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Guantanamo Lawsuits - The Prisoners Speak

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posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 08:50 AM
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Good read, but a free subscription news service, i'll post as much of the article as possible so you don't have to sign up if you don't want to.
Captives tell their side


WASHINGTON - Long before U.S. troops took him in shackles to Guantánamo Bay, Libyan exile Omar Deghayes got a law degree in London. He lost part of his sight, at age 4, to childhood swordplay.

He says his family fled their homeland for Europe in 1986 because his father was killed for opposing Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. He says he admires Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Deghayes, 34, is also one of the ''worst of the worst'' -- an enemy combatant -- now suing President Bush and the Pentagon to charge him or set him free from Camp Delta.

And, like dozens more so-called terror suspects, he is using the U.S. District Court here to systematically do something the Bush administration has fought for three years: He is telling his side of the story.

Far from the razor wire, inside the court that ordered Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes, the stories of the once nameless, faceless men kept captive at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba come alive in page after page of habeas corpus petitions for 140 Guantánamo captives from 23 countries from China to Saudi Arabia.

They include assertions of being kidnapped to Afghanistan so the United States could cast them as captured on the battlefield. They write of wives and children awaiting their return and complain about their conditions, medical care and isolation.

Some allege American interrogations turned to torture. Others says they are innocent, devout Muslims mistaken for Islamic militants.

WAR POWERS

Bush administration lawyers have systematically fought the lawsuits, using the president's war powers to justify keeping scrutiny of Guantánamo's detainees outside the courts.

They argue the petitioners are terrorists whose interrogations have yielded valuable intelligence in the hunt for al Qaeda cells and the war to topple the Taliban. Commanders say they comply with a presidential order to treat the detainees humanely, and interrogations are strictly monitored.

Former captive Mamdouh Habib, 46, went home to Australia in January. But in his lawsuit, he argued that U.S. forces outsourced his case to Egypt, where interrogators used electric shock and water torture to force from him a false confession -- that he knew some Sept. 11 hijackers.

Captive Abdulla al-Anazi sued in February. But little else is known about him -- except that he is a double amputee who presumably lost both legs in battle and has 24 brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia.

And there's Fahmi Abdulla Ahmed, in his 20s, the son of a Yemeni air force colonel who asserts he was captured by Pakistani police and handed over to Americans in Afghanistan. His lawyer, Adrian Stewart, describes him as a ''shrimpy guy with black teeth'' who says that U.S. troops humiliated him by shaving off his eyebrows and head hair -- for a cross-shaped buzz-cut.

HIGH COURT RULING

The prisoners' lawsuits have been stacking up since June, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that foreigners held in U.S.-controlled Cuban territory can contest their captivity in federal courts.

As a body, the petitions are a ''step by step'' effort to ''reestablish the rule of law and the principle that even the president is not above the law,'' says attorney Michael Ratner of New York's Center for Constitutional Rights, which has championed the effort.

An outspoken critic of the Guantánamo prison, Ratner said the lawsuits illustrate a government power gone awry: ``Not only has this wrong-headed effort harmed the detainees, but it has undermined critical legal protections.''

Anyone who shouldn't be there, the government said, will be weeded out through Pentagon panels sifting through classified secrets that the courts need not see.

The Supreme Court disagreed. And, it fell to the federal judges in the white concrete U.S. District Court along Constitution Avenue.

PRISONERS SPEAK

Judges there have done everything from issuing restraining orders banning the Pentagon from moving detainees to third countries to ordering the military to stop eavesdropping on lawyer-client conversations. Since then, prisoners have started to speak of soldiers and interrogators using sexual and religious humiliation in the prison that the administration likes to boast is humane overall.

One judge, George W. Bush appointee Richard Leon, tossed out seven Algerians' habeas petitions and said the federal courts should not intrude. Another, Clinton appointee Joyce Hens Greens, said Guantánamo captives can sue, and highlighted torture allegations.

Now a federal appeals court will play Solomon, on a question destined to return to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the captives and their American lawyers keep turning to the court. Just this month, another judge filed an injunction against the Bush administration that banned it from sending prisoners to nations where the State Department has alleged human rights violations.

And more and more prisoners have been filing petitions, through U.S. lawyers who have learned about prisoners the Pentagon has tried to keep anonymous. The cases uses a template that has evolved over the past year.

BASIC ARGUMENT

Different prisoners' legal arguments can vary, but they mostly follow a basic American civil liberties line: Guantánamo prisoners should be set free, they say, because they have not been charged and are being held in indefinite detention, a Fifth Amendment violation.

Their detentions violate U.S. military law, they assert, because the Bush administration has taken a pick-and-choose approach to Geneva Convention protections and violates the Army's own regulations on war-time captives.

And, increasingly, the lawyers argue that reported torture has rendered meaningless any confession their clients have made through repeated interrogation, which violates Congress' own Alien Tort statute.

Then they include the kind of personal details that, if a judge ever actually hears a case, makes a captive come alive.

`FASCINATING'

''From an intellectual perspective they are fascinating cases and the issues are very, very important to our system of justice,'' said Newark, N.J., lawyer Mark Berman, whose firm is defending two Qatari brothers.

''There are very, very interesting issues and there has been a tremendous effort to make sure that all these people have counsel,'' added Berman, whose firm's senior partner, retired federal Judge John Gibson, argued the Guantánamo prisoners' case before the Supreme Court.

All this is happening as the Pentagon has been slowly thinning the prison population, freeing a few and sometimes sending them to custody in foreign countries -- beyond U.S. law.

FEAR OF TORTURE

Lawyers for Egyptian Sherif Mashad, a resident of Italy who was captured along the Afghan-Pakistan border, for example, argue that he could be tortured if he is sent to Cairo, on the theory that after three years in Guantánamo he must be a terrorist.

Deghayes likewise is seeking his return to London, where his mother lives as a British citizen, not the country his family fled for Switzerland 25 years ago, and ultimately political asylum in England.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

British-born U.S. attorney Clive Stafford Smith argues that Deghayes is a victim of mistaken identity, and that military intelligence has mistakenly branded him a one-time Chechen fighter named ``Abu Walid.''

THE PROOF

Were he to reach court, Stafford Smith said, he would provide proof that the boy's right eye has been damaged since a boyhood accident. Yet European agencies circulated a mug shot purporting to be Deghayes that portrays a goggle-eyed black-haired Chechen fighter.

''These petitions demonstrate that the Bush administration wasted a huge amount of time, money and effort in a wild goose chase,'' Ratner said. '[Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld's `worst of the worst' were nothing of the sort. There is no evidence to have justified their detentions for a week, much less three years.''


While I don't doubt that some of these men are guilty and are truly Al-Qaeda members and potential terrorists, it is obvious that there has also been blatant errors of judgement regarding the treatment and handling of these prisoners. Here in the US we pride ourselves and value one of basic judicial rights, "Innocent till Proven Guilty" but many of these men some who are probably not guilty of anything except being of a certain descent and in the wrong place at the wrong time, have had to endure hardships that no potentially innocent man should. I expect to get heat for wanting to be softer on these detainees until their crimes are proven, but just put yourself in their shoes and see if you don't feel the same.

[edit on 3-31-2005 by worldwatcher]




posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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Above The Law

Is not just a title of a Steven Segal movie, but the title to Invincible and Untouchable CIA. CIA apparently gets to get away with Everything they do!

Do you still remember Nicaragua? What kind of monstrous War Crimes were commited there? Was anybody charged with Anything? Was anybody responsible ever arrested and prosecuted? No.

And the same thing happened lots of times in the past, so I dont really suprise me that these kind of War Crimes are being performed today.



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 09:15 AM
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its better to send them back to their countries with their own laws, if they get torture by their own people not america's problem and we don't get blame do we?



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 09:37 AM
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deltaboy:

its better to send them back to their countries with their own laws, if they get torture by their own people not america's problem and we don't get blame do we?


Is it about blame? Then yeah, the USA is partly to blame for whatever happens to these people as a result of illegal incarceration in Guantanomo.

If they are held in Gitmo for three years and then released, and their home government figures that if they were in Guantanomo then they must be terrorists, then yes, the USA is partly to blame for what results from that.

But in reality, they will arrive home to their countries and they will tell their stories and they will whip up more and more anti-American sentiment as a result of what they say.

Because the rest of the world knows that Dubya is a lying, cheating bag of human scum who will stomp on people's rights if it serves his corporate masters.

Heck, he has been stomping on your rights as an American for about 5 years now, and if you don't realize it, 90% of the rest of the world does.


How many American citizens are currently being held in Guantanomo Bay?

You don't know because your government doesn't want you to know.

Where is John Walker Lindh, what are they doing to him?

Where is Jose Padilla, has he been charged with anything, where are they holding him?

I suggest you start shopping around for jackboots, leather overcoats, and various other Nazi paraphenilia (sp?), because your country is slowly becoming a fascist regime, and I don't envy you having to explain to your children how you totally got fooled into believing everything done by your criminal governement was done "to protect you".

The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.

jako


ps. You'd better hope that you are nice to everyone you meet, because if someone decides to call up the CIA or FBI and report that they believe you to be a terrorist, the rights that you currently have will disappear and you might end up extradited to Syria in order for them to torture you so that you can say what they want to hear.

Yay Freedom.



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 09:46 AM
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lol trust me Jakomo i aint gonna be arrested and my rights as citizen aint being compromised, i dont see the CIA arresting me for listening to music talking about military and politics, etc. i still havent gotten arrested yet after living under the bush admin for 5 years now.



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 10:34 AM
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deltaboy:

my rights as citizen aint being compromised, i dont see the CIA arresting me for listening to music talking about military and politics


I suggest you read the Patriot Act I and II, you're under a mistaken impression.

jako



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by Jakomo
deltaboy:

my rights as citizen aint being compromised, i dont see the CIA arresting me for listening to music talking about military and politics


I suggest you read the Patriot Act I and II, you're under a mistaken impression.

jako


i have and i still see no stomping of rights, but that could possibly be because i don't break any laws, other than the occasional speed limit or overdue vehicle inspection.



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 12:44 PM
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Lawsuits?

This is war, not a courtroom.
If someone got tossed in Guantanimo Bay, they musta got caught doing something pretty bad. Our military does not toss every Arab they meet into GB because their just suspicious of them.....they get thrown in there when their caught doing something really bad and their actions prove their connected to the terrorists.

We're not talking Boyscouts here, why don't you save your concern for our brave soldiers fighting overseas?

I could give a RATS-A** about the punk terrorists locked up in Guantanimo Bay.

Maximu§



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 12:52 PM
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Well I guess that the hasty war in which our administration rush US into, has been looking bad from any angle you want to see it.

Yes the people in Guantanamo that were wrongly accused and incarcerated have the right to seek retribution.

Abuse, incarceration with not charge, it's making our nation portrait a very negative image to the rest of the world.

We have been self proclaim by the bush administration as liberator and anti-terror, now we are even the anti-tyranny fighters.

How can you proclaim all of the above when we have denied justice to others.

Is not a very good image, sugar coated anyway you want but the truth can not be hide.


By the way "this is war" to an abstract ideology is not a nation and neither a government.



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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Our military does not toss every Arab they meet into GB because their just suspicious of them.....they get thrown in there when their caught doing something really bad and their actions prove their connected to the terrorists.


Without trials, how are we supposed to believe this?
Indeed, 38 of them just got released because they had apparently done nothing but be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I doubt they were the only ones.

Gitmo is an insult to democracy and the rule of law. If we're so convinced these people are terrorists, why don't we have the cojones to try them in a real court? If they are "enemy combatants", why not treat them as POW's?

It amazes me how willing people are to undermine the very institutions and ideals that make America something worth protecting, in the name of protecting it. "We have to destroy democracy in order to protect it."

BS



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by LA_Maximus
Lawsuits?

This is war, not a courtroom.
If someone got tossed in Guantanimo Bay, they musta got caught doing something pretty bad. Our military does not toss every Arab they meet into GB because their just suspicious of them.....they get thrown in there when their caught doing something really bad and their actions prove their connected to the terrorists.

We're not talking Boyscouts here, why don't you save your concern for our brave soldiers fighting overseas?

I could give a RATS-A** about the punk terrorists locked up in Guantanimo Bay.

Maximu§

If thats true then it should be a simple matter to charge them with the crime they were caught doing, right? Why is that not happening? It only leads to questions and situations like this.

Lets say the entire War on Terrorism is a hoax. How could you continue such a hoax if you did not make it appear that you are doing something and actually holding people you allege are terrorists? Entirely speculation on my part, of course.

Charge these people or let them go, now. Thats all there is to this matter.



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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LA_Maximus:

If someone got tossed in Guantanimo Bay, they musta got caught doing something pretty bad. Our military does not toss every Arab they meet into GB because their just suspicious of them.....they get thrown in there when their caught doing something really bad and their actions prove their connected to the terrorists.

We're not talking Boyscouts here, why don't you save your concern for our brave soldiers fighting overseas?


Did you even bother to read the article referenced in the first post of this thread? That's EXACTLY what happened.

They get caught and thrown in there for "doing domething really bad". huh? Like what? Something so bad that they are never charged for it, not even publicly ACCUSED of it, and eventually released? I guess you trust your government because it has never lied to you, huh? Haha!

There's one born every minute, I suppose.


I could give a RATS-A** about the punk terrorists locked up in Guantanimo Bay.


Right, freedom is only for those DESERVING of it, right? Deserving people, people who value freedom and refuse to see others treated badly and incarcerated for no reason. Which, um, means that you are undeserving of YOUR freedom because you seem to think it is only for those YOU trust.

fledgling:

i have and i still see no stomping of rights, but that could possibly be because i don't break any laws, other than the occasional speed limit or overdue vehicle inspection.


Pardon me if I don't believe for a second that you have in fact read the entire Patriot Act I and II.

If you have, and find no faults, then WOW. Because federal judges have had problems with it, constitutional experts, and even those who SIGNED it without reading it.

www.cnn.com...


Federal judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional
Monday, January 26, 2004 Posted: 4:54 PM EST (2154 GMT)


www.politinfo.com...


Federal Judge Rules Major Provision Of The Patriot Act Unconstitutional

Sep 30, 2004 New York



Here's a tiny snippet of some examples of the Patriot Act goodness.


The act reduces the level of judicial supervision required for the government to investigate activities putatively related to terrorism. This includes wiretaps, access to financial records, and pen register surveillance (sender, receiver, subject without text) of some electronic communications. Apparently in some cases this has led to the use of “secret intelligence courts” to issue warrants, and at other times there have been no courts. The law also allows criminal investigations without judicial supervision for “intelligence purposes.”

Non-citizens may be jailed on very low levels of suspicion without charge. Former President Al Gore writes that Attorney General Ashcroft has authorized clandestine monitorings of attorney-client communications without prior judicial review, the secret inspection of financial and even medical (in spite of HIPAA) records, as well as running secret background checks of any person of interest,[3] and undercover surveillance of public protests and demonstrations or even public meetings.

[4] ACLU spokesman Matt Howes reported on Dec 2, 2003 that the FBI had circulated a memo that “advocates spying on peaceful protesters and indicates that protesters who engage in civil disobedience or other disruptive acts should be treated like potential terrorists.” But the Ninth Circuit overturned a provision in a 1996 terrorism law that might punish unwitting contributors to fronts to terrorist groups, because it might ensnare someone like “a woman who buys cookies from a bake sale outside of her grocery store to support Kurdish refugees to find new homes.” Already, there have been cases of Americans with Muslim spouses having their bank accounts frozen by the FBI without their knowledge.[5]


None of this bothers you at all?

jako



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 02:24 PM
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Jakomo, lets say those "prisoners" are allowed ACLU lawyers and a trial. Would'nt the soldiers that caught him have to be called back to the states for the trial?

Thats means pulling front-line soldiers off the field and sending them stateside for the trial. Does that make sense??? Heck No, this is WAR...you better wake up and smell the roses.

We just might lose this war.......half our country is behind our military and the other half is stabbing them in the back!!!

In regards to the Patriot Act, I like it!! Have we been attacked since 9/11? No we have not, because we gave law enforcment the tools they need.


Maximu§




[edit on 023131p://444 by LA_Maximus]



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 02:33 PM
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Why everybody keep screaming this is a "war" is was not, it was an attack on Afghanistan and an invasion of Iraq.

Where was the war?

Some need to wake up and smell the realities of the lies we were fed about the "war on terror"



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 02:42 PM
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The War I was refering to is the War on Terror. Its not over yet Marg and it won't be over until the Mullahs in Iran are LOCKED UP at Guantanimo Bay in a 6x6 cage next to the monsters they created and also when the government of Syria falls.

The war is just starting.....


Maximu§



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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LA_Maximus:

Jakomo, lets say those "prisoners" are allowed ACLU lawyers and a trial. Would'nt the soldiers that caught him have to be called back to the states for the trial?

Thats means pulling front-line soldiers off the field and sending them stateside for the trial. Does that make sense??? Heck No, this is WAR...you better wake up and smell the roses.


? If they are prisoners, shouldn't they be allowed counsel? Isn't that in your Constitution? IDoesn't "promoting freedom" to the rest of the world kind of put the onus on your country to SHOW what they mean by freedom?

Do you think a soldier in Iraq would be particularly pissed off to get a trip to Cuba, and out of the cauldron that is Iraq? I doubt it.

If this is WAR, you follow the rules of law. Even if it's not, you respect people's human rights, and their right to defend themselves if they are accused of a crime, no? Are they undeserving of this because they're Arabs? Muslims? What disqualifies them from receiving "justice"?



We just might lose this war.......half our country is behind our military and the other half is stabbing them in the back!!!

In regards to the Patriot Act, I like it!! Have we been attacked since 9/11? No we have not, because we gave law enforcment the tools they need.


Your argument is flawed. You have not been attacked since 9-11, so thus the Patriot Act works? Where do you get your logic?

You weren't attacked on US soil UNTIL 9-11, so how do you explain that fact? What protected you since 1776?


Its not over yet Marg and it won't be over until the Mullahs in Iran are LOCKED UP at Guantanimo Bay in a 6x6 cage next to the monsters they created and also when the government of Syria falls.



Okay now I get it. You're 8 years old.


jako



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by LA_Maximus
The War I was refering to is the War on Terror. Its not over yet Marg and it won't be over until the Mullahs in Iran are LOCKED UP at Guantanimo Bay in a 6x6 cage next to the monsters they created and also when the government of Syria falls.

The war is just starting.....


Maximu§

Thank you fot that lovely view of how the war on terror will look, mind if In show you mine?


Us takes out iran facilities , high risk of radiation affecting local population.
Us invades syria, yet more dead on both sides and yet more people proclaiming its good...
"War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children. "
Jimmy Carter



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by Jakomo
Okay now I get it. You're 8 years old.
jako


Personal insults now Jako? This tells me your argument has run outta steam. Nice try, but no tamale.

Maximu§



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 03:05 PM
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devilwasp, your quoteing Jimmy Carter??? The peanut farmer who drove America into a ditch??

Cmon your a smart guy, surely you can do better than this.


Maximu§



posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by LA_Maximus
Heck No, this is WAR...you better wake up and smell the roses.


What the hell kind of site is this?

Did I just join the John Birch Society?



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