Yesterday, five high-profile detainees attempted to submit guilty pleas before the government’s ill-conceived military commissions. But, by the end of the day, their pleas were tied up in a blizzard of confusion over unresolved legal questions.
It's not clear what will happen next if these unjust proceedings are allowed to continue. But, what is abundantly clear is that, no matter how hard the government tries to advance the military commissions, this process doesn't work.
History will show that any guilty pleas in these proceedings were the result of an inhumane, unjust process designed to achieve a foregone conclusion. The only solution is to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay and shut down these unjust military commissions.
As you know, the ACLU is calling on President-elect Obama to close Guantánamo, ban torture, and shut down indefensible military commissions on his first day in office. This trip to Guantánamo has convinced me that it is more essential than ever to keep the pressure on -- because what’s happening down here flies in the face of justice, fairness and our American ideals. Sign our Open Letter to Barack Obama now.
The ACLU is working on all fronts to dismantle this system of injustice that the Bush administration has created. We’re sponsoring expert civilian counsel to those held at Guantánamo, mobilizing our nationwide network of grassroots activists, filing lawsuits and exposing the truth.
Just last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a vitally important ACLU case taking on the Bush administration’s sweeping claim that it can indefinitely imprison a legal resident of the United States without charging him with a crime or trying him before a jury.
Our case was filed on behalf of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who has been detained in solitary confinement at a Navy brig in South Carolina since June 2003.
Al-Marri asked the Court to reverse a federal appeals court decision that gave the president sweeping power to deprive individuals in the United States of their most basic constitutional rights simply by designating them “enemy combatants.”
We will urge the Court to ensure that people in this country cannot be seized from their homes and imprisoned indefinitely simply because the president says so.
From this important Supreme Court challenge to indefinite detention to our grassroots efforts to demand the closure of Guantánamo and the end of Bush’s military commissions, your support and your voice are essential to our success. Help us keep the pressure on and add tens of thousands of names to our Open Letter to Barack Obama. Sign our Open Letter to Barack Obama now:
Finally, I want to tell you about another critical victory in the ACLU’s effort to restore justice and the rule of law in America.
In a crucial ACLU case, a federal appeals court acted last week to rebuff the Bush administration’s efforts to deport Egyptian torture victim Sameh Khouzam. The case hinged on his right to challenge Egypt’s “diplomatic assurances” that it will not torture Khouzam upon his return.
This is an enormous victory for due process and the rights of all people -- citizens or not -- to be free from torture. And it’s a stinging rejection of the government’s attempts to simply eliminate the role of the courts in reviewing the government’s actions.
You’re helping us win critical victories. President-elect Obama has committed to close Guantánamo. Help us keep the pressure on until we fully renew America’s commitment to freedom.
Anthony D. Romero
P.S. In the courts and in the court of public opinion, the evidence against our government’s injustice continues to mount. Take a moment right now to see our new video Here in which top military lawyers challenge the unjust military commissions underway here at Guantánamo Bay.
Get out the word - There is to be an historic event - A First...
TWO SIDES - ONE STORY:
GUANTANAMO FROM BOTHS SIDES OF THE WIRE
A national tour to mark seven years of unlawful detention, abuse and torture
January 11th 2009 - 4th February 2009
SAMI AL HAJ (Ex Guantanamo Detainee and Aljazeera Journalist)
CHRISTOPHER ARENDT (Ex-Guantanamo Guard)
MOAZZAM BEGG (Ex-Guantanamo Detainee, Spokesman for Cageprisoners)
Guantanamo Bay stands as one of the most potent symbols of unlawful detention in the world today. The detention of suspected terrorists as the prison camps has evoked emotion from those seeking its closure and continuance.
Cageprisoners presents Two Sides – One Story, a tour of the UK that brings those on opposite sides of wire at Guantanamo together for the first time.
Chris Arendt, a former guard at the base has agreed to speak about his experiences in detaining suspected terrorists and bring new insights into the way the US administration carried out policies against them.
Also for the first time the detained Al Jazeera journalist Sami El Haj will be speaking with Moazzam Begg as they both reflect on life at the prison on the opposite to Chris.
This unique tour is a historic moment in the continued War on Terror and will be launched on 11th January 2009, exactly seven years after the first transfers to Guantanamo Bay.
For more information please click Here