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Guantánamo captives winning lawsuits 29-7

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posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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Guantánamo captives winning lawsuits 29-7


www.miamiherald.com

Judges weighing who must stay at and who can go from Guantánamo have so far ruled for the release of 29 detainees and told the Pentagon it can retain seven others.

By CAROL ROSENBERG
crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com
WASHINGTON -- In one federal courtroom last month, a defense lawyer argued that the U.S. military had coerced a false confession out of a 50-year-old Kuwaiti who has been at Guantánamo for seven years.

In another, a Maryland attorney proposed that his Pakistani client, being held as an alleged al Qaeda facilitator, be allowed to post bail and stay with family -- in Brooklyn.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
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posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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While many Neoconservatives and religious xenophobes won’t approve the courts are finally starting to step in and expose the harsh reality that the tactics utilized to fight the war on terror are more or less in fact what leads to terrorism in the first place.

Coerced confessions under physical torture and duress, prolonged and indefinite captivity without charge or trial aren’t exactly the kinds of things the forefathers put into our constitution.

The artful dodge of labeling people enemy combatants to rob them of their rights both under articles and conventions of war and the constitution is finally starting to crumble and not a day too soon.

It’s slowly inexorably shaping up to appear there will never be actual legitimate 9-11 trials and now America will have to deal with the legacy in ill will and harm to our once lofty reputation as the poorly sewn seeds of deceit in our actions are planted in communities and nations throughout the world.

With the Taliban still a resilient and popular force within Afghanistan, the Karzai government facing accusations of voter fraud, and 19 so called highjackers from Saudi Arabia supposedly responsible but with no conspiracy ever proven in an American court of law the war on terror is shaping up to be nothing but a war on the truth.

Will it ever be known?


www.miamiherald.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 01:39 PM
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Court rules for prisoners
Repudiating the Bush administration, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantánamo detainees can challenge their extended imprisonment in federal court.




BY MICHAEL DOYLE
McClatchy News Service
WASHINGTON -- A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Guantánamo Bay detainees can challenge their extended imprisonment in federal court, and struck down as inadequate an alternative review system that Congress set up.

Repudiating a key tenet of the Bush administration's war-on-terrorism policy, the court's 5-4 majority concluded that foreigners held at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, retain the same rights as U.S. residents to seek writs of habeas corpus. The landmark ruling will permit several hundred accused enemy combatants to see the evidence that justifies their captivity.

''Some of these petitioners have been in custody for the past six years with no definitive judicial determination as to the legality of their detention,'' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. ``Their access to the writ is necessary to determine the lawfulness of their status, even if, in the end, they do not obtain the relief they seek.''

The long-awaited ruling in the combined cases known as Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States is the latest in a string of judicial defeats for the Bush administration. It marks the third time in four years that the Supreme Court has repudiated the administration's efforts to exclude foreign prisoners from traditional legal protections.


It’s truly amazing that news like this breaks quietly on a National Holiday while most Americans are at the beaches and lakes, tending to their barbeques enjoying family and friends and oblivious to the fact that thankfully the Supreme Court has ruled fairly at last that all people subject to our American rule of law should be provide the same basic fundamental legal protections under it, which is after all what makes American Law, American Law.

It’s years too late in my humble opinion but better late than never, yet I find it highly suspect that such decisions are made and shared on a day when most people just wouldn’t be paying attention.

They say timing is everything!



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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And, how the U.S. attorneys who fought the Bush administration tooth-and-nail on its detention policies are now emerging as key partners in the effort to craft safe solutions for some of the men.

A case in point came this past week from the federal courts.

Long before Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ordered the U.S. government to free a young Afghan named Mohammed Jawad, his military lawyers arranged with UNICEF and the Afghan Human Rights Commission to get him education and support, once back home with his mother.

Defense lawyers argue he was 12, not 17, at his capture. They wanted to show an Obama task force that ``we had everything in place to ensure a smooth transition to civilian life,'' said Air Force Reserve Maj. David Frakt.

The post-release program was put together by Frakt, a college professor doing reserve duty, a Marine lawyer who traveled to Afghanistan and a Navy reserves lawyer, a lieutenant commander.

A total of 13 detainees have left Guantánamo since Obama took office. Six were resettled in Bermuda, Britain and France, not their native countries; five went to their homelands of Chad, Iraq and Saudi Arabia; and a Yemeni went home dead, an apparent suicide victim. The 13th went to New York for trial as an al Qaeda co-conspirator.


The war on terror is truly a frightening and terrible thing when a 12 year old child is snatched from the land of his birth and held in captivity thousands of miles away, with adults, denied due process of law and an education for year after year.

How does this happen?

I have long wondered whether Guantanamo Bay serves as a prison or a U.S. Sponsored Terrorist Training School as many politicians and human rights activists have accused it of being over the years.

If forensic anthropologists working for the government can determine when pedophilia pornography laws have been violated based on anatomical development certain they can also ascertain when they have a 12 year old boy in custody!



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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If they were detained innocent then there's quite a change they won't have farm and fuzzy feelings towards their captors. Not a very effective way of fighting this 'war'.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by PsykoOps
 


Lopsided and misguided U.S. Foreign policy literally breeds what genuine terrorism there is in my humble oppinion.

The Military Industrial Complex makes a fortune off of the war on terrorism and in my humble oppinion either tries to fan the flames of terrorism or out right deliberately fosters it through calculated and deliberate effort.

The real way to defeat terrorism is through education and legitimate economic opportunity not through bombs and bullets and prisons.

Thanks for posting.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 03:47 PM
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''It's been a long struggle,'' said Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the first lawsuits challenging the detentions. ``It's a major vindication.''

David Cynamon, the lead attorney for a detainee named Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad al Odah, added that the ruling was a ``complete victory not only for our clients but for all Americans and citizens the world over.''

The court's conservative wing -- comprising Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito -- dissented, at times with sharp words of its own.

''The nation will live to regret what the court has done today,'' Scalia warned.


The last sentence is what I already live to regret. When Judges sworn to uphold the Constitution and our loft principals sully them instead by playing politician and general.

The Law ceases to function as Law to anyone's protection, when the Law can be discarded, ignored or abused with impunity for the sake of political and militray expediency.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 05:25 PM
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In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the Guantánamo Bay detainees had a right to challenge their detentions under a statute passed by Congress. Congress responded by stripping federal courts of their jurisdiction, blocking further habeas corpus petitions. The Supreme Court next ruled that the 2005 law didn't apply retroactively to Guantánamo Bay petitions.

Congress returned with the Military Commissions Act of 2006, blocking all Guantánamo habeas corpus cases.

In Latin, habeas corpus means ''produce the body.'' A legal principle dating perhaps as far back as the 13th century, it enables prisoners to demand in court the legal justification and factual basis for their detentions.

''The [Constitution's] framers viewed freedom from unlawful restraint as a fundamental precept of liberty,'' Kennedy wrote, amid a lengthy historical recitation in his 70-page opinion, ``and they understood the writ of habeas corpus as a vital instrument to secure that freedom.''

The Bush administration contended that the men don't have habeas corpus rights because they're foreigners and aren't imprisoned here. The United States has leased the 45-square-mile Guantánamo Bay property from Cuba since 1903, and the court noted that the United States maintains an ''objective degree of control'' over the overseas facility.

''Our basic charter cannot be contracted away like this,'' Kennedy wrote. ``The Constitution grants Congress and the president the power to acquire, dispose of and govern territory, not the power to decide when and where its terms apply.''


The Writ of Habeus Corpus is so vital to American freedoms and the Constitution. In many ways it is our primary protection as citizens from a government gone awry.

It is so powerful an intstrument for liberty and rights that in the above passages it becomes evident in the extent that government was invloved in attempts to find away around it and defeat it.

Taking it away and denying it from our so called enemies might seem like a good idea to some, but the reality is it is often politics alone that decides who an enemy is and why.

Yet in America it's the courts that ultimately are charged with who has broken a law and deserves punishment by carefully perscribed standards based on Law and not politics.

This ruling wasn't a victory for terrorism, this ruling was a victory for every citizen of America. What can't be taken away from our 'sworn enemies' in the way of our constitutional protections, can not be taken away from us the citizen either, and rest assured that is where such slipery slopes lead to.

It is our fundamental principals that should always guide us in times of trouble, for that is when we need them the very most to establish what is unique about America which gives it virtue.

It's troubling that this was such a narrow decision on the highly politicized court where Justices seem to have such a difficult time translating such a uniquely simple document, made so simple in part so it could not be so misconstrued.

Thankfully for today at least common sense and decency prevailed.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 07:31 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 07:56 PM
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I'm shocked. The SCOTUS actually got something right? I didn't know that could happen.

I guess even a broken clock gets the time right every twelve hours so the SCOTUS can do the right thing once in a while. I truly never thought this would happen, given the overwhelming fear spouted by our MSM as to how much danger we are in from people in caves on the other side of the world.

Personally, I have no fear of terrorists from outside of the nation(well, bankers are terrorists and have no nationality so I do have a distrust of them), no, I fear our own government and the things they are capable of. Witness the crap going down with the absolutely insane swine-flu "pandemic" and the laws regarding mandatory jabs, relocation camps, etc. and there is something to be scared of.

Those people across the ocean wouldn't hate us so much anyway if we hadn't been screwing everything up over there for close to 60 years - maybe longer but I'm no history expert.

All this because 19 guys from(mostly) Saudi Arabia supposedly took over four planes with boxcutters and performed horrific deeds, so we went and started two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Somewhere, somehow, there's logic missing from all that.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 08:14 PM
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reply to post by TheLoony
 


The sad thing is that in many ways this is the government now stepping in to free itself of the burden of it's own mess. A large majority of the detainees are simply not terrorists. They were cooks and guests at wedding parties and once upon attended a training seminar or possessed a piece of literature. As one Judge ruling on individual Habeus Corpus cases regarding the detainees, that many of their individual stories/cases are sensational yet hardly deserving of indefinate life long incarceration.

Obama does actually want to close Camp X-Ray primarily because it has become a huge international embarassment to the United States.

Yet so many convoluted policies and laws have been made and passed to enable holding these people indefinately for purely political reasons that now they literally have to create a mechanism within the law to get by their own insidious handiwork in the first place that led to their 'lawful' detainment.

The government simply can't prove a case in most cases and should have never detained most of them in the first place.

The practice of Habeus Corpus is fairly universal in most democratic nations, it dates back to the time of the Magna Carter as one of the primary agents for limiting noble's powers to incarcerate and torture at will and indefinately.

It's not like it's a uniquely American Concept since after all it dates all the way back to Latin times with a Latin Root.

Yet the reality is the Court barely made the right call on a 5 to 4 vote with the most conservative judges clearly ruling politically and not constitutionally in their dissent.

While the public has a vague and general idea most of the detainees are going to be transfered out of Guantanomo and incarcerated in other nations and on U.S. Soil that is simply not the case, the vast majority of them are going to be released and most of the negotiations with other countries is not to incarcerate them but simply to agree to take them to live there. The Justice department is actually paying money to resettle them and additionally compensate them for their detention.

Bermuda has taken several.

I would like to say this is the Court doing the right thing, but in reality it appears more to be the Court giving the Administration a way out politically of a festering public relations disaster.

Still a victory for the Law and human rights and dignity is always a victory no matter how it comes down the pike or why.

Thanks for posting.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 08:42 PM
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No real surprises here.

This was the weakness of their strategy all along.

The 'moral' defenders of this nation took for granted that the law was no obstacle to what they were doing.

It didn't work. 29 of 36 were not meant to be where they were.

Why couldn't they see that?



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 08:43 PM
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Emptying Guantánamo camps, one deal at a time
Despite the determination of U.S. officials and the goodwill of some foreign nations, President Barack Obama's plan to close the Guantánamo prison camps by January still has a long way to go.




BY CAROL ROSENBERG
crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com
WASHINGTON -- On May 20, the premier of Bermuda was paying his respects at the White House when he offered a lifeline to the Obama administration's struggle to find countries for some of Guantánamo's most stigmatized detainees.

``I wonder if Bermuda can help,'' Premier Ewart Brown offered.

Three weeks later, four former prisoners were smiling, posing for photographers at a Bermuda beach -- a freeze-frame moment capping rare collaboration between a U.S. ally, attorneys and an American administration determined to close the Pentagon's prison camps in Cuba by Jan. 22.

Bermuda's hospitality illustrates how much the administration is relying on outsiders to make good on President Barack Obama's mandate to empty the prison camps at Guantánamo Bay.

And, how the U.S. attorneys who fought the Bush administration tooth-and-nail on its detention policies are now emerging as key partners in the effort to craft safe solutions for some of the men.


This is what I was referring to in my previous post on how third party countries are taking Guantanomo Bay Camp X-Ray detainees but not as detainees but free men being allowed to immigrate into their country.

Many of the detainees were simply political dissidents in places like Yemen that the Governments of those country were all to happy to pawn off on us.



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by Maxmars
No real surprises here.

This was the weakness of their strategy all along.

The 'moral' defenders of this nation took for granted that the law was no obstacle to what they were doing.

It didn't work. 29 of 36 were not meant to be where they were.

Why couldn't they see that?


I am relatively sure they did see that and simply didn't care when in reality all they are doing is running a public relations war, or trying to convince the U.S. Citizens it's worth the expenditure in lives and dollars and liberties.

Hundreds of thousands of lives around the globe, trillions of dollars, and things like the Patriot Act and a massive security/industrial complex called Homeland Security to go along with the military/industrial complex was all sold to us...force fed to us based on the premise that there were dangerous zealots out there in the droves waiting to do our lives and property harm.

So they simply manufactured droves of them for us by incarcerating the innocent and meaningless to effect the charade.

Heck of a world we live in. What a country!



posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 08:43 AM
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Lawyers from the London-based human rights group Reprieve took two trips to N'Djamena, Chad, in 2007 and 2008, to interest the government there in the case of Mohammed Gharani. His lawyers say he was 14 at capture, and grew his first beard behind the razor wire in Cuba.

Born in Saudi Arabia to guest worker parents, he went to Pakistan as a citizen of Chad to study the Koran. The kingdom didn't want him back even after he was cleared of terror suspicions at Guantánamo.

So Reprieve lawyers traveled to Africa. ``The pitch was, `This is a national of yours. He's never been charged with a crime,'' recalls attorney Zachary Katznelson. ``He's been abused . . . racially abused, psychologically abused, physically abused, cut off from his family. He's the only Chadian national there and he needs your help.''

Chad eventually contacted the State Department and asked for his return, says Katznelson.

But it didn't go quietly. The young man made .lines when a prison-approved family phone call to an uncle turned into a recorded chat with an al Jazeera reporter -- the only broadcast interview with a detainee in the prison camp's history. The military says captives can't talk to journalists, citing the Geneva Conventions.


Not that easy I imagine being a 14 year old, who has been kidnapped and incarcerated thousands of miles away from your family and friends held incommunicato and having to worry about things like the Geneva Conventions and Military Guards and CIA Interrogators, instead of mom, dad, and your teacher.



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