New scandal in Guantanamo torture camp

This video is the film The Road to Guantanamo.

From Associated Press:

Guantanamo prosecutor quits over detainee case

2008-09-25 02:16:01 –

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – A U.S. military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay has quit because his office suppressed evidence that could clear a young Afghan detainee of war crimes charges, defense lawyers said Wednesday.

The prosecutor, Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, is now supporting a defense bid to dismiss war crimes charges against Mohammed Jawad because of the alleged misconduct, according to Michael Berrigan, the deputy chief defense counsel for the Guantanamo tribunals. …

Jawad, who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 16 or 17, is facing trial for allegedly throwing a grenade that injured two American soldiers and their Afghan interpreter in December 2002. He faces a maximum life sentence.

In a declaration submitted to the defense, Vandeveld said prosecutors knew Jawad may have been drugged before the attack and that the Afghan Interior Ministry said two other men had confessed to the same crime, Berrigan said. Pentagon officials refused to provide a copy of the declaration.

Vandeveld declined to comment through a tribunal spokeswoman.

«He decided he could no longer ethically serve either as a prosecutor in this case or for the Office of Military Commissions,» said Jawad’s Pentagon-appointed attorney, Air Force Maj. David Frakt. He said Vandeveld had endorsed settling the case and releasing Jawad after a short while.

Frakt said he has asked for Vandeveld to testify at Jawad’s pretrial hearing Thursday but the former prosecutor was denied authorization to fly to the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

At least three other Guantanamo prosecutors have quit their posts over allegations of misconduct. The former chief prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, resigned in October and accused his superiors of political meddling.

Jawad is one of about 20 detainees facing charges in the Pentagon’s specially designed system for prosecuting alleged terrorists. Military prosecutors say they plan trials for about 80 of the 255 men held here on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.

6 thoughts on “New scandal in Guantanamo torture camp


    US “terror” suspects tortured by African governments
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    Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1
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    Government informants promote illegal acts
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    A cruel display of anti-Muslim hate in Ohio
    Despite the reluctance of police to label the attack on the Dayton mosque a hate crime, there should be no doubt that the wide distribution of hate-filled propaganda like Obsession has been a factor in at least some attacks on Arabs and Muslims since September 11 — including verbal and physical assaults, as well as arsons at mosques and high-profile incidents in which Arab and Muslim passengers have been barred from airplanes.


  2. AP Exclusive: Documents say detainee near insanity


    The Associated Press

    October 07, 2008

    A U.S. military officer warned Pentagon officials that an American detainee was being driven nearly insane by months of punishing isolation and sensory deprivation in a U.S. military brig, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

    While the treatment of prisoners at detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan and Iraq have long been the subject of human rights complaints and court scrutiny, the documents shed new light on how two American citizens and a legal U.S. resident were treated in military jails inside the United States.

    The Bush administration ordered the men to be held in military jails as ‘enemy combatants’ for years of interrogations without criminal charges, which would not have been allowed in civilian jails.

    The men were interrogated by the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, repeatedly denied access to attorneys and mail from home and contact with anyone other than guards and their interrogators. They were deprived of natural light for months and for years were forbidden even minor distractions such as a soccer ball or a dictionary.

    ‘I will continue to do what I can to help this individual maintain his sanity, but in my opinion we’re working with borrowed time,’ an unidentified Navy brig official wrote of prisoner Yaser Esam Hamdi in 2002. ‘I would like to have some form of an incentive program in place to reward him for his continued good behavior, but more so, to keep him from whacking out on me.’

    Yale Law School’s Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic received the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by two attorneys Jonathan Freiman and Tahlia Townsend, representing another detainee, Jose Padilla. The Lowenstein group and the American Civil Liberties Union said the papers were evidence that the Bush administration violated the 5th Amendment’s protections against cruel treatment. The U.S. military was ordered to treat the American prisoners the same way prisoners at Guantanamo were treated, according to the documents.

    However, the Guantanamo jail was created by the Bush administration specifically to avoid allowing detainees any constitutional rights. Administration lawyers contended the Constitution did not apply outside the country.

    ‘These documents are the first clear confirmation of what we’ve suspected all along, that the brig was run as a prison beyond the law. There was an effort to create a Gitmo inside the United States,’ Jonathan Hafetz of the ACLU’s National Security Project in New York said, using the slang word for the U.S. naval facility in Cuba.

    The 91 pages of e-mails and documents produced by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, which runs the military brigs in Norfolk, Va., and Charleston, S.C., detail daily decisions made about the treatment of Hamdi and Padilla, then both American citizens, and Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a legal resident. All were designated as by the White House as ‘illegal enemy combatants.’

    The paperwork show uniformed officials at the military brigs growing increasingly uncomfortable and then alarmed that they were being directed to handle their prisoners under the rules that governed Guantanamo.

    The authors and recipients of the e-mails are censored from the documents. They appear to be going to either military or Pentagon legal counsel and policy offices.

    The documents show that some officials at the Charleston brig were deeply skeptical about the mandate that Guantanamo rules should apply in the United States, a decision made by the defense secretary’s office, according to the documents.

    ‘You have every right to question the ‘lash-up’ between GTMO and Charleston _ it was the first thing I ask (sic) about a year ago when I checked on board,’ wrote one official to another in 2006. ‘In a nutshell, they gave the Charleston detainee mission to (Joint Forces Command) who promptly gave it to (Fleet Forces Command) with a ‘lots of luck’ and nothing else.’

    An officer was still raising alarms about Hamdi’s mental state after 14 months of jail with no contact with lawyers, his family or even other prisoners.

    ‘I told him the last thing that I wanted to have happen was to send him anywhere from here as a ‘basket case,’ of use to no one, to include himself,’ the officer wrote in an e-mail to undisclosed government officials in June 2003. ‘I fear the rubber band is nearing its breaking point here and not totally confident I can keep his head in the game much longer.’

    The frustrated officer wrote that he had ‘to have the ability to exercise some discretion when I believe it best for the health and welfare of those assigned to my facility … Know … we are to remain consistent with the procedures that were/are in place at Camp X-Ray’ a reference to the Guantanamo jail. He pointed out that imposing those conditions in the brig had a far

    Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.


  3. Guantanamo tribunals overseer under investigation
    At least three other prosecutors quit the tribunals in recent years, claiming improper political meddling and other inappropriate behavior by Hartmann and others that they believe stacked the deck against defendants there.,0,669296.story

    Dubious information lead to torture of 3 Canadians
    The passing of inflammatory information from Canadian police and intelligence officials to the United States contributed to the jailing and torture of three Canadian citizens by Syria.


  4. Despite ruling, detainee cases delayed
    “Every day of delay is one more day our clients are in prison without a hearing.”

    Guantanamo prosecutor had ‘grave misgivings’
    Vandeveld is at least the fourth prosecutor to resign under protest.,0,5392481.story

    Detainees near insanity
    They were deprived of natural light for months and for years were forbidden even minor distractions such as a soccer ball or a dictionary.

    U.S. drops charges for 5 Guantanamo detainees
    None of the detainees were to be released.

    Bush keeps Guantanamo open
    Bush adopted the view of his most hawkish advisers that closing Guantanamo would involve too many legal and political risks to be acceptable, now or any time soon.


  5. Pingback: USA: Relatives of September 11 victims condemn Guantánamo show trial | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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