Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to Use Andy Worthington's DEFINITIVE GTMO material...

Here in a response from Andy Worthington in the COMMENTS section for the top blog yesterday & today: here "...definitive list..." are KEY SECTIONS which will help us and our work with our LEGISLATORS to ensure we and they know how to work with his extensive, well-corroborated and highly-readable material...

Thanks again, Connie.

I do hope that my book, the online chapters and the list provide a valuable context for understanding who the prisoners are and how they ended up in Guantanamo — and I couldn’t be more grateful that you’re doing your best to ensure that legislators come across the material, and encouraging others to do so.

With a review underway, the important thing for me is to ensure that everyone concerned with ending the injustice of Guantanamo understands that, of the 241 prisoners held, no more than 50, at most, should continue to be held.
The background to this is here

And the previous article explains why so many of the wrong people were detained:

Also important are the opinions expressed by Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, who worked on the tribunals at Guantanamo, specifically: here

And here

In addition, this article demonstrated the weakness of the government’s assertions against six men who were released in January: here

And this was my latest take on dubious information masquerading as evidence:

Also important is what’s been happening in the habeas corpus reviews, where the government’s so-called evidence has finally been reviewed by a judge.
There have been successes. here And here

But there have also been two disturbing instances (in addition to the evidence against one of the Bosnians, above) in which a judge has declared that prisoners can continue to be held as “enemy combatants,” based either on flimsy evidence, or, more crucially, on evidence that demonstrates that prisoners are clearly unconnected with terrorism, but which is sufficient, under the rules laid down by the Bush administration, to apparently justify their continued detention.

here And: here

This is particularly worrying, as it provides a solid foundation for Obama to continue holding these men, UNLESS he is pressured to redefine what an “enemy combatant” is — i.e. someone actively engaged in combat (or in demonstrable crimes, such as large-scale funding for terrorism, let’s say), not in the kind of nebulous “support” for combatants — cooking, for example — that was used by Judge Leon.

Let’s not forget that a military court ruled last summer that the crimes of Salim Hamdan, who worked as a driver for Osama bin Laden, were only sufficient to merit a five and a half year sentence. Hamdan is now home in Yemen, a free man, whereas others in Guantanamo, who never even met bin Laden, remain imprisoned. The Hamdan story is: here

The bottom line, therefore, is that 190 men should be freed from Guantanamo, and we should be worried — and outraged — if Obama’s review team reaches a different conclusion.

At least 80 of these men are Yemenis, so an agreement with the Yemeni government is critical, and should not be derailed because of propaganda about the dangers of recidivism (look at the recidivism rates in the criminal justice system, and ask yourself how it is that those discussing the “War on Terror” can justify believing that indefinite detention without charge or trial is acceptable, because of a risk that even one solitary individual might “return to the battlefield”).

For the rest, some can easily be repatriated, but others will need to be rehoused in third countries, because of fears that they will be tortured if returned to their home countries. The total may be around a hundred, which is not a significant number when spread around the globe, but it would surely make sense for Obama to encourage other countries to help out by accepting, as Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled in October, that the 17 Uighurs in Guantanamo, whose continued detention is unconstitutional, should be rehoused in the United States.

The latest on their sad story is :here

So there you have it! If you can’t buy a copy of “The Guantanamo Files,” send your representatives copies of these articles.
The defense rests its case …

Find the above under the comments for "...the definitive list..." at Andy Worthington's site: here

Here's one of my own ideas: when I finally got an appointment with a top legislator, I made a kind of PHOTO/scrapbook - using the photo pages to hold various key sections on several books on US torture and some key quotes from the legacy over the years on human rights. I put each clearly, boldly in places with photos and other illustrations. Then I recommended key articles.

Keeping it simple and getting attention - finding a national newspaper in common and leaving the legislator's staff with key items to watch for seemed to get plenty of attention.

I sure hope now that this work is so complete, many of us will run out of excuses and make that appointment - take that book, article and/or PHOTO/scrapbook presentation - and meet that legislator and/or staff up close.

A bunch of us kept bringing up torture to one of our legislators by letter and visits. Finally, he wrote a very extensive personal letter in reply. But that's for another blog. Thanx for tuning in and do look at Andy's jewels really soon!


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