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The World They Made

Mark Danner has been writing a series in the New York Review Of Books: Rumsfeld's War And Its Consequences Now
A bare two weeks after the attacks of September 11, at the end of a long and emotional day at the White House, a sixty-nine-year-old politician and businessman—a midwesterner, born of modest means but grown wealthy and prominent and powerful—returned to his enormous suite of offices on the seventh floor of the flood-lit and wounded Pentagon and, as was his habit, scrawled out a memorandum on his calendar:
Interesting day— NSC mtg. with President— As [it] ended he asked to see me alone… After the meeting ended I went to Oval Office—He was alone He was at his desk— He talked about the meet Then he said I want you to develop a plan to invade Ir[aq]. Do it outside the normal channels. Do it creatively so we don’t have to take so much cover [?]
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2014 - 89 comments

Hostis Humani Generis

The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 4, 2013 - 16 comments

It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This.

It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This. Inside the Dark Heart of Guantánamo Bay By Molly Crabapple.
posted by chunking express on Jul 31, 2013 - 32 comments

We just think you are guilty so you must be ''detained indefinitely''.

The US government has finally released the names of 46 men being held in Guantánamo under the classification of "indefinite detainees" – terror suspects deemed too dangerous to release or move yet impossible to try in a civilian or even military court for reasons of inadequate or tainted evidence.
For more than three months, the US military has faced off with defiant prisoners on hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, strapping down as many as 44 each day to feed them a liquid nutrient mix through a nasal tube. The prison camp has now been labelled a 'a medical ethics free zone' by Senior Professors at Boston University.
The hunger strikers are now reportedly being fed Reglan a medicine that increases the movements or contractions of the stomach and intestines with worrying side effects. See Huff Post Live video.
See previous ''Gitmo is killing me''.
posted by adamvasco on Jun 18, 2013 - 182 comments

One of my poems goes: The next one and a half pages are redacted.

The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi For nearly 11 years, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo. In 2005, he began to write his memoirs of his time in captivity. His handwritten 466-page manuscript is a harrowing account of his detention, interrogation, and abuse. Although his abuse has been corroborated by U.S. government officials, declassified documents, and independent investigators, Slahi tells his story with the detail and perspective that could only be known by himself and the people who have kept him captive. It is impossible for us to meet with him or independently verify his account. Until now, it has been impossible for him to tell his story. [ht homunculus]
posted by jaduncan on May 1, 2013 - 16 comments

Gitmo is killing me

Gitmo is killing me. An op-ed written by a prisoner on hunger strike in his 11th year at Guantanamo Bay.
posted by disillusioned on Apr 14, 2013 - 98 comments

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg on How to Report From Guantanamo Bay

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg has reported from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay since the first detainee arrived in 2002. Last month, President Obama scuttled the office responsible for closing the center, which means Gitmo’s “media tent city” will be a permanent press encampment for the foreseeable future. Petra Bartosiewicz spoke with the veteran correspondent by phone from Gitmo’s Camp Justice, where Rosenberg has been covering pretrial hearings this month of the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
posted by Elementary Penguin on Feb 26, 2013 - 19 comments

Jimmy Carter

"The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights." - Jimmy Carter [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jun 25, 2012 - 86 comments

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou Indicted.

In 2007 former CIA Agent John Kiriakou went public with his involvement with waterbording Al-Quaeda Detainees. At the time he felt that it worked. And, he only belived it had happened once with Abu Zubaydah. By 2010 he'd learned that Zubaydah had been waterboared 83 times, and that information was not good. Now, he's being prosecuted under the espionage act, for allegedly helping to identify CIA operatives that Guantánamo defense lawyers who might be able to testify about abusive treatment. [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Feb 1, 2012 - 58 comments

Notes From Guantánamo

My Guantánamo Nightmare. Lakhdar Boumediene was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for seven years without explanation or charge until his case made it to the Supreme Court, leading to a decision which bears his name and his release ordered by a federal judge. The NYTimes has his and another account from another former detainee: Notes From a Guantánamo Survivor. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 9, 2012 - 63 comments

Is it the worst thing you'll read all year?

A description of the CIA's waterboarding techniques and the practical applications of other physical interrogation practices to enhance its effectiveness.
posted by artof.mulata on Nov 9, 2010 - 30 comments

Same as in town.

“But Gitmo, a ‘betrayal of American values’? Would that it were! Alas, for nearly every grisly tabloid feature of the Khadr case, you can find an easy analog in our everyday criminal justice system. In a sense, much of our War on Terror has proven a slightly spicier version of our ‘normal’ way of doing criminal justice. Using the case of Omar Khadr, let's take this step by step.”
posted by kipmanley on Nov 4, 2010 - 37 comments

A Truly Shocking Gitmo Story

A Truly Shocking Gitmo Story: "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." His lawyer notes, "The Obama Department of Justice, with Attorney General Holder piously proclaiming that this Administration repudiates torture, and follows the rule of law, in fact is following the Bush playbook to the letter." Unbelievable Evidence, but Good Enough for Seven Years in Prison notes, "Al Rabiah's treatment is reminiscent of what happened to Mohammed Jawad, the Afghan who was captured as a young teenager and held for almost seven years before he was released last month. Both detainees were locked up based mainly on coerced confessions that appear to have been false, and it looks like both might have remained imprisoned but for the intervention of the federal courts. " Also: Judge's Order to Release Kuwaiti Detainee Puts Obama in a Bind.
posted by shetterly on Oct 1, 2009 - 39 comments

You Break It, You Bought It, America

In his latest national security speech, President Obama unequivocally reaffirms his commitment to closing GITMO. President Obama's strong statements reaffirming his administration's commitment to cleaning up the legal and ethical mess the Bush administration left behind comes just after congressional Democrats recently saw fit to capitulate to the Republican minority by defunding President Obama's efforts to close GITMO, ostensibly to ensure that President Obama proceeds prudently and avoids setting the terrorists loose on America's strip malls. But others interpret these latest maneuvers from the "weak-kneed" congressional Dems as reflecting a sudden acute case of the political jitters, pointing out that, despite all the fearful talk of the imminent dangers of possible terrorists being held and tried on American soil, it's not as though we haven't done it before. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 21, 2009 - 176 comments

Obama administration's blackmail diplomacy over torture evidence

The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald has new evidence. Previously.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 12, 2009 - 282 comments

Compassionate Canada.

Canada is a desired location for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Canadian Council for Refugees has profiles (pdf) up for some of the people they are helping.
posted by gman on Feb 10, 2009 - 26 comments

Phony Guantanamo Recidivism Numbers?

"The Department of Defense claimed in a dramatic press briefing on January 13 that “61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight” of terrorism." ...troubling is the Defense Department’s listing of the released Uighurs, who were completely exonerated by an internal military hearing. They’ve done nothing wrong. However, one of them wrote an op-ed column for the New York Times proclaiming that “I was locked up and mistreated for being in the wrong place at the wrong time during America's war in Afghanistan.” He also said in the same editorial: “The United States [is] a country I deeply admire.” That’s “suspected of going back into the battlefield”? Only if you are delusional. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Jan 29, 2009 - 33 comments

From Gitmo to the Rock

Alcatraz's American history began as the first US fort on the West coast, where it served as "an icon of US military power". Before it held these guys, it held these guys. This guy thinks The Rock would be a good place for these guys.
posted by JVA on Jan 26, 2009 - 35 comments

Now What?

Right before the trials at Guantanamo were ordered to be halted, a military court was told that Maher Arar was in North America during the time he was supposedly in Afghanistan.
posted by gman on Jan 21, 2009 - 92 comments

Closing Guantánamo

Closing Guantánamo: A forum on what to do with detainees.
posted by homunculus on Dec 30, 2008 - 18 comments

Obama vows to shut down Guantanamo Bay

Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo as it has often been called, has a long and sordid history of human rights abuses and those that have spent some time there have more than their fair share of stories to tell. But it looks as thought it's all coming to a close as in a major interview with 60 Minutes, Obama has vowed to shut down Guantanamo Bay and rebuild "America's moral stature in the world." [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 16, 2008 - 98 comments

Gives a whole new meaning to "Terror Watch List"

The Casio F91W is a cheap, common digital watch which, as described by Casio themselves, has a "tried and true style great for casual wear". It has a fairly unremarkable set of features: water resistance, a light, an alarm and a calendar. There is, however, one undocumented feature that makes this particular watch special – it can be used as evidence that you're a terrorist. More info at Wikipedia.
posted by HaloMan on Sep 28, 2008 - 43 comments

Guantanamo: Beyond the Law

Guantanamo: Beyond the Law From the table of contents: "An eight-month McClatchy investigation of the detention system created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has found that the U.S. imprisoned innocent men, subjected them to abuse, stripped them of their legal rights and allowed Islamic militants to turn the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a school for jihad." A few pieces are already up -- "We got the wrong guys", and "'I guess you can call it torture'" -- and more will be released as the week goes on. The project also includes a database of detainees and their stories of detention, documents acquired during the investigation, video and a whole lot more.
posted by cog_nate on Jun 16, 2008 - 45 comments

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush go before SCOTUS Streaming on C-Span today. The Center for Constitutional Rights (great podcast) will argue before the Supreme Court today:
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, The Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

posted by ao4047 on Dec 5, 2007 - 29 comments

Poems from Guantánamo

Waterboard, waterboard, in cell number two
posted by nervousfritz on Aug 11, 2007 - 17 comments

Court martial begins for Guantanamo JAG who leaked detainee list

It began with an innocent-looking Valentine's Day card in 2005. Inside the card were several slips of paper, a hastily cut-up printout of names of 550 secret detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The human rights lawyer who received "this weird valentine" handed it over to authorities, and this week the court martial begins for JAG LtCmdr Matthew Diaz, facing 36 years for divulging state secrets.
Whither goest thou, American Jurisprudence?
posted by planetkyoto on May 15, 2007 - 47 comments

Shave, shock and humiliate a man’s genitals in three seconds flat

Torboto: The Robot That Tortures People.
posted by homunculus on Apr 23, 2007 - 44 comments

Through the looking-glass

No fairytales allowed; Lawyer Clive Stafford Smith has 36 clients in Guantanamo and has visited many times. This is an extract from a new book where he argues that secrecy is a disease. A further extract explors the surreal world of the prison's media relations, where the only journalist with real access is one of the inmates. Stafford Smith was one of the narrators is this excellent recent FPP. Here is the site of his UK organisation.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 22, 2007 - 6 comments

You've all been so kind. Can I go now?

The first Gitmo trial has ended, but not before the defendant was stripped of two of his attorneys. Detainee #002 entered a guilty plea and will serve 9 months in an Australian prison. In return, he signed a statement stipulating that he had never been tortured or mistreated by the Americans -- despite previously reporting being beaten and deprived of sleep during his more than five years at the prison. The agreement bars him from suing the U.S. government for alleged abuse, forfeits any right to appeal, and imposes a gag order that prevents him speaking with news media for a year.
posted by sweet mister on Mar 31, 2007 - 90 comments

Postcards from Gitmo

Gitmo in Black and White. Some great photography with narration and chilling stories from the Gulag at Guantanamo Bay. (Has sound. Maybe NSFW, if your workplace is squeamish about our foreign policy)
posted by nevercalm on Mar 22, 2007 - 15 comments

The Nightmare Years

Was I a good American in the time of George Bush? "Before the current administration, it had always been easy to condemn the "good Germans" who did nothing while Jews, Gypsies and others were rounded up for extermination." Uh, is this just a little over the top?
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 14, 2007 - 102 comments

Don't Ask Don't Tell

US Army clears itself of abuse in Gitmo An Army officer who investigated possible abuse at Guantanamo Bay after some guards purportedly bragged about beating detainees found no evidence they mistreated the prisoners — although he did not interview any of the alleged victims.
posted by CameraObscura on Feb 7, 2007 - 43 comments

Habeas Corpus Thisus!

The Pentagon has set down the rules regarding trials of terrorist suspects facing trial in the new military commissions court system. At least one US military attorney, Major Michael Mori, who is defending Australian terror suspect David Hicks, has blasted the new rules saying that the Pentagon still do not include fundamental rights such as habeas corpus.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments on Jan 18, 2007 - 30 comments

Bannination of the Year

Truthiness Makes the Trifecta! As I predicted, the Classic Colbertism that won two Word of the Year awards has made it onto the 32nd L.S.S.U. List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness.
Other linguistic losers for 2007: "Awesome", "Gitmo", "chipotle", "undocumented alien*", "pwn", "search**" (effectively replaced by Google), "gone missing", "gone bad" (applied to things already bad, i.e. 'drug deal gone bad'), "ask your doctor***", "now playing in theaters" (Dept. of Redundancy Dept.) and "healthy food" (healthful is healthier), as well as shorthand couple names like "TomKat" (Would Bogart and Bacall have been "BogCall"?), "i-anything" (lucky for Apple they didn't get that 'iPhone' trademark), men saying "we're pregnant" and "boasts", as in 'boasts amenities'. (Previously)
posted by wendell on Dec 31, 2006 - 65 comments

Snakes on a Base

Snakes on a Base! In the wake of today's announcement that Raul Castro will be 'temporarily' taking power in Cuba while Big Brother (did I say that?) has an operation for some GI bleeding, The Smoking Gun has published some declassified Spec Ops planning cover sheets from the 60s and 70, listing plans to destabilize Cuba. Operation Bingo, on page 3, is especially amusing.
posted by baylink on Aug 1, 2006 - 15 comments

Activist judges and the military lawyers who love them

“If you don’t apply it when it’s inconvenient,” he said, “it’s not a rule of law.”
posted by kittyprecious on Jul 11, 2006 - 39 comments

Sadeian Nation?

Mass. school punishes students with electric shocks "They can be shocked for behaviors including ’failure to maintain a neat appearance’, ‘stopping work for more than 10 seconds’, ‘interrupting others’, ‘nagging’, ‘whispering and/or moving conversation away from staff’, ‘slouch in chair’ ' I have spoke before of American Enantiodromia. Further, Thomas Moore wrote in Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism , that in any culture that does not acknowledge it's skeletons, --it's sins, if you will-- will have that imagination played out in real life.
The ways of Sade are not limited to bedroom and scenes of bondage or porno theaters or forbidden books. Any aspect of culture, from the great to the small, insofar as it is engaged in issues of power has therefore Sadean qualities. Furthermore, since life is never perfect, every aspect of culture will know the split of power into torture and suffering, dominance and submission, or sentimentality and cruelty.
I wont editorialize anymore than I have, but I can't help but wonder, When did psychological abuse become entertainment? or has it always been thus? Also see: N.Y. report denounces shock use at school. I look forward to your Parallax View.
posted by Unregistered User on Jun 17, 2006 - 33 comments

Rumsfeld expressed puzzlement at the notion that his policies had caused the abuse

“My God, you know, did I authorize putting a bra and underwear on this guy's head?” Rumsfeld “personally involved” in abuses at Guantanamo - according to a recently obtained (by Salon) army inspector general report which contains a sworn statement from a Lt. General
posted by Smedleyman on Apr 18, 2006 - 101 comments

The Road to Guantanamo

The Road to Guantanamo, the latest film by prolific UK director Michael Winterbottom, details the experiences of the Tipton Three (previously discussed here), a trio of British Muslims who stumbled into US custody in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 and ended up spending two years in Gitmo. The film tells a powerful if somewhat one-sided story of naivety, incompetence and rank injustice.

Last night the film was shown on Britain's Channel 4 to an estimated 1.6 million viewers, and it was the talk of the Berlin Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. In a bizarre twist, on their return from attending the premiere of the film in Berlin, the Tipton Three and the actors who played them were arrested and interrogated about terrorism links. Luckily for them, this time their captivity was measured in hours, not years.
posted by LondonYank on Mar 10, 2006 - 23 comments

Maybe Terri Schiavo's parents should have tried this one?

Bush Admin lawyers argue that torture ban dosn't apply to Gitmo In addition to making the argument that force-feeding one Mohammed Bawazir does not constitute torture, they Lawyers for the administration argue that Mr. Bawazir is not entitled to protection under the act, because the law itself bans judicial review for writs of habeas corpus by (among a few others) any " alien detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Cute.
posted by delmoi on Mar 2, 2006 - 38 comments

Guantánamo's extralegal prisons

A campaign by Yale University law students – going all the way to the Supreme Court – helps free 300 people held without trial at Guantánamo.
posted by caddis on Oct 13, 2005 - 11 comments

Torture - it's in the eye of the beholder

Not torture. U.S. interrogators also told him he was a homosexual, forced him to dance with a male interrogator, told him his mother and sister were whores, forced him to wear a leash and perform dog tricks, menaced him with a dog and regularly subjected him to interrogations up to 20 hours a day for about two months, the report said. Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt, who headed the probe into FBI accounts of abuse of Guantanamo prisoners by Defense Department personnel, concluded that the man was subjected to "abusive and degrading treatment" due to "the cumulative effect of creative, persistent and lengthy interrogations." The techniques used were authorized by the Pentagon, he said. "As the bottom line, though, we found no torture. Detention and interrogation operations were safe, secure and humane," Schmidt said. . . . Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, himself abused by the North Vietnamese as a Vietnam War POW, noted, "Humane treatment might be in the eye of the beholder." The report.
posted by caddis on Jul 14, 2005 - 89 comments

wow

Bob Parson's may have (somewhat) changed his tune when it comes to inhumane treatment of prisoners, but there are still plenty of ways to show your support for the little terrorist resort that could (toture people)
posted by delmoi on Jun 22, 2005 - 23 comments

Dear Bob, I'm glad you're not in charge.

GoDaddy.com condones torture. One of the most important assets we are using to protect Americans both at home and abroad is our military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- “Gitmo.” (Blog posting from founder Bob Parson's highlighted on the front page of GoDaddy.com) [update: recanted]
posted by mr.curmudgeon on Jun 20, 2005 - 154 comments

The 20th hijacker?

How the US tortured the 20th hijacker (and others). According to the logbook, which covers al-Qahtani's interrogations from November 2002 to January 2003, the Time article reports that daily interviews began at 4 a.m. and sometimes continued until midnight. Was the torture effective? A senior Pentagon official told Time the Defense Department wasn't sure how effective such treatment was. At times, the logbook notes that al-Qahtani was more cooperative when interrogators eased up on him, according to the Time report.
posted by caddis on Jun 12, 2005 - 140 comments

The gulag of our times

DETAINEES 3878-3881 Summary of FBI interview of detainee at Guantanamo Bay 08/01/02 Notes that '[p]rior to his capture, REDACTED had no information against the United States. Personally, he has nothing against the United States. The guards in the detention facility do not treat him well. Their behavior is bad. About five months ago, the guards beat the detainees. They flushed a Koran in the toilet. The guards dance around when the detainees are trying to pray. The guards still do these things.' American Civil Liberties Union: Guantánamo Prisoners Told FBI of Koran Desecration in 2002, New Documents Reveal. See also Amnesty International Report 2005: United States of America, Iraq, Afghanistan.... U.S. 'Thumbs Its Nose' at Rights, Amnesty Says
posted by y2karl on May 25, 2005 - 58 comments

Judge backs Guantanamo challenge

Judge backs Guantanamo challenge A US judge has ruled that special military tribunals being used to try hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are illegal.
posted by borq on Jan 31, 2005 - 32 comments

NY Times details torture methods

Is this really the best idea the military can think of? Today's NY Times provides details on some methods used to extract the truth from Iraqi prisoners, including (I'm not making this up) audio tapes played loudly with "songs by Lil' Kim and Rage Against the Machine and rap performances by Eminem played loudly," and "a mix of babies crying and the television commercial for Meow Mix in which the jingle consists of repetition of the word 'meow'." Wouldn't sodium pentathol or some other chemical persuasion be more effective, while providing less fodder for Leno and Letterman?
posted by centerpunch on Jan 1, 2005 - 49 comments

Tantamount To Torture - Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo

Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo   The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The finding that the handling of prisoners detained and interrogated at Guantánamo amounted to torture came after a visit by a Red Cross inspection team that spent most of last June in Guantánamo. The team of humanitarian workers, which included experienced medical personnel, also asserted that some doctors and other medical workers at Guantánamo were participating in planning for interrogations, in what the report called "a flagrant violation of medical ethics." Doctors and medical personnel conveyed information about prisoners' mental health and vulnerabilities to interrogators, the report said, sometimes directly, but usually through a group called the Behavioral Science Consultation Team, or B.S.C.T. The team, known informally as Biscuit, is composed of psychologists and psychological workers who advise the interrogators, the report said. From the Red Cross : The ICRC's work at Guantanamo Bay  -  Related: From Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a pdf: Torture by Proxy: International and Domestic Law Applicable to Extraordinary Renditions-- Representative Edward J.] Markey pledges battle on rendition practice
posted by y2karl on Nov 30, 2004 - 85 comments

A blow for freedom

The supreme court ruling that Guant?namo Bay prisoners can challenge their detention in the US is something that renews hope that America is not going down the drain. Slowly everyone understands the madness this administration wanted to drag us all in.
posted by acrobat on Jul 6, 2004 - 18 comments

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