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Might Explain The Delays

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I suspect this story might just explain why there has been pressure from congressional critters to delay closing Guantánamo. Some prominent politicians probably have a connection or two with the leadership at the time of his whole fiasco

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.
I suspect this is going to bring down several military and political careers when all is said and done.

Hat Tip Hullabaloo.


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Earl was right; This so rocks


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Five detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they want to confess to conspiracy charges for planning the September 11, 2001, attacks, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed architect of the attacks, and four other alleged co-conspirators asked a military judge if they could withdraw all pending motions and plead guilty, Maj. Gail Crawford said in an e-mail.

The defendants announced their decision in front of relatives of victims in the al Qaeda-orchestrated attacks, said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. She attended Monday's hearing.

Gee, could it be they see their chances of martyrdom going the way of the Dodo once Obama is in office?

New York Times

In the first civilian judicial review of the government's evidence for holding any of the Guantánamo Bay detainees, a federal appeals court has ordered that one of them be released or given a new military hearing.

The ruling, made known Monday in a notice from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, overturned a Pentagon tribunal's decision in the case of one of 17 Guantánamo detainees who are ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority from western China.

The imprisonment of the 17 Uighurs (pronounced WEE-goors) has drawn wide attention because of their claim that although they were in Afghanistan when the United States invaded in 2001, they were never enemies of this country and were mistakenly swept into Guantánamo.

No, it can't be possible. Our government make a mistake?! Not the government commanded by George "No regrets" W. Bush. Oh please oh please tell me it ain't so! I mean, these prisoners sound dangerous, what with peddling their fruits of mass destruction.

The one-paragraph notice from the appeals court said a three-judge panel had found in favor of Huzaifa Parhat, a former fruit peddler who made his way from western China to a Uighur camp in Afghanistan.

I am so disheartened. Poor president Bush. He will never be able to achieve world peace at this rate.

New York Times

Some legal experts and defense lawyers said the judge’s order, issued on Oct. 15 without public disclosure, underscored the gap between military commission procedures and traditional American rules that the accused has a right to a public trial and to confront the witnesses against him.

Defense lawyers say the order would hamper their ability to build an adequate defense because they cannot ask their client or anyone else about prosecution witnesses, making it difficult to test the veracity of testimony.

The order, the documents show, followed a request by military prosecutors who said they feared terrorist retaliation against witnesses who appeared at Guantánamo proceedings.

“It is conceivable, if not likely, that Al Qaeda members or sympathizers could attempt to target witnesses,” a prosecutor, Maj. Jeffrey D. Groharing of the Marines, wrote to the judge, Col. Peter E. Brownback III of the Army.

The Armed Services are charged with the responsibility of defending the Constitution of the United States. I know this because I remember raising my right hand and swearing to defend the Constitution when I entered the Navy. It makes no sense that the pending commissions are not going to follow the rules of justice derived from the very constitution the military is charged with defending. It makes a mockery of all the values for which our country stands.

Not that I am surprised by this development. The fascist administration currently ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have made no effort to hide their disdain for even the most basic of human rights, the very spirit of the Bill of Rights in our constitution. So, when foreign nationals are being held for trail, it goes without saying they are given even less consideration for their legal rights, let alone their human rights. But then, what do you expect from a cabal of arrogant neo-aristocrats whose legacy stretches as far back as the 1930's and the funding of the Nazi Party.

Coming Down the Pike?

I'd like to think this will lead to this. So, I guess I've got some hope.

"I don't think it. I know it," Carter told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights," Carter said. "We've said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to those people in Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo, and we've said we can torture prisoners and deprive them of an accusation of a crime to which they are accused."

Carter also said President Bush creates his own definition of human rights.

Carter's comments come on the heels of an October 4 article in The New York Times disclosing the existence of secret Justice Department memorandums supporting the use of "harsh interrogation techniques." These include "head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures," according to the Times.

Oh boy! The wing nut banshees are going to be out in full force on this one. Cries of "treason," "traitor," and all other sorts of mind numbing shrillness will commence forth with. I think they should be careful, though, because Carter seems to be a pretty spry old man. He's not some youngster of 12, you know. He's still out there building houses. Which seems a lot more constructive than mindlessly clearing away more brush.

Justice Department attorneys made the highly unusual request that Hayden's and Alexander's full arguments be stored in courthouse safes, be viewed only by judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and be kept out of sight of any other court personnel, including the judges' law clerks, because of the highly classified information the documents contain. Versions that do not convey classified information were also provided to the court.

"These declarations generally explain . . . the risks to national security imposed by the panel's decision," the Justice Department attorneys wrote.

The July 20 ruling centered on how much information detainees should be able to see about the Defense Department's decision to imprison them indefinitely as "enemy combatants." The appeals court ruled that the government must provide to judges and opposing counsel all information, including classified information, used by Combatant Status Review Tribunals in making such determinations. Courts need that information, the judges wrote, to properly determine whether the tribunals were fair to the detainees and whether the individuals should in fact be considered enemy combatants.

You know what? Enough already. To hell with the Justice Department's request for super secret decoder ring court proceedings. These people are being held without any type of human decency or respect. Civil Rights are more a cornerstone of our freedom, our way of life, and our security than CIA dirty tricks. Upholding the rights of any human being over the so called security measures of government is inherently more powerful then Extraordinary Rendition, secret prisons or Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.

But then, this is not about security for the country. This is about little boys in big boy bodies running around playing spy games.

It's also about making sure we keep the darkies in their place.

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