Judges Keep Guantánamo Open Forever

25.6.11

Seven years ago, on June 28, 2004, the Supreme Court issued a historically important ruling in Rasul v. Bush, establishing that foreign nationals held at the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had habeas corpus rights; in other words, the right, under the “Great Writ,” first established in England in 1215, to ask an impartial judge to rule on whether there were grounds for their detention.

A bulwark against arbitrary imprisonment, habeas corpus was essential for the prisoners at Guantánamo, who, for the previous two and a half years, had been held in what Lord Steyn, a British law lord, described as a “legal black hole” in a speech in November 2003, unable to seek any redress whatsoever if, as many of them claimed, they had been seized by mistake.

With breathtaking arrogance, the Bush administration had refused to screen those it captured through Article 5 competent tribunals. Also known as battlefield tribunals, these are part of the Geneva Conventions, designed to screen prisoners who, like those in the “War on terror,” were not part of a regular army. The US military had used them since Vietnam, and in the first Gulf War, for example, had held 1196 tribunals, and, in 886 cases (74 percent), found it had detained civilians instead of combatants, and released them (PDF, p.663).

In Afghanistan, the Bush administration refused to allow the military to hold competent tribunals, and this, combined with the appalling incentives for dishonesty produced by offering substantial bounty payments for anyone who could be dressed up as al-Qaeda or the Taliban by America’s allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, meant that Guantánamo, rather than holding “the worst of the worst,” actually held a large number of what Maj. Gen. Michael Dunlavey, a commander of the prison in 2002, described as “Mickey Mouse” prisoners.

Rasul v. Bush punctured the essential secrecy of Guantánamo, bringing the torture program at the prison to an end, and allowing lawyers access to the prisoners for the first time, but the Bush administration fought back, persuading Congress to pass two pieces of legislation that purported to remove the prisoners’ habeas rights — the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (PDF) — and it was not until June 2008 that the Supreme Court ruled for a second time on the prisoners’ rights, establishing, in Boumediene v. Bush, on June 12, 2008, that Congress had acted unconstitutionally when it purported to strip the prisoners of their habeas rights, and ensuring that the prisoners’ habeas rights were constitutionally guaranteed.

Since then, judges in the District Court in Washington D.C. have examined the habeas petitions of 59 prisoners, and have concluded, in 38 of those cases, that the government failed to establish, “by a preponderance of the evidence” — a much lower standard than would apply in criminal cases — that the men in question were connected with either al-Qaeda and/or the Taliban.

Until a year ago, this was a resounding vindication for those like myself, and researchers at the Seton Hall Law School in New Jersey (PDF), who had highlighted how Guantánamo had come to hold so many innocent men or thoroughly insignificant foot soldiers, and how exaggerations, distortions and lies extracted through torture and coercion (or bribery) permeated what the government purported to present as evidence.

In case after case, judges — even Conservative appointees of George W. Bush, like Judge Richard Leon — exposed the government’s supposed evidence as being based on statements made by the prisoners themselves or by their fellow prisoners, either under torture or other forms of coercion, or, in some cases, as a means of securing more favourable treatment, or even release from Guantánamo.

However, this run of justice came to an end last July, when the full impact of a series of rulings in the appeals court (the D.C. Circuit Court) came into effect. Under the guidance of a handful of deeply Conservative judges — and in particular, Senior Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who had endorsed every piece of Guantánamo-related legislation under George W. Bush that was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court — the Circuit Court has indicated that the government does not need to present much in the way of evidence, has reversed or vacated a number of successful habeas petitions, and has led to a situation in which the last seven petitions have all been won by the government.

The Circuit Court’s obstruction — unchallenged by the Supreme Court — is such that, just a month ago, two Yemeni prisoners — Fahmi Al-Assani and Suleiman Al-Nahdi, who lost their habeas petitions last February — gave up their appeals rather than proceeding. Their lawyer, Richard Murphy, explained that “appeals were futile.” He added:

Under the detention standard that has been developed by the D.C. Circuit (which the Supreme Court has refused to review), it is clear that the courts provide no hope for the men remaining at Guantánamo.

That is a bleak but appropriate conclusion, and not just because another prisoner, Musa’ab al-Madhwani, who lost his habeas petition in December 2009, lost his appeal a month ago, through a ruling in which the Circuit Court decided that prisoners can continue to be held not on the basis of “substantial support” for al-Qaeda or the Taliban (as endorsed by the Obama administration), but on “support” that is far less than substantial.

That ruling was also notable for the Circuit Court’s reiteration of an opinion from an earlier ruling (by Judge Randolph) that, “if a person stays in an al-Qaeda guesthouse or attends an al-Qaeda training camp, this constitutes ‘overwhelming’ evidence that the United States had authority to detain that person.”

However, the most distressing example recently is the case of Hussein Almerfedi, another Yemeni, who won his habeas petition last July but had that successful opinion reversed on June 10 (PDF). One of ten men seized in Iran and transferred to Afghan custody as part of a prisoner swap, Almerfedi and the other men were then transferred to US custody, held in secret prisons run by the CIA, and then moved to Guantánamo.

In granting Almerfedi’s habeas petition last July, Judge Paul Friedman accepted that he had been attempting to travel to Europe via Iran, when he was captured, and also refused to be swayed by unprincipled claims, on the government’s part, that it was appropriate to describe Jamaat-al-Tablighi, the vast missionary organisation with whom he stayed in Pakistan for two and a half months, as an organisation used “as cover to mask travel and activities of terrorists including members of al-Qaeda.”

This argument was used repeatedly at Guantánamo for many years, even though it is akin to designating the Catholic Church as a terrorist organisation because of the activities of the IRA. However, it was not until WikiLeaks recently released the military’s classified assessments of the Guantánamo prisoners that it was revealed that, according to the National Intelligence Priorities Framework used by the US intelligence agencies (see, for example, PDF, p. 2), Jamaat-al-Tablighi is a “Priority 3 Terrorist Support Entity (TSE),” and that “Priority 3 TSE have demonstrated intent and willingness to provide financial support to terrorist organisations willing to attack US persons or interests, or provide witting operational support to Priority 1-2 terrorist groups.”

In an explanatory note, it was stated that Jamaat-al-Tablighi “is a proselytizing organisation and has been supporting Islamic terrorist groups in South and Southeast Asia under the cover of conducting religious activities. Affiliation with the JT … has been identified as an al-Qaeda cover story. Al-Qaeda used the JT to facilitate and fund the international travels of its members.”

This is, to be blunt, a horribly sweeping generalization, but it is clearly accepted without criticism not only by the military, but also by the Circuit Court, as the judges in Almerfedi’s appeal — Senior Judge Silberman, and Judges Kavanaugh and Rogers — almost repeated verbatim what had, until WikiLeaks’ recent revelations, been unknown to the general public: that Jama’at Tablighi was

an Islamic missionary organization, which US intelligence has designated a Terrorist Support Entity. That is a category of organizations that has “demonstrated intent and willingness to provide financial support to terrorist organizations,” or to provide “witting operational support” to terrorist groups.

Beyond this, there were doubts about Almerfedi’s travels — why he had travelled east, from Tehran to Meshad, when he professed to be trying to travel west to reach Europe, but that — plus the $2000 that he had in his possession — was hardly sufficient to reverse his petition.

The only other supposed evidence on the government’s part should also have been regarded as worthless — a claim by a Saudi prisoner, Humoud al-Jadani, who was freed from Guantánamo in July 2007, that Almerfedi “told him that [he] was housed in a guesthouse in Tehran maintained by al-Qaeda in 2002 or 2003,” and that “other, unnamed detainees had said that a ‘Hussain al-Adeni’ [from Aden, like Almerfedi] was an al-Qaeda facilitator who resided at a guesthouse in Tehran.”

As the judges reported, but failed to accept:

Although Almerfedi does not contest much of the government’s narrative, he disputes that he ever stayed at an al-Qaeda-affiliated guesthouse in Tehran. He points out that the dates al-Jadani reports Almerfedi having been at a guesthouse in Tehran are obviously incorrect — because it is undisputed that Almerfedi was captured by the Iranians in December 2001 or January 2002, Almerfedi could not have been at a guesthouse in 2002 or 2003.

I’m not sure I can explain how disappointing it is that, with nothing resembling evidence, and with little more than distortions about Jamaat-al-Tablighi, and credence given to dubious testimony from a fellow prisoner of Hussein Almerfedi’s in Guantánamo, the Circuit Court has smugly, even triumphantly asserted yet again that, when it comes to Guantánamo, it has gutted habeas corpus of all meaning.

To be honest, the best I can do is return to the lament of Richard Murphy, the attorney for two men who recently gave up rather than appeal. It is indeed clear, as he said, that “the courts provide no hope for the men remaining at Guantánamo,” and that is a profound disappointment, as the courts were supposed to do what they did so admirably until about a year ago — provide some objective analysis of the propaganda and untested allegations used to detain the Guantánamo prisoners.

Now, however, in the hands of the D.C. Circuit Court, it is all worthless, and the barest of suspicions of involvement with al-Qaeda or the Taliban is regarded as sufficient to consign men to imprisonment for the rest of their lives at Guantánamo. Senior officials in the Obama administration — not to mention the Supreme Court — ought to be ashamed.

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) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, on tour in the UK throughout 2011, and available on DVD here — or here for the US), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

As published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

41 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Liz Parker Siebeck wrote:

    here’s a quote from Harry Truman in World War I : “It is a shame we can’t go in and devastate Germany and cut off a few of the Dutch kids’ hands and feet and scalp a few of their old men.” Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme. . . . This has been the mentality since day one, it has just been better hidden with radio and tv propaganda in the 20th century.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Kristin Higgins wrote:

    True LIz but today its harder for them to cover up, we are exposed to it sooner or later

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Barbi Montano wrote:

    Why would they want to do that Andy?

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Sharing this.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Alexey Braguine wrote:

    Indeed, shame on the courts and the Gulag mentality of the judges.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Ghaliyaa Haq wrote:

    The senate armed forces committee recommended it last week. Grrrr!!!!

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Ghaliyaa Haq wrote:

    keeping it open indefinitely I mean… what hypocrites this country is!!! (The US)

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Liz, Kristin, Barbi, George, Alexey and Ghaliyaa.
    Barbi, I think Alexey captured the answer quite well in her comments about the judges’ “Gulag mentality.” Essentially, the right-wingers in the Circuit Court liked everything Bush did, and believed his lies about holding “the worst of the worst” at Guantanamo, especially with regard to the central problem of the “War on Terror” — that it involved (and still involves, fundamentally) holding both terrorist suspects and insignificant soldiers as though both were a mortal threat to the very existence of the United States.
    And Ghaliyaa, the Senate Armed Services Committee certainly recommended military detention for terror suspects seized in future, although they didn’t explicitly advocate the use of Guantanamo or keeping Guantanamo open forever, although all their restrictions on releasing anyone have the same end result.
    It will be interesting to see if Obama vetoes, as the notion that any terrorist suspect should be held in military detention is truly shameful and terribly alarming.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Saghir Hussain wrote:

    Good work again Andy.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    And thanks, Saghir!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Ghaliyaa Haq wrote:

    Obama won’t veto – he won’t. But I hope and pray he proves me a liar!

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Ghaliyaa Haq wrote:

    Andy – are you ever trying to do so many things at once – and one is simply restarting your computer – but you keep getting sidetracked and …. lol…. it’s been two hours worth so far. (blush) I’m going to restart as soon as I find the article.. here it is. Did you read this one?
    http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/06/ap-senate-panel-agrees-on-defense-budget-blueprint-061711/ Because it mentions Guantanamo and also.. now if they entrap (even more Muslims in the US) they can send them to military installations – am I reading this wrong? And it sounds to me like the permanent limitations on sending detainees to foreign countries is indefinite detention? Or maybe I’m confused. Maybe this veganism thing isn’t working out so well – maybe I’m protein starved. LOL!

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Ghaliyaa — and everyone who’s shared this important story (not necessarily my version of events, but the activities, in Americans’ names, of the D.C. Circuit Court, which are extremely important, however much the mainstream media and the Supreme Court ignore them).
    As for the reach of these demented plans approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee, my understanding is that they’re meant to apply to foreigners, but yes, the plan is for obligatory military detention for terrorist suspects. That really can’t be allowed to stand. No, really really it can’t!

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Barbi Montano wrote:

    Correctly or not I sure did expect a lot more from the President then has happened in some areas. Perhaps there is an impossibility of performance on his end in reality to do some things or at least in the time frame given? The fact that American Citizens are forced to suffer some of the worst human rights abuses etc. at the hands of other Americans and apparently without much oversight, care, or intervention makes me uneasily assured that any other number of things go on all over the place. Seeing is believing unfortunately.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Ghaliyaa Haq wrote:

    Well – that restart lost me my browser (again), so I had to fix that. Now I’m going to go digg, share, and post your article. :-)

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Lisa Barr wrote:

    D.C. circuit court–the same assholes who turned the FCC into a slot machine for corporations.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Mary Shepard wrote:

    Sharing. I go back to my original stance, that so-called terrorists should be tried in civilian courts under criminal proceedings presently in place for both citizens and non-citizens. And I agree, Andy, obligatory military detention cannot be allowed to stand.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Willy Bach wrote:

    More of the same from team Obama. I hope people will work hard to ensure he is not re-elected.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Varisha Saleem wrote:

    oh nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Barbi, Ghaliyaa, Lisa, Mary, Willy and Varisha. Very glad to see people’s concerns on this issue.
    Willy, the only problem with your complaint about Obama is that the same must also apply to the Republican Party, with its ruinous track record on almost everything, meaning that we have been completely failed by the main political parties, and need a radical change — a new movement, from the people up, as in the Middle East, and as the people of Spain and Greece are currently suggesting.

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    On Digg, wanacare wrote:

    Corrupt political leaders, like Bush who lies about “weapons of mass destruction” and kills a million people, including under his authority 10,000 Iraqi’s EXECUTED (wikiLeaks) AND OBAMA WHO has the PVT US Bradley Manning, who is accused of revealing these war crimes & Obama’s war crime of secretly bombing Yemen citizens tortured for more than a year, & both war criminals have been appointing judges, which are now questionable as to their part in the Bush’s inability to account for the Pentagon’s disappearance of 2 Trillion dollars and the use of human beings in Guantanamo as their propaganda tools of distraction.

    There are yet still a few honest brave people speaking the truth and caring about the justice for all and that is more the journalists and lawyers of the vulnerable than the powerful.

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, wanacare. Good to hear from you.

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Susan Serpa wrote:

    The major obstacle to a major change to politics in the US is the Citizen United supreme court decision giving “free speech” to Corporations. This decision was like popping the cork off the bottle for massive corporate campaign spending. Grassroots organizations have no hope of competing against record-spending on campaigns. Congressional reps no longer depend on constituents to get elected because voters will never know their alternatives (because those who do not receive big corporate campaign funds will not be able to buy enough media advertising to compete). Elected officials from this moment on are now TOTALLY beholden to corporations instead of voters. The uprising in other countries occurred only once people’s backs were against the wall. Bad as things are in the US, we have not yet reached that point.

  24. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Susan. Very good to hear from you. The only thing I would add is that many, many millions of Americans’ backs are against the wall, and have been for some time, but the country is so large, and the media so poor, that we rarely hear about them.

  25. Andy Worthington says...

    Roland Jesperson wrote:

    Great work Andy, the collective conscience of “Western Civilization” (for lack of a better term) seems to have been descending further into the abyss by the day; what you do pulls it back. And I don’t think this is hyperbolic, there’s so much at stake here … for All of us.

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    Dennis O’Neil wrote:

    fuck these people and fuck the oxcarts their aging grannies rode in on. this is beyond shameful.

  27. Andy Worthington says...

    Kricket Schurz wrote:

    we live in a country which has found ways to silence the poor and oppressed – to leave them afraid to fight back though they are the majority of the suffering. Black and Mexican Americans have been disenfranchised across the country by the millions (Native Americans are only 2% of the population and faced far higher rates) for petty drug laws which effect minority groups disproportionately to whites and that do not incarcerate dealers. Instead, we fill cells with those charged for personal use and often smoking a joint alone. Interestingly, minorities as a whole (with those from countries your prisoners hail from included) are reaching a point of holding major political sway. They are a much larger part of the population and most often far more politically active than whites. Unjust immigration laws did not result in the white stronghold expected to last much longer. So, the incarceration rates and that large part of the over a million nonviolent offenders with brown – black – red and yellow skin that makes up that million senselessly locked away for the past decade has certainly curtailed their movement. As well, a perceived need to continue to torture these guys keeps the majority believing that there is also a need to move farther and farther away from the Constitution to be “safe.”

    Added to this – if you are getting government assistance – beware of protests. In fact, beware of so much as arguing with your spouse. Any felony offense can cost you your benefits and leave your children to suffer – and it is far easier than most realize to earn a felony. I was actually charged with “felony domestic violence” not for striking – but for “yelling” (quoted in the report) at my first husband who was doped up beyond belief on oxycontin and in and out of my house at will. I was helpless but criminal in the eyes of a young punk cop – though even CPS was saying that his severe drug use was not enough for them to intervene – despite his repeatedly setting fires to beds – taken by ambulance for overdose and withdrawal in front of our children and stealing me blind and leaving the kids to do without. That is the mindset of the area I exist within. I was saved by the JP knowing the situation. However, were there a protest by those the conservative cops consider trash to begin with in our Texas county – you can bet they would call buses to haul people in and clear the welfare roles in a day. In line with this – Florida’s governor is working to turn drug testing into a weapon – after all, which government worker leading a protest can afford the legal fees and a ninety days or more without a salary to fight to keep their jobs when there is a mistake on the testing? How many would believe there was a mistake to begin with? Some call it conspiracy theory to consider such possibilities – but I feel it is awful damn convenient that such possibilities are presented at a time government workers are fighting to hold their ground across the nation.

    Your article is directly connected to the issue of mass incarceration in this nation and the reaction to those deemed criminal – a mindset that has became frightening to say the least. Lock ‘em up and throw away the key is widely supported as is the torture of those prisoners. A handful of us see that inhumanity – the hypocrisy – the illegality, at least as defined by the old laws – but we are just a handful and even fewer get the changes in the laws which have occurred. We want to expect the Constitution to protect us – but in the last three decades those protections have not been whittled away but blatantly stolen in chunks as Americans stand ignorant to the occurrences or afraid to speak up if they realize. Being “safe” has cost us far more than most know, because it is easier to believe it for our own good and ignore our responsibility for the atrocities taking place than it would be to admit them and have to chance putting up a fight. Even our major college campuses – the place that protest and truth once began in this country have been taken over by corporate interests. The professor that does not speak the conservative drivel is in for a tough road – certainly if he intends to get funding to offer the truth of anything of consequence. And notably – education is more “privatized” daily.

    There is no doubt all standing up to injustice is on a long and for the most part lonely road. And Andy – have you written anything on the revamped Patriot Act? It is my understanding from a short piece I read at a law school site that any American who makes too much noise can now be called a domestic terrorist without substantial evidence of a crime – taken into custody – held without charges – bail – a hearing or an attorney and kept indefinitely without trial. I am taking it that we can now be treated just as those at Guantanamo – but it seems the government very possibly has the choice to completely hide the fact that the person was taken into custody to boot rather than have another story like that of Manning to deal with. It is sad, but it appears that your prisoners are only the tip of the iceberg at this point.

  28. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Roland, Dennis and Kricket. So while I was out this afternoon in central London with my family, who came along to the International Day in Support of Torture event that I was speaking at in Trafalgar Square (marking the 24th anniversary of the day that the UN Convention Against Torture came into force), you were each, in your inimitable way, commenting on the themes I touched on in my article, and others of concern.
    Thanks, Roland, for your constant support; Dennis for the T-shirt slogan of the month; and Kricket for that brilliant, sustained analysis of the horrors we’re facing.
    To answer your question, I haven’t looked in great detail at the Patriot Act — perhaps because, as it dealt solely with Americans, rather than foreigners (as at Guantanamo and elsewhere in the “War on Terror’), I particularly believed that others in the US could cover it adequately. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I’m not interested in how laws apply to Americans — I constantly wish I had more time to attack the abominable domestic prison system that you discuss so eloquently, and back in 2007 and 2008, I wrote quite a bit about the Americans held as “enemy combatants” on the US mainland — the US citizen Jose Padilla and the US resdident Ali al-Marri (and Yasser Hamdi, released in 2004) — but I just haven’t had time to analyze the ongoing implementation of the Patriot Act.
    I do know enough, however, to agree with you that, since 9/11, what the malevolent forces in charge want is to hold anyone they want to arbitrarily, and forever if they so desire, regardless of whether they are foreigners or American citizens. And that touches again on the case of Jose Padilla. What should have been particularly troubling for Americans was that Padilla is an American citizen and his own government tortured him on American soil until he lost his mind. But in reality, few people cared.

  29. Andy Worthington says...

    Kricket Schurz wrote:

    That few people cares scares the hell out of me – but in truth that has been America throughout our history. I do not think any population has ever had so much blind faith in their government as ours. That it continues with all that is going on around us is mind-boggling. But – Americans are hearing very little of the truth. I went and chased down info on the Patriot Act – our media is not trumpeting the warning for certain. And that too is a frightening concept – silence but for the voice of the oppressors.

  30. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Kricket. “Silence but for the voice of the oppressors” is largely true, but we have to continue hoping that those asleep will wake up sufficiently, at some point, and perceive that something — everything — is not right.

  31. Andy Worthington says...

    On Digg, cosmicsurfer wrote:

    Unfortunately, it isn’t just the right wing judges – the appointments should have all lost their jobs with Holder’s assumption of the DOJ but Holder/Obama left the uneducated twits from Liberty U and their cohorts hired based on how fast they could drop to their knees for King Bush and his evil madman and court Jester, Cheney, in positions to cause further urination on the Constitution.
    Accountability is a joke in the good ole US of A.
    Obama shits where he eats as badly as the rest of them.
    All learned well under Watergate – hold anyone to their actions and it is political hell for decades.
    The Grand Old Pariah has been gunning for the DNC for decades and did pay backs on Clinton but NOT quite good enough.
    The “Gotcha Game” is what breeds these actions as much as the disrespect for the letter and intent of the American laws, judicial system, and just plain humanity.
    Nothing applies to “them” in power as far as DC is concerned.
    Just look at the reach!
    Don Siegleman, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Siegelman ; http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1627427,00.html ; http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/03/27/485415/-UPDATE:-Don-Siegelman-will-be-RELEASED-TOMORROW-MORNING! ; http://www.whnt.com/news/whnt-former-alabama-governor-don-si-01182011,0,6759467.story?track=rss ) a governor, that happened to run against a buddy of Karl the “RF King” Rove….
    convicted of bogus crimes and shuffled around in secrecy as if he were Al Qaeda – no one could know where he was kept in order to quell any possible leakage of truth.
    If “they” would do this to an elected governor, what chance does some poor schmuck, from the mayhem in the Middle East, have against the wealthy power mad?

    The “Gotcha Game’ is only a symptom of the arrogance…the HUBRIS of the billionaires club of Washington, DC.
    Big money and power games are the basis for everything -And their actions show a depraved indifference towards the rest of the world, humanity and the law.

    The US of A is dying and we are sick with a soul eating disease.
    The revolution MUST start here but is there anyone left with brains and balls to join

  32. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, cosmicsurfer. That is an impassioned and comprehensive analysis of the scale of the problem that we’re all facing.

  33. Andy Worthington says...

    Kricket Schurz wrote:

    hopefully before it is too late…

  34. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, indeed. Well, I’ll keep trying to educate people while I can …

  35. Andy Worthington says...

    Lisa Thornburgh wrote:

    There have been reports, from the Physicians for Human Rights, that Gitmo prisoners are being used for experimentation purposes…to test nonlethal weapons (radiological, microwave, acoustic, radiofrequency) devices, or what the UN classifies as “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD). I believe accounts from attornies of the prisoners suggest this type of depersonalization experiments, but I cannot locate a lot of information related to this. Are you aware of any? Thanks, Lisa L Thornburgh, JD

  36. Andy Worthington says...

  37. Guantánamo And The Death Of Habeas Corpus - OpEd says...

    [...] this year, I have followed, with despair, the Circuit Court’s rulings, which are distressing on two fronts: firstly, because judges have whittled away at the lower courts’ demands that the [...]

  38. Andy Worthington says...

    For any Portuguese readers out there, my friend Murilo Leme has translated this:
    http://zqxjkv0.blogspot.com/2011/10/fff-commentaries-judges-keep-guantanamo.html

    This is the opening paragraph:

    Há sete anos, em 28 de junho de 2004, o Supremo Tribunal dos Estados Unidos emitiu importante sentença em Rasul v. Bush, reconhecendo que pessoas de nacionalidade estrangeira mantidas presas na prisão de “guerra contra o terror” da administração Bush na Baía de Guantánamo, em Cuba, tinham direitos de habeas corpus — isto é, o direito, nos termos do “Grande Mandado,” cujas origens remontam a mesmo antes da Magna Carta de 1215, de pedir a um juiz imparcial para manifestar-se quando a haver ou não base para a detenção da pessoa.

  39. As Judges Kill Off Habeas Corpus For Guantánamo Prisoners, Will Supreme Court Act? says...

    [...] for the direction the habeas hearings have taken. Following a previous Circuit Court ruling (inthe case of a Yemeni called Hussein Almerfedi), it was considered significant that Abdul Qader Ahmed Hussein had stayed at two mosques in [...]

  40. Meet the Seven Guantánamo Prisoners Whose Appeals Were Turned Down by the Supreme Court | Cii Broadcasting says...

    [...] and then had his habeas petition granted by Judge Paul Friedman in July 2010, only for that ruling to be reversed on appeal in July [...]

  41. Meet the Seven Guantánamo Prisoners Whose Appeals Were Turned Down by the Supreme Court - World Observer Online says...

    [...] Official,” and then had his habeas petition granted by Judge Paul Friedman in July 2010, only for that ruling to be reversed on appeal in July [...]

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