Monday, January 26, 2009

The Audacity of Hope and Updates on GTMO/Chinese detainees & more...

The Audacity of Hope is the name of this image by Lewis Peake which was published in the SF Chronicle on Friday Jan 23. Last year he created some images for Reprieve based on Sami Al Hajj's designs--a separate project. See Comments below for some links to the 4-5 Sami Al Hajj's inspired pieces Lewis Peake created for the site, Reprieve.

For Updated and select items on Guantanamo items see GTMO Files in Disarray:



Background, Uighurs:

Find several recent & at least one older items by clicking:


Older (last autumn) on Uighers detainees

Older (last October) on Uighers detainees

Here's a note from Andy on doing best to support Obama's actions in terms of GTMO:

"As for Barack Obama, only time will tell, of course, but today is certainly his day, and I promise to give him as much support as I can offer to aid him in his promise to close Guantánamo, ban torture, and restore the United States to the rule of law."

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following to order books from the US & UK Go to
here Also find an RSS feed pop-up box for signing to receive free email articles.

According to Andy Worthington who wrote -The Guantanamo Files- and posts on his website: here - Sami Al Hajwas "was released last May, but it’s a measure of his influence that, although he was supposed to be taking part in “Two Sides, One Story,” a UK tour with Moazzam Begg and former Guantánamo guard Chris Arendt (organized by Cageprisoners), the British government has refused to give him a visa."

Go to Andy's site for much more on his ONGOING work and his book:

Finally, here is a link to an item I post here with some hesitance and yet, it's part of the dialogue and part of seeking to do ALL we can to make sure actions to END GTMO and other torture sites around the world are truly ACTIONS that result in the promises rather than rhetoric alone:

Also go to Cageprisoners dot org -- Also, check out this site as well regularly:
bordc dot org (scroll down once on this site - daily emails are available for free)

Current News from Bill of Rights Defense Committee:

1/26, Daphne Eviatar, Washington Independent, Torture Case Tests Obama Secrecy Policy

1/26, Amnesty International UK, EU ministers urged to help close Guantánamo

1/26, Associated Press, 3rd Trial Looms for Alleged Sears Tower Plotters

1/26, Peter Eisler, USA Today, Federal departments fall short on civil liberties

1/26, Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Shane Harris, and Corine Hegland, Global Security Newswire, Obama Challenged to Move From War on Terror to Routine Vigilance

1/26, Media Matters for America, On Hannity, Rove falsely asserted that Army Field Manual prohibits good cop-bad cop interrogations

1/26, Charles Rault and Frederick P. Hitz, Isria, Interview - Frederick P. Hitz, former CIA Inspector General discusses his latest book "Why Spy? Espionage in an age of uncertainty"

Again, for all these, go...


Keep watching for more COMMENTS, including item on Lewis Peake cartoons (based on Sami Al Hajj's drawings)


Connie L. Nash said...

Praises for Obama/Cautions Against Escape Hatch for Torture

Find at Center for Constitutional Rights -- where there are lawyers working hard to free many of the detainees at GTMO, most who are innocent of any charge...

NOTE that at least 5 military prosecutors have resigned due to the laughable pretense at following US law!


Connie L. Nash said...


Dear Friends,
Thursday I sent an email out about H.R. 591, the Interrogation and Detention Reform Act introduced last week by Representative David Price (D-NC), chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has now introduced corresponding legislation in the Senate that we can urge our Senators to support. While we recognize that both could be improved by some amendments -- and please see points 4 and 5 at the end of this email about that -- it's important to express and generate support for these measures at this initial stage.

On January 22, President Barack Obama issued executive orders outlawing torture, instructing the CIA to close its secret prisons, and beginning the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay. These actions are a huge step forward for the United States, and we applaud the president's decisive action to recast this country's image around the world.Congress should support the president's action by passing legislation to affirm U.S. compliance with international laws against torture and to restore enduring legal standards. Urge your senators to cosponsor the Lawful Interrogation and Detention Act (S. 147), which would support the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison, end secret detentions, prohibit interrogations of detainees by government contractors, and require greater cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Ask Senator Burr and Senator Hagan to cosponsor S.147, the Lawful Interrogation and Detention Act of 2009, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA):

"This legislation would outlaw the CIA's coercive interrogation program, would require the government to close the prison at Guantánamo, end CIA secret detentions, prohibit interrogations of detainees by government contractors, and require greater cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross. I was pleased to learn that President Barack Obama has issued executive orders addressing many of these concerns. This legislation is still necessary, however, to write into law our intention as a nation not to engage in torture - now or in the future. Please let me know if you will cosponsor and support this bill."

Additional points you may want to cite in communicating with our Senators and your Congressional Representative:

First, and most important, it’s the right thing to do. All human beings deserve certain basic rights, including the right not to be tortured. Our government has not shown itself capable of adequately defending those rights these measures are necessary to become law and to open our handling of prisoners to the International Red Cross.

Second, the "Golden Rule" applies. We cannot campaign for and demand humane treatment of our captured American troops if we do not ensure that our own treatment of prisoners in custody of our military or federal agencies is compliant with international law and standards. And we place our own troops at greater risk by failing to do that. Whatever we do to our enemy combatants, we implicitly endorse being done to our troops.

Third, this will prevent abuse and allegations of abuse that would undermine U.S. credibility and leadership for democracy and human rights around the world. That credibility and leadership has been seriously impaired in recent years by lies, equivocation, secrets and spurious justifications of our government. President Obama has taken a first step toward restoring that credibility, and needs legislative support to succeed in that.

Fourth, legislation needs to be added to what is has been submitted to prohibit rendition of U.S. detainees to the custody of other governments without due legal process.

Fifth, Congress and the Department of Justice should conduct investigations of the authorization of torture by U.S. government and military officials, and prosecute violations of U.S. and international law. Along with new legislation, investigation and prosecution of past offenses is essential to preventing future abuses and violations of human rights by our government.

Peace and blessings,

Spencer Bradford
Program Associate for Peace
NC Council of Churches

Connie L. Nash said...

Lewis Peake cartoons: