ACLU: U.S. Should Prosecute 9/11 Suspects in Federal Criminal Courts

July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

The video above is from this weekends CBS airing of Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer.

Eric Holder cites “funding” as a hold up and concern in the reasoning for the delays in the 9/11 suspect trials.

There is however, no concern expressed for funding and continuing the War of Terror in the Middle East, nor any other military operation around the GLOBE that procures land or development rights for Congress’ constituent’s sponsers.

The simple, hard fact is that anyone held at Guantanamo did not ever have the ability to do this:

Below we have a letter written by the ACLU, I found it on the Common Dreams website:

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At Least $500 Million has Been Spent Since 9/11 on Renovating Guantanamo Bay

June 10, 2010

source: Washington Post   June 10, 2010

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA — At the U.S. naval station here, a handsome electronic sign hangs between two concrete pillars. In yellow enamel against a blue metal backdrop is a map of Cuba, the “Pearl of the Antilles,” above flashing time and temperature readings.

“Welcome Aboard,” the sign says.

The cost of the marquee, along with a smaller sign positioned near the airfield: $188,000. Among other odd legacies from war-on-terror spending since 2001 for the troops at Guantanamo Bay: an abandoned volleyball court for $249,000, an unused go-kart track for $296,000 and $3.5 million for 27 playgrounds that are often vacant.

The Pentagon also spent $683,000 to renovate a cafe that sells ice cream and Starbucks coffee, and $773,000 to remodel a cinder-block building to house a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant.

The spending is part of at least $500 million that has transformed what was once a sun-beaten and forgotten Caribbean base into one of the most secure military and prison installations in the world. That does not include construction bonuses, which typically run into the millions.

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US Court Rejects Afghan Prison Suit

May 23, 2010

source: Al Jazeera   May 23, 2010

A US appeals court has refused to give prisoners at an American military base in Afghanistan the same legal right to challenge their imprisonment as detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.

The three-judge panel on Friday sided with the Obama administration, ruling that US courts do not have jurisdiction over the legal petitions by the prisoners at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and ordered that their cases be dismissed.

The administration of Barack Obama, the US president, took the same legal position as the administration of his predecessor, George Bush, arguing that detainees at Bagram have no right to have their cases heard in federal court in Washington.

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Censorship: Journalists Banned from Guantanamo Hearings by Obama Dept. of Defense

May 9, 2010

The public is deprived of the very skilled reporting of journalists who have been covering this story for a long time,” she said.

A story from McClatchy Newspapers, which owns the Miami Herald, said Rosenberg has covered every military commission hearing at Guantanamo Bay, with the exception of one week, since the proceedings began in 2004.

source: CNN       May 9,   2010

The Pentagon has banned four reporters from covering court proceedings on the U.S. naval station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because they published the name of a former U.S. Army interrogator.

The journalists violated ground rules by reporting the name of a protected witness, Defense Department spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.

Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg, Globe and Mail reporter Paul Koring, Toronto Star reporter Michelle Shephard and Canwest News Service reporter Steven Edwards were notified by Defense Department officials Thursday.

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The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle

January 19, 2010

by Scott Horton   source: Global Research   Jan 19, 2010

1. “Asymmetrical Warfare”

When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.” Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantánamo “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” Obama has failed to fulfill his promise. Some prisoners are being charged with crimes, others released, but the date for closing the camp seems to recede steadily into the future. Furthermore, new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously—and may even have continued—a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006. 

Late in the evening on June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantánamo died suddenly and violently. Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, from Yemen, was thirty-seven. Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, from Saudi Arabia, was thirty. Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, also from Saudi Arabia, was twenty-two, and had been imprisoned at Guantánamo since he was captured at the age of seventeen. None of the men had been charged with a crime, though all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. They were being held in a cell block, known as Alpha Block, reserved for particularly troublesome or high-value prisoners.

 As news of the deaths emerged the following day, the camp quickly went into lockdown. The authorities ordered nearly all the reporters at Guantánamo to leave and those en route to turn back. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, then declared the deaths “suicides.” In an unusual move, he also used the announcement to attack the dead men. “I believe this was not an act of desperation,” he said, “but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” Reporters accepted the official account, and even lawyers for the prisoners appeared to believe that they had killed themselves. Only the prisoners’ families in Saudi Arabia and Yemen rejected the notion.

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One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists

December 30, 2009

 

by Chris Hedges,  source: Truthdig

Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.

This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements–who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism–have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at www.educatorsforcivilliberties.org or www.freefahad.com. On Martin Luther King Day, this Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. EST, protesters will hold a large vigil in front of the MCC on 150 Park Row in Lower Manhattan to call for a return of our constitutional rights. Join them if you can.

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Plan to Move Guantánamo Detainees Faces New Delay

December 24, 2009

source: NY Times

As a WASHINGTON — Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration is struggling to come up with the money to replace the Guantánamo Bay prison.result, officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest — a far slower timeline for achieving one of President Obama’s signature national security policies than they had previously hinted.

While Mr. Obama has acknowledged that he would miss the Jan. 22 deadline for closing the prison that he set shortly after taking office, the administration appeared to take a major step forward last week when he directed subordinates to move “as expeditiously as possible” to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center, a nearly vacant maximum-security Illinois prison, and to retrofit it to receive Guantánamo detainees.

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