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  1. #1
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    Default Terrorizing innocents at Gitmo


    Mullah Abdus Salaam Dhaeef was Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan in 2001. On 1st June 2002 the government of Pakistan treacherously handed him over to the U.S.A.. He spent 3 years and 10 months in horrendous suffering in the torture Camps of America in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Of this period, one month was spent in different torture centres in Afghanistan and the rest of the period of detention and torture was in Guantanamo Bay. After this long period of detention and torture, America handed him over to the current U.S.A. Kerzai puppet government. On his release, Mullah Abdus Salaam wrote a book describing in vivid detail the savagery and barbarism of the American soldiers and his torturers. The book written in the Pushto language was translated into Urdu. We present here extracts from the Urdu version.


    MULLAH ABDUS SALAAM DHAEEF, during the reign of the Taliban was Afghanistan’s ambassador in Pakistan. After Pakistan treacherously handed him over to the blood thirsty U.S. torturers, Mullah Abdus Salaam spent three years and ten months at Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. torture centres where he was subjected to horrendous acts of torture. Only a sub-Satan species can be capable of the unimaginable acts of brutality which human beings cannot imagine inflicting on even animals.

    Mullah Abdus Salaam says: “I never dreamt that the Pakistani rulers would betray me for a few coins and hand me over as a gift to America……I was blindfolded and driven to a helicopter where I was handed over to the Americans. Before being bundled into the aircraft I heard several persons speaking in English. I was now convinced of being in the custody of the Americans. I was made to stand near to the helicopter. Within a few moments those who were conversing in English attacked me like a pack of wild wolves, raining blows and kicking me relentlessly. This happened right in the presence of the Pakistanis who had just handed me over. I was completely dazed by the suddenness of the attack. During the wild assault they sometimes threw me onto my face; sometimes made me stand, tearing my clothes, pushing, hitting and kicking me. They tore my clothes with he aid of knives. While this brutal assault was taking place, the cloth fell from my eyes. I saw standing one side a row of Pakistani soldiers and officers speculating the scene.

    While the Americans continued their merciless assault on me, and denuding me of my clothes, these supposed ‘defenders of Islam’ (the Pakistani officers and soldiers) and former ‘friends’ looked on silently. The savage and blood thirsty Americans threw me to the ground while I was completely naked. I was then harshly pushed and shoved into the helicopter where my hands and feet were shackled with chains. I was again blindfolded. Then a hood was pulled down over my face. I was thereafter tied with rope from head to feet.

    The helicopter took off. Whenever I tried to slightly move, a hard kick would land on me. I was convinced that I would die within few moments. I cannot remember how long I remained in that cauldron of brutality. After having been airborne for some time, the helicopter landed. I was harshly dragged and thrown out. A new set of barbaric Americans took over and reduced me to such a state which is beyond description. They even laid me flat while four or five of the savages sat on me. My very breathing stopped. I was tortured at this place for about two hours.

    I was then loaded into another helicopter and shackled to a steel chair………….….. I was repeatedly attacked by the American savages with fists and kicks. While I was hooded I was totally naked. In this state of nudity, they threw me onto ice. While all this was taking place, American male and female soldiers would sing, mock and jeer at me. When I uncontrollably shivered of the cold they shouted at me to stop my ‘movement’. I finally lost conscious……….

    Once when they laid me down flat on the ground, the interrogator took a pocket-size Qur’aan Shareef and began tearing it page by page. He scattered the pages all over the show to cause maximum grief to me. Then the American soldiers brought their dogs which took the pages of the Qur’aan Shareef into their mouths and tramped on the scattered pages.………. A common practice of these barbarians was to keep a copy of the Qur’aan Majeed at their feet while interrogating us. Then followed the fist blows and the kicks…. In extreme cold weather, prisoners were made to sit on the ground outside and ice cold water was poured over their heads. Like wild beasts, they would even bite prisoners. This brutal treatment did not fully gratiate them. They would also beat us with sticks……..

    Two soldiers pulled me out from a sandpit (wherein they were torturing him) and began kicking me under the ribs with their heavy boots. I was then thrown onto the ground face downwards, and four American savages jumped all over my body. Cameras would repeatedly flash. They revelled in taking pictures of us while we were being tortured, and in the state of nudity. For the American male and female soldiers, our deplorable and lamentable plight was fun and mirth-provoking.

    When taking a group of prisoners for interrogation, they were ordered to crawl on their knees to the place of interrogation while dogs were let loose from behind to hasten the crawling prisoners. The skin would peel from my knees and blood flowed. My head would be bashed against the wall…….
    Once a group of seven prisoners were tied and taken out. All their clothes were removed. All were exposed with their nudity to the gazes of all and sundry. Male and female American soldiers would gather around and mockingly view the scene. There was nothing more humiliating than this barbaric treatment.”

  2. #2
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    Default Gitmo propaganda team

    WASHINGTON--The US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has been caught conducting covert propaganda attacks on the internet. The attacks, exposed by government transparency group Wikileaks, include deleting detainees' ID numbers from Wikipedia, the systematic posting of unattributed "self praise" comments on news organization web sites in response to negative press, boosting pro-Guantanamo stories on the internet news site Digg and even modifying Fidel Castro's encyclopedia article to describe the Cuban president as "an admitted transexual" [sic].

    Among the un- or mis-attributed responses to news stories were statements such as "[Guantanamo is] a very professional place full of true American patriots." and comments playing down the impact of leaked documents which among other matters mandated all Guantanamo detainees to have no contact with the Red Cross for at least the first 2-4 weeks after their arrival: "interesting document but not at all relevant today as much of this has changed over the years."
    More here

  3. #3


    I really hate it when the Government and Corporations edit Wikipedia. Good thing these things can be easily traced.

    The Bias works both ways, I was reading recently a wiki entry on Assasins and I god this piece of bias trash:

    Assassin is a name that was applied originally by the Crusader circles in the Near East and other medieval Europeans to the Nizari Ismailis of Syria. From the opening decade of the twelfth century, the Crusaders had numerous encounters with the Syrian Nizaris, who reached the peak of their power under the leadership of Rashid al-Din Sinan (d. 1193), their most famous da‘i and the original “Old Man of the Mountain” of the Crusaders. It was, indeed, in Sinan’s time (1163—1193) that the Crusaders and their European observers became particularly enchanted by the highly exaggerated reports and rumors about the daring behavior of the Nizari fida’is, who were believed to selectively target and remove their community’s prominent enemies in specific localities. As a result, the Nizari Ismailis became famous in Europe as the Assassins, the followers of the mysterious “Old Man of the Mountain.”

    The term assassin, which appeared in European languages in a variety of forms (e.g., assassini, assissini, and heyssisini), was evidently based on variants of the Arabic word hashishi (pl. hashishiyya, hashishin). The latter was applied by other Muslims to Nizaris in the pejorative sense of “low-class rabble” or “people of lax morality,” without any derivative explanation reflecting any special connection between the Nizaris and hashish, a product of hemp. This term of abuse was picked up locally in Syria by the Crusaders and European travelers and adopted as the designation of the Nizari Ismailis. Subsequently, after the etymology of the term had been forgotten, it came to be used in Europe as a noun meaning “murderer.” Thus, a misnomer rooted in abuse eventually resulted in a new word, assassin, in European languages.

    Medieval Europeans—and especially the Crusaders—who remained ignorant of Islam as a religion and of its internal divisions were also responsible for fabricating and disseminating (in the Latin Orient as well as in Europe) a number of interconnected legends about the secret practices of the Nizaris, the so-called “assassin legends.” In particular, the legends sought to provide a rational explanation for the seemingly irrational self-sacrificing behavior of the Nizari fida’is; as such, they revolved around the recruitment and training of the youthful devotees. The legends developed in stages from the time of Sinan and throughout the thirteenth century. Soon, the seemingly blind obedience of the fida’is to their leader was attributed, by their occidental observers, to the influence of an intoxicating drug like hashish. There is no evidence that suggests that hashish or any other drug was used in any systematic fashion to motivate the fida’is; contemporary non-Ismaili Muslim sources that are generally hostile toward the Ismailis remain silent on this subject. In all probability, it was the abusive name hashishi that gave rise to the imaginative tales disseminated by the Crusaders.
    As you can see some idiot wants us to believe that assasination is some how an honorable thing and that the term assasin is a Crusader invention. How many times can someone say the word Crusader? People's over reliance of "buzz words" is often an indicator of bias. Nevermind the fact that the Muslims at that time also Despised these barbarians (they tried to assinate the Caliphate).

    Anyways, I use wiki too much myself, I need to start using lexis-nexis more often.

  4. #4
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    Default First Guantanamo video released

    First Guantanamo video released

    The video was filmed secretly through an air duct

    A videotape of a detainee being questioned at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay has been released for the first time.

    It shows 16-year-old Omar Khadr being asked by Canadian officials in 2003 about events leading up to his capture by US forces, Canadian media have said.

    The Canadian citizen is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002.

    He is seen in a distressed state and complaining about the medical care.

    The footage was made public by Mr Khadr's lawyers following a Supreme Court ruling in May that the Canadian authorities had to hand over key evidence against him to allow a full defence of the charges he is facing.

    'Help me'

    Mr Khadr, the only Westerner still held at the jail, was 15 when he was captured by US forces during a gun battle at a suspected al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.

    During the 10-minute video of his questioning in Guantanamo a year later, he can be seen crying, his face buried in his hands, and pulling at his hair. He can be heard repeatedly chanting: "Help me."

    More @ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7507216.stm

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    Mother of Omar Khadr on Gitmo video

    Mother of Omar Khadr on Gitmo video: 'I don't know if he hears me crying'

    TORONTO — The mother of Omar Khadr could only sit helplessly and watch Tuesday as her "tiny boy," accused in the death of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, cried out to her in a 2003 recording of a marathon Guantanamo Bay interrogation - her first glimpse of him in more than six years.

    In an exclusive interview at the family's east-end Toronto home, Maha Elsamnah told The Canadian Press she felt powerless to intervene as she watched the video of Khadr, then just 16, weeping for his mother during an interview with a Canadian intelligence agent.

    "My son is calling for me and I'm sitting here," said Elsamnah, by turns stoic and distraught as she described seeing Khadr for the first time since he was taken into U.S. military custody following a deadly firefight in Afghanistan in 2002.

    "I cried. I said, 'O God, please answer his call. I can't answer.' I wish I can tell him. What can I do? I'm here. I wish he can hear me answering back."

    Part of the video, recorded in February 2003, shows Khadr sobbing uncontrollably. At one point, he whimpers a mantra that sounds like "Help me," but which Elsamnah said were in fact an Arabic expression meaning, "Oh, mother."

    "I always heard his call in my dreams," she said. "But I don't know if he hears me crying."

    Sitting in her living room, Elsamnah said "the baby face" and "tiny boy" she saw in the grainy, out-of-focus video looked exactly the way he did when she last saw him.

    That was a week or two before the clash in Afghanistan that left the 15-year-old badly wounded and near death. It was during that skirmish, U.S. authorities allege, that Khadr threw the grenade that killed an Amer ican medic, Sgt. Christopher Speer.

    At another point during in the interrogation, Khadr pleads for the chance to go back to Canada .

    "There's not anything I can do about that," says the agent, whose identity is concealed from view. "I want to stay in Cuba with you. The weather is nice - no snow."

    Both Elsamnah and Khadr's older sister, Zaynab, 28, expressed dismay at the response.

    "He's sitting in a cell, in a cage, suffering from the heat. I don't think he sees that as a very nice thing. He's not there on a vacation. He's there because he's in jail," said Zaynab.

    "It's just ridiculous to compare your vacation in Cuba to his stay in Cuba ."

    "Mockery!" Elsamnah interjected. "He's mocking him. He's mocking a kid. A grownup with freedom and free will is mocking a kid."

    The Khadrs were once personal friends of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, a relationship fostered by the family patriarch Ahmed Said Khadr, who was killed in a gun battle with Pakistan forces in October 2003.

    Omar's brother Karim, who suffered injuries in that same fight that left him paralyzed from the waist down, said he found it difficult to watch the video.

    "I was very angry on the inside when I saw it - about what they made him go through for nothing," Karim said as he sat on the living room carpet.

    "Why did they even want to interrogate him? He's only 16. They even make him feel worse. I'm pretty sure if there was any information inside him, the Americans had it already."

    Elsamnah said she realizes that many Canadians blame her and her late husband for Khadr's plight. But she insisted that taking their outrage out on a child is unacceptable.

    "I know they will say . . . it was a stupid family who took him there (but) Omar never went (to Afghanistan ) to fight. We never went there to fight. We went there to help," she said.

    "War is not fun - it will never bring happiness to anybody. War is miserable."

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    Who's Pulling the Strings?

    The Dark Heart of the Guantánamo Trials

    On September 24, Col. Lawrence Morris, the chief prosecutor of Guantánamo’s Military Commission trial system, announced that Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, the prosecutor in the case of Mohamed Jawad (an Afghan -- and a teenager at the time of his capture -- who is accused of throwing a grenade at a jeep containing two US soldiers and an Afghan translator), had asked to quit his assignment before his one-year contract expired.

    Although Col. Morris attempted to explain that Lt. Col. Vandeveld was leaving “for personal reasons,” the real reasons were spelled out in a statement issued by Vandeveld (PDF), in which he expressed his frustration and disappointment that “potentially exculpatory evidence” had “not been provided” to Jawad’s defense team:

    My ethical qualms about continuing to serve as a prosecutor relate primarily to the procedures for affording defense counsel discovery. I am highly concerned, to the point that I believe I can no longer serve as a prosecutor at the Commissions, about the slipshod, uncertain “procedure” for affording defense counsel discovery. One would have thought … six years since the Commissions had their fitful start, that a functioning law office would have been set up and procedures and policies not only put into effect, but refined.

    Instead, what I found, and what I still find, is that discovery in even the simplest of cases is incomplete or unreliable. To take the Jawad case as only one example -- a case where no intelligence agency had any significant involvement -- I discovered just yesterday that something as basic as agents’ interrogation notes had been entered into a database, to which I do not have personal access … These and other examples too legion to list are not only appalling, they deprive the accused of basic due process and subject the well-intentioned prosecutor to claims of ethical misconduct.

    Vandeveld also stated, “My view of the case has evolved over time,” and proceeded to explain how he had come to suspect that Jawad, who has always denied throwing the grenade, was duped into joining a militant group, and was drugged before the attack. Michael Berrigan, the Commissions’ deputy chief defense counsel, added that prosecutors also knew that the Afghan Interior Ministry said that two other men had confessed to the same crime, although Vandeveld did not mention this in his statement.

    Vandeveld added, “Based on my view of the case, I have advocated a pre-trial agreement under which Mr. Jawad would serve some relatively brief additional period in custody while he receives rehabilitation services and skills that will allow him to reintegrate into either Afghan or Pakistani society.” This, however, was turned down by his commanding officers. He continued: “One of my motivations in seeking a reasonable resolution of the case is that, as a juvenile at the time of capture, Jawad should have been segregated from the adult detainees, and some serious attempt made to rehabilitate him. I am bothered by the fact that this was not done.”

    On October 26, as Jawad’s defense lawyer, Maj. David Frakt, sought to have the case dismissed due to “gross government misconduct,” Lt. Col. Vandeveld testified for the defense by video link from Washington D.C., explaining, as the Associated Press described it, that “the embattled military tribunal system may not be capable of delivering justice for Jawad or the victims.” “They are not served by having someone who may be innocent be convicted of the crime,” Vandeveld said, reiterating that, even after six years, “it is impossible for anyone in good conscience to stand up and say he or she is provided all the discovery in a case.”

    Explaining more of his reasons for quitting his job, Vandeveld told the court that he “reached a turning point” when he chanced upon “key evidence among material scattered throughout the prosecutors’ office.” In another case file, he said he “saw for the first time a statement Jawad made to a military investigator probing prisoner abuse in Afghanistan,” and described it as “an episode that helped convert him from a ‘true believer to someone who felt truly deceived.’” He added that he had “even developed sympathy” for Jawad. “My views changed,” he said. “I am a father, and it's not an exercise in self-pity to ask oneself how you would feel if your own son was treated in this fashion.”

    More @ http://counterpunch.com/worthington10032008.html

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    Public At Last

    Guantánamo's SERE Standard Operating Procedures

    One of the most important documents of the U.S. torture program has just become publicly available for the first time. This is the JTF GTMO “SERE” Interrogation Standard Operating Procedure, now posted on the website of the new documentary, Torturing Democracy. This document clearly specifies that the abusive interrogation techniques to be used at Guantamo [JTF GTMO] are based upon the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape [SERE] program. The document is notable for its documentation of the extent to which abuse was bureaucratically standardized for routine use.

    Both Katherine Eban and Jane Mayer referred to and described the SERE SOP back in the summer of 2007. A bit of it was included in documents released by the Senate Armed Services Committee June 17, 2008. But the bulk of the text remained classified and unavailable until today. An FBI commentary on the SERE SOP has been available since February 2006 at least, in heavily redacted form which obscured the content, but not the existence of the SOP.

    Here is the document. It is also available in pdf. [as this was a draft, the formatting was inconsistent. I have corrected some formatting. I have not corrected any typos. For example, there is likely a "NOT" missing after the "DO" in "IT IS CRITICAL THAT INIERROGATORS DO “CROSS THE LINE” WHEN UTILIZING THE TACTICS DESCRIBED BELOW." Obviously, despite my best efforts at accuracy, this text should be checked against the pdf before citing.]

    10 DECEMBER 2002



    1. Purpose. This SOP document promulgates procedures to be followed by I I P-GTMO personnel engaged in interrogation operations on detained persons. The premise behind this is that the interrogation tactics used at U.S. military SERE schools are appropriate for use in real-world interrogations. These tactics and techniques are used at SERE school to “break” SERE detainees. The same tactics and techniques can be used to break real detainees during interrogation operations.

    The basis for this document is the SOP used at the U.S. Navy SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school in Brunswick, Maine and is defined by reference (a).
    Note that all tactics are strictly non-lethal.


    2. Training. All interrogators will undergo training by certified SERE instructors prior to being approved for use of any of the techniques described in this document.

    3. Scope. Applicable to military and civilian interrogators assigned to JTF-GTMO, Cuba.
    LtCol, USAF



    a. This document describes in detail the interrogation tactics authorized for use in detainee interrogation operations at JTF_GTMO and the safety precautions that must be used to prevent injuries. The tactics are the same as those used in U.S. military SERE schools.




    a. Approved interrogation tactics are found in Sections 3-6.

    b. Additional safeguards are as follows:

    1. Detainee behavior and reactions are continuously observed and evaluated by the interrogator.

    2. Both the detainee’s and the interrogators behavior are monitored by the Watch Officer.

    3. IT IS CRITICAL THAT INIERROGATORS DO “CROSS THE LINE” WHEN UTILIZING THE TACTICS DESCRIBED BELOW. Therefore, verbal coded messages or nonverbal signals will be used by the Watch Officer (or other interrogators) when giving instructions to adjust interrogation procedure. For example, two kicks on the door indicated the interrogator should discontinue the current approach and move on to another approach. The statement, “Stop wasting time with this pig,” means to discontinue the current training tactic and take a break.


    a. SHOULDER SLAP. The shoulder slap is a moderate to hard, glancing blow to the back of the shoulder with an open hand. It is used as an irritant.

    b. INSULT SLAP. *****
    (1) The insult slap is used to shock and intimidate the detainee. The slap is aimed at the detainee’s cheek only. Contact will be made only with the fingers in the open hand position and the fingers will be slightly spread and relaxed. The slap will be initiated no more than 12-14 inches (or one shoulder width) from the detainee’s face.
    To ensure this distance is not exceeded and to preclude any tendency to wind up or uppercut, the slap will be initiated with the slap hand contacting the detainee’s body on the top of the shoulder. The target area is slightly below the cheekbone, away from the eyes and ears. Extreme care must be taken not to strike the lower jaw. Slaps aimed at the ears, mouth, nose eyes or throat are prohibited.

    (2) Uninterrupted or consecutive slaps are prohibited because the detainee will duck or dodge the slap, creating possibility for an injury. Experience has shown that after a second slap, the effectiveness of the slap tactic is significantly reduced. Interrogators will cease using the slap if detainee begins ducking. At this point, a threatened slap with the hand will achieve the same purpose as a slap. Blows with the back of the hand, fists, elbows, feet and knees are prohibited. Insult slaps are only to be used by those interrogators designated in writing by the ICE CHIEF.

    C. STOMACH SLAP. ******

    (1) As with the insult slap, the stomach slap is used to shock and intimidate the detainee. The tactic is delivered with the back of the bare hand. The slap will be directed towards the center of the abdomen. The detainee will not be struck in the solar plexus, ribs, sides, and kidneys or below the navel. The slap will not be performed against the bare skin. Slaps will be initiated with the interrogator’s upper arm parallel to his/her body, extending the striking hand in a swinging motion to the target area. Detainees will be either facing or to the side of the interrogator when the slap is administered.

    (2) Uninterrupted or consecutive slaps are prohibited. Blows to the stomach with the palm of the hand fist, knees or elbows are prohibited.


    (1) Stripping consists of forceful removal of detainees’ clothing. In addition to degradation of the detainee, shipping can be used to demonstrate the omnipotence of the captor or to debilitate the detainee. Interrogator personnel tear clothing from detainees by firmly pulling downward against buttoned buttons and seams. Tearing motions shall be downward to prevent pulling the detainee off balance.


    a. STRESS POSITIONS. Stress positions are used to punish detainees. ALL STRESS POSITIONS ARE -RESTRICTED TO A MAXIMUM TIME OF TEN MINUTES AND A LOGBOOK ENTRY IS REQURED. An interrogator/guard will remain with detainees during use of stress positions. The authorized positions are:

    (1) Head Rest/Index Finger position - Detainee is placed with forehead or fingers against the wall, then the detainee’s legs are backed out to the point that the detainee’s leaning weight is brought to bear on fingers or head.

    (2) Kneeling position - Administered by placing detainee on knees and having him lean backward on heels and hold hands extended to the sides or front, palms upward. Light weights such as small rocks, may be placed in the detainee’ s upturned palms. The detainee will not be placed in a position facing the sun or floodlights.

    (3) Worship-the-Gods - The detainee is placed on knees with head and torso arched back, with arms either folded across the chest or extended to the side or front. The detainee will not be placed in a position facing the sun or floodlights.

    (4) Sitting Position - the detainee is placed with his back against a wall, tree or post; thighs are horizontal, lower legs are vertical with feet flat on floor or ground as though sitting in a chair. Arms may be extended to sides horizontally, palms up and boots on.

    (5) Standing position - While standing, the detainee is required to extend arms either to the sides or front with palms up. Light weights such as small rocks may be placed in upturned palms.


    a. HOODING
    (1) Hoods are lightweight fabric sacks large enough to fit loosely over a detainee’s head and permit unrestricted breathing.

    (2) Flooding us used to isolate detainees. Individually hooded detainees may be moved provided an interrogator/guard leads the detainee. Detainees may not be left standing alone with the hood on. They must be placed either on their stomachs, kneeling, or sitting. Detainee medical limitations must be considered.



    Manhandling consists of pulling or pushing a detainee. It is used as an irritant and to direct the detainee to specific locations. Detainees must be handcuffed and must grasp their trousers near mid-thigh with both hands. The interrogator firmly grasps detainee’s clothing and then moves the detainee at a walking pace. The interrogator must maintain positive control of the detainee The detainee is not released until the interrogator is positive the detainee has regained balance.

    b. WALLING. ***** Walling consists of placing a detainee forcibly against a specially constructed wall. Walling will only be performed in designated areas where specially constructed walls have been built. Walling is used to physically intimidate a detainee. The interrogator must ensure the wall is smooth, firm, and free of any projections. If conducted outside, footing area must be solid and free of objects that could cause detainee or interrogator to lose their balance. A detainee can be taken to tfio wall a maximum of three,times per.shift. Walling is done by firmly grasping the front of the detainee’s clothing high on each side of the collar„ ensuring the top of the clothing is open. Care should be taken to ensure detainees with long hair do not get their hair tangled into the folds of clothes being grasped by the interrogator. To avoid bruising the detainee, roll hands under folds of clothing material and ensure only the backs of the hands contact detainee’s chest. Maintain this grip throughout, never allowing the detainee to be propelled uncontrollably. Ensure only the broad part of the shoulders contact the surface of the wall. Grip the detainee’s clothing firmly enough so the collar acts as a restrictive constraint to preclude the detainee’s head from contacting the wall does this. If the detainee’s head inadvertently touches the wall, walling will be ceased immediately.

    Walling is to be used by those interrogators designated in writing by the ICE CHIEF.
    Stephen Soldz is a psychoanalyst, psychologist, public health researcher, and faculty member at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He maintains the Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice web site and the Psyche, Science, and Society blog. He is a founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, one of the organizations leading the struggle to change American Psychological Association policy on participation in abusive interrogations.

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    Torturing Democracy

    "Torturing Democracy" is a new documentary which details how the government set aside the rule of law in its pursuit of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists.

    Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


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    Portugal to take Guantanamo inmates

    Portugal is willing to receive detainees from the US-run Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, Luis Amado, the foreign minister, has said.

    He said there had "been a clear consensus [in Europe] throughout on the need to close this detention centre".

    The detention of inmates without trial has tainted the US's human rights record, and Barack Obama, the US president-elect, has said he will close the camp.

    The Portuguese government urged its European Union partners to also accept to resettle detainees.

    "The time has come for the European Union to step forward," a letter produced by the Portuguese foreign ministry read.

    "As a matter of principle and coherence, we should send a clear signal of our willingness to help the US government in that regard [closing Guantanamo], namely through the resettlement of the detainees."

    'The Guantanamo problem'

    Daniel Gorevana, from Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera that the Portuguese offer was a call to other European governments to help solve "the Guantanamo problem".
    "As part of that they [Portugal] are offering to take individuals from Guantanamo whether they are cleared for release through the official US system or not," he said.
    "I think it's important to note that the US system of clearing individuals at Guantanamo is fairly arbitrary and most of the individuals who have been released from Guantanamo have not gone through that process.

    About 255 men are still held in the prison, including 50 the US has cleared for release but cannot repatriate for fear they will be tortured or persecuted in their home countries.

    "There's a large Yemeni population [in Guantanamo] and we know that US is in negotiations with the Yemeni government to repatriate some of those individuals. There's a smaller number of detainees that the US plans to charge and try," Gorevana said.

    "They're currently doing that under the military commission system and Amnesty are calling for those detainees to be transferred to the US and charged in federal criminal courts."

    'Closer to the goal'

    Albania is the only country that has accepted detainees on humanitarian grounds, taking in five members of China's Uighur ethnic minority in 2006.

    Portugal's offer to take in detainees will bring the US closer to its goal of closing the offshore military prison, a US diplomat said on Thursday.

    Clint Williamson, the ambassador-at-large for war-crimes issues, said the gesture marks a breakthrough in efforts to find new homes for detainees who would risk persecution or torture in their native countries.

    "We certainly welcome this initiative," Williamson said in an interview with the Associated Press news agency.

    "We have approached over 70 countries at this point, and I personally visited a number of those capitals, raising this with other governments."

    Security concerns

    Obama has also pledged to move the remaining prisoners' trials into regular US civilian or military courts.

    Manfred Nowak, the UN's torture investigator, recommended last month that European countries take in Guantanamo inmates who cannot be sent home.
    Williamson said governments have been reluctant to accept the men because of security and political concerns.

    "In some cases, they have just been reluctant to associate themselves with an unpopular policy related to Guantanamo," he said.

    Detainees at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
    Sunday : 14/12/2008


    What a shame! Not a single miserable leader in the Muslim World has openly called for closing Guantanamo!

    What a shame! Not a single Muslim government has demanded the release of its nationals illegally kidnapped and detained in Guantanamo!

    How shameful! Not one Muslim State has offered to resettle some or all of the Muslim detainees from Guantanamo, not even its own citizens!

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    Default Freed Gitmo Prisoner Binyam Mohamed Experienced “Nightmare We Can’t Imagine”

    Lawyer: Freed Gitmo Prisoner Binyam Mohamed Experienced “Nightmare We Can’t Imagine”
    CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH: No, no, he’s not willing to do that yet. But I tell you, he will be willing to at some point, because it’s such an important story. It’s a very long story. I’ll give you a brief Reader’s Digest version.
    He was in Pakistan, where we have the first evidence of him being held in custody by the Pakistanis and the US and where the torture began. And he had always told me about that since I first met him in 2005 in Gitmo. But now there’s evidence that the British judges who have looked at some of these materials indicate that there is documentary proof from the United States, written by US personnel, admitting—you know, even sort of boasting, I’m afraid—that US personnel were responsible for torturing Binyam at that point.
    There’s a long story that led to him being rendered then to Morocco, where the torture got far worse. And at that point, he has a razor blade taken to his genitals and all sorts of other horrendous things. Again, this was at the behest of the CIA. We have the flight logs that prove that what he said was happening was true. All along, you know, the British knew that some of this was going on. They did nothing to stop it. The US was responsible for the torture.
    I mean, I speak as someone with both a British and American passport, and I must say I am ashamed. And we need to make sure this gets aired very, very publicly, not because Binyam wants revenge—he really doesn’t—but because his position is that you really can’t learn from history unless you know what that history is. And you’ve got to understand what it was that led these lunatics in the Bush administration to go down that path. It’s frightening.


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    I'm very glad that at least one more prisoner from Guantanamo Bay has been released. May Allah make it easy for the rest of the prisoners to be released and as soon as possible.
    A pirate was captured & brought before Alexander the Great. Alexander asked the pirate: 'How dare you molest the people?' The pirate replied:'And how dare you molest the entire world? I am called a thief because I do it with a little ship only. You do it with a great navy & you are called an Emperor!'
    Under this scenario, powerless people doing trivial acts are the major terrorists of the world whilst major powers perpetrating terrorism in many parts of the world are the civilised barbarians.

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    Default Ex-Bush admin official: Many at Gitmo are innocent

    Ex-Bush admin official: Many at Gitmo are innocent

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Many detainees locked up at Guantanamo were innocent men swept up by U.S. forces unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants, a former Bush administration official said Thursday. "There are still innocent people there," Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a Republican who was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, told The Associated Press. "Some have been there six or seven years."

    Wilkerson, who first made the assertions in an Internet posting on Tuesday, told the AP he learned from briefings and by communicating with military commanders that the U.S. soon realized many Guantanamo detainees were innocent but nevertheless held them in hopes they could provide information for a "mosaic" of intelligence.

    "It did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance," Wilkerson wrote in the blog. He said intelligence analysts hoped to gather "sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified."

    Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, said vetting on the battlefield during the early stages of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan was incompetent with no meaningful attempt to determine "who we were transporting to Cuba for detention and interrogation."

    Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to comment on Wilkerson's specific allegations but noted that the military has consistently said that dealing with foreign fighters from a wide variety of countries in a wartime setting was a complex process. The military has insisted that those held at Guantanamo were enemy combatants and posed a threat to the United States.

    In his posting for The Washington Note blog, Wilkerson wrote that "U.S. leadership became aware of this lack of proper vetting very early on and, thus, of the reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be immediately released."

    Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney fought efforts to address the situation, Wilkerson said, because "to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership."

    Wilkerson told the AP in a telephone interview that many detainees "clearly had no connection to al-Qaida and the Taliban and were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pakistan’s Musharaf turned many over for $5,000 a head."

    Some 800 men have been held at Guantanamo since the prison opened in January 2002, and 240 remain. Wilkerson said two dozen are terrorists, including confessed Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was transferred to Guantanamo from CIA custody in September 2006.

    "We need to put those people in a high-security prison like the one in Colorado, forget them and throw away the key," Wilkerson said. "We can't try them because we tortured them and didn't keep an evidence trail."

    But the rest of the detainees need to be released, he said.

    Wilkerson, who flew combat missions as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and left the government in January 2005, said he did not speak out while in government because some of the information was classified. He said he feels compelled to do so now because Cheney has claimed in recent press interviews that President Barack Obama is making the U.S. less safe by ordering Guantanamo closed and reversing other Bush administration policies.

    The administration is now evaluating what to do with the prisoners who remain at the U.S. military base in Cuba.

    "I'm very concerned about the kinds of things Cheney is saying to make it seem Obama is a danger to this republic," Wilkerson said. "To have a former vice president fearmongering like this is really, really dangerous."

    The Associated Press: Ex-Bush admin official: Many at Gitmo are innocent

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    Default Americans Opposed to Closing Guantanamo Bay

    Most Oppose Closing Guantanamo Bay Detention Center

    Americans Overwhelmingly Opposed to Closing Guantanamo Detention Center for Suspected Terrorists

    By SUSAN PAGE - June 1, 2009

    WASHINGTON — Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to closing the detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and moving some of the detainees to prisons on U.S. soil, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

    By more than 2-1, those surveyed say Guantanamo shouldn't be closed. By more than 3-1, they oppose moving some of the accused terrorists housed there to prisons in their own states.

    The findings underscore the difficult task President Obama faces in convincing those at home that he should follow through on his campaign promise to close the prison in Cuba, especially in the absence of a plan of where the prisoners would go.

    In many parts of the world, however, Gitmo has become a symbol of U.S. arrogance and abuse, and Obama has cited its closure as a way to lay the foundation for better relations. He is scheduled to deliver a major address aimed at the Muslim world on Thursday from Cairo.

    It is one of the few subjects on which most Americans side with the views of the Bush administration over its successor.

    "Coming up on eight years after Sept. 11, fear remains, and fear is politically potent," says political scientist Paul Freedman of the University of Virginia, who studies public opinion. "When it comes to the issue of terrorism … people are inclined to err on the side of that fear."

    Former vice president Dick Cheney said Monday that Obama made "a mistake" in promising to close the facility by the end of the year.

    "I think it's going to be very difficult," he said at a National Press Club luncheon, given the reluctance of U.S. allies and citizens to accept its prisoners. "These are bad actors. These are the worst of the worst."

    In a speech last month, Obama said the nation's "Supermax" prisons could be relied on to hold detainees. Government lawyers are reviewing the status of the 240 prisoners at Guantanamo to determine whether they should be tried in federal court or before a military tribunal, released overseas or held without trial.

    In the survey, Americans were inclined to accept the argument by Cheney and former president George W. Bush that the detention center had made the United States safer. By 40%-18%, they said the prison had strengthened national security rather than weakened it.

    Those who want the prison to remain open feel more strongly on the subject that those who want to close it. A 54% majority of those polled say the prison shouldn't be closed, and that they'll be upset if the administration moves forward to close it.

    Last month, Senate Democrats stripped $80 million to close Gitmo from a spending bill and blocked transfer of detainees to U.S. soil, at least for now.

    The survey of 1,015 adults, which was taken by landline and cellphone Friday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/– 3 percentage points.

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    Recently Released Gitmo Detainee Talks to ABC News

    Held Seven Years, Former Aid Worker Tells ABC News He Was Tortured


    For 7½ years, Lakhdar Boumediene was known simply by a number: "10005."

    These were the digits assigned to him when he arrived at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, swept up in a post-Sept. 11 dragnet and accused of plotting to blow up the U.S. and British Embassies in Sarajevo.

    In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Boumediene said the interrogators at Gitmo never once asked him about this alleged plot, which he denied playing any part it.

    "I'm a normal man," said Boumediene, who at the time of his arrest worked for the Red Crescent, providing help to orphans and others in need. "I'm not a terrorist."

    The 43-year-old Algerian is now back with his wife and two daughters, a free man in France after a Republican judge found the evidence against Boumediene lacking. He is best known from the landmark Supreme Court case last year, Boumediene v. Bush, which said detainees have the right to challenge their detention in court.

    That decision was a stunning rebuke of the Bush administration's policies on terror suspects. It set up a ruling by District Court Judge Richard Leon, a former counsel to Republicans in Congress appointed to the bench by Bush, that there was no credible evidence to keep Boumediene detained.

    After what Boumediene described as a 7½ year nightmare, he is now a free man. Boumediene: "I don't think. I'm sure" about torture.

    In 2001, Boumediene, his wife and two young daughters lived in Sarajevo, Bosnia. He worked for the Red Crescent Society, having done stints for the organization in Pakistan and Albania.

    He was arrested by Bosnian police in October 2001 and charged with conspiring to blow up the U.S. and British Embassies. He called the charges false and ludicrous.

    "They search my car, my office, nothing. Cell phone, nothing. Nothing. Nothing," he said.

    The charges were dropped, and the Bosnian courts ordered him and five others freed. But under pressure from the Bush administration, the Bosnian government handed him over to the U.S. military.

    On January 17, 2002, Boumediene's hands and feet were placed in shackles, and he was put on a military plane en route to Guantanamo Bay. It was a time of high anxiety, and the Bush administration was taking no chances.

    Two weeks later, in his State of the Union address, President Bush touted the arrests in Bosnia to show early progress in the war on terror.

    "Our soldiers, working with the Bosnian government, seized terrorists who were plotting to bomb our embassy," Bush said in his address. To this day, officials of the Bush administration have provided no credible evidence to back up that accusation.

    Boumediene said the interrogations began within one week of his arrival at the facility in Cuba. But he thought that his cooperation, and trust in the United States, would serve him well and quicken his release.

    "I thought America, the big country, they have CIA, FBI. Maybe one week, two weeks, they know I am innocent. I can go back to my home, to my home," he said.

    But instead, Boumediene said he endured harsh treatment for more than seven years. He said he was kept awake for 16 days straight, and physically abused repeatedly.

    Asked if he thought he was tortured, Boumediene was unequivocal.

    "I don't think. I'm sure," he said.

    Boumediene described being pulled up from under his arms while sitting in a chair with his legs shackled, stretching him. He said that he was forced to run with the camp's guards and if he could not keep up, he was dragged, bloody and bruised.

    He described what he called the "games" the guards would play after
    he began a hunger strike, putting his food IV up his nose and poking the hypodermic needle in the wrong part of his arm.

    "You think that's not torture? What's this? What can you call this? Torture or what?" he said, indicating the scars he bears from tight shackles. "I'm an animal? I'm not a human?"

    Vice President Dick Cheney has been adamant in his defense of the Guantanamo detention center and the treatment of those held there.

    Last week Cheney said, "The facility down there is a fine facility. These people are very well treated."

    Oddly, Boumediene said no one at Gitmo ever asked him about the alleged plot to blow up the embassies in Sarajevo. They wanted to know what he knew about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, he recounted, which was nothing.

    Boumediene said it was in his interest to lie to the interrogators, who would reward the detainees if they admitted guilt.

    "If I tell my interrogator, I am from Al Qaeda, I saw Osama bin Laden, he was my boss, I help him, they will tell me, 'Oh you are a good man,'" he said. "But if I refuse ? I tell them I'm innocent, never was I terrorist, never never, they tell me. 'You are, you are not cooperating, I have to punch you.'"

    After nearly four years locked up, Boumediene went on a hunger strike to protest his treatment.

    He said he had believed that the United States honored religious diversity but believed guards at Guantanamo took actions to disrespect his religious beliefs. "They shaved my beard, because they don't respect me, because the guards they don't let me sleep. They don't let me read my Koran, they don't let me pray normal like people like Muslim outside the Guantanamo," he said.

    Boumediene broke his hunger strike just twice over 2½ years -- first, when he learned of Barack Obama's election win and next when Judge Leon ordered his release.

    Despite the harsh treatment and uncertainty over his fate, Boumediene said he did not want to die because he had something to live for back home.

    "Every day, I think about my wife and my daughters," he said.

    Boumediene's personal effects were taken from him at Guantanamo, including his wedding ring. He now has a stack of letters, that his wife wrote to him that never arrived, a "return to sender" stamp on the envelope.

    "Over there you lose all the hopes, you lose all hope," he said. "Any good news, they don't want you to be happy."

    It took more than six years before Boumediene started to receive good news.

    Boumediene v. Bush

    Last summer, in a landmark war-time decision, the Supreme Court ruled that terror suspects held at Guantanamo have a constitutional right to challenge their detention in federal court.

    The decision was a harsh rebuke to the Bush administration's system for detaining and eventually trying terror suspects.

    In a blistering dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said allowing federal judges, rather than military officials, to release terror suspects could have disastrous consequences.

    "The game of bait-and-switch that today's opinion plays upon the nation's commander in chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed," he wrote.

    Boumediene saw the 5-4 decision as his first victory against President Bush. His second came last November when Judge Leon ruled that the evidence against Boumediene was weak -- a "thin reed," he called it -- and ordered his release from Guantanamo.

    The Bush administration never charged him with conspiring to blow up the embassies. Rather they said Boumediene and others had been planning to travel to Afghanistan to fight the United States.

    To mark the occasion, Boumediene made himself a T-shirt that, like a soccer scoreboard, reads, "Boumediene: 2, Bush: 0."

    Last month, in a tearful ceremony at an airport outside Paris, Boumediene was reunited with his family. His daughters, who were toddlers when he was detained, are 13 and 9 years old.

    "I cried, just cried. Because I don't know my daughters," he said. "The younger, when I moved from Bosnia to Gitmo, she had 18 months, only 18 months. Now 9 years. Now she's big. Between 18 months, baby and 9 years, she walking, she's talking, she play, she's joking. It's a big difference."

    Because of his hunger strike, Boumediene was not in good health when he arrived in France. He was treated at a military hospital and could not eat regular food at first.

    After he was released from the hospital, he went with his wife and daughters to enjoy a first meal as a family in seven and a half year. On the menu? Pizza.

    Sarkozy, Obama Work Out Detainee Plan

    At the request of the White House, France agreed to take in Boumediene. Obama spoke with French President Nikolas Sarkozy on April 3 in Strasbourg France about the possibility of taking in prisoners released from Guantanamo.

    "If then the President of the United States says, I'm going to close down Guantanamo, but I need my allies to take -- in this particular instance, this one person -- into our prisons, because this is going to help me, the U.S. President, to shut down this base -- if we are consistent, then we say, yes," Sarkozy said that day.

    But neither the US nor French governments thought Boumediene needed to be imprisoned. He is a free man, trying to figure out what to do next.

    Three others from his group are back in Bosnia. Two remain in Guantanamo.

    Obama personally thanked Sarkozy on Saturday in France.

    "I very much appreciate President Sarkozy's leadership on a whole range of issues," he said, including, "France's willingness to accept a Guantanamo detainee."

    Boumediene: "I try to forget Guantanamo"

    Boumediene said he understands, to a degree, how the attacks of Sept. 11 prompted strong reactions from the U.S. government.

    "The first month, okay, no problem, the building, the 11 of September, the people, they are scared, but not 7 years. They can know whose innocent, who's not innocent, who's terrorist, who's not terrorist," he said.

    "I give you 2 years, no problem, but not 7 years."

    Boumediene stressed that he has no problem with the American people but could not hide his anger against Bush and other senior administration officials who he called "stupid."

    "Myself, I try to forget Guantanamo, I can't forget the four or five people, they are stupid, they are very very stupid. I can't forget them," he said.

    Boumediene and his attorney said they are considering a lawsuit against the U.S. government but more importantly, they say, he needs money to survive.

    "I think that he needs to have an income paid to him for the rest of his life," said his attorney, Robert Kirsch of the law firm WilmerHale. "His family essentially has been thrown into poverty because of a mistake that we made seven-and-a-half years ago. What he needs is a chance to get back where he would have been."

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    'US not to close Gitmo in near future'

    Dec 26, 2010

    The White House says the US administration will not be able to close Guantanamo Bay detention center in the near future despite President Barack Obama's promise.

    "It's certainly not going to close in the next month. I think it's going to be a while before that prison closes," CNN quoted White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as saying on Sunday.

    Gibbs also suggested that the recent influx of Republicans in Congress could make fulfilling closing the prison more difficult.

    "I think part of this depends on the Republicans' willingness to work with the administration on this," he said.

    About one year has passed since Obama's self-imposed deadline to shut down Guantanamo.

    Legal and legislative hurdles have prevented Obama's goal to be realized in the near future, according to the White House.

    Of the 174 detainees remaining in the prison, only three have been formally tried and found guilty.

    After the US president promised to close the detention center at the end of his first year in office, he is now about to issue an Executive Order that formalizes indefinite detention without trial for Guantanamo detainees.

    The US Congress passed legislation last week that will effectively bar the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to America to be tried in a court of law.

    International Red Cross inspectors and released detainees have described acts of torture, including sleep deprivation, beatings and confinement in small, cold cells.

    Human rights groups have also argued that indefinite detention constitutes torture. One of the allegations of abuse at the US camp is the abuse of the religion of the inmates.

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    War Criminal Bush fears arrest, scraps Swiss visit

    PTI, Feb 7, 2011

    WASHINGTON: Former US President George W Bush has reportedly cancelled a visit to Switzerland amid concerns that he could be arrested for allegedly authorising the torture of prisoners.

    The former American president was due to speak at a charity gala, making the keynote speech at Keren Hayesod's annual dinner in the city of Geneva on February 12.

    Human rights groups in the country have been calling for the Swiss government to arrest Bush over allegations he had ordered the torture of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Court officials have said criminal complaints against Bush have been lodged in Geneva.



    CCR Announces Bush Indictment for Convention Against Torture Signatory States

    No Immunity for Former Presidents Under Law

    Contact: press@ccrjustice.org

    February 7, 2011, Geneva and New York – Today, two torture victims were to have filed criminal complaints, with more than 2,500-pages of supporting material, in Geneva against former U.S. President George W. Bush, who was due to speak at an event there on 12 February. Swiss law requires the presence of the torturer on Swiss soil before a preliminary investigation can be opened. When Bush cancelled his trip to avoid prosecution, the human rights groups who prepared the complaints made it public and announced that the Bush Torture Indictment would be waiting wherever he travels next. The Indictment serves as the basis on which to prepare country-specific, plaintiff-specific indictments, with additional evidence and updated information. According to international law experts at the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), former presidents do not enjoy special immunity under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

    “Waterboarding is torture, and Bush has admitted, without any sign of remorse, that he approved its use,” said Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at CCR and Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). “The reach of the Convention Against Torture is wide – this case is prepared and will be waiting for him wherever he travels next. Torturers – even if they are former presidents of the United States – must be held to account and prosecuted. Impunity for Bush must end.”

    While the U.S. has thus far failed to comply with its obligations under the Convention Against Torture to prosecute and punish those who commit torture, all other signatories, too, are obligated to prosecute or extradite for prosecution anyone present in their territory they have a reasonable basis for believing has committed torture. If the evidence warrants, as the Bush Torture Indictment contends it does, and the U.S. fails to request the extradition of Bush and others to face charges of torture there, CAT signatories must, under law, prosecute them for torture.

    In a statement this weekend, the groups who organized the complaints said, “Whatever Bush or his hosts say, we have no doubt he cancelled his trip to avoid our case. The message from civil society is clear – If you’re a torturer, be careful in your travel plans.”

    The complaints that had been scheduled to be filed on Monday asked that the General Prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva investigate allegations that men were tortured as part of the Bush administration’s well-documented torture program. Bush proudly recounted in his recently published memoir that when asked in 2002 to if it was permissible to waterboard a detainee – a recognized act of torture – he replied “damn right.”

    Monday, February 7, is the ninth anniversary of the day Bush decided the Geneva Conventions did not apply to ‘enemy combatants.’

    According to the Bush Indictment, which was written on behalf of torture victims by CCR and ECCHR, former President Bush bears individual and command responsibility for the acts of his subordinates which he ordered, authorized, condoned or otherwise aided and abetted, as well as for the violations committed by his subordinates which he failed to prevent or punish.

    “Bush is a torturer and deserves to be remembered as such,” said Gavin Sullivan, Solicitor and Counterterrorism Program Manager, ECCHR. “He bears ultimate responsibility for authorizing the torture of thousands of individuals at places like Guantánamo and secret CIA ‘black sites’ around the world. As all states are obliged to prosecute such torturers, Bush has good reason to be very worried.”

    CCR, ECCHR and FIDH were joined by more than 60 human rights organizations and prominent individuals who signed on to support the call for George W. Bush’s prosecution, including former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Theo van Boven, former UN Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, and Nobel Peace Prize recipients Shirin Ebadi and Pérez Esquivel. A number of the human rights organizations which signed on are facing the on-going harms of the “counterterrorism” policies advanced under the
    Bush administration and then adopted or employed in their own countries.. The complaint included 2500 pages of supporting materials.

    Manfred Nowak, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (2004-2010), was to submit an expert opinion on the complaints concluding that the conduct to which both plaintiffs were subjected constitutes torture, that Switzerland had an obligation to open a preliminary investigation, and that George W. Bush enjoys no immunity.

    The Bush Torture Indictment, the official “letter of denunciation” summarizing the case and other materials are available here: http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/bush-torture-indictment.

    The Center for Constitutional Rights, in addition to filing the first cases representing men detained at Guantánamo, has filed universal jurisdiction cases seeking accountability for torture by Bush administration officials in Germany, France and submitted expert opinions and other documentation to ongoing cases in Spain in collaboration with ECCHR. The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit www.ccrjustice.org. Follow @theCCR.

    The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is an independent, non-profit legal organization that enforces human rights by holding state and non-state actors to account for egregious abuses through innovative strategic litigation. For more information visit www.ecchr.eu

    The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) is a non-governmental federation for 164 human rights organizations. FIDH’s core mandate is to promote respect for all the rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Its priority areas include protecting human rights defenders and fighting impunity. For more information on FIDH, see www.fidh.org.

    The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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    'Torture useless in hunt for bin Laden'

    Intelligence experts in the US have criticized the use of torture on detainees, saying it was counterproductive in tracking down al-Qaeda Leader Osama bin Laden.

    "I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden," Matthew Alexander told The Huffington Post.

    Alexander, an Air Force interrogator, was able to successfully locate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006.

    Alexander, along with other intelligence professionals, said the use of torture may cause people to lie or make false confessions.

    "They gave us the bare minimum amount of information they could get away with to get the pain to stop, or to mislead us," Alexander said of several Guantanamo Bay detainees.

    "[Osama bin Laden's death] vindicates the Bush administration, whose intelligence architecture marked the path to bin Laden's door," John Yoo, the former Justice Department official under the Bush administration who authored the secret 'torture memos,' said on Monday. Under Bush, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e. torture, was legally sanctioned.

    A 2006 study by the National Defense Intelligence College found that rapport-based interrogations are very effective in obtaining information, whereas coercion involving physical brutality consistently builds resistance and resentment.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, repeatedly misled interrogators on a key al-Qaeda suspect, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Sheikh Mohammad, who has reportedly been waterboarded 183 times in one month, has been subjected to other physical abuses upon being detained by US authorities.

    "The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003," spokesman for the National Security Council Tommy Vietor said.

    Glenn L. Carle, a retired CIA officer said that torture, “didn't provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information,” in tracking down bin Laden.


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    Former Gitmo inmates share bitter memories 11 years after its opening

    On the 11th anniversary of the opening of notorious US Guantanamo military prison and torture facility in Cuba, nine former British inmates at the camp gathered to share their bitter experiences while still one more Briton remains held there, Press TV reports.

    British citizen Shaker Aamer is among more than a hundred captives still held in the controversial US military prison without any formal charges brought against them, disallowing any chance for legal representation or challenging terror allegations.

    The gathering of the former Guantanamo inmates comes as the censured detention and torture facility remains open over four year after US President Barack Obama repeatedly pledged to shut it down as part of his pre-election “change” campaign in 2008.

    While some of the ex-captives at Guantanamo talked on camera, others could not, offering at times emotional details about the harsh treatment they underwent at the military prison and how it had changed their lives forever.
    “Every year I tell myself maybe …this year Guantanamo will finish, but unfortunately it is 11 years now and still there are people in Guantanamo that authorities at Guantanamo say they are cleared to be released but they have not been released yet,” said former inmate Bisher al-Rawi.

    Many former Guantanamo detainees in Britain now work to highlight the injustices they suffered at the hands of US military and intelligence authorities and how lucky they have been to be freed from the facility.

    This year’s anniversary comes as John Brennan, one of the chief advocates of the so-called “enhanced interrogation” or torturing of ‘terror suspects’ at Guantanamo and other foreign-based detention facilities run by the US military, has been nominated by Obama as the next director of the country’s spy agency CIA.

    As Guantanamo turns eleven, 169 inmates still remain there. Almost half have been cleared, yet there are fears that they probably will never be released.


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    'Invisible hand' in US cuts off media feed of Gitmo trials, baffling judge

    During defense arguments in an “open” session of the US military trial of Guantanamo inmates, an ‘invisible hand’ suddenly cut off the audio-visual feed to the media, even mystifying the military judge.

    The apparent bid by behind-the-scenes US officials to censor part of a preliminary hearing at the notorious prison-torture camp occurred on Monday while defense attorney for accused mastermind of the September 2001 terror incidents in the US, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, was arguing about a motion to keep any evidence from the secret foreign prisons where the defendants were held captive and tortured by CIA officers.

    Although the motion had already been declassified, as David Nevin, one of Mohammed’s civilian attorneys, began discussing it, the audio feed to the media centers on the Guantanamo military prison and at Fort Meade military intelligence base near Washington DC “was smothered in white noise,” The New York Times reported Tuesday. “Then the video of the courtroom was cut.”

    According to the report, when the feeds were restored moments later, the presiding judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, appeared baffled “as to not only why Nevin was censored but by whom.”

    Pohl insisted that he did not cut off the feed, “and it did not appear that the court security officer who sits beside him did, either,” the daily added.

    The report further cites the defense attorneys as wondering if there was “some mysterious entity” monitoring the military court’s proceedings, “and whether that entity might be listening to communications between the lawyers and their clients.”

    This is while Joanna Baltes, a US Justice Department lawyer who on the prosecution team in the case, is cited in the report as offering to explain what happened, “but not in public.”

    Meanwhile, defense attorneys have maintained that the five men currently on trial were subjected to torture during interrogations by American CIA agents.

    Moreover, lawyers for one of the Guantanamo inmates that was held in a CIA-run detention center in Poland have sought the assistance of the European Court of Human Rights for his trial amid reports that a criminal probe in Poland into alleged CIA detention and torture facilities on its soil and elsewhere in Europe has stalled reportedly due to political pressures by American officials.

    There are 166 inmates still held captive at Guantanamo military detention and torture camp, but Obama’s pledge over four years ago to shut down the infamous facility has been indefinitely postponed amid fierce resistance mostly by hard line Republican lawmakers in the US Congress.



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