(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

It’s been about ten weeks since I fell and broke both wrists on August 18th. I am just now finally almost back to normal functioning. Whatever that means. While there has not been a whole lot going on in my visible outer world, there’s a lot going on in my own little mind. Still churning and brewing.

Meanwhile. August on, it’s been Health Care Insurance Not Reform farce and the rise of Grayson and lots of other fun stuff.

Guess what has been churning and brewing behind the MSM radar scenes in torture/justice news? I don’t know, somehow I quit paying attention. Thank goodness, the usual suspects did not.

First up, ACLU has this new video up. Go to their site to view it.

The men in this video were held at Guantanamo for years without charge and denied any meaningful opportunity to challenge the legality of their detention. But now they are finally free. This is their story.

(ACLU adds this note: “Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see You Tube’s privacy statement on their website and Google’s privacy statement on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU’s privacy statement, click here.”

Some reports from other usual’s:

Greenwald has this piece about Maher Arar, who is both a Canadian and Syrian citizen of Syrian descent.

Everyone acknowledges that Arar was never involved with Terrorism and was guilty of nothing.

emptywheel points to the new ACLU vid, saying:.

ACLU just put together a video of some of the detainees who mistakenly ended up at Gitmo. The whole video is quite good-but these two lines should be read by all Americans.

Moazzam Begg: My experience of America prior to this was everything that I had seen in the films… the concept of the good guys, the concept of people trying to do the right thing…and, that was shattered.

   Omar Deghayes: I want the people themselves, humans, the people in America, good people which I met many of, to realize how in their names those ugly people have done to others.

The ever vigilant Andy Worthington has news of the Chinese Uighurs:

As first reported by the Associated Press, six of the remaining 13 Uighurs in Guantánamo have just arrived on the Pacific island of Palau, where they have been given new homes. 10/31/09

“Six of the remaining 13.” How do they pick who goes and who stays, I wonder.

Any time innocent men are freed from Guantánamo, the United States claws back a little more of the luster it lost so spectacularly under the Bush administration, but this latest release still leaves seven Uighurs in Guantánamo – not to mention the 60 or so other prisoners who have been cleared for release – and amongst those seven, as the Washington Post reported On October 20, is one man that Palau refused to take. Arkin Mahmud “suffers from serious mental health issues because of his detention and lengthy periods of solitary confinement,” and his brother, Bahtiyar Mahnut, turned down Palau’s offer of a new home for himself, in order to stay with him.

Valtin, of course, is another one who will. not. let. up. This piece on his blog on 10/27/09 is an interesting read. He points out some news about young (19?) Mohammed Jawad dealing with life in his aftermath of release.

Today, the Los Angeles Times reports on the struggle of former Guantánamo detainee Mohammed Jawad to readjust to freedom after spending roughly a third of his life in detention. {snip} [Jawad]…suffers from frequent headaches, he says, and often rests during the day. Prison memories haunt him, something doctors warn may never end. He worries about those left behind, his de facto family. He’s out and they’re not, and that’s a source of guilt. Though the Obama administration has said it will close Guantánamo, hundreds of detainees remain there and at Bagram.

Read more of his story if you’re unfamiliar. What a nightmare. My daughter is 12, roughly the age he was when he was abducted.

In August, Jawad was set free.

U.S. soldiers kept him shackled during the long flight back. On arrival, Afghan officials removed his handcuffs, whisking him by car and helicopter to meet President Hamid Karzai, who gave Jawad clothes to replace his prison uniform and promised him a house and some money.

Late that night, Jawad finally saw his mother, who didn’t recognize him. She made him show her a special mark on his head, then promptly fainted. He hardly slept his first two days back, his family says, talking nonstop as if making up for the lost years.

Oy. Still reading the LA Times piece. Jeezuz.

A Justice Department official who asked not to be identified says the case was dropped when conditions changed.

“He was held so long with evidence based on torture,” the official says. “The president decided, one, that we won’t torture and, two, that we won’t rely on statements based on torture. It’s not really lessons learned. It was the result of a policy choice the president made.”

So. As we know… another President can come into Office and do whatever the hell s/he wants.

I have to add this ACLU Action link now:

Promptly and justly handling the cases of remaining prisoners is one part of the Guantánamo challenge. Honestly confronting the crimes committed in America’s name at the notorious prison camp is another. Americans deserve to know who authorized, condoned and encouraged the abuse and torture of detainees like Jawad; let Attorney General Eric Holder know that you stand with the ACLU and support a thorough investigation of torture crimes.


How do they keep this up?  The bloggers and lawyers and activists who just keep going and going.

“Grim determination.”  

Bless them.

And you. Every one of you.

In these times everyone needs love

In these times do you pray to God

In these times everyone needs comfort

And would welcome a hand to hold

Your passion is the fire

That burns the hurt

That pains the soul

And though my eyes are so polluted

By the sight of lost desires

Good to have you in these times


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  1. but I will go vote …later. Cause if I don’t, ek will keel me.


    • Edger on November 3, 2009 at 18:23

    blogged at Newsweek about a story that Emptywheel has also written in detail about…

    Obama Secrecy Watch II: A State Secrets Affidavit Straight from the Bush Era

    When Attorney General Eric Holder invoked the “state secrets” privilege to quash a lawsuit alleging illegal National Security Agency spying last Friday night, his department’s lawyers sounded a lot like those who worked for President George W. Bush. In fact, they justified the action by filing an affidavit from President Obama’s director of national intelligence that is nearly identical to one filed by President Bush’s intelligence director two years ago.

    The strikingly similar affidavit-making the same arguments in the almost exactly the same language-is among the strongest examples yet of how Obama administration officials are adopting Bush-era secrecy positions in major national security cases.

    Holder’s move came in the case of Shubert v. Obama, a lawsuit filed in 2006 by four residents of Brooklyn, New York. They allege that their overseas phone calls were illegally intercepted by the NSA as part of a massive “dragnet” of warrantless surveillance ordered by Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    “It is my judgment that sensitive state secrets are so central to the subject matter of the litigation that any attempt to proceed in the case will…risk exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States,” national intelligence director Dennis Blair wrote in  an affidavit submitted by Justice Department lawyers on Oct. 30. If that language sounded familiar to the court, it’s because it was: “It is my judgment that sensitive state secrets are so central to the subject matter of the litigation that any attempt to proceed in the case will…risk exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States,” wrote J. Michael McConnell, Bush’s intel chief, in  an affidavit filed on May 25, 2007, in the same case.

    This is Bush 2. It’s Bush the sequel,” said Ilann Maazel, the lawyer for the Shubert plaintiffs, after reading the Justice Department’s motion and the accompanying affidavit by Blair. “They [the Obama officials] are saying the same thing: ‘Were not going to tell you what our spying program is-and even if it’s illegal, you can’t stop it.’

    • Diane G on November 4, 2009 at 02:50

    I spent too much time gazing at my own navel and almost missed it. Copy please?

  2. for the bump up, ek.

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