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honor bound to defend freedom

Writing In The Gray Areas - "Are some acts so revolting that the people who commit them do not deserve a hearing?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 27, 2014 - 22 comments

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

Why Russell Brand is banned in Guantanamo Bay.

Clive amuses himself (and me) by testing what the censors will let through.
I have been cleared to leave here for over half of my time behind bars – first by the Bush administration in 2007 and then by the Obama government in 2009 – and yet I remain here. - Shaker Aamer.
posted by adamvasco on Dec 19, 2013 - 21 comments

Force Fed

On Monday, August 19 - day 43 of the strike a federal judge approved a request by state and federal prison authorities to engage the controversial practice of force-feed striking prisoners.
[more inside]
posted by eviemath on Aug 28, 2013 - 43 comments

Some viewers may find these images distressing

As Ramadan begins, more than 100 hunger-strikers in Guantánamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being force-fed. A leaked document sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four-minute film made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award-winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure.
posted by jbickers on Jul 8, 2013 - 111 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

RED: "Well, we ought to file that under Educational too. Oughtn't we?"

Guantánamo prison library for detainees. [tumblr] New York Times reporter Charlie Savage set up a Tumblr dedicated to cataloging some of the books available in the Guantánamo prison library for detainees.
posted by Fizz on Apr 28, 2013 - 37 comments

"You can cause a lot of discomfort and some people will talk but interrogation is not about talking. It’s about the search for the truth."

"But the technique that all of us in Aden listened to agape was a method that had been developed allegedly very recently, which was to suspend the prisoner in a tank of liquid gelatine which was at 94.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Naked. With your arms and legs tied and your head encased in a sort of diver’s helmet, through which you were breathing. You were hung into this tank, so all you could hear was the [breathing noise] of your own breath. And in theory you would go bonkers. Because you didn’t know which way was up, you had no sense." -Interview with British Interrogator #1 [more inside]
posted by univac on Oct 21, 2012 - 57 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

The cold, incompetent stupidity of the system

Massive leak reveals secret dossiers on 759 captives The Guantanamo Files New York Times and Guardian
() For all the sensitive types that can't read actual wikileak files with out having tanks on your lawn or SWAT teams down your chimney, please rest assured that none of my links here or inside lead directly to *sekrets*) [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Apr 25, 2011 - 391 comments

Yes, Military Comission For You

NYC mayor: Military trial appropriate in 9/11 case. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried at a military tribunal in Guantanamo. US Lawmakers Say Politics Played Role in Military Trial Decision. Attorney General Eric Holder blames congress for forcing his hand on this. Slate blasts the Obama administration as "Cowardly, Stupid, and Tragically Wrong". Previously, the opposite.
posted by rodmandirect on Apr 8, 2011 - 42 comments

You cannot wash blood with blood.

George Bush cancels a trip to Switzerland citing “threat of demonstrations” . However two victims of torture in U.S. detention have prepared a criminal complaint against Bush backed by a coalition of international human rights groups, two former United Nations rapporteurs, and two Nobel Peace Prize laureates. His legacy continues with the death in Guantanamo of Abdul Gul held without trial for 9 years. The official cause of Mr Gul's death is "Heart attack during exercise". The Obama administration has decided to continue to imprison without trial nearly 50 detainees at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 7, 2011 - 85 comments

Pharmacologic Waterboarding

The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine, an act that an Army public health physician called "pharmacologic waterboarding". The US military administered the drug despite Pentagon knowledge that mefloquine caused severe neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety. The drug was used on the prisoners whether they had malaria or not. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 2, 2010 - 73 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

Omar Khadr

The Memory Hole: The real tragedy of the Omar Khadr trial.
posted by homunculus on Aug 13, 2010 - 35 comments

Gideon's Strumpets?

Former Second Daughter Liz Cheney (who, it should be noted, received her JD from The University of Chicago Law School in 1996) and her Keep America Safe 501(c) posted a video demanding that the Justice Department publicly release the names of its "Al Quaeda Seven," seven Justice employees who served as counsel for Guantanamo detainees. Reaction has been swift and fierce. [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on Mar 11, 2010 - 114 comments

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment

Although it is not necessary for us to categorise the treatment reported, it could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 10, 2010 - 41 comments

Welcome to Camp America

The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle. Harper's have made the full text of Scott Horton's investigation, which appears in this week's issue, available online. It alleges that the three 'suicides' were killed during interrogation at a secret facility, and the suicides faked to cover it up. Some comment here, but the article speaks for itself.
posted by unSane on Jan 18, 2010 - 91 comments

You have been: poked by your ex-gaoler

"I was pretty new to Facebook and decided to type in their names to see if their profiles popped up and I came across Shafiq's Facebook page. I decided to send him a little e-mail," says Mr Neely.

How one Guantanamo guard got in touch with his former captives
posted by Hartster on Jan 12, 2010 - 45 comments

Justice Denied: Voices from Guantánamo

Released detainees talk about life during and after their unlawful detention in the video Justice Denied: Voices from Guantánamo which is part of an ACLU initiative against the practice of detention without due process that violates fundamental principles of American justice. (Previously)
posted by gman on Nov 5, 2009 - 7 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 Voted for Change?

Meet the IRF A Thug Squad is still Brutalizing Prisoners at Guantanamo.
posted by adamvasco on May 22, 2009 - 40 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

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience.

Miss Universe goes to Guantánamo Bay!
posted by geos on Mar 31, 2009 - 42 comments

It hasn't ended yet.

Binyam Mohamed will shortly be released from Guantanamo, where hunger strikes and beatings still continue.
TPM attempts to assesses the level of President Obama's apparent commitment to transparency, accountability for Bush administration officials who may have committed crimes, and adhering to the rule of law. It highlights Glenn Greenwald's recent article:
There is simply no way to argue that our leaders should be immunized from criminal investigations for torture and other war crimes without believing that (a) the U.S. is and should be immune from the principles we've long demanded other nations obey and (b) we are free to ignore our treaty obligations any time it suits us.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 22, 2009 - 43 comments

Only Six days Left To Begin Impeachment

"Yes, We Tortured," says Susan Crawford, Convening Authority of The Guantanamo Military Commission. "I sympathize with the intelligence gatherers in those days after 9/11, not knowing what was coming next and trying to gain information to keep us safe," said Crawford, a lifelong Republican. "But there still has to be a line that we should not cross. And unfortunately what this has done, I think, has tainted everything going forward."
posted by Xurando on Jan 14, 2009 - 131 comments

The Economist: The World in 2009

In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.

The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 27, 2008 - 31 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

If the Bar can get any lower...

Sami al-Haj, The TV cameraman, 38, was never charged with any crime, nor was he put on trial; his testimony makes it clear that he was held in three prisons for six-and-a-half years – repeatedly beaten and force-fed – not because he was a suspected "terrorist" but because he refused to become an American spy. There is the worrying fact of medical complicity in his torture. (previously 1, 2) [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Sep 27, 2008 - 72 comments

APA bars participation in military interrogations

Psychology Group Changes Policy on Interrogations. The American Psychological Association has adopted a measure prohibiting its members from participating in interrogations of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons where detainees have been tortured (previously). [Via Paper Chase]
posted by homunculus on Sep 20, 2008 - 36 comments

Guantanamo Release

Al Jazeera cameraman and Guantanamo detainee Sami al-Haj was released after 6.5 years. Meanwhile, an interrogation video of current Guantanamo resident, now 21 year old Canadian Omar Khadr, has also been released. Previously.
posted by gman on Jul 15, 2008 - 61 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

"The test for determining the scope of this provision must not be subject to manipulation by those whose power it is designed to restrain."

In a five-to-four decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that detainees at Guantanamo Bay have a constitutional right to habeas corpus review:
Security depends upon a sophisticated intelligence apparatus and the ability of our Armed Forces to act and to interdict. There are further considerations, however. Security subsists, too, in fidelity to freedom’s first principles. Chief among these are freedom from arbitrary and unlawful restraint and the personal liberty that is secured by adherence to the separation of powers.[...] Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law. The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law.
Decision, Summary, Analysis
posted by anotherpanacea on Jun 12, 2008 - 118 comments

The Chain of Command in Coercive Interrogations

“You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas." A Vanity Fair reporter investigates the chain of command that tossed out the Geneva Conventions and instituted coercive interrogation techniques -- some might call them torture or even war crimes -- in Bush's Global War on Terror. UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo's now-obsolete 81-page memo to the Pentagon in 2003 [available as PDFs here and here] was crucial, offering a broad range of legal justifications and deniability for disregarding international law in the name of "self-defense." Others say that Yoo was just making "a clear point about the limits of Congress to intrude on the executive branch in its exercise of duties as Commander in Chief." [previously here and here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 3, 2008 - 76 comments

Six Guantanamo prisoners charged.

Several prisoners held at Guantanamo are charged, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. According to this soundbite, after their time in military court, they'll be able to appeal the decision in civilian court.
posted by ®@ on Feb 12, 2008 - 77 comments

Oh Canada!

fuck yeah. Canada has joined Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in adding the U.S. and Israel to their list of countries who torture. Have we learned our lesson?
posted by gman on Jan 17, 2008 - 54 comments

Freedom of the what?

Sami Al-Haj and Bilal Hussein The detention of AP photographer Bilal Hussein was not without controversy. AP president and CEO Tom Curley stated : "We are the target. Freedom of the press is the target." Meanwhile Prisoner 345 otherwise known as Sami al Hajj continues by reporting on life behind the wire. related
posted by adamvasco on Aug 14, 2007 - 8 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

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

Medical Ethics and the Interrogation of Guantanamo 063

Clinicians regularly visited the interrogation cell to assess and treat the prisoner. Medics and a female "medical representative" checked vital signs several times per day; they assessed for dehydration and suggested enemas for constipation or intravenous fluids for dehydration. The prisoner’s hands and feet became swollen as he was restrained in a chair. These extremities were inspected and wrapped by medics and a physician. One entry describes a physician checking "for abrasions from sitting in the metal chair for long periods of time. The doctor said everything was good."...
Medical Ethics and the Interrogation of Guantanamo 063
See also US now detaining 18,000 prisoners in Iraq
posted by y2karl on Apr 16, 2007 - 34 comments

Amnesty International - Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay

Detainees are confined for 22 hours a day to individual, enclosed, steel cells where they are almost completely cut off from human contact. The cells have no windows to the outside or access to natural light or fresh air. No activities are provided, and detainees are subjected to 24 hour lighting and constant observation by guards through the narrow windows in the cell doors. They exercise alone in a high-walled yard where little sunlight filters through; detainees are often only offered exercise at night and may not see daylight for days at a time... It appears that around 80 per cent of the approximately 385 men currently held at Guantánamo are in isolation – a reversal of earlier moves to ease conditions and allow more socialising among detainees.
Cruel and Inhuman: Conditions of isolation for detainees at Guantánamo Bay
Red Cross chief raises Guantánamo issue in D.C.
Guantánamo follies
posted by y2karl on Apr 8, 2007 - 27 comments

Human rights go viral

"Guantanamo Unclassified." Adel Hamad, a 48-year-old Sudanese elementary-school teacher, has been held at Guantanamo for five years without charge or evidence of a crime. His lawyers have been unable to convince a federal court to review his case, so they started started Project Hamad and posted a short movie about him online. This is an example of how human rights activists can use YouTube to bring their cases to the public.
posted by homunculus on Mar 29, 2007 - 40 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

US admin official urges boycott of lawfirms representing detainees

Two days ago, the senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism was interviewed (wma file, relevant remarks begin at 3:00) on Federal News Radio, an internet-only all-news radio station aimed at government employees. What has drawn the attention and ire of both the mainstream (liberalish) media, e.g., (1) (2) (3), and intertubers, e.g., (1) (2), is that deputy assistant secretary Stimson (pic) (a lawyer no less) is advocating that businesses boycott prominent law firms representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
posted by found missing on Jan 13, 2007 - 49 comments

JUMAH AL-DOSSARI is a 33-year-old citizen of Bahrain.

If I die, please remember that there was a human being named Jumah at Guantanamo
posted by rxrfrx on Jan 12, 2007 - 109 comments

Guantanamo Bay: 5th Anniversay Today Triggers International Protests

Jan. 11, 2002, the first 20 detainees, shackled and blindfolded, arrived from Afghanistan .... and since then, nearly 800 prisoners have passed through the detention center in southeastern Cuba. To mark the anniversary, demonstrations are planned Thursday in New York, London, Sydney, Australia, and other cities as well as dozens of small towns in the United States and Britain. Gitmo Detainees Join Hunger Strike .... & .... WikiPeidia History Article
posted by Bodyguard on Jan 11, 2007 - 7 comments

Kafka-esque doesn't do it justice. This is 'Alice in Wonderland.'

Newsfilter: U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods that their captors used to get them to talk...the government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public."

Previously: (1) (2)
posted by StopMakingSense on Nov 4, 2006 - 53 comments

Work abroad! See the world!

Help wanted: must be eligible for government secret clearance, and willing to forget everything you learned about intellectual freedom in library school.
posted by lovecrafty on Sep 22, 2006 - 15 comments

Arar Commission Releases Report

Yesterday, the Arar Commission released their report on the handling of the Maher Arar case, previously mentioned here or here. The findings are widely reported; Canada is self-flagellating for being complicit in the United States' abduction and torture of a Canadian citizen. As President Bush goes to Congress to lobby for the legal authority to abduct and torture anyone without a trial, Arar should consider himself lucky: although Canada didn't help him out for a year, the Canadian government and news media were aware of and interested in his confinement, which likely saved him from the worst tortures. As a famous legal scholar commented some 240 years ago, "To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government."
posted by jellicle on Sep 19, 2006 - 102 comments

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