Captured, Tortured, and Left to Rot at Gitmo

Sanad al-Kazimi hoped for justice. Twelve years later he's still waiting.


Sidebar: Obama's Broken Guantanamo Promises

Within days of his first inauguration, Barack Obama signed a presidential order directing his administration to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (GTMO) within one year, following up with astonishing alacrity on his campaign promises, despite many competing policy priorities. While I did not expect an immediate parade of planes ferrying my clients and other GTMO prisoners to their home countries, all indicators were that GTMO, and the indefinite imprisonment without trial that it stood for, would soon end.

A week later, I was sweating in one of the squalid shack-like structures of Camp Echo, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where attorney-client meetings take place, visiting one of my clients, Sanad al-Kazimi, a husband and father of four from Aden, Yemen. He had been abducted by some arm of some government in the United Arab Emirates in January 2003 and subjected to brutal torture, including confinement in a dark cell the size of a grave, prolonged shackling, nudity with cold air blasting, beatings, and sexual abuse. Men tied his hands and legs together and hooked him up to a mechanical lift device that hoisted him in the air and dropped him into a pool of freezing water.

His imprisonment had no legal contours. He was not formally arrested, and he was not charged with a crime or provided an opportunity to be heard. He was not captured by soldiers on a battlefield and registered with the International Committee of the Red Cross, an independent organization that monitors treatment of war detainees. He was disappeared.

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

I knew none of this when I first met him in the summer of 2006, two years after he arrived at GTMO. I did know that just a month before I met my client, three prisoners, including another man from Yemen, died at GTMO on the same day. The military immediately deemed the deaths suicides, though a Marine sergeant would later come forward with information that cast doubt on this claim. In the ensuing years, four men did commit suicide, each a human being who gave up on life in indefinite imprisonment.

My client mentioned the "suicides" during that first meeting, but I did not fully appreciate how this news must have impacted him since, at the time, I was unaware of his history.

After my client's disappearance, he was relocated multiple times—trussed like an animal, diapered, blindfolded with blackout goggles, made deaf with earmuffs, wrapped in tape, and strapped to a stretcher. Each transfer was accompanied by the uncertainty and dread of not knowing what was to come. One of the stops was at a CIA-run site in Afghanistan dubbed the "Dark Prison" by detainees who emerged to describe the complete darkness they had been held in, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While there, Mr. al-Kazimi tried to kill himself on three separate occasions by hitting his head against the wall of his cell. Each time, his U.S. captors intervened and injected him with drugs that put him out.

Following his time at the Dark Prison, Mr. al-Kazimi was transferred to the United States' Bagram Airfield Military Base in Afghanistan. This move was designed to transform what was unquestionably illegal detention by the CIA into military imprisonment that had a veneer of lawfulness. The U.S. military then colluded in torture by attempting to erase what the CIA had done.

A "clean team" was tasked with obtaining inculpatory statements in a manner designed to avoid admissibility objections in a court of law. This Department of Defense-invented entity, officially called the Criminal Investigation Task Force and composed of armed services interrogators, sought to create a cordial atmosphere by offering food and drink and projecting ease and comfort. These efforts were designed to permit investigators to later testify in court (as they did) that the statements obtained were voluntarily given and not coerced. These "fresh" statements were meant, like a miracle stain remover, to clean up the filth, dirt, and toxic taint of torture.

After almost two years of secret captivity, torture, movement from one prison to another, manipulation by a procession of shadowy interrogators, and ceaseless uncertainty, my client was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, but his emotional distress was ignored by military medical personnel.

After he was moved to GTMO in September 2004, Mr. al-Kazimi got word to another prisoner who was about to be released that he needed help. That message was conveyed to the detainee's lawyer, who then conveyed it to the Center for Constitutional Rights. That intrepid group filed a court case on behalf of over a hundred men, including Sanad al-Kazimi, challenging the legality of their imprisonment.

My client had many questions at our first meeting. He requested the most reasonable sort of information: who would decide his fate, how it would be decided, when it would be decided. He wanted some sense of what was to become of him.

From the very first time I met him, Mr. al-Kazimi sought a trial. Despite all the U.S. had done to him, he still believed the country could deliver justice. The expectation that America's rule of law would put an end to the frightening uncertainty of his imprisonment would, in time, be dashed.

The Loss of Liberty Goes Wide and Deep

In the summer of 2008, over five years after my client was seized and detained, the Supreme Court declared that prisoners could not be deprived of the right to challenge the legality of their detention in a U.S. court through use of the writ of habeas corpus. The power of courts to question, review, and check presidential power was restored by that decision, Boumediene v. Bush.

The Supreme Court's support for judicial review, and the election of Obama several months later, seemed to create momentum. As I flew into GTMO in January 2009 to meet with my client, I was under the spell of the U.S. having elected its first African-American commander in chief, Beyoncé's ballad to the new president, and Michelle Obama's perfect inauguration outfits. I was optimistic my client's suffering would soon end.

I had not seen him in almost four months. When I entered the dark shed from the glaring Caribbean sun, I was blinded. I knew he would be sitting in a chair behind a table with one foot chained to an eyehook on the floor, but initially I could make out only the color of his clothes.

Prison-issued med-student smocks and pants signal each prisoner's compliance rating by the guard staff. White is most compliant, tan is medium, and orange—my client's color—apparently informs the guards that a detainee is refusing to comply.

As I fumbled to adjust the scarf I wear to cover my head out of deference to my client's culture and religion, my eyes adjusted and I saw his aging face. Mr. al-Kazimi was unusually silent.

In U.S. prisons, the vast majority of inmates have definite release dates—they are doing time. Not at GTMO. Each day of imprisonment does not bring my client closer to release. Under the law, he isn't being punished. The purpose of his imprisonment is not retribution or rehabilitation or deterrence. A legal fiction contends that this is preventive detention. Personnel at GTMO never refer to my clients as prisoners; the men locked up there are always called "detainees."

At GTMO there are no visits or care packages from family and friends. There are no commissary accounts providing access to comfort items. There are none of the work opportunities that are common in U.S. prisons. At that time, there were no educational programs; a meager few exist now. And there are no phones on the prison blocks from which calls to the outside world can be made. For many years, the prisoners had no access to news from their home countries; information was painstakingly controlled as part of a concerted effort to instill helplessness and soften the men for interrogation. GTMO does so much more than "detain"—the loss of liberty goes wide and deep.

Sidebar: Obama's Broken Guantanamo Promises

The International Committee of the Red Cross eventually negotiated an agreement with the U.S. military to permit phone calls with family members. The opportunities were sporadic at first, and calls were monitored by U.S. officials, but for Mr. al-Kazimi, the chance to talk with family was precious. When my client broke his silence on that day in 2009, I learned he was grieving the loss of an opportunity for this treasured communication. Guard staff told him he had "refused" his family call, which was not true. Was this an oversight by a guard? A miscommunication? Purposeful harassment? Outright punishment?

Inquiries and complaints by lawyers are met with ever-so-polite references to "standard operating procedures" that are said to govern everything at GTMO. But SOPs are "elastic," as my client always tells me—policies change continually and irrationally, and exceptions abound. The operation of GTMO is cloaked in secrecy, which greatly contributed to my client's sense of insecurity, imbalance, and dislocation.

It was the secrecy that ultimately dismantled his faith in the rule of law.

After three years of litigation, I had finally obtained the "unclassified" version of the U.S. government's claimed basis for deeming Mr. al-Kazimi "detainable." Over 90 percent was redacted: page after page of blackness. The sliver of substance he could access was overwhelmed by the vast expanse of hidden content. What the government labeled a "disclosure"—implying the shedding of light—was just the opposite: These were Dark Pages. That I was permitted to read most of the contents but could not share what I learned further strained my ability to communicate with my client and added to his isolation. He asked me why everything was not in the open so he could defend himself.

Lacking answers, I needed to turn the conversation to litigation business: the painful process of asking a client to remember, in detail, events he has tried desperately to forget. Over the years, my client would sporadically tell me pieces of information about his imprisonment before he landed at GTMO. His recollections were fragmented and incoherent at times. The lawyer in me wanted clarity, chronology, and details, but recounting trauma can cause retraumatization—an actual experience of pain. This was especially risky for my client, who remained at the mercy of the same country that inflicted his suffering in the first place.

But during this January meeting, he began to recount details of the Dark Prison. His harrowing description of torture caused him to curl inward as he spoke. What I could see of his face revealed agony and tears. A student who accompanied me on this visit cried.

At the hands of the CIA, his head had been shaved and he was hooded and locked in a small cell. There was no light but the large flashlights brandished by the guards. The guards themselves were dressed in all black, including black ski masks that revealed only their eyes. They suspended him from the ceiling by his arms for hours at a time, causing his legs to swell painfully. As he hung naked, guards—both male and female—took photos of his dangling body. The hangings usually took place before interrogations, so, unable to walk, he was dragged along the floor to the interrogation rooms. There, his head was bagged, causing disorientation, and he was forced to face interrogators kneeling in a position of subjugation.

The CIA also used sensory manipulation to damage Mr. al-Kazimi's mind. Deprivation was imposed through darkness and isolation, then alternated with overload through bombardment of deafening music for long periods.

It Doesn't Get Better

As my client recounted these events, guards interrupted us to announce the morning meeting was over and ordered my team and me to leave. I should have requested to speak with the officer in charge. Though I have built up a fair amount of thick skin from years of meeting with clients in jails and prisons, often at the lowest points of their lives, this session with Mr. al-Kazimi had brought me near my breaking point. I was drained, and my usual impulse to protest fizzled; I packed up and left.

I will always regret that. I left my client alone in a dark, nasty cell, suffering from the pain I had called on him to summon up. He had no book, not even his Koran, for comfort or diversion. His stability was already precarious, and his efforts to push back the ugly memories of torture, to find some comfort in denial, were not working.

When I returned for the afternoon session, he rightly condemned my conduct. He did not want to remember. All he wanted was to see his family. My client's pain and the depths of his despair were overwhelming. I listened, apologized, and listened some more. Then I spent the remainder of our time together trying to instill some hope in him. I spoke of the transition in U.S. leadership that promised significant change.

I was wrong. The Obama administration would come to adopt the same legal positions as the Bush administration on issues critical to my client, reinforcing how little protection the law could provide him. I did not anticipate the many ways the new president would continue on the same course as his predecessor. Bush's heavy redactions of critical information would be surpassed by Obama's effective use of the law to hide the truth.

The first blow vitiated a legal win that was important to my client. The summer before our January meeting, habeas courts had ordered the government to provide at least 30 days' notice before transferring a prisoner out of GTMO. The Bush administration had, of course, opposed the order, contending it was an inappropriate interference with the president's prerogative to determine when transfers were appropriate. Soon after my visit the Obama administration embraced the same position, and it eventually prevailed on a higher court to throw out the ruling.

The notice order was designed to provide men the opportunity to challenge repatriation to countries where they feared a fate worse than GTMO—but for Mr. al-Kazimi, the concern was being plunged back into another Dark Prison. My efforts to convince the habeas judge to issue a notification order tailored to my client's history of torture, repeated relocations, and legitimate fear of being spirited away to another secret prison were unsuccessful.

The Obama administration prevailed with its claim that my client's concerns were "hypothetical" and "speculative" and had "no present likelihood of occurring."

This was particularly offensive. His fear was well-grounded in light of his experience, and the administration's limited assurance that there were no "present" plans to suddenly move him left open the possibility of a subsequent transfer.

The stability and predictability that "the law" was designed to provide had disappeared. But when I arrived at GTMO a week after Obama's inauguration, all this was in the future.

The second blow came quickly. Upon my return from that wrenching January meeting, I demanded records of my client's secret detention and torture, including video footage he believed might exist. Obama's lawyers replied by claiming the only relevant records were those dating from when my client became an "official" prisoner of the U.S. military, which was after he surfaced from the dark detention facility.

When I asked the habeas judge to order the administration to disclose records of detention that preceded military detention, Obama's lawyers refused to confirm or deny such imprisonment and treatment had ever taken place. Rather than reject the government's doublespeak and order it to reveal what had been done, the judge created a legal fix that permitted Obama, like George W. Bush, to keep America's war crimes covered up.

The judge wanted to avoid having to contend with the messiness that records of torture would inject into a legal proceeding he was striving to keep focused and narrow. So in light of Obama's refusal to refute my client's claims, he stipulated that the torture had taken place. This appeared to serve my client's interests, since the government would no longer be able to contest the fact of what he had endured. But in reality, the move was directly in conflict with my client's wishes.

Mr. al-Kazimi had an aching need for the U.S. to own up to what it had done to him. He could forgive the CIA's cruel trespasses on his health and dignity; what gnawed at him was the government's refusal to admit what it had done. The Bush administration's contention, to this day, that it did not engage in torture tears at my client. The Obama administration is complicit through its silence and strenuous efforts to stave off disclosure of America's crimes.

Since he emerged from secret imprisonment into military custody, everyone—military interrogators, FBI interrogators, officers in charge, guards, and medical personnel—has pretended the torture did not happen. It has exacerbated my client's trauma to have it erased before his eyes.

Moreover, Mr. al-Kazimi cannot act as witness to the full story of the treatment perpetrated against him. His ability to remember and recount his experience was understandably compromised by cruel treatment, sleep deprivation, and the use of unidentified drugs.

'You Love the Law Too Much'

I expected much better from the Obama administration. Just months after his inauguration, the president issued an executive order promising that the administration would "operate with an unprecedented level of openness." Instead, the obsession with secrecy got worse.

Through litigation, I persuaded a judge that Mr. al-Kazimi's medical records from his secret imprisonment were relevant and should be provided to me. Rather than comply with the judge's order, Obama's lawyers filed a document that I have never been permitted to read, despite having the appropriate security clearance to do so. From what I can piece together from the subsequent decision (which was eventually made public in a heavily redacted form), it appears the administration declared that our nation would be put at risk if my client's medical records were disclosed to me. Not the public—me, a licensed lawyer, law professor, and person deemed capable by the U.S. government to maintain the confidentiality of classified and top secret government documents. Why, despite an elaborate system in place to facilitate habeas counsel access to classified information, was this specific and narrow set of information utterly off-limits? And why were medical records—information about an individual's health and treatment—deemed "classified" in the first place?

The president controls the definition and designation of classified information. Under current executive orders, such information must implicate one of several national security-related topics, such as military plans, foreign government information, and intelligence activities, and its "unauthorized disclosure" must "reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage or serious damage to national security." It's unclear what could be in my client's medical records such that disclosure to a security-cleared lawyer risks causing grave harm to our country's security.

My client once told me that I love the law too much. He did not say it to criticize me, but to help me understand that he needed some refuge from "the law."

The promise of the law to bring clarity, resolution, accountability, and some semblance of predictability to my client's fate was never fulfilled. Instead, the process of attempting to obtain a reasonable sense of what would happen to him in the future was compounding his fear and disorientation.

His "legal status" has little meaning or contours. He is ostensibly detainable until the end of hostilities, even as hundreds of others have gone home. The Obama administration designated my client for prosecution, but no charges have been brought against him. The president claims he intends to "close GTMO" before he leaves office, but his plan is to relocate the facility to U.S. soil—continuing indefinite imprisonment without trial and dumping the problem on the next administration, just as Bush did to him.

For my client, the "rule of law" permits the U.S. to hide its crimes and to take away someone's liberty for a wholly undefined length of time.

Mr. Al-Kazimi remains imprisoned at GTMO. In 2013, he and most other prisoners were placed in solitary confinement to break a widespread hunger strike—an act of peaceful protest against being forgotten. He did not emerge from solitary until over a year later.

At the end of 2014, Obama finally permitted the Senate Intelligence Committee to release a redacted executive summary of its torture report; the full report, numbering over 6,000 pages, remains classified. But there is now a public document other than my client's own sworn declaration that confirms the CIA maintained secret prisons under harsh conditions and engaged in brutal torture, and it includes my client as one of the "at least" 119 who were covertly held by the CIA.

Sanad al-Kazimi's fate is still wholly uncertain.

This essay is from Obama's Guantánamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison, edited by Jonathan Hafetz © 2016. Reprinted with permission from NYU Press.

NEXT: New York Times Examines Mass Shootings and Gun Laws; Their Findings "Dispiriting to Anyone Hoping for Simple Legislative Fixes to Gun Violence"

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  1. Soldiers that are captured out of uniform deserve nothing more than interrogation and then the firing squad.

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    2. Combatants, not soldiers.

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    3. Which has fuck all to do with people not involved in hostilities snatched up far from a battlefield on the say-so of some random schmoe.

      Fuck you MarioLanza. Fuck you.

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    4. First of all, does that rule apply also to US special forces (who AFAIK also don't go round in uniforms when they're working)?

      Secondly, where does this article say that Sanad al-Kazim was a soldier? If not, then what exactly are you insinuating? That ANY person caught on or near a battlefield without a uniform "deserve[s] nothing more than interrogation and then the firing squad"?

      1. I believe if SF is working in plain clothes they always have some insignia located on them somewhere that they can use to claim they are in uniform.

        1. That's hardly counts as being "in uniform". If the Rosenbergs, when caught, had shown "some insignia" of the Soviet Union would that have exempted them from being put on trial for treason?

          Or to take the issue to its logical conclusion, if every spy or terrorist in the world carried some form of insignia on their person then even if caught in the act nobody could be put on trial for espionage or treason! They would have to be treated as soldiers and placed in POW camps.

          For when it comes down it to special forces are what used to be called "irregular forces" or "guerrilla forces". But that same term could equally be applied to your average terrorist. If they all carried some kind of "insignia" rather than put on a uniform, just what would the difference be between a special forces soldier, a spy, and a terrorist?

    5. And those who torture deserve the noose.

  2. 1) Even enemy combatants eventually are released no matter how brutal or bitter a war we've ever fought. The only exception would be anyone standing trial for a war crime.

    2) If the government isn't already doing things like this to its own citizens, under black budget funding and perhaps whisked off to extra-territorial sites, will it be long before they do?

    I don't like war and have come to the point that the actual fighting is done by people blinkered or coerced by their particular assemblage of grifters. But if it has to be executed, it should be executed thoroughly and with an eye toward victory. This no man's land of no crime but endless incarceration isn't war. It's the wry face of the grifters not giving a fuck and knowing nobody can do a thing about what they brazenly do.

    This man may, in fact, plot an execute harm against the US. But, just as with ALL potential threats, we have to carry the risk and be prepared to use defensive Force when his behavior is clear and present enough to warrant it. In no way do I EVER want to live in a world of "Pre-Cog", especially when it's ultimately executed by a consortia of pants-shitters and those aforementioned grifters.

    1. re: That first point
      One of Johnson's best quotes so far is that we will never celebrate a true victory over terrorism in the way that we're expecting. No one we're detaining will ever be released in response to Victory over ISIS Day

    2. Fighting out of uniform generally being a war crime...

      1. Fighting out of uniform *is not and never has been* a war crime. 5 fucking minutes with Wikipedia could help you not look like such a douche.

        1. Link, please.

        2. Geneva Convention

          Article 48 ? basic rule
          In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish be- tween the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.

          1. And not a war crime to not do so. A soldier doing so may be subject to summary execution, but its not a war crime.

            1. Exactly to the extent that piracy is also not a 'war crime.'

              Pedant much?

      2. It's not a war crime you just lose the protection of the Geneva Convention.

        1. Yes, technically speaking only lawful parties to a war can commit a 'war crime.'

          Everyone else is just subject to summary execution. Which is like, so much less serious.

          Hairs split, fucks not given.

    3. 2) If the government isn't already doing things like this to its own citizens, under black budget funding and perhaps whisked off to extra-territorial sites, will it be long before they do?

      Isn't the Obama adminstration droning American citizens abroad?

      1. Good God. You're not suggesting war crimes against our last....how many Presidents.
        I say hang them all.

      2. But he got the Nobel Peace Prize.

  3. I am curious to know if this attorney voted for Obama a second time.

    Would she agree to have Git Mo prisoners relocated to her home town ?

    1. "If we don't fight ISIS, they will move in next door to you! They will radicalize your children to jihad against you!"

      LOL sorry, no.

      1. They may not radicalize YOUR children, but they'll radicalize other children.

        And ask the people in London or Brussels or Malmo or Paris whether or not they're moving in next door.

        LOL sorry, yes.

        1. LOL sorry no. Gitmo radicalizes children. Radical Bombisism radicalizes children. Hate speech restrictions radicalize children. Not 'extremist islamism'. London, Brussels, Malmo and Paris - all prove my point.

          1. I'm with you, more clarity is what this ISIS/Al Qaeda issue needs. Like an official Congressional declaration of war (finally answering that of ISIS/Al Qaeda toward the west for the past 20 years) and the unwavering drive to execute that war, wherever and whenever they are found, and including any soul and nation that harbor, fund, or arm them. Then I'm sure you'll agree we'll not waver from any sniveling about that global political realignment and collateral damage shit either.

          2. ....and the charisma of radical leaders radicalizes children. Some people are just "joiners" that will buy into the latest stupid cause. Cities with lots of muslims will have lots of such joiners that are especially vulnerable to that particular cause. The western reaction to the problem may be a guaranteed failure, but it is a real problem the west is reacting to.

        2. The guys in *prison* aren't going to be doing much radicalizing of anyone's kids. Because they're in fucking prison. How often do your kids play in the prison yard?

          1. As often as some lefty doesn't seem them unattended and call CPS.

        3. Shouldn't you be over at The Federalist or Brietbart shitting your pants, Chipbilly?

    2. Why would there be a problem relocating the Gitmo prisoners *anywhere*? These are not some sort of super-soldier, trained in escape and evasion, like fucking ghosts. They're an assortment of jihadis - not the best trained troops around - and random dudes picked up because someone in power needed to fill a quota or had their eye one particularly attractive sheep in his herd.

      We held German POW's *in the middle of New York City*.

      1. Well, that's all perhaps true, but looking up what the government claims about this guy, he was one of Osama Bin Laden's bodyguards. That doesn't mean he should be robbed of due process, but it seems like a whole lot of these guys are more than just random dudes grabbed on the street for no reason. And a number have returned to the battlefield.

        The government further claims that this guy convinced another detainee being released to become a suicide bomber.

        1. Yeah, I'm doubting that they're going to the trouble to grab random douchebags from around the world and drag them all the way to Cuba for nothing. This lawyer is a leftist piece of shit and probably ultimately sympathizes with their kind.

          1. I doubt nothing in the ability of our government being douchebag fuckups who can't admit when they fuck up. That's a lot easier for me to believe because it's within my realm of experience.

          2. HOw is it that you two (or more) gun-fapping right-wingnuts don't trust the gummamint on anything except when the gummamint gets a hate on for some ragheads?

            1. That was for Brochtard and Suicidy

        2. 'Government claims', 'seems like', 'a number have returned to the battlefield' - very anecdotal. The truth is 'government claims' are already suspect just from the very incentives we've set up to encourage other nations to bring people in. 'Seems like' - well a whole lot of these dudes were let go. A whole lot of them. Such a large percentage that it *seems like* even a military tribunal couldn't stomach holding them on the flimsy evidence on hand. 'A number have returned to the battlefield' - so? A couple dozen guys out of how many thousands already on that battlefield.

          1. If I had to experience GtMO, I doubt I'd be a fan of the US. Yes, I know this is hard to understand because the US is so fucking righteous all the fucking time.

    3. OneOut: "Would she agree to have Git Mo prisoners relocated to her home town ?"

      Various towns in America have institutions called prisons holding rapists, child molesters, and mass murderers, amongst other bad sorts. Why should they be concerned if those same prisons now held a few terrorists?

  4. This is pouring it on a bit thick. I could only get to page two. Aside from a description of redacted whatever I don't know what this guy did.

    In wars past we captured soldiers who had been pressed into service. We held them until the war was over and then released them. In this war the combatants are not so much pressed into service as they are true believers who sought the opportunity to kill americans on their own. If we catch them we should shoot them and be done with it. This indefinite detention bullshit is bullshit.

    I could empty Gitmo in a day.

    1. Of course the elephant in the room is that "we" didn't capture them. 80 percent of detainees were captured and brought into U.S. custody by Afghani and Pakistani bounty hunters who were offered 5,000 bucks a head. More than once, we've found that they were just a teenaged shepherd minding his own business when they were abducted by Pakistani mafioso cum "bounty hunters" and brought to U.S. bases as "Taliban".

      Quite a racket, no?

      1. The other elephant in the room is that more than 90% of prisoners who passed through there have been released. In other words, even the illegitimate military commissions found these guys weren't dangerous.

        1. Were they released by Obama? If so, that gives no indication of how dangerous they are. Look at the monsters that were traded for the traitor Bergdahl.

          1. Suicidy: "Were they released by Obama?"

            Nope. Most of them were released by GW Bush's administration. What do you think that says about "how dangerous they are"--and about the process used to put them in there in the first place?

            Suicidy: "Look at the monsters that were traded for the traitor Bergdahl."

            Since none of those "monsters" were ever charged with any crime, much less convicted by a court of law, now you're presuming guilt rather than innocence.

        2. So they released most if not all of the 80% and then some, only keeping the actual bad ones?

          1. *bad* could mean defiant to the facility. If I were wrongfully detained, I might be pretty fucking defiant.

      2. I did not know this.

        The whole business is a horror show of the absurd.

      3. The link doesn't trace back to a source for the info claimed in the sentence. Curious to read the source for the bounty hunter business.

        1. Sorry, I linked to the wrong report this morning. Had several windows open. The information you seek can be found here on pages 7 and 8.

    2. And you are better than ISIS how:

      1. That statement is hyperbolic. The US government historically has perpetrated many crimes but we have always had our first amendment rights to criticize them without fear of retribution. Well, except for those cases of retribution.
        But anyway, the US had not devolved into ISIS.

    3. Except you don't know who's actually been captured where. The problem is that we take these dudes who've been snatched up and 'deemed' terrorists by governments and government agencies that are at least as shady as Al Queda.

      1. ...and we are the USA. We should not emulate the shitty justice that goes on elsewhere. I don't give a fuck what they'd do to a US citizen, we don't retaliate by lowering our standard of humanity.
        Sorry, Mr. Truman.

  5. What do you expect from a President that helps cover up criminals like Hillary Clinton.

    1. Yes, he's been a huge disappointment on the civil liberties angle but get ready for a lot more with Hillary. She matches Bush's douchiness and then some.

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  7. This lawyer is a hero. Thank you for your work! I liked everything in the story except for the part about PTSD - 'mental illness' is used as an excuse to impose 'treatment', and this problem will get worse under Hillarycare. Otherwise, I would ask that you go easy on the war criminals. We know a lot more now than we did then.

  8. "...one of the squalid shack-like structures of Camp Echo..."

    Dollars to donuts the "squalid shack-like structures" were previously know as Marine barracks.

    1. Nope. Most of that area was expressly built for the prison. In a rush, over a decade ago - with little maintenance in the intervening years (can't do rehab with the prisoners still in the building and got no place to move them to in the interim).

      1. I have heard a lot of complaining about various institutional facilities around the country that weren't good enough for violent felons, terrorists, etc.. In every case, they were superior to a number of places I resided during my tenure with the US military.

        Seriously, I've got the world's smallest violin playing for the poor, poor terrorists and how awful their accommodations are.

        1. Still - most Marine barracks do not include bars on the doors.

        2. If they are terrorists, give them a fucking trial.

  9. Ehrmagerd they blew cold air on him in a desert.

    The hawrer!!

    1. Way to downplay torture fucktard.

  10. I literally could not care less about this.

    1. Wrong. You could care so little you don't even read or comment on it.

    2. I'm surprised that this wouldn't be of concern to someone who cares about civil liberty. I'll make a note of that. Goodbye Mr. Chipperson.

    3. Go back to moonshining, Chipbilly

  11. How long before 'Domestic Terrorists' are being put away in GITMO without due process? Sentenced to life imprisonment by a secret court in a circus of a trial? Every time I hear 'Domestic Terrorist' I cringe. The difference between a 'Revolutionary' and a 'Domestic Terrorist' is who's side you're on.

    1. Citizens of the US have already been droned to death on the say so of the president.

    2. I don't weep for that fuckface, but he should have been tried in abstentia (sp) first.

    3. His boy is another story.

  12. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that...my... brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac .......

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  13. I don't think it's going to be possible to comment on this story negatively in anyway without being attacked around here, but it's odd that what this guy is accused (emphasis because it doesn't mean it's legitimate, he deserves due process - not this bullshit) of. The government claims he was one of Osama Bin Laden's bodyguards. He is accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Yemen, and he is further accused of convincing a fellow detainee being released to become a suicide bomber. So these details are all left out of the story because...? Well, obviously they would reflect very poorly on him and would reduce sympathy.

    He definitely seems to be pretty devoit what with his lawyer having to cover herself when meeting with him and all.

    None of this changes the fact that the conduct of the government is wrong. But it's information that I think should be provided.

    1. Yeah I think pointing out the author's deliberate omission of information and blatant emotional manipulation is an entirely fair criticism of the article.

      I mean, come on, "Sanad al-Kazimi, a husband and father of four from Aden, Yemen". What relevance is his familial status other than to invoke sympathy? Would being single and childless somehow delegitimize his claims or re-contextualize how he's being treated?

    2. That additional information isn't comforting me at all. What possible reason would I have to believe the government's accusations?

    3. http://projects.nytimes.com/gu.....-al-kazimi

      Admitted member of Al-Queda.

      What the fuck, Reason? You're less honest than the fucking New York Times?

      1. If they're known members of Al Queda then they should be liquidated the moment they outlive their usefulness.

        1. i doubt that he perceives your sarc. WTF.

          1. Suicidy isn't being sarcastic. He's more on the ''retarded hillbilly'' side of this issue.

  14. Due Process: really fucking hard concept to understand.
    Torture: really fucking hard concept to understand.
    Our Government is capable of really sucking big time regardless of whether a Republican or Democrat is in charge of the White House: really fucking hard concept to understand.

  15. I have multiple problems with this article. In the first place, I have read far too many stories about how horrible the West or Irael was being to peaceful arabs that turned out to be transparant bullshit. The "rocket attacks on ambulances" where the holes that were supposedly 'proof' of the rocket hit turned out to be where the ambulance lights were installd being an egregious case in point. In the second place, nothing in the Geneva Convention applies to people not in uniform and powers not signatory to the convention. I know that the Political Left would LIKE it to apply, but that's because the Left has had a crush on Islamic Radicalism since the 1970's, and is remarkably stupid on the subjct.

    Any effort to combat terrorist organizations is going to be nasty, because terrorism is nasty. It would help if we would stop pretending to be nicer than we are, b cause we WILL get caught out.

    But I'm a Crank. I think that we should have dropped a selection low yeild nukes on Saddam and the centers of the Taliban government, amd then said "bother us again, and there's more where that came from". Sure, the international community would have been SHOCKED. Why we care about that escapes me.

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  19. Thankfully, we have term limits and come January, we will have a president that respects the rule of law.

    What's that? Clinton or Trump? Shit, nevermind.

    4 more years!

  20. This guy wasn't picked up for praying too loud in the mosque. He is al-qaida to the core. Swore allegiance to UBL, admitted to being involved in a plot to fly a plane into a Navy ship, recruited suicide bombers. POWs are held until the end of hostilities, whenever that is. He deserves nothing other than to stay locked up until the jihad against us is over. Never gonna happen? Sorry, can't help that.

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