Guantánamo

2012-07-29 The undermining of Canadian values in the delay to approve transfer of Omar Khadr

The Minister of Public Safety in Canada, Vic Toews, recently made comments about Omar Khadr's potential transfer to Canada from Guantánamo Bay, where he has been incarcerated since 2002 when he was just 15 years old. The comment by Toews comes after the US formally requested a transfer in April of 2012, and after months of silence and inaction. Omar Khadr pleaded guilty in Guantánamo in 2010 to five charges. Under a plea deal, Khadr had his sentence reduced from 40 to 8 years. Such a transfer would allow Omar Khadr to serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada.

2012-05-28 What we know about the Information Review Task Force | US v PFC #Manning #WikiLeaks #Assange

On July 29, 2010, the then Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, ordered the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Ronald L. Burgess, to stand up an Information Review Task Force, to lead a comprehensive review of the documents allegedly given to WikiLeaks in concert with interagency participants.

2012-05-23 WikiLeaks News Update: Assange verdict date set, "World Tomorrow" episode 6, other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 536 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 533 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 730 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 616 days.


2012-05-15 WikiLeaks News Update: "The World Tomorrow" Episode 5; Noam Chomsky on WikiLeaks; Other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 528 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 525 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 722 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 608 days.


2012-05-13 WikiLeaks News Update: Stratfor ops in Russia; Ex-Guantanamo detainee on Assange show; Other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 526 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 523 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 720 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 606 days.


2012-01-17 Poetry of Master Sgt. Adkins, highest rank in T-SCIF invoked Article 31 at #Manning Pre Trial

paul_david_adkins.jpg

Ucityreview.com says "Paul David Adkins grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He attended Mercer and Washington University. He lives in New York." 

Borderlinepoetry.com says, "Paul David Adkins grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He entered the Army in 1991 and has served in Iraq three times and Afghanistan once since 2002. He has poems published or pending in Crab Creek Review, Rattle, Artful Dodge and Chattahoochee Review, among others." The unclassified defense witnesses list calls him, "▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓", but you can find him on twitter @pdadkins29, where he describes himself as, "Husband dad *poet* conneisseur [sic] of Mountain Dew"

Indeed, "2nd BCT intelligence noncommissioned officer in charge Master Sgt. Paul David Adkins, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla." was the highest ranking officer and responsible for data security in Bradley Manning's TSCIF.  According to a report in Politico, Adkins "was reduced to a sergeant first class recently due to 'being derelict in his duties,' according to a defense filing. Coombs suggested that Adkins is appealing that reduction."

2012-01-10 #WikiLeaks News: Army monitored tweets on Bradley #Manning’s Pre-trial; Other News





This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

News

  • A document containing analysis of news coverage of Bradley Manning’s pretrial hearing by the US Army was released today by Politico. The Army used a service called VOCUS to track not only traditional press coverage, but also social media in near-real time, for instance tweets containing the hashtag #Manning.
    VOCUS identified most coverage as being “negative”, but also mostly “balanced and factual”. Part of the report deals with the number of stories on Lt. Dan Choi’s removal from Fort Meade:

    "Since former Lt. Dan Choi's disturbance outside of the courtroom there have been 118 print and online stories; and 67 social network conversations in reference to the incident."

    Also today, journalist Kevin Gosztola wrote about his experience covering the hearing from the Media Operations Center at Fort Meade. He recalls that, on the first day, the social media director on the public affairs staff asked the media if they would agree to use a single hashtag to categorize their tweets.
    “In retrospect”, he writes, “it appears she may have been trying to make it easier to track media tweets.”


2011-11-23 Omar Khadr Part 4 of 4: “Punitive post-conviction confinement”

ImageThis article is in lieu of the long delayed fourth part of the Omar Khadr series written on WL Central last May. The original fourth part consisted of hours of interviews regarding the astoundingly corrupt and illegal military process which culminated in a verdict which allows the Canadian press to refer to Omar Khadr as a 'convicted terrorist'. One day the information in those interviews will be widely known, but today we are still prevented from publishing any of it for fear of retribution to those we do not wish to harm.

Today, Omar should be at home in Canada, as promised by the Canadian government as a term of his acceptance of a plea deal. Today, he is still in Guantanamo Bay serving what the US military terms “punitive post-conviction confinement.”. A little known fact regarding the Guantanamo sentences is that time served before sentencing is not considered 'punitive' and therefore does not count as time served towards his sentence. Omar's sentence is to be carried out in a solitary confinement 'enhanced interrogation' environment, and at the end of his sentence he can be placed back in 'Prisoner Of War' status in the Guantanamo cells he has spent his life in since he was 15 years old. Without repatriation to Canada, his eight year plea deal is just an eight year sentence to solitary confinement in the middle of a lifetime sentence in Guantanamo.

2011-10-14 Update: AG McClelland responds to 'Compounding the Crimes against David Hicks'

Responding belatedly to my letter of 2011/07/21, the Attorney General Robert McClelland (and therefore the Australian government) have made it clear (yet again) that the David Hicks matter and torture allegations is something to make pious platitudes about but otherwise, they have no desire to do anything else.

Here is the letter:

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Note the following six points in summary form, made by McClelland's office:

2011-08-04 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks

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This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

04:40 PM A top-secret document obtained by The Guardian reveals information was extracted through illegal torture of prisoners overseas by the MI5 and MI6 with authorization from Tony Blair's government.
The allegations echo evidence of torture by Iraqi forces that had been exposed by WikiLeaks last year. (via thinq_)

12:40 AM A ‘Conversation with Mark Stephens’, Julian Assange’s former lawyer, is to take place in Glasgow, on the 1st September. Topics will include the law surrounding freedom of information and the European arrest warrant, and possibly ‘the increasing prevalence of denial of service attacks’. For more details: An Interview with Mark Stephens at Strathclyde university

06:00 AM Legislation that could keep Guantanamo open indefinitely will be voted on by the U.S. Senate in early September. This legislation has already been passed by the House of Representatives.
To prevent this from happening, please call your two Senators and and urge them to take a stand against Guantanamo!

To do this you can either

* call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senators

2011-07-30 Brandon Neely call to action for protest Aug 3, Sydney, Australia for the David Hicks case #GTMO

On Wednesday, August 3rd at 8:30am a protest will be held at New South Wales Supreme Court, 184 Phillip St, Sydney Sydney, Australia. For more information see http://thejusticecampaign.org/.

Important Telephone Numbers:

  • Julia Gillards office (from within Australia) 02 6277 7111
  • Julia Gillards office (from outside Australia) +61 262777111
  • Common Wealth Director of Public Prosecutions (02) 9321 1100

Brandon Neely, has been a vocal critic of both Guantanamo Bay, and the war in Iraq. And he speaks from experience, since he was both a guard at Guantanamo during the the first six months the camp was open, and served in Iraq during the US invasion. In the course of his advocacy, he has offered testimony to the Center for Human Rights in the Americas, and appeared in numerous articles and on television programs, including a BBC program that recounts how he contacted two of his former prisoners on Facebook to express remorse for what he did. You can also find him on twitter, @BrandonTXNeely. He knew David Hicks while Hicks was incarcerated at GTMO.

To read WL Central's interview with Brandon Neely go here.

2011-07-23 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks

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This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
New Cable(s) were released today.

* Julian Assange, John Pilger and Noam Chomsky have added their names to an online petition that aims to prevent commonwealth prosecutors from seizing the proceeds of David Hicks’ memoirs Guantanamo: My Journey.

"The move against Hicks’ memoirs should concern everyone. But it is of particular relevance to writers and publishers, precisely because of the direct interference into publications with which the government politically disagrees.", the petition reads.

* UMNO’s abuse of security institutions and national security laws pointed out as causes to political crisis in Malaysia in a diplomatic cable from 2008.

"In good times UMNO can maintain control by distributing power and money to get what it wants. In bad times, it uses the stick, and for now that means intimidation. The ruling elite

2011-06-23 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases, #WikiLeaks & More

ImageThis is a "WikiLeaks News Update," constantly updated throughout each day. The blog tracks stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks but also follows stories related to freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, freedom of expression, and sometimes the national security establishment of the United States because each issue/topic helps one further understand WikiLeaks and vice versa.

All the times are EST. You can contact me at kgosztola@hotmail.com with any news tips. Twitter username is @kgosztola. Also, if you are looking for some insightful discussion of stories related to WikiLeaks, I encourage you to check out the catalog of podcasts posted here at WL Central from the "This Week in WikiLeaks" show I produce every week.

8:10 PM Cables provide new insight into "international tug of war" over individual on US EPA's list of environmental fugitives

5:00 PM Lt. Dan Choi, now facing federal charges for engaging in a civil disobedience action at the White House fence in protest of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," in video says he is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Bradley Manning.

4:45 PM Op-ed by Dave Shipler in the New York Times on how it was a rough spring for the Fourth Amendment - privacy, warrants, the right of citizens to not be subject to unreasonable searches or seizures.

2011-06-14 Torture Accountability After All?

Authored by Stephen Soldz.

Those of us who opposed the Bush administration torture program have been demoralized by the lack of accountability for the numerous abuses committed as part of that program. President Obama decried torture, and said he would end it, but he also said he wanted to "look forward, not back," apparently precluding investigations of the abuses committed by the previous administration.

The Obama administration has not merely refused to initiate criminal investigations of those who approved and ordered the Bush-Cheney torture program. They have declined even to support a Commission of Inquiry to explore what happened in a non-judicial forum. Further, the administration used every legal tool available including spurious arguments about national security in US courts and diplomatic pressure on foreign governments to stymie efforts at accountability through ethics complaints, domestic civil trials, and foreign criminal cases for the crimes committed by predecessors.

Over the last few years, as one avenue of accountability after another was closed, it looked as if the torture program would be protected as carefully by the Obama administration as it was by the Bush administration. The result, many feared, was that torture would remain an available tool of the state, to be dragged out by future administrations who could cite the lack of accountability for Bush torture by a Democratic administration as evidence of a bipartisan consensus that torture really isn't that bad. Many human rights experts have argued that future courts, too, could view the current lack of accountability as a legal precedent, potentially further shielding future torturers.

2011-06-10 Józef Pinior: "there were regulations about corpses in the CIA prison." EU intervenes

Poland is under increasing pressure to investigate fully whether the CIA operated secret torture and detention facilities in Stare Kiejkuty. As Peter Kemp predicted, the European Parliament has now intervened. In a resolution from the eighth of June it says that it:

"5. Reiterates its call to the US authorities to review the military commissions system to ensure fair trials, to close Guantánamo, to prohibit in any circumstances the use of torture, ill-treatment, incommunicado detention, indefinite detention without trial and enforced disappearances, and reminds the EU institutions and Member States of their duty not to collaborate in, or cover up, such acts prohibited by international, European and national law;"

"7. Calls on the EU and Member States authorities, as well as the US authorities, to ensure that full, fair, effective, independent and impartial inquiries and investigations are carried out into human rights violations and crimes under international, European and national law, and to bring to justice those responsible, including in the framework of the CIA extraordinary renditions and secret prisons programme;"

In the meantime, former MEP Józef Pinior reiterated his allegations against former members of the Polish government, claiming that there was a document signed by the then prime minister Leszek Miller regulating the operations of a secret CIA detention facility in Stare Kiejkuty, also defining the status of corpses inside the facility.

2011-06-06 Omar Deghayes on Omar Khadr

ImageAuthored by Alexa O'Brien and Heather Marsh.

Omar Deghayes is a UK citizen who was imprisoned in Guantánamo in January 2002 and freed from there on December 18, 2007. Details of his treatment in Guantánamo can be read here. He speaks to PressTV about his experiences here.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen who was captured at fifteen after the compound he was living in in Afghanistan was bombed by US military. He was tortured at Bagram prison and Guantánamo, and has spent the last nine years of his life imprisoned by the US. WL Central coverage on Omar Khadr is here.


Omar Deghayes spoke to WL Central's Alexa O'Brien on June 5. The following is an excerpt from that interview.

Did you have any contact with Omar Khadr?

OD: Yes definitely. I know him very well. He was locked up in Camp 5 for a long time, and I saw him in the other camp also before for a short period of time. But in Camp 5 I was locked up with him for a long time.

Do you think that Omar Khadr would be a threat to society if and when he is released to Canada?

OD: No. Definitely not. Even the guard and the interrogators in Guantanamo I think used to like him a lot ... for his personality. He is an open, kind person. I don't think he would be a threat to society. No.

2011-04-06 Gazeta Wyborcza on CIA detention centers in Poland

On the 30th of March, Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza published a fateful article that ultimately led to a criminal investigation. It detailed a document commissioned by Warsaw prosecutor Jerzy Mierzewski, who was then in charge of the investigation into alleged US detention facilities on Polish soil. He had asked external experts for advice on a variety of legal matters. After the external evaluation arrived, Mierzewski was removed from the investigation. Gazeta Wyborcza obtained the 50 page document by unknown means and published extracts from it. As a consequence of this publication, the newspaper itself became the focus of a criminal investigation.

This move came shortly after lawyers acting on behalf of a Guantanamo detainee filed a complaint against Poland at the European Court of Human Rights, and shortly before President Obama's visit to Poland.

According to the Gazeta Wyborcza article, Mierzewski had planned to file charges of breach of the constitution, false imprisonment and assistance in crimes against humanity, and had asked for advice, amongst other things, on the following matters:

- Does international law cover the operations of detention centers for people who are suspected of being terrorists?
- Does the legal framework of a country in which such a detention center exists have the power to shut it down?
- Does a confession that a person - who has been suspected of terrorist activity and has been detained - is a member of al Qaida have any influence on their legal status?
- What does it mean for the legal status of this person that he is detained outside a battlefield or an occupied area?

He received the following answers:

- There is no legal framework allowing foreign agencies to open any facilities in Poland which are beyond our control.

2011-06-01 CIA prisons in Poland: former prosecutor had planned to file charges

According to Gazeta Wyborcza, Jerzy Mierzewski, the prosecutor investigating alleged CIA prisons on Polish territory, was removed from the case because he had planned to file charges of breach of the constitution, false imprisonment and assistance in crimes against humanity.

This move came shortly after a lawyer acting for a Guantanamo detainee filed a complaint against Poland at the European Court of Human Rights, and a week before President Obama's visit to Poland.

Recent days have seen a number of articles on alleged CIA rendition flights and prisons on Polish territory in the Polish press. These were also prompted by a statement former MEP Józef Pinior made to Gazeta Wyborcza, saying that there is a memorandum signed by former PM Leszek Miller regulating the operations of a planned CIA prison on Polish territory. Miller strongly denies this.

For other WL Central coverage on the topic please see here.

2011-05-29 Prism Magazine: Livestream discussion on the Canadian and American “No-Fly Lists”

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Prism Magazine, founded by Maher Arar, will be broadcasting a livestream discussion on Sunday May 29 at 10:00am EST. Jeff Sallot, an instructor of Journalism at Carleton University and former Globe and Mail Bureau Chief, will host a discussion on the Canadian and American “No-Fly Lists” and their impact on civil liberties. Confirmed guests are Roch Tassé, Ben Wizner and Moazzam Begg.

Moazzam Begg was refused board on a direct Air Canada flight from London to Toronto last week, preventing him from speaking at a Conference on Islamophobia and The Politics of Fear at the Islamic Society of York Region, Toronto Canada, on May 21, as well as two other speaking engagements in Canada.

The livestream will be available at both the following sites:

http://www.livestream.com/prismmagazine

and

http://www.prism-magazine.com/prism-tv/

Infographic credit: JESS3.

2011-05-24 Dennis Edney, Lawyer For Omar Khadr speaks on Fear, Injustice and his Guantanamo visits

"The only crime in my view, equal to willful inhumanity is the crime of indifference, silence and forgetting."

Dennis Edney, Lawyer For Omar Khadr speaks on Fear, Injustice and his Guantanamo visits in a Conference on Islamophobia and The Politics of Fear at Islamic Society of York Region, Toronto Canada, May 21, 2011. This is the conference that Moazzam Begg was denied permission to board a direct Air Canada flight from London to Toronto to speak at "because of US policy" and the extremely unlikely possibility that the flight may be diverted into US air space.

The following are transcribed excerpts from Dennis Edney's speech.

What we are witnessing is the constant drip of sanity slipping from our grasp as our apathy has allowed whispers of anti-Muslim sentiment to become part of the mainstream on conversation.

On Guantanamo protecting us: We want to protect ourselves from the voice of people like Moazzam Begg.

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