discover that
The psychological assessment was not done to assist in identifying and treating any emotional or psychological disturbances Mr. Jawad might have been suffering. It was instead conducted to assist the interrogators in extracting information from Mr. Jawad, even exploiting his mental vulnerabilities to do so. This rank betrayal of a supposed healer’s professional obligations towards a detainee struck me as particularly despicable.
Vandeveld’s final disappointment concerned issues relating to Jawad’s age at the time of his capture, and to the charge of “attempted murder in violation of the law of war” which had been leveled against him. He explained that the “working assumption” in OMC-P was that, at the time of his capture, Jawad “was probably 18 or 19 and that he had lied about his age when questioned about this matter.” Initially, Vandeveld was not particularly troubled by the fact that “[v]irtually all the documentation concerning Mr. Jawad from his first year at Guantánamo list[ed] his age as approximately 17 years,” because OMC-P had charged Omar Khadr, who was 15 at the time of his capture, and “there seemed to be little concern about the propriety of charging minors as war criminals.”
However, after hearing Maj. Frakt’s “repeated assertions that child soldiers are entitled to be treated differently from adults, and that we are obliged by treaty to provide them with opportunities for rehabilitation and reintegration,” Vandeveld explained that he became “deeply bothered by the fact that no such opportunities had been afforded to Mr. Jawad, who, no matter what he was alleged to have done, retained his fundamental rights as a human being.”
He added that this focus on fundamental rights led him to have “serious concerns about the President’s decision not to apply the Geneva Conventions to the prisoners,” because “one of the oft-repeated rationales for adherence to the law of war is that it encourages one’s enemies to reciprocate.” As an adjunct, he criticized the tribunals and review boards that had been established at Guantánamo to review the prisoners’ cases because they had not provided any of them with a “meaningful opportunity to establish their status before a tribunal legitimately interested in ascertaining the truth,” and added that the records he reviewed in Jawad’s case and others “seemed to me to be the worst sort of a joke. I concluded personally that the hearings were little more than a heavily bureaucratized charade.”
Again inspired by Maj. Frakt’s arguments, Vandeveld acknowledged that he “undertook a more comprehensive review of the traditional laws of war,” revisiting doubts that had been expressed by “one of the more astute prosecutors,” when Jawad was first charged in October 2007. At the time, this prosecutor had “questioned whether attacking a lawful target (uniformed enemy soldiers) with a lawful weapon (a hand grenade) in the midst of an armed conflict could plausibly be considered a violation of the law of war.” Vandeveld explained that he was “unpersuaded” at the time, but that, by the summer of 2008, he had changed his mind, and was reassured when, in the trial of Salim Hamdan, the judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, had issued a panel instruction that was “virtually indistinguishable” from the position taken by Maj. Frakt.
As a result of all these factors, Vandeveld “became convinced that Mr. Jawad should not be prosecuted.” Aware that OMC-P would be unwilling to drop the charges and that, in any case, the administration “would continue to hold Mr. Jawad indefinitely as an enemy combatant, no matter the paucity or unreliability of the evidence asserted against him,” he attempted to negotiate a plea bargain, whereby Jawad would undergo “a short period of additional custody,” which would be “devoted to rehabilitating him and preparing him to reintegrate into civilian society.”
His efforts were, however, rebuffed by OMC-P, and after his loyalty “began to be viewed with the sort of suspicion harbored by only the truly embattled,” and the Chief Prosecutor, Col. Lawrence Morris, was “harshly dismissive, and even contemptuous of any proposal to resolve the case for less than a multi-year sentence,” he “asked to be permitted to leave the Commissions.” He concluded that, because it was impossible to certify that discovery had been made in a case as simple as Jawad’s, “no Commissions prosecutor could make such representations accurately and honestly” in any other case. He added:
The chaotic state of evidence, overly broad and unnecessary restrictions imposed under the guise of national security, and the absence of any systematic, reliable method of preserving and cataloguing evidence, all of which have plagued the Tribunals and Commissions since their inception … make it impossible for anyone involved (the prosecutors) or caught up (the detainees) in the Commissions to harbor even the remotest hope that justice is an achievable goal.
Since Vandeveld’s departure, Jawad’s case has continued to crumble. He explained that, in his opinion, “any chance at a successful prosecution was lost forever — and justifiably so,” when Judge Henley “ruled that it was not enough for the government to show that a defendant was an unlawful combatant; it also had to show that the alleged crime was a violation of the law of war.” This led to the government conceding that it “had no evidence to prove a violation of the law of war,” and any lingering hopes on the part of OMC-P that Jawad could be successfully prosecuted should have been dashed when Henley then “suppressed all of Mr. Jawad’s allegedly self-incriminating statements because [he] specifically found the statements to be the product of torture.”
As Vandeveld’s declaration was filed today, Hina Shamsi of the ACLU, which represents Jawad in his habeas review, told me, “This young man doesn’t represent a threat — even his former prosecutor says so.” She added that Vandeveld’s declaration “spells out exactly why the Military Commissions are such an affront to both the law, and to notions of decency. President-Elect Obama must follow through on his promise to close Guantánamo and scrap the Military Commissions, and he should do so quickly, with a comprehensive and transparent plan that ends this travesty.”
When I spoke to Lt. Col. Vandeveld, he told me, “I think there’s a good chance that Jawad’s case will be tossed out and that the District Court will order his release.” His sentiments echoed the closing words of his declaration:
Six years is long enough for a boy of sixteen to serve in virtual solitary confinement, in a distant land, for reasons he may never fully understand. I respectfully ask this court to find that Mr. Jawad’s continued detention is unsupported by any credible evidence … Mr. Jawad should be released to resume his life in civil society, for his sake, and for our own sense of justice and perhaps to restore a measure of our basic humanity.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed.
An edited version of this article was published exclusively on The Raw Story (as “Former Gitmo prosecutor rips military trials, calling interrogators’ practices ‘despicable’”). For an update, see Torture Taints the Case of Guantánamo Prisoner Mohamed Jawad.
See the following for a sequence of articles dealing with the stumbling progress of the Military Commissions: The reviled Military Commissions collapse (June 2007), A bad week at Guantánamo (Commissions revived, September 2007), The curse of the Military Commissions strikes the prosecutors (September 2007), A good week at Guantánamo (chief prosecutor resigns, October 2007), The story of Mohamed Jawad (October 2007), The story of Omar Khadr (November 2007), Guantánamo trials: where are the terrorists? (February 2008), Six in Guantánamo charged with 9/11 attacks: why now, and what about the torture? (February 2008), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (ex-prosecutor turns, February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), African embassy bombing suspect charged (March 2008), The US military’s shameless propaganda over 9/11 trials (April 2008), Betrayals, backsliding and boycotts (May 2008), Fact Sheet: The 16 prisoners charged (May 2008), Four more charged, including Binyam Mohamed (June 2008), Afghan fantasist to face trial (June 2008), 9/11 trial defendants cry torture (June 2008), USS Cole bombing suspect charged (July 2008), Folly and injustice (Salim Hamdan’s trial approved, July 2008), A critical overview of Salim Hamdan’s Guantánamo trial and the dubious verdict (August 2008), Salim Hamdan’s sentence signals the end of Guantánamo (August 2008), High Court rules against UK and US in case of Binyam Mohamed (August 2008), Controversy still plagues Guantánamo’s Military Commissions (September 2008), Another Insignificant Afghan Charged (September 2008), Seized at 15, Omar Khadr Turns 22 in Guantánamo (September 2008), Is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Running the 9/11 Trials? (September 2008), two articles exploring the Commissions’ corrupt command structure (The Dark Heart of the Guantánamo Trials, and New Evidence of Systemic Bias in Guantánamo Trials, October 2008), Meltdown at the Guantánamo Trials (five trials dropped, October 2008), The collapse of Omar Khadr’s Guantánamo trial (October 2008), Corruption at Guantánamo (legal adviser faces military investigations, October 2008), An empty trial at Guantánamo (Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, October 2008), Life sentence for al-Qaeda propagandist fails to justify Guantánamo trials (al-Bahlul, November 2008), Guilt by Torture: Binyam Mohamed’s Transatlantic Quest for Justice (November 2008), 20 Reasons To Shut Down The Guantánamo Trials (profiles of all the prisoners charged, November 2008), How Guantánamo Can Be Closed: Advice for Barack Obama (November 2008), More Dubious Charges in the Guantánamo Trials (two Kuwaitis, November 2008), The End of Guantánamo (Salim Hamdan repatriated, November 2008), Torture, Preventive Detention and the Terror Trials at Guantánamo (December 2008), Is the 9/11 trial confession an al-Qaeda coup? (December 2008), The Dying Days of the Guantánamo Trials (January 2009), Bush Era Ends with Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), Chaos and Lies: Why Obama Was Right to Halt The Guantánamo Trials (January 2009), Binyam Mohamed’s Plea Bargain: Trading Torture For Freedom (March 2009).
And for a sequence of articles dealing with the Obama administration’s response to the Military Commissions, see: Don’t Forget Guantánamo (February 2009), Who’s Running Guantánamo? (February 2009), The Talking Dog interviews Darrel Vandeveld, former Guantánamo prosecutor (February 2009), Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough (May 2009), Obama Returns To Bush Era On Guantánamo (May 2009), New Chief Prosecutor Appointed For Military Commissions At Guantánamo (May 2009), Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government (May 2009), My Message To Obama: Great Speech, But No Military Commissions and No “Preventive Detention” (May 2009), Guantánamo And The Many Failures Of US Politicians (May 2009), A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad (June 2009), A Broken Circus: Guantánamo Trials Convene For One Day Of Chaos (June 2009), Obama Proposes Swift Execution of Alleged 9/11 Conspirators (June 2009), Obama’s Confusion Over Guantánamo Terror Trials (June 2009).
For a sequence of articles dealing with the use of torture by the CIA, on “high-value detainees,” and in the secret prisons, see: Guantánamo’s tangled web: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Majid Khan, dubious US convictions, and a dying man (July 2007), Jane Mayer on the CIA’s “black sites,” condemnation by the Red Cross, and Guantánamo’s “high-value” detainees (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) (August 2007), Waterboarding: two questions for Michael Hayden about three “high-value” detainees now in Guantánamo (February 2008), The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts (April 2008), Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (August 2008), Will the Bush administration be held accountable for war crimes? (December 2008), The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part One) and The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part Two) (December 2008), Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers (March 2009), Abu Zubaydah: The Futility Of Torture and A Trail of Broken Lives (March 2009), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part One), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part Two), 9/11 Commission Director Philip Zelikow Condemns Bush Torture Program, Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah?, CIA Torture Began In Afghanistan 8 Months before DoJ Approval, Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low (all April 2009), Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison, Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, The “Suicide” Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi: Why The Media Silence?, Two Experts Cast Doubt On Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi’s “Suicide”, Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney On Use Of Torture To Invade Iraq, In the Guardian: Death in Libya, betrayal by the West (in the Guardian here) (all May 2009), Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney’s Iraq Lies Again (And Rumsfeld And The CIA), and WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (June 2009).
For other stories discussing the use of torture in secret prisons, see: An unreported story from Guantánamo: the tale of Sanad al-Kazimi (August 2007), Rendered to Egypt for torture, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is released from Guantánamo (September 2008), A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror” (December 2008), Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed Tells His Story (March 2009), and also see the extensive Binyam Mohamed archive. And for other stories discussing torture at Guantánamo and/or in “conventional” US prisons in Afghanistan, see: The testimony of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes: includes allegations of previously unreported murders in the US prison at Bagram airbase (August 2007), Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession (September 2007), Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib (December 2007), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British Resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009).
When I was 17, I was studying political science at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. My Hebrew, though conversationally fluent, wasn’t really good enough to keep up with the rigors of study. I floated from class to class in a haze of understanding and not understanding. Fortunately many of the readings were in English, so I was able to learn a little something along the way. I remember reading about authority, legitimacy, and power—de facto and de jure—and learning, most importantly, that power is a relationship—mine to give, mine to withhold. Though young, I recognized this precept as truth; the way truth just takes hold of you sometimes and doesn’t let you go.
I might have learned even more, but lessons were interrupted by the Yom Kippur War, which was like all wars, tragic. Unable to contain my fear and grief (boys I knew immolated in their tanks, faulty treads stuck in the sands of Sinai) I fled my dorm room in Givat Ram and walked the streets at night. Hilly, narrow, curving, desolate, silent, but for an occasional car. Blue lights (because of the blackout) approaching from the distance, washing me in blue as they passed.
It honestly doesn’t require much imagination on my part to think that on one of those wanderings in the dreamy Jerusalem night I might have been in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I might have crossed a line I hadn’t known existed, caused some grave security breech, tripped into harm’s way out of ignorance, youthful curiosity, or happenstance. And been forced to pay what disproportionate price for my trifling error?
[…] On January 13, in a declaration submitted to a Washington D.C. District Court in the case of Guantánamo prisoner Mohamed Jawad, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, a former prosecutor in the Military Commission trial system, stated he “stumbled across” a summary of an interview with Jawad, conducted by an agent from the Army Criminal Investigation Division, “which had been added to the record of trial in a case where a guard at Bagram prison had been charged with the murder of a detainee.” From this interview, Vandeveld learned that Jawad “had experienced extensive abuse” while held at Bagram from December 2002 (when two prisoners died at the hands of US forces) to February 2003, which included being “shoved down a stairwell while both hooded and shackled.” The agent, who testified at a hearing in Jawad’s case last August, explained that Jawad’s statement “was completely consistent with the statements of other prisoners held at Bagram at the time, and, more importantly, that dozens of the guards had admitted to abusing the prisoners in exactly the way described by Jawad.” […]
Trials??? Those were nothing more than mock tribunals in kangaroo courts!!!
David Icke has Israel’s number:
Some of these men have seen atrocities at Gitmo and Afghanistan. I’m sure of it. I am of the opinion (and maybe I’m wrong) that they have been kept because of what they have seen. Here is one example.
The Convoy of Death
We have to have the courage as a nation to put all evidence, including all evidence of atrocities on the table. If we don’t this abuse of power will never go away. Pres Obama will be as tied to it as Bush was.
[…] (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns “Chaotic” Trials in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s […]
[…] a submission in a court case in January, Lt. Col. Vandeveld further explained that the Commissions’ prosecution department was in a “state of disarray” and “lack[ed] any […]
[…] Salim Hamdan and Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, each of which had its own problems), the resignation of several prosecutors (including one Chief Prosecutor), the sacking of the Pentagon’s legal adviser, and a permanent […]
[…] illegal by the Supreme Court in 2006, attacked by the government’s own military judges and lawyers, and unable to deliver more than three dubious convictions, but to propose reviving the Commissions […]
[…] Supreme Court ruling last June — reached a US District Court around the same time, accompanied by an even more scathing statement by Lt. Col. […]
[…] (both in Afghan and US custody), because they had been extracted through threats of torture, an explosive statement by Lt. Col. Vandeveld in January this year, to accompany Jawad’s habeas claim, in which the […]
[…] the exception of Mohamed Jawad, who was released in August after he won his habeas corpus petition, these men are the first […]
[…] (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns “Chaotic” Trials in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s […]
[…] is about Mohammed Jawad, the Afghan youth whom I represented in his habeas corpus challenge in federal court. Jawad was […]
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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