Tag Archive: Guantanamo


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Published on Jul 10, 2013 – Reporter and blogger Kevin Gosztola has been one of only a handful of journalists covering the Bradley Manning trial on a daily basis. He describes the first few weeks of the historic trial. We also speak to Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo, who testified for the Manning defense.

Watch Part 1 of this report, “Testifying for Bradley Manning’s Defense, Ex-Guantánamo Prosecutor Says Leaks Caused No Harm to U.S.,” at….

See all Democracy Now! coverage of the Bradley Manning case at….

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US government identifies men on Guantánamo ‘indefinite detainee’ list

A group of detainees kneels during prayers at Guantanamo Bay

The Obama administration has until now refused to divulge the men’s identities, leaving them in a form of prolonged legal limbo. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

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.

The list of the 46 detainees was released to the Miami Herald and New York Times following a freedom of information requests from the papers as part of the list of the 166 current captives in Guantánamo that has been released for the first time. The Obama administration had indicated the existence of the men in January 2010 but has until now refused to divulge their identities, leaving the detainees in a form of prolonged and secret legal limbo.

The list contains, according to the Miami Herald, 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, three Saudis, two Kuwaitis and Libyans, a Kenyan, Morrocan and a Somali. There were two “indefinite detainees”, both Afghans, who have died in the camp, one by suicide, one of a heart attack.


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Published on Apr 29, 2013 – The U.S. military has acknowledged for the first time the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the military prison has topped 100. About a fifth of the hunger strikers are now being forced fed. Lawyers for the prisoners say more than 130 men are taking part in the hunger strike, which began in February. One of the hunger strikers is a Yemeni man named Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel. In a letter published in the New York Times, he wrote: “Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made. I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.” We speak to attorney Carlos Warner who represents 11 prisoners at Guantánamo. He spoke to one of them on Friday. “Unfortunately, they are held because the president has no political will to end Guantánamo,” Warner says. “The president has the authority to transfer individuals if he believes that it’s in the interest of the United States. He doesn’t have the political will to do so because 166 men in Guantánamo don’t have much pull in the United States. But the average American on the street does not understand that half of these men, 86 of the men, are cleared for release.”





Death of a Prisoner: The filmmaker Laura Poitras follows the tragic return home to Yemen of a Guantánamo Bay prison detainee, Adnan Latif.


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When President Obama pledged to close the Guantánamo Bay prison on his first day in office as president in 2009, I believed the country had shifted direction. I was wrong. Four years later, President Obama has not only institutionalized Guantánamo and all the horrors it symbolizes, but he has initiated new extrajudicial programs, like the president’s secret kill list.

In September 2012 I read the news that another prisoner at Guantánamo had died, and I knew I had probably met his family. I traveled to Yemen in 2007 with the idea of making a film about a Guantánamo prisoner. I went there with the Guantánamo lawyer David Remes. He met with families and delivered the news of their sons, brothers, fathers and husbands. I had hoped to film the journey of someone being released from Guantánamo and returning home. Five years later, I find myself making that film, but under tragic circumstances.

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Legislation  :  Health  Hazards

Sept. 11 defense lawyers seek delay, blame rats

 A journalist walks past a row of tents used as media sleeping quarters in Camp Justice, the site of the U.S. war crimes tribunal compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in this image approved for release by the military Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
A journalist walks past a row of tents used as media sleeping quarters in Camp Justice, the site of the U.S. war crimes tribunal compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in this image approved for release by the military Tuesday, July 14, 2009.



Rat droppings and mold are health hazards in the Guantánamo offices of the accused 9/11 mastermind’s legal team, defense lawyers said Wednesday in a war court filing that seeks a delay in this month’s pretrial hearings at the Navy base in southeast Cuba.

“The Naval Hospital at Guantánamo Bay has determined that no one should work in these assigned spaces,” said Marine Maj. Derek Poteet, military defense counsel for confessed al-Qaida operations chief Khalid Sheik Mohammed. “Defense personnel have complained about the mold, rats, and rat feces for more than a year.”

Military spokesmen did not immediately respond to a request for an explanation of the health issue.

Prosecutors oppose a delay in the Oct. 14-19 hearings, Poteet said. They propose that defense lawyers use a space inside a top-security trailer that the defense claims is too small to accommodate them.

The revelation is the latest potential setback to the proceedings, which were postponed from August when the Pentagon evacuated war court staff as Tropical Storm Isaac approached.

Poteet said two members of the Mohammed defense team went to the hospital ahead of the evacuation in August with respiratory, flu-like symptoms — an episode that prompted a base health team to conduct a survey of the defense work space, then declare it unfit.

The chief defense counsel, Air Force Col. Karen Mayberry, said Wednesday she has forbidden defense staff from working in their first-floor offices of the building in light of health reports. Remediation efforts are under way and scheduled to be complete Monday, she added.

Defense lawyers for the accused planner of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship off Yemen also work out of the first floor of the building, known as AV 29, but have already sought postponement of pre-trial hearings in that case because of other issues.

Prosecutors continue to work out of the second floor, Poteet said.


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War on terror :  Politics

Guantanamo’s last Western detainee returned to Canada

File of a courtroom sketch of Canadian defendant Khadr attending a hearing at Guantanamo Bay

File of a courtroom sketch of Canadian defendant Khadr attending a hearing at Guantanamo Bay (reuters_tickers)

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – The youngest prisoner and last Westerner held in the Guantanamo military base, Omar Khadr, was sent to finish his sentence in his native Canada on Saturday, the Canadian government said.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said that Khadr, who was a 15-year-old fighting in Afghanistan when captured in 2002, had been flown from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a military base in Trenton, Ontario and transferred to the province’s Millhaven maximum-security prison.

Khadr’s case has been controversial both in Canada and abroad given his age when he was captured, the nature of his detention and hearing, and the reluctance of Canadian officials to accept his return.

“I am satisfied the Correctional Service of Canada can administer Omar Khadr’s sentence in a manner which recognizes the serious nature of the crimes that he has committed and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected during incarceration,” Toews said in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A U.S. war crimes tribunal in 2010 sentenced Khadr, now 26, to 40 years in prison, although he was expected to serve just a few more years under a deal that included his admission he was an al Qaeda conspirator who murdered a U.S. soldier.

Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that included murdering American Army medic Christopher Speer with a grenade in a 2002 firefight, conspiring with al Qaeda to commit terrorist acts, making roadside bombs to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, spying on American military convoys and providing material support for terrorism.

Khadr was the first person since World War Two to be prosecuted in a war crimes tribunal for acts committed as a juvenile. He was the youngest prisoner still at Guantanamo, but younger boys were previously held there.

Canadian-born Khadr was taken to Afghanistan by his father, a senior al Qaeda member who apprenticed the boy to a group of bomb makers who opened fire when U.S. troops came to their compound. Khadr was captured in the firefight, during which he was blinded in one eye and shot twice in the back.


“He’s finding it hard to believe that this has finally happened,” said John Norris, one of Khadr’s lawyers, according to a Canadian Press report. “His spirits are good. He is very, very happy to be home.”

In a written statement, Toews said Canada received Khadr’s application for transfer from the United States on April 13, 2012. He said U.S. officials assured Canada it would receive a videotape copy of an interview with Khadr, but it, along with other videotapes of interviews and unedited reports, was not sent until this month.

Former Canadian ambassador Gar Pardy, however, said Canada’s Conservative government, which cultivates an image of being tough on crime, dragged out the transfer.

“I think the government was mainly very mean-spirited in how it handled the case,” Pardy said to CTV News.

The Canadian Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that Canada breached Khadr’s rights by sending intelligence agents to interrogate him in Guantanamo Bay in 2003 and 2004 and sharing the results with the United States. Khadr’s continuing detention meant his rights were still being infringed, the judges ruled. The top court also said that Canada was not obliged to repatriate him, however.

Toews said he remains concerned that Khadr “idealizes” his father and denies Ahmed Khadr’s association with al Qaeda. The Canadian public safety minister said he is also troubled by how “radicalized” Khadr has become from his time in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Guantanamo Bay.

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that it transferred Khadr to Canada, leaving 166 detainees at Guantanamo.

In the 2008 presidential election campaign, President Barack Obama promised to close the Guantanamo prison during his term, but that pledge has gone unfulfilled amid security concerns among Americans and opposition from Congress, which enacted laws making it more difficult to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo.

The transfer represents progress, but the Guantanamo prison should close immediately, said Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA’s executive director.

Canadian authorities should also investigate Khadr’s allegations of torture while in the prison, she said.

“Canada now has the chance to right some of these wrongs.”

Khadr’s sentence will expire on October 30, 2018.

(Additional reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson in Toronto and Jane Sutton in Miami; Editing by Bill Trott and Sandra Maler)







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