Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ongoing Military Detention USA

found at Andy Worthington's state of the art site

"Due process of law, all the things that we stand for as a country, and being a country of laws, it doesn’t sit well with me that we are going to continue to keep people in Guantánamo,” So said recently the first warden at Gitmo (See article below the first)

A Tired Obsession with Military Detention Plagues American Politics

Before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, there were only two ways of holding prisoners — either they were prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, or they were criminal suspects, to be charged and subjected to federal court trials.

That all changed when the Bush administration threw out the Geneva Conventions, equated the Taliban with al-Qaeda, and decided to hold both soldiers and terror suspects as “illegal enemy combatants,” who could be imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial, and with no rights whatsoever.

The Bush administration’s legal black hole lasted for two and a half years at Guantánamo, until, in Rasul v. Bush in June 2004, the Supreme Court took the unprecedented step of granting habeas corpus rights to prisoners seized in wartime, recognizing — and being appalled by — the fact that the administration had created a system of arbitrary, indefinite detention, and that there was no way out for anyone who, like many of the prisoners, said that they had been seized by mistake.

This was not the end of the story, as the Bush administration fought back, Congress attempted to strip the prisoners of their habeas rights in the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (PDF), and the Supreme Court had to revisit the prisoners’ cases in June 2008, in Boumediene v. Bush, reiterating that they had habeas corpus rights, and that those rights were constitutionally guaranteed.


READ rest at andyworthington dot co dot uk -- Andy Worthington's Website (author and probably the sole expert of nearly all the Gitmo detainee cases for years) or CLICK here

SEE also this article published 6 January 2011:

Terry Carrico, Ex-Guantánamo Prison Commander, Says Facility Should Close
A decade after the prison camp opened, its first warden speaks out against U.S. detention policies in the war on terror and tells Aram Roston the facility should be closed.

by Aram Roston of The Daily Beast and Newsweek | January 6, 2012 4:45 AM EST

Ten years ago, Army Colonel Terry Carrico watched a C-141 land at Guantánamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba. He had planned for the moment carefully, and he knew very well what the cargo was: 20 detainees sent from Afghanistan. Carrico was the first camp commander of what would become the world’s most famous terrorism prison, and this was its opening day.

...he had choreographed, with machinelike precision, how his soldiers would take custody of the shackled, blindfolded detainees as they were led onto the tarmac from the cavernous plane. With 23 years of service as a military police officer, he didn’t let any emotion register in his face that day as he watched, but he was surprised at the appearance of the prisoners.

They were scrawny and malnourished to an alarming degree, hardly appearing like the crazed fanatics that Gen. Richard Myers, then the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, described that day back at a Pentagon press conference. “These are people,” the general said, invoking an alarming image, “that would gnaw through hydraulic lines in the back of a C-17 to bring it down, I mean.”

Carrico recalls that the detainees were actually compliant and docile that first day.
He now considers the debate that is still raging over U.S. detention policy from a unique perspective, and he has reached conclusions that run counter to the prevailing political trends in Washington. The retired colonel says Guantánamo “should be closed," though he believes it never will be. He says “very few” of the men held there had valuable intelligence, at least while he ran the camp.

Carrico also says plainly that he believes it is wrong to keep people indefinitely without trial based on secret evidence. He argues that people captured in the war on terror should be arrested and tried in courts of law, not locked up at places like Guantánamo... Find REST of original article for 6 January at The Daily Beast

Find COMMENTS and other related items at Common Dreams here

Carrico article and comments is also posted at Reader-Supported News.

blogger at One Heart for Peace comment:

Consider damage control or republican interests possibly involved since Carrico is currently a corporate executive in Georgia.

Note that The Daily Beast author also writes for the corporate Newsweek (long allied with GE - therefore US military interests).

Most of all we have to ask: Did Carrico wait this long to speak out this loudly and if so, why?

However, it's hard to imagine anyone knowledgeable about the legal facts arguing with the article's major concerns and statements.

Let's hope Carrico will join the to surround the White House soon when thousands will ask clearly for US torture to end and GITMO to be finally closed.

I'm sure the speakers and protestors will also ask for the closure of all such US prisons and cells including in Afghanistan, Morrocco, Jordan, Iraq? Poland? Pakistan? Yemin? US hidden ships?

How archaic that God Forbid there should continue to be this creating and transferring of prisoners hidden from public and legal view to ANY other similar sites, ships or black holes -- oft under CIA or now Academi (former Blackwater/Xe) torture/intimidation trainings -- around the world.


CN said...

UPDATE: 9:20 PM ET 1/6/2012: In response to Carrico's comments to The Daily Beast, Frida Berrigan, an organizer for Witness Against Torture, says she hopes "that Mr. Carrico will join us across from the White House on Wednesday, January 11th for a huge rally and demonstration to shut down Guantanamo, calling for accountability and justice." There is more information online at

CN said...

Though created under the Bush administration and despite promises from a candidate Obama to close the facility, David Cole argues in The Nation that "Guantánamo is a deeper problem today than it ever was." He continues:

No longer a temporary exception, it has become a permanent fixture in our national firmament. And although at one time we could blame President George W. Bush’s unilateral assertions of unchecked executive power for the abuses there, the continuing problem that is Guantánamo today is shared by all three government branches, and ultimately by all Americans. With President Obama’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on New Year’s Eve, the prison is sure to be with us—and its prisoners sure to continue in their legal limbo—for the indefinite future.

CN said...

Human Rights Watch also released a statement marking the 10 year milestone and highlighting the plight of those who languish without charge and without hope for release:

A variety of factors have prevented the release of those slated for transfer including inaction on the part of the Obama and Bush administrations, a moratorium placed on transfers to Yemen following the attempted bombing by a Yemeni of a US airliner on December 25, 2009, and restrictions placed by Congress on transfers from Guantanamo in December 2010. Fifty-six of the 89 detainees slated for transfer are from Yemen.

Ongoing US violations of detainee rights are not limited to Guantanamo. Nearly 3,000 people now held by US forces in Afghanistan have not been afforded the basic rights that even captured enemy fighters are due in a civil war, such as being informed by a judge of the basis for their detention or allowed access to counsel. And individuals apprehended outside of Afghanistan currently detained there, should never have been brought to the country at all.

Human Rights Watch opposes the prolonged indefinite detention without trial of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. The practice violates US obligations under international law. Human Rights Watch has strongly urged the US government to either promptly prosecute the remaining Guantanamo detainees according to international fair trial standards, or safely repatriate them to home or third countries. We have also called for investigations of US officials implicated in torture of terrorism suspects and for adequate compensation for detainees who were mistreated. Human Rights Watch will continue to press for compliance with these obligations. Failure to do so does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad.

Meanwhile in London, activists on Saturday will hold a rally calling for Guantanamo to be closed and prisoners either tried or released. Aisha Maniar, from the London Guantánamo Campaign (LGC), said:

Ten years of Guantánamo Bay are ten years of wasted opportunities to close down this notorious symbol of lawlessness and injustice in our time.

President Obama has completed his U-turn on earlier pledges to close Guantánamo and end the discredited military commissions with his recent signing into law of the National Defense Authorization Act, perpetuating the regime of arbitrary detention without charge or trial.

The United States and its allies must share responsibility for the closure of Guantánamo Bay: the UK government must step up its efforts to secure the return of British resident Shaker Aamer and also offer a safe home to former British resident Ahmed Belbacha. Other European Union states must also step up their efforts to help close Guantánamo Bay and take concrete action to put an end to this “shame”.

We will nonetheless keep up the pressure on governments to take firm action and to seek justice for the prisoners held at Guantánamo.

Actions like this in London mirror the work of human rights campaigners in the US who have marked past anniversaries with actions in the halls of the US Congress, before the White House, and on the steps of the Supreme Court. One such group, Witness Against Torture, has been perhaps the most vocal and determined in their efforts, and are in the middle of a ten day campaign holding activities throughout Washington, DC in order "to call attention to the terrible injustice that is Guantanamo and Bagram and secret prisons throughout the world." Their efforts will culminate in a “Ten Years Too Many” mass mobilization on Wednesday, January 11 at Lafayette Park across from the White House organized by a coalition of groups, including Amnesty International and National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

CN said...

NOTE: I hope to enlarge and highlight this article and it's contents in near future:

CN said...

NOTE: I hope to enlarge and highlight this article and it's contents in near future:

CN said...

Also see