Friday, November 20, 2009
World Can't Wait Updates on Justice (or lack of) in NYC
"Non-compliant" captives wearing orange uniforms held in Guantanamo's Camp X-Ray in 2004 Photo credit goes to Wikipedia dot org Similar uniforms, sometimes with black hood are often donned by human rights and peace groups during vigils or demonstrations. The World Can't Wait led the way.
From Debra Sweet, President of The World Can't Wait
A bad week for justice in NYC, except for the fact that resisters are beginning to come to town for the World Can't Wait meeting. See below.
Last Friday, the Obama administration announced that 5 alleged "al Queda terrorists" will be brought from Guantanamo and tried in federal court here. Already Giuliani and other right-wingers are howling about how unsafe Obama is making the country by using the courts -- instead of an immediate firing squad? Five other detainees will be tried in military tribunals. I'll get to these first ten in a minute.
But what about the rest of the men still sitting in Guantanamo? Over 80 have been cleared for release, meaning they did no crime at all...but no country, including the US, will take them. See the terrible story of Candace Gorman's client, Al-Ghizzawi, who is desperately ill. She's known he has been cleared for release but was barred from telling his relatives, or anyone else for the last 5 months.
And, yesterday, Barack Obama told Fox News what has been long evident: Guantanamo won't be closed by his self-imposed deadline of January 22, 2010. And now, he will not give himself any deadline to close it. Even if it's eventually closed, or moved to a federal prison, the plan seems to be for most of those detained -- indefinite detention. At this rate, they will die without charges, trial, or release.
Glen Greenwald wrote about the trial plans, "By refusing to embrace and defend the core principle of justice at stake here -- that a distinguishing feature of our political system is that we don't imprison or kill people without charging them with a crime and proving their guilt in a real court, and that military commissions and indefinite detention are un-American (which Democrats argued under Bush) -- the Obama administration has made it far more difficult for it to defend what it is doing, as well as for those who want to defend their decision to give trials to 9/11 defendants." See (below)
Detainees to get the "state-always-wins" system of "justice"
Attorney General Holder, trying to defend the tiered system of justice the administration is arbitrarily using, openly admits that civil trials are only for the defendants the government knows they will win on. "On the same day I sent these five defendants to federal court, I referred five others to be tried in military commissions. I am a prosecutor, and as a prosecutor, my top priority was simply to select the venue where the government will have the greatest opportunity to present the strongest case with the best law. . . ."
The Talking Dog finished a piece on Candace Gorman's client, with: "For advocates of "hope and change" who foolishly think that with our young and handsome new President that everything is somehow 'better" now... I just want you to know that while the nomenclature has changed (Al-Ghizzawi is no longer an "enemy combatant" or "unlawful enemy combatant"... he is simply a poor schmuck we're holding)... and he is "cleared for release"... the same great executive overreach with its very real and very tragic personal consequences just goes on... and on... and on..."
(Schedule for coming Conference to be posted soon on this blog-site)
...Attorney Lynne Stewart, a friend and supporter of World Can't Wait since its beginning, went in to federal prison a few hours ago. Many of us were there to support and cheer her as she went in.
Lynne was out on bail since 2005 while her appeal was heard. The bail was suddenly revoked Tuesday when the appeals court upheld her conviction. I'll have more to say in coming days on the utter injustice that she was convicted and is now in prison.
Lynne was on Democracy Now Wednesday. See her comments in NY Metro Wednesday.
The AP reported tonight, "Stewart has remained defiant since she was arrested in 2002 on charges of conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists, defrauding the government and making false statements. She was convicted of those charges.
She maintained her innocence Thursday, calling her prosecution a "warning shot to lawyers" who might decide to vigorously represent suspected terrorists and other unsavory clients.
As she walked to the courthouse, the lawyer who fought breast cancer several years ago said: "I'm fine. ... I tell my kids I don't have cancer. I'm going to come out."
She was accompanied by lawyers inside the courthouse, where she told several reporters just before she went through a heavy door and into custody: "You haven't seen the last of me."
Only the independent action of the people will bring the hoped-for change!
Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait
Why not check out the website and call Debra to get involved? Go to the website: here
Posted by CN at 7:37 AM