Afghan Judicial Panel Refuses To Accept Indefinite Detention Law While Federal Court Allows It To Continue Under U.S. Law

In the last decade, the United States has increasingly become a symbol of hypocrisy as a nation that has violated many international principles that it helped create after 9-11.  That record was reinforced this week after the Afghan government (not exactly the paragon of civil liberties) refused to adopt indefinite detention rules pushed by the Obama Administration. Of course, President Obama has continued the indefinite detention of the Bush Administration and the operation of the Guantanamo Bay facility over the objections of civil libertarians. We recently saw the death of a detainee who was found years ago not to be a national security risk and never proven to be guilty of a single crime. Yet, in its effort to create a “new Democracy” in the Afghanistan, the Obama Administration was insisting that it replicate our own indefinite detention rules. In the meantime, a federal court has stayed a prior court order that enjoined the provision on indefinite detention under the Obama Administration’s 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.


A judicial panel ruled that administrative detention runs counter to the country’s laws. Yet the Obama Administration said that unless the country adopted this authoritarian measure, it may not turn over prisoners to Afghan officials. We are still holding more than 600 Afghans.

The death of Adnan Latif, a Yemeni, has become the latest symbol of our abusive policy of detention. As early as 2004, the military determined that he should be released but never told his lawyers until years later. In 2010 a federal court ordered his release. He would never live to see freedom.

Source: Guardian

111 thoughts on “Afghan Judicial Panel Refuses To Accept Indefinite Detention Law While Federal Court Allows It To Continue Under U.S. Law

  1. Obama is just the “Cover page”. We all know those politics are implemented by an agenda and it doesn’t belong to Obama, Bush, or any other. They are just the guys who show themselves up to the public to take the blame. We should learn to address the real names who are behind the scenes.

  2. I agree 100% with what Paulo has stated, however, as true as that is, that does not in any way alleviate Obama, Bush, nor any other from their crimes and responsibility in all this. One simply is not excused because they allow one or more others to ‘pull their strings’. In the most simple of terms, the aforementioned names are all guilty of numerous horrendous crimes!

  3. Bruce, “what do we do with them?”

    That which the rule of law, and international law, dictates that we do with them: Free them from unlawful restraint imposed by a government that obviously can prove no crime alleged against them.

    Is it good for the world? Who knows, ultimately, what the future holds. But is it good for our democracy and the international community’s ability to make and honor treaties and agreements entered into to promote peace and security world-wide? Definitely yes and no part of that YES is difficult to understand.

  4. Paulo 1, September 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Obama is just the “Cover page”. We all know those politics are implemented by an agenda and it doesn’t belong to Obama, Bush, or any other. They are just the guys who show themselves up to the public to take the blame. We should learn to address the real names who are behind the scenes.
    =====================================
    Well said.

    Some call them the 1% who own Highway 61 ….

  5. Bruce:

    didnt I read somewhere that one of those poor released detainees was involved in the killing of the Ambassador and his guards?

  6. This will go on for as long as the vast majority of our population allows it. By refusing to take a stand, refusing to care about others, we have no brake on the illegal and immoral actions of “leaders”.

    By this time, our nation’s psyche is so messed up that most people don’t even bother about imprisonment of the innocent or indefinite detention. We need to soul search, right now, because there is something profoundly wrong about a nation whose people don’t care about basic issues of justice, life, or liberty.

    Now I will hear, “we must vote Obama”. When you vote Obama you are voting for someone who imprisons the innocent, who has called for and enforced indefinite detention. The Obama administration had that ruling overturned within hours. That means they want that power and they want it for a reason. If you press people to vote Obama, you are on board with what he is doing. You can not keep walking away from who and what you are voting for because that salves your mind.

    “Oh, but I can’t vote for someone who won’t win”, you will say. Unless you are working for the govt. and already know that Obama will win, (due to voting machines, etc.) you could be voting for a losing candidate when you vote for Obama. Therefore, if the only reason you allow for voting is to win, then you should not vote either, because there is no guarantee your candidate will win. If you can vote for someone who can lose, you can vote for a candidate that does not imprison the innocent or run to an appeals judge to get that power at all cost.

    The USG is keeping hold of prisoners in Bagram. They have still carved out a piece of paradise for torture of those they render from other parts of the world. Are you on board with torture?

    We still do not know how Mr. Latif died. He was in a section of Gitmo where “troublemakers” are put. There they are beaten and tortured. He was cleared for release. He had committed no crime. Yet he was considered dangerous as a potential leader of other detainees. Why? because he wrote poetry. Are you on board with this?

    Until enough people see clearly and quit making excuses for that which cannot be excused, it will go on. I am deeply ashamed and disgusted by my fellow citizens, especially those who bitterly claimed it was a horrible injustice to torture and detain people when Bush was doing it, but who can’t wait now to elect their own man who does these things and worse. I don’t even know who could change their mind about such a deep and important issue. I see only people who love power, who want to “win” an election.

    What we need instead is people who want to end the cycle of lawlessness, who want to win justice, who want to have a world where this nation stops engaging in enormous crimes that any thinking, feeling person would find reprehensible.

  7. I agree with the sentiment that it’s quite ironic that Afghan Law doesn’t allow for indefinite detention. On the day of his inauguration, I sent a paid for msg to Obama and asked him to change the practice of holding the 600 or so prisoners at Bagram indefinitely. I compared the situation there with that of Guantanamo Prison. I must admit that I now feel a bit less convinced that the Obama administration ought to release those prisoners. The idea of releasing any of the prisoners to the security forces there is very scary considering their reputation of brutality and corruption. Add to that the lack of support by the Afghan government currently aimed at one of the most important human rights organizations, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission as well as the lack of truthful, reliable reporting by western organizations involved in covering the state of human rights and I’d be wary too. The AIHRC is currently understaffed and Pres. Karzai has the sole power to nominate the commissioners who were let go of. Western journalists, NGO’s and other entities working on behalf of the Afghan people in areas of education, health care, human rights etc. often ally themselves with those in power just to be able to do their work. They rely on the security of major players, including very corrupt and brutal human rights abusers and in turn refrain from criticizing their ‘enablers’.
    The US stands accused of severe and unlawful treatment of prisoners there. The tactics pale, if that is possible, next to what I fear will happen at the hands of the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan National Police and even the Afghan National Army.

  8. What are the facts that people don’t care about? Torture? True, too few care about that fact. That the administration wants indefinite detention without trial for people, including American citizens? True, too few care about that fact.

    What does that mean about our citizens? It’s quite scary that people on the left and on the right don’t care about basic facts, facts which effect life and death as well as false imprisonment. Facts which include torture. Who are we as a people that we have ceased to care about these most vital facts?

  9. Jill, We agree. However, you didn’t answer the question. What do we do w/ these sociopaths? And again, I don’t have the answer. We do know what happens when we release them on the world.

  10. We all have blind spots when it comes to facts.

    I came across some I did not know about today:

    Today, Mexico exports more manufactured products than the rest of Latin America put together. And this: Partly as a result, the sum of Mexico’s imports and exports as a percentage of its gross domestic product, a strong indicator of openness, rose to 58.6 per cent in 2010. In the case of China, it was 47.9 per cent, and just 18.5 per cent in the case of Brazil. HSBC in Mexico City estimated recently that the figure for Mexico could increase to as much as 69 per cent this year.

    And this: In 2009, Mexico overtook South Korea and China to became the world’s leading producer of flatscreen television sets. The bulkier the item, the more Mexico makes sense. According to Global Trade Atlas, the country is also the leading manufacturer of two-door refrigerators.

    Cars made in Mexico are now being exported to China.

    Mexico’s economy is larger than that of Canada or Spain.

    (Mexico’s Economy). The government detaches from the people by using propaganda on them, and has for a long time:

    The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.

    (Myth Addiction Is Establishment’s LSD, quoting 1944 book). The same old lies repeated ad nauseum show they don’t much care about being detached from the people.

    The people are victims of their government officials’ detachment from their oaths of office.

  11. Our government is Indefinitely detaining people without convicting them of a crime. They aren’t releasing them now, after years of detainment and torture because they think these people will commit a crime? Pre-emptive incarceration for what one might do seems to be the excuse.

    Why would these prisoners, once released not just go on with their lives? After so many years, is there a life to go back to? Otoh, why would they not want retribution? They’ve already done the time, why not do the crime? Why not inflict some damage on those who tortured them?

    I don’t think we know what those who have been released have done. Any stories will have the stench of propaganda.

    Our government has already targeted and taken the lives of its citizens. We have one person maintaining a “kill” list. Why would it not indefinitely detain and torture them? Bradley Manning comes to mind. Why would it not pre-emptively do so based on someone’s conjecture of what YOU might do?

  12. Which sociopaths Nick? Do you mean the people we have detained in Gitmo? In Bagram? Do you know there have been examinations of the called the worst of the worst. Turns out they aren’t. Most of them weren’t on any battlefield at any time. They were guilty of nothing.

    If someone is thought to be guilty, they can have a trial or CBST. If they are found guilty, they can be imprisoned according to US law. We have sentencing guidelines. We even used to have laws of war, no longer in effect.

    This depends on people being subject to the rule of law, something we citizens are responsible for restoring. That is my answer. Speak up, any way you can. If you can write, then write, if you can protest, protest, if you can get arrested, get arrested–whatever it takes to peacefully resist, if you can do, do it. We must restore the rule of law.

  13. Mespo,

    Paulo has valid points….. I do think that some of these methods are directed to the president whoever it maybe and they just have to suck it up….. The MIC is very strong and capable…..

  14. bettykath, Please just Google rerleased Gitmo detainees and you will see a long list of those who have killed soldiers and civilains. Let’s @ least have an intellectually honest discussion here.

  15. We must restore the rule of law. -Jill

    Let it stand alone. (And then, repeat it: “We must restore the rule of law.” Peacefully.)

  16. anonymously posted 1, September 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    http://rt.com/news/italian-court-verdict-rendition-547/ “Still guilty: Italy upholds verdict against 23 CIA agents in rendition trial”, Published: 20 September, 2012, 12:37
    ====================================================
    One has to wonder if a trend is beginning:

    Italy’s highest criminal court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans found guilty of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from a Milanese street and transferring him to a country where torture was permitted. The court of cassation’s ruling is the final appeal in the world’s first judicial review of the CIA practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries, a practice also known as extraordinary rendition.

    The 23 Americans were all convicted in absentia following a trial that lasted over three years. The verdict paves the way for the Italian government to seek redress and could put the Americans at risk of arrest if they travel to Europe.

    “It went badly. It went very badly,” lawyer Alessia Sorgato told the Associated Press. “Now they will ask for extradition.”

    (Guardian). The feds conflate impunity with exceptionalism, so since our elections do not reach this deep anymore, we can expect more of this it would seem.

  17. Jill!
    Thank You for Sharing Your Thoughts.
    We’re a Thug Nation now, just look around, shaved heads & goatees seem to be the in thing last decade or so. Looks like the backend of a Baboon to me, but…
    Thug Chic.
    Paulo, Spot on.
    You find them by Following the Money.
    Start with the Extractive Industries, good luck in That Jungle, & be Careful, they play for keeps. Go from there. Enough cross correlation, one could home right in.
    b.

  18. Nick S, let’s send a forensic psychiatrist down there. Let’s have him or her administer the MMPI-2-RF to each and every detainee. Hell, throw in a PAI and if there’s budget, a Rorschach test (“This ink blot looks like an Ugly American” would be GUILTY; “This ink blot looks like two non-white women making love on the night of a full moon” would be NOT GUILTY). Let them all be scored. Whoever comes up “sociopath,” keep them; the others, deport them; they have no right to live in Cuba without having applied for immigration! And for anyone who falls right on the line (maybe sociopath maybe not-sociopath), why don’t we give them a trial or something? If they come up sociopath beyond a reasonable doubt, elect them to office; the rest, bomb them with a drone.

  19. Dredd-

    The Muslim cleric kidnapped by the blundering Maxwell Smarts of the CIA was under surveillance by the Italians who were using him to lead them to other members of the terrorist cell. That investigation was, of course, ruined by the heavy-handed James Bond wannabees. To compound the stupidity, they then sent him to a third-world shithole to be tortured- thus rendering him useless as a source of information. By the way, why would we send a prisoner to another country to be tortured when we are so good at it ourselves? It can’t be because we are ashamed of it.

    And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

  20. As usual I’ll take the libertarian point of view here although many disagree with it vehemently. Are any of you seriously considering voting for this monster? He has continued or expanded every Bush policy! His public statements are simply panaceas to the masses while his legal objectives are in stark contrast to virtually everything out of his mouth. Where is the outcry from the masses as the Evil Empire slips further down the slope of tyranny? A few bold Libertarians, Mr. Turley I count among them for the most part, everyone else, zzzzzz. Liberals simply want more govt handouts at the expense of everyone else, not to mention both are now war parties as the anti war movement is almost dead.
    Here’s a great quote from the LRC blog:
    Libertarian: The government’s sole function is the protection of private property. There are very few persons who adhere to this philosophy. A few with this philosophy waste much of their time trying to convince others to believe the same. They won’t succeed.
    Conservative: The government needs to be all powerful, and to support our morality and way of life. Nothing is beyond its grasp. Government power is god given through the constitution, the 10 commandments, and biblical scripture. No other proof is necessary. This is the white-man’s burden.
    Liberal: The government needs to take from anyone who has more that someone else and make us all equal. We need the government to take care of the young, the old, and middle aged and to promote love between one another. This we know from our heart.

  21. nick spinelli,

    OK, let’s have an intellectually honest discussion. Give us a single reliable source for all released Guantanamo prisoners, that have been confirmed to have killed soldiers and/or civilians, after release.
    I saw many lists, all “alleged,” and none of them agreed with each other.

    Many trials of U.S.A. citizens have ended in acquittal, after which the released person killed someone. Should the person have been kept in prison, even though acquitted? It’s ridiculous that I need to answer that question: NO.

    Anyone that the government arrests deserves a fair trial, not life imprisonment in a dungeon, or torture, or persecution by some military tribunal kangaroo court.
    Note the period at the end of the last sentence. No qualifiers, like “unless we’re too cowardly to put them on trial,” as was the case in New York City.

  22. Dead After 11 Years of Despair: A Prisoner Who Proved Gitmo Is Immoral
    By Conor Friedersdorf
    Sep 13 2012
    Intelligence experts under Bush and Obama insisted Adnan Latif should be released. America kept him caged anyway.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/dead-after-11-years-of-despair-a-prisoner-who-proved-gitmo-is-immoral/262317/

    Excerpt:
    If the unjust incarceration of Adnan Latif inspired in conservatives even a fraction of the concern that they had for Scooter Libby; if liberals felt for him a small part of the outrage that they muster on Sandra Fluke’s behalf; if President Bush had been a bit more careful in who he detained, or if President Obama had closed just the portion of Guantanamo Bay holding prisoners cleared by American intelligence agencies for release; if the federal judiciary were slightly less inclined to defer to dubious government claims in habeas cases; or if Congress were less derelict in its duty to preserve and protect the Constitution — if any of those things were true, the Yemeni man might still be alive, and his death, a possible suicide, wouldn’t disgrace us.

    But he is dead.

    Held for years on end without trial in a cage thousands of miles from home, he endured interrogations, indignities, and depression long enough to be cleared for release. The U.S. government kept him locked up for years longer. Despairing, he died this week, and even in death, his treatment evokes less outrage in Americans than the week’s most controversial tweets.

    This despite the fact that there are numerous reasonable doubts about his guilt.

    He was captured by Pakistani security forces near the Afghan border in late 2001. On most matters, the average American is disinclined to treat Pakistani security forces as arbiters of truth. Many believe they helped hide Osama bin Laden for years. Yet most Americans presume the guilt of Guantanamo Bay inmates accused of belonging to the Taliban or al-Qaeda in large part because Pakistani sources intimated as much when turning them over. When Latif was turned over, the U.S. was paying the Pakistanis for every Arab “fighter” that they found.

    How many bounties were paid for innocents?

    The Pakistanis turned over prisoners scores at a time, often after conducting their own interrogations. Information was passed on to the Americans to be included in intake reports. “For the Arabic men in question, the interrogation would have required translation between Arabic and Urdu or Pashto (for the interrogation itself), and then translation from that into English (to go into the CIA report),” Marcy Wheeler explains at Emptywheel, where she’s followed this case. “There are all sorts of reason why you shouldn’t indefinitely detain a man based on such a report!” But information in that intake report got Latif locked away for a decade.

    According to the intake report, Latif admitted to fighting with the Taliban. But he denied ever saying so, he insisted he never fought, and his lawyers pointed out other factual inaccuracies in the report persuasively enough that every judge to adjudicate the matter has acknowledged them. He insisted he was traveling to seek treatment for a head injury sustained in an automobile accident. The car accident is corroborated; Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health verifies that he was a charity case, and that they sent him to seek further treatment outside the country; and when he was picked up by the Pakistanis he was in possession of his medical records, a U.S. court eventually found.

    Suddenly we’ve skipped ahead many years, but let us not forget that this man spent them incarcerated in solitary or surrounded by al-Qaeda terrorists, unable to contact his family or friends, suffering medically, and without any apparent prospect of challenging his release. Let’s count the years, cognizant of how long they must seem inside an island prison in a foreign land.

    2002.

    2003.

    2004.

    2005.

    2006.

    2007.

    In August 2008, Marc Falkoff visited Guantanamo Bay, where he met Latif in an interview cell. He was lying on the floor, weak and emaciated. The attorney would try to secure for the detainee a mattress, a pillow, and his medical records. These small comforts were denied the prisoner. His mental state deteriorated as he did everything he could to protest his extrajudicial incarceration: hunger strikes, smearing himself with feces, throwing urine at guards, more consultations with legal counsel.

    Despite his disruptive behavior, he was designated for transfer out of Guantanamo Bay by the Bush Administration. He was still incarcerated there when President Obama took office in January 2009.

    Hope! Change! A promise to close Gitmo!

    The Obama Administration assembled a task force of career intelligence professionals to assess the inmates at Guantanamo Bay. In order to be cleared for release, an inmate had to be vetted, recommended for transfer, and secure a unanimous vote by all intelligence agencies. Latif met that standard. Two successive administrations had concluded he didn’t belong at Gitmo.

    Imagine his mental state in that moment when he was cleared for release by Obama. But they didn’t release him. They kept him locked up instead. “A great many Yemenis remain at Guantanamo not because of any judgment that they individually pose some great menace but because the situation of Yemen itself makes repatriations so difficult; to release detainees there is really to lose any possibility of control over their later activity,” Benjamin Wittes explains at Lawfare, another blog that has covered his case. “Latif and many other Yemenis remained at Guantanamo because the administration determined that it was lawful to hold them and that, if released, some unacceptable percentage of them would do something horrible.”

  23. Turn them all loose, and get out of that part of the world entirely. That’s what they want. Leave them to their own devices.

    Perhaps the Europeans would like to try that again. Other countries want their oil? Okay. Let it happen. Can the Asians secure that part of the world?

  24. Dead Gitmo Prisoner Had Been Cleared for Release, Attempted Suicide
    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/12/headlines

    The U.S. military has identified the Guantánamo Bay prisoner who died over the weekend as Adnan Latif, a Yemeni national who had previously attempted suicide multiple times since his imprisonment a decade ago. Latif was at least the ninth foreign prisoner to die at Guantánamo since the United States began jailing foreigners there in 2002. Latif had remained at Guantánamo despite being cleared for release. Appearing on Democracy Now! in June, the British journalist Andy Worthington discussed Latif’s case.

    Andy Worthington: “He’s one of these prisoners who was approved for transfer under President George W. Bush in 2006, at the very latest, possibly earlier than that. He was then—had his release approved by Obama’s task force. He won his habeas corpus petition, as well. But because the judges of the D.C. Circuit Court, you know, a bunch of very right-wing judges, I think that — I think that objectively it’s absolutely fair to say that these people are very right-wing, who have been clamping down on the ability of the lower courts to approve the release of Guantánamo prisoners under any circumstances — you know, they reversed the ruling in Latif’s case, and they relied for that on saying that an intelligence report, which they even said was, you know, was produced in haste under battlefield conditions, should be believed.”

    In a letter released in 2009, Latif wrote: “I have seen death so many times. Everything is over. Life is going to hell in my situation. America, what has happened to you?”

  25. Poems from Guantanamo

    Amnesty International Magazine
    Fall 2007
    by Marc Falcoff

    I first met Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif soon after I filed a habeas corpus petition on his behalf in late 2004. We were sitting in an interview cell really a retrofitted storage container at Camp Echo in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Across the table, Latif sat with his arms crossed and his head down. The guards had removed his handcuffs, but when he shifted his weight his leg irons clanged and echoed in the bare room. The irons were chained to an eyebolt on the floor. Guards were stationed outside the door, and a video camera was visible in the corner.

    Latif, a small, thin Yemeni man with a scraggly beard, had been in the prison for nearly three years. Upon his arrival in Cuba, he said, he was chained hand and foot while still in the blackout goggles and ear muffs he had been forced to wear for the flight. Soldiers kicked him, hit him, and dislocated his shoulder. Early on, interrogators questioned him with a gun to his head. Latif spent his first weeks at Camp X-Ray in an open-air cage, exposed to the tropical sun, without shade or shelter from the wind that buffeted him with sand and pebbles. His only amenities were a bucket for water and another for urine and feces.

    “This is an island of hell,” he told me. Punishment for minor infractions of rules, such as squirreling away lunch food, included solitary confinement. No comfort items. No mattress. No pants.

    “They take away your pants and leave you wearing only shorts. This is to prevent the brothers from praying. It would be immodest to pray uncovered. They do it to humiliate us,” said Latif. Dressed in a pullover shirt and cotton pants dyed iconic Gitmo orange, he looked pale, weak and much older than his 28 years. He had been seeking medical treatment in Pakistan for a 1994 head injury when Pakistani forces detained him and turned him over to the United States for a $5,000 bounty. His health was deteriorating at Guantánamo.

    Despairing of ever being released, Latif had sent a number of poems in his letters to me and other lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees. The Pentagon refuses to allow most of them to be made public, but it did clear “Hunger Strike Poem,” which contains the lines:

    They are artists of torture,
    They are artists of pain and fatigue,
    They are artists of insults
    and humiliation.
    Where is the world to save us
    from torture?
    Where is the world to save us
    from the fire and sadness?
    Where is the world to save
    the hunger strikers?

    The military won’t let you read the rest of Latif’s poetry.

  26. Dead Gitmo Prisoner’s Tragic Letter About Why He Gave Up on Life
    Adnan Latif suffered at the hands of the US government in ways that most people can’t begin to comprehend.
    By John Knefel
    September 13, 2012
    http://www.alternet.org/dead-gitmo-prisoners-tragic-letter-about-why-he-gave-life

    Excerpt:
    Adnan Latif was found dead in his cell on September 10th, 2012, just a day before the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. He was 32. Latif, a Yemeni citizen, had been detained at Guantanamo Bay for over a decade, despite a 2010 court ruling that ordered the Obama administration to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif’s release forthwith,” due to lack of evidence that he had committed any crime. He suffered at the hands of the US government in ways that most people can’t begin to comprehend, and his death should be a reminder that the national shame that is Guantanamo Bay lives on and now enjoys bipartisan support.

    Reexamining a letter he wrote to his lawyer David Remes in December of 2010 shows the depths of his despair near the end of his life. His letter begins simply. The first paragraph is just one devastating sentence: “Do whatever you wish to do, the issue is over.” He then goes on to describe Guantanamo as, “a prison that does not know humanity, and does not know [sic] except the language of power, oppression, and humiliation for whoever enters it.”

    “Anybody who is able to die,” Latif writes, “will be able to achieve happiness for himself, he has no hope except that.”

    He continues:

    “The requirement…is to leave this life which is no longer anymore [sic] called a life, instead it itself has become death and renewable torture. Ending it is a mercy and happiness for this soul. I will not allow any more of this and I will end it.”

    Latif attempted suicide in 2009 by slitting his wrists, and his attorney, David Remes, has said that he tried to kill himself on other occasions as well.

    A car accident in 1994 left Latif with a head injury, which he was attempting to get treated in Afghanistan when he was captured near the border by Pakistani authorities. In January, 2002, he was sent to Guantanamo, with the unfortunate distinction of being one of the first detainees. According to the ACLU, Latif was cleared to be released in 2004, 2007, 2009, and again in 2010 by US District Court Judge Henry Kennedy. The Obama DOJ appealed the 2010 decision, in part because of a policy of not transferring detainees to Yemen, and so Latif remained in custody – not because of what he had done (which was nothing), but because of where he was born. The decision to appeal his release wasn’t a holdover from the Bush era. That was an affirmative decision made by the Obama administration, and any supporters who hoped Obama would close Guantanamo Bay should understand that fact.

    Latif is far from the only prisoner still held at Guantanamodespite being okayed for release. “Over half of the people left in Gitmo have been cleared for years,” said Cori Crider, Legal Director at Reprieve in charge of managing litigation on secret prisons,who has represented clients detained at Guantanamo. Crider went on to say that although conditions at the prison are better than they were in 2002, indefinite detention is enough to break people. “That young man, who was, say, twenty when he is seized, is thirty. He sees his life slipping away from him with no sign of release. Hopelessness takes lives at Gitmo now.”

  27. During WW2 people that were caught out of uniform and dealing in espionage were considered spies and executed. Gitmo or death?

  28. Bruce-

    Neither the German spies nor the Rosenbergs were sold to us for $5,000 like Adnan Latif was. This man has done nothing wrong. He is a victim of one of the worst violations of human rights in the history of the United States. Where was President Obama while this was going on? The lesser of two evils indeed!

  29. anonymously posted-

    Thanks for the link to the Aljazeera discussion- it was very interesting. Far better than the usual CNN, MSNBC, Fox News “discussion” consisting of a Republican Party hack and a Democratic Party hack shouting platitudes at each other. And, can you imagine a 46 minute discussion on ANY American cable or broadcast network? How sad that we are given only two points of view on American television.

  30. nick spinelli 1, September 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    bettykath, Please just Google rerleased Gitmo detainees and you will see a long list of those who have killed soldiers and civilains. Let’s @ least have an intellectually honest discussion here.
    ————-
    Ok by me. First of all, I’m suspicious of any government produced list. Second, I saw a tv report that Saudi Arabia accepted a number of released detainees who were given help in reestablishing their lives and they haven’t killed anyone.

    Whatever those who have been released have done or not, what does that have to do with those who haven’t even been charged but have been detained for years? Does this mean that if you and I are both arrested, not necessarily at the same time or place, I’m released and go on a killing spree that you have to stay in jail indefinitely, without being charged, because you might go on a killing spree?
    ==========

    Jill, We could have handled the detainees the way FDR handled the Nazi saboteurs.
    ————–
    At least the Nazi saboteurs had a trial. I think the detainees would appreciate that courtesy. They would also appreciate being set free if there is no reason to hold them, at least Latif, would have appreciated it.

  31. From the thread: “David McCullough Opens New Constitutional Center With Warning Over The Passivity Of Citizens”:

    “[David] McCullough spoke about the greater need to teach history in this country because “we are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

    Could there be a better illustration than this thread?

  32. lottakatz 1, September 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    From the thread: “David McCullough Opens New Constitutional Center With Warning Over The Passivity Of Citizens”:

    “[David] McCullough spoke about the greater need to teach history in this country because “we are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

    Could there be a better illustration than this thread?
    ==========================================
    Now you’re talking. I was an electrician before I was an accountant.

  33. Dave S,
    Fascinating two-dimensional oversimplification of three political philosophies. How Ayn-Randian of you!
    Two legs bad
    Four legs good

  34. nick spinelli,

    Your position on the issue offered in this thread is not current with known facts, but rather harks back to the paranoia of 2001-today where the assumption of guilt is, well, assumed.

    Do you not remember the news reports circa 2004-2006 of the CIA offering bounties ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to anyone in Afghanistan and Pakistan that could turn in a “terrorist?”

    Even if you don’t, others do, such as the former president of Pakistan, Musharraf, who stated, “in his 2006 memoir, In the Line of Fire, that, in return for handing over 369 terror suspects to the US, the Pakistani government, ‘earned bounty payments totaling millions of dollars.’”

    http://wikileaks.org/gitmo/#

    And here’s a news article that was originally published by the Associated Press (AP) in 2005 discussing the bounty method of “terrorist roundups” of which has long disappeared from their archives yet is still available to read at CommonDreams dot org:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0531-10.htm

  35. nick spinelli,

    The two link spam filter on this blog is irksome, so here is one more link you should read.

    It builds off of Jill’s noting of Seton Hall’s work on this issue in her 9:30 pm post.

    The proffered link is a direct .pdf download of a paper published by Seton Hall Law Review – Volume 41, dated January, 31, 2012 and is entitled:

    REPORT ON GUANTANAMO DETAINEES: A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data

    http://erepository.law.shu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1399&context=shlr

    In this document the authors claim that:

    1. 55% of the Guantanamo detainees, ” are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.”

    2. Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% are have no definitive affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.

    3. The Government has detained numerous persons based on mere affiliations with a large number of groups that in fact, are not on the Department of Homeland Security terrorist watchlist. Moreover, the nexus between such a detainee and such organizations varies considerably.
    Eight percent are detained because they are deemed “fighters for;” 30% considered “members of;” a large majority – 60% — are detained merely because they are “associated with” a group or groups the Government asserts are terrorist organizations. For 2% of the prisoners their nexus to any terrorist group is unidentified.

    4. Only 5% of the detainees were captured by United States forces. 86% of the detainees were arrested by either Pakistan or the Northern Alliance and turned over to United States custody.

  36. nick spinelli,

    With the bounty system paid by the CIA and reported in the “news,” I find item (4) above the most telling.

    What do you think?

  37. When pirates operate on the sea it is simple to identify all who are on a pirate ship and when captured to throw them overboard and drown them. That way they do not repeat their piracy. Pirates on land present a more varied identification problem. Yes, I was in that bunker that you captured but I was a hostage or just a worker or just a juvenile and did not know nuthin bout burthin babies. A terrorist working on land for iran or some other government but in sheeps clothing is out of uniform. According to the laws of war they can be shot for conducting war out of uniform. A turbin dont cut it as a uniform, anymore than a pirate hat. Our forces should follow the admonition: Take no prisoners!
    Gitmo is a mistake. If you dont have evidence to try them and convict them then why did you arrest them? If you have the evidence then conduct the trials. If you dont then let em go.

  38. Let everybody in Gitmo go. Get out of that part of the world. If the Asians want their oil they can have it, and they can secure it.

  39. Many thanks to those of you countering the rampant misinformation in this comment thread about the alleged recidivism of Guantanamo detainees. As the DNI’s most recent report (two weeks ago) shows, less than 28 percent of released GTMO prisoners are “confirmed” or “suspected” of “reengaging” in “terrorism.” (I use scare quotes because the definitions of these words, if provided at all, are hopelessly vague, ambiguous, and in some cases nonsensical — e.g., how can one “re”engage in the absence of any credible proof that one had initially “engaged.”) That’s an enormously low rate — significantly lower than any domestic prison in the U.S. Moreover, simply being counted as a recidivist does not mean a former detainee has killed or injured a single person. In addition, the report that a GTMo detainee was involved in the Libya attack is just that a — a report, anonymously sourced — and has been contradicted by other anonymous reports saying that the gentleman in question had no involvement. (This just goes to show how reliable such intelligence reports aren’t, especially when it comes to trying to justify the indefinite detention of a man against whom there is no other credible evidence.) Finally, even if the former detainee in question were actually involved, he was released by President Bush, not President Obama.

    So in answer to “what do you do with them” — you let them go unless you can prove that they were actually engaged in hostilities against U.S. force or that they actually committed a crime (war or otherwise). They are human beings — persons, with constitutional due process rights no less than U.S. citizens or any other person held by our government. And you never, never again think yourself so far above the law that you can presume to be judge, jury and executioner over entire groups of people simply because you come from America.

  40. Lawyer for Ratif:

    “Many thanks to those of you countering the rampant misinformation in this comment thread about the alleged recidivism of Guantanamo detainees. As the DNI’s most recent report (two weeks ago) shows, less than 28 percent of released GTMO prisoners are “confirmed” or “suspected” of “reengaging” in “terrorism.” (I use scare quotes because the definitions of these words, if provided at all, are hopelessly vague, ambiguous, and in some cases nonsensical — e.g., how can one “re”engage in the absence of any credible proof that one had initially “engaged.”)”

    ****************************

    Tell me how we might explain to the family of a deceased US serviceman or servicewoman that by releasing a detainee who then rejoins the terrorist movement and who acts alone or in concert to kill their loved one is in furtherance of our law and ideals? “An enormously low rate” is the thinnest of gruel and the coldest of comfort to people who bear the sacrifice in defense of our rights. Those people picked up on the battlefield are presumed combatants and are entitled to a status hearing. Beyond that they have no greater rights than any other captured combatant and get to sit out the war. Imagine the death and destruction wrought by Mohammed Nayim Farouq AFTER his release from Guantanamo).

    Your advocacy and compassion for your client is commendable; your concern for the young American men and women still in harm’s way and fighting a savage enemy with no remorse for killing and maiming them–not so much.

    Here are the most recent figures of Guantanamo recidivism:

    Recidivism rises among released Guantanamo detainees
    Mon, Mar 5 2012
    By Mark Hosenball
    (Reuters) – The proportion of militants released from detention at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay who subsequently were believed to have returned to the battlefield rose slightly over the last year, according to official figures released on Monday.
    In a summary report, the office of the Director of National Intelligence said that 27.9 percent of the 599 former detainees released from Guantanamo were either confirmed or suspected of later engaging in militant activity.
    The figures represent a 2.9 percent rise over a 25 percent aggregate recidivism rate reported by the intelligence czar’s office in December 2010.
    The increase in the apparent recidivism rate, while not large, comes at a delicate time for President Barack Obama, and could further complicate his attempts to negotiate a peace deal with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.
    As a “confidence building” measure, the Taliban have insisted on the release of five specific Taliban leaders currently held at Guantanamo. The Obama administration has been working on a plan under which the detainees could be transferred to the Persian Gulf state of Qatar but still held in detention.
    Lawmakers, mostly Republicans, have indicated they will try to block the release of senior Taliban detainees, and the latest recidivism statistics could add fuel to their efforts.
    They will also bolster criticisms from Republican legislators that Obama’s unsuccessful effort to close the Guantanamo facility have increased the likelihood of future militant attacks on U.S. targets.
    Releases from Guantanamo have slowed considerably recently; the last took place over a year ago.
    Not all of the cases of former detainees joining the fight against U.S. and allied troops might constitute recidivism. News reports have revealed that the original Guantanamo detainee population included individuals who posed no threat to the United States. Some may have been radicalized by their experiences there.
    As presented by the DNI, the figures appear to show that the rate of recidivism among detainees has dropped since Obama took office, compared to the rate under former President George W. Bush.
    According to a breakdown released with the latest raw figures, 92 of the 532 Guantanamo detainees released before January 22, 2009 – two days after Bush left office – were confirmed to have returned to the battlefield and 70 were suspected of having done so – an aggregate recidivism rate of 30.5 percent.
    RECIDIVISM DOWN UNDER OBAMA
    By contrast, the new statistics show, only three of the 67 detainees released from Guantanamo since Obama took office are confirmed to have rejoined militants, with another two suspected of having done so – an aggregate recidivism rate of 7.5 percent.
    Overall, the statistics showed that, of the 599 detainees who were released as of December 29, 2011, 95 were confirmed to have re-engaged in militant activity or to have been in contact with militants. This comprises 15.9 percent of the total released.
    Another 72 militants are “suspected of re-engaging” in militant activity after they were freed from Guantanamo. This constitutes an additional 12 percent of all released detainees.
    Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale, a Defense Department spokesman, said the distinction made in the statistics between militants whose recidivism is “Confirmed” versus “Suspected” was particularly relevant “because there was confusion in some early media reports conflating the two.”
    “To be sure, ‘Confirmed’ is more consistent with our actual intelligence data and ‘Suspected’ is a much lower bar, triggering an additional review that is really more akin to a sort of ‘early watch’ system. Someone on the ‘Suspected’ list could very possibly not be engaged in activities that are counter to our national security interests,” Breasseale said.
    He added that a total of 171 detainees are still being held at Guantanamo.
    A U.S. intelligence official familiar with the process by which the statistics are put together added that the evidentiary standards for listing a detainee as “suspected” of having returned to the battlefield are vague.
    But another official noted that there is often a lengthy lag between the time that a detainee is released and the time that U.S. agencies receive information indicating that the individual is confirmed or suspected of having returned to the battlefield. Hence, the official said, the latest statistics might not provide an accurate picture of the consequences of the Obama administration policy on Guantanamo releases.
    (Additional reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Warren Strobel and Eric Walsh)

  41. Mespo:
    “Tell me how we might explain to the family of a deceased US serviceman or servicewoman that by releasing a detainee who then rejoins the terrorist movement and who acts alone or in concert to kill their loved one is in furtherance of our law and ideals? “An enormously low rate” is the thinnest of gruel and the coldest of comfort to people who bear the sacrifice in defense of our rights.”

    I would imagine that you’d explain the death of the serviceperson in the same way that you’d explain the death of anyone resulting from an entirely useless, unnecessary war. Which the last several wars have been.

    Which of my rights were being defended? The right to destroy smaller countries, and secure lucrative oil contracts for multinational corporations?
    Armies do not defend rights. Armies act at the behest of governments to defend against invaders, or invade other countries.
    These activities are often called “war,” which is used as an excuse to curtail rights, not defend them. For instance, rights to a fair trial, or rights to not be detained indefinitely, which have been removed due to the present state of perpetual war.

  42. Actually, the most recent release has numbers as of July, and can be found here:

    http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Reports%20and%20Pubs/Reports%20and%20Pubs%202012/Summary%20of%20the%20Reengagement%20of%20Detainees%20Formerly%20Held%20at%20GTMO.pdf

    Either way, your March numbers and the July numbers are consistent with my point that the recidivism rate is in the mid-20s. As I said, that is a much lower rate than in the domestic criminal context.

    ” These people picked up on the battlefield are presumed combatants and are entitled to a status hearing.”

    For those actually picked up on the battlefield, I agree. That describes less than 10 percent of the nearly 800 men who have been held at Guantanamo. It does not describe Latif or any of my other clients.

    ” Beyond that they have no greater rights than any other captured combatant and get to sit out the war.”

    Again, for those detainees who were actually “captured combatants,” I agree. But again, very very few Guantanamo prisoners were captured combatants. And I take issue with the notion of “sitting out the war” when the “war” is against a noun rather than a state, or even an entity. As Justice O’Connor foresaw in Hamdi, we have long since passed the point where our traditional notions of law-of-war detention have unraveled, because the parameters of the conflict are continually redefined such that “hostilities” will never end.

    “Tell me how we might explain to the family of a deceased US serviceman or servicewoman that by releasing a detainee who then rejoins the terrorist movement and who acts alone or in concert to kill their loved one is in furtherance of our law and ideals? ”

    The same way we explain to the family of a deceased civilian who was killed by a convicted-but-released criminal, or by a criminal who “got off on a technicality,” that such releases are in furtherance of our law and ideals.

    You also seem to be suffering from the misperception that most of the prisoners in Guantanamo are or were “terrorists.” Not so. The vast majority were — at most — footsoldiers in the Taliban’s civil war against the Northern Alliance and had no issues with the United States. At least, not as of 2001.

    “your concern for the young American men and women still in harm’s way and fighting a savage enemy with no remorse for killing and maiming them”

    I have great concern for those young Americans and I fervently hope they are removed from harm’s way as quickly as possible. It’s interesting, though, how invasion and occupation of one’s land by the superior forces of a morally condescending and hypocritical power brings out one’s “savagery,” particularly when such invasion and occupation is accompanied by the indiscriminate killing of civilians and incessant disdain and contempt for one’s culture and religion. (To be clear: I speak here not of the young Americans in harm’s way, but of the older Americans who in their hubris and arrogance put them there.)

    One can only imagine how Americans would react under similar circumstances.

  43. Oh, and when we explain the death of the serviceperson in an unnecessary war, to the family, don’t forget to tell them that you’re planning on another unnecessary war, this time with Iran. The family may have other members in the military, who are still alive. Equal opportunity.

  44. mespo,

    “In a summary report, the office of the Director of National Intelligence said that 27.9 percent of the 599 former detainees released from Guantanamo were either confirmed or suspected of later engaging in militant activity.”

    I have to ask how many of that 27.9% were “confirmed” and how many were “suspected” of later engaging in militant activity. And what is the definition of “militant activity” as used in this context?

  45. Elaine M, I’ll bet they spoke up at some local nonprofit organization that asked them about what had happened to them. If they had any complaints about their paid vacation at Guantanamo, that was probably considered pretty militant. I have a friend who spoke at an anti-war rally in the US AFTER he had served in Vietnam and been honorably discharged. He was arrested HERE and charged with Treason HERE and convicted HERE and sentenced to 20 years in the federal pen, and was incarcerated 6 months before some federal congressman, hearing about the case, worked out a deal behind the scenes so he would be released and his charges would be disappeared so he didn’t talk about it any more. He traded his next 19 years of prison for shutting up about the whole thing. He recently served on a state court grand jury as foreman, and he honestly FORGOT he had once been convicted of a felony! When I reminded him, he said, “OH YEAH!”

  46. You know I’ve been thinking about the fact that everyone here (with the possible exception of lawyers) finds it un-shocking that some of us can reveal experiences with the court system (and occasionally other governmental agencies in the executive or judicial branches) that are really no better than what we see in many of the countries whose governments evoke nothing but the most intense horror from us. Is it not conceivable that the degree of corruption and evil in the system is the level to which the population adjusts, and that we are no better or worse at such adjustment than, say, Afghans or Pakistanis? Or Israelis? Or Saudis?

    We have a system that can bring equal parts of shame and pride; yet we let our politicians run around crowing in pride and we don’t insist upon identifying and fumigating the shame. We are no better than anyone we invade, in the final analysis — it’s just that we started off relatively recently with a LOT OF RESOURCES and added to our own stock by importing HUMAN RESOURCES (nasty phrase that means exactly what it says) from elsewhere in a kind of reverse colonialism that we still don’t adequately own up to.

    Who are we to accept “the bad with the good” when we police the whole world? Why are we not more outraged at our own public officials who certainy tip the scales to “BAD” as soon as they consolidate their power, NEARLY EVERY SINGLE TIME!

    It’s late in the world for more Ghandis and yet, who has the big guns will keep them. We should just check our pride at the door and enter the stables admitting they have never been cleaned. If there’s pride, it’s pride that we have a population that has largely survived the crap piled up in here.

    And the biggest abuse is the lie.

    Yeah, I didn’t take my “calm down” pill this morning.

  47. I agree with the Pirate guy above. Kill em if you catch them. No use trying to interrogate them. Pirate is a Pirate, whether on the water or out of uniform on the land. Kill em when ya gottem. Take no prisoners. Gitmo is dumbo.

  48. Nick Spinelli: >bettykath, Please just Google rerleased Gitmo detainees and you will see a long list of those who have killed soldiers and civilains.<

    And exactly what MADE these people 'sociopaths' as you charged earlier? What MADE the released detainees supposedly 'kill soldiers and civilians'? Could it be torture? How about being imprisoned for the 'crime' of defending THEIR country against another country determined to take control of THEIR country? How many of THEIR soldiers and civilians have WE killed? How many of these detainees have been actually PROVEN to be terrorists? You know, if you treat a person like an animal long enough, he will eventually live down to your expectation. There was a time in this country when we were above this. Unfortunately, we no longer have the right to point the finger at anyone else.

  49. Lawyer for Latif:

    “For those actually picked up on the battlefield, I agree. That describes less than 10 percent of the nearly 800 men who have been held at Guantanamo. It does not describe Latif or any of my other clients.”

    ************************

    Your client, Latif. was picked up by Pakistani security near the Afghan border in late 2001 (and after 9-11) while traveling from Yemen without a passport. He admitted that (1) ‘” Alawi [in reality al Qaeda operative Abu Kalud] talked about jihad” with him, (2) ‘” Alawi took him to the Taliban,” (3) the Taliban “gave him weapons training,” (4) the Taliban “put him on the front line facing the then US ally, the Northern Alliance, north of Kabul,” and (5) “[h]e remained there, under the command of Afghan leader Abu Fazl until Taliban troops retreated and Kabul fell.'” Thus, while he was not picked up on a battlefield, he was undoubtedly heading for the next one. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for your client’s position. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t buy his travel for medical treatment shtick in the face of these admissions. They also didn’t buy his Norm Crosby routine that he was the master of malaprops or simply mis-translated.

    # # # # # # #
    “And I take issue with the notion of “sitting out the war” when the “war” is against a noun rather than a state, or even an entity. As Justice O’Connor foresaw in Hamdi, we have long since passed the point where our traditional notions of law-of-war detention have unraveled, because the parameters of the conflict are continually redefined such that “hostilities” will never end.”

    ******************

    You know full well Hamdi applied only to citizen detainees not non-citizens, and my sympathy for non-citizens combatants, seeking to cut our throats, is not as extensive as your own. Under Rasul, these non-citizen combatants deserve only a status hearing and legal representation. And while O’Connor in her plurality decision wondered about an endless war she reaffirmed the right of the government to detain these folks to prevent them from killing or attempting to kill more Americans. These folks joined in armed conflict against the US and its allies. To suggest these combatants (as your client clearly was by his own admission) are harmed because their comrades persist in continuing a senseless fight ad infinitum is a “their problem,” not an “our problem.” al-Qaeda could capitulate and declare peace today and their hapless stooges would be free by the harvest moon. Why should we worry more about the length of the detention of their foot soldiers than they do?

    # # # # # # #

    “It’s interesting, though, how invasion and occupation of one’s land by the superior forces of a morally condescending and hypocritical power brings out one’s “savagery,” particularly when such invasion and occupation is accompanied by the indiscriminate killing of civilians and incessant disdain and contempt for one’s culture and religion. (To be clear: I speak here not of the young Americans in harm’s way, but of the older Americans who in their hubris and arrogance put them there.)”

    *************************

    I have no idea what morally condescending and hypocritical power you are speaking of–perhaps your delving into Russian history, but that statement does not inure to the US. (or even to your client who is a Yemen national). Let me repeat for the record that we were attacked on 9-11 by terrorists, the common enemy of all, and we pursued those murderers into a amorphous tribal state that absorbed and protected them. Their benefactors, the theocratic anachronism, known as the Taliban, merged into allegiance with al-Qaeda and took up arms. Our dismantling of that savage bunch of misogynists– who felt no compunction about throwing battery acid into the eyes of little girls going to school, or killing innocents by the thousands — was a liberation to the people of Afghanistan. One wonders why you do not share the disdain for the “culture” of the Taliban, but given your sympathies perhaps your trite reply to the parents of folks who died protecting your right to speak as you do makes quite a bit of sense. You may call it “hubris and arrogance;” international law calls it self-defense pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1368.

    # # # # # # #

    ““Tell me how we might explain to the family of a deceased US serviceman or servicewoman that by releasing a detainee who then rejoins the terrorist movement and who acts alone or in concert to kill their loved one is in furtherance of our law and ideals? ”

    The same way we explain to the family of a deceased civilian who was killed by a convicted-but-released criminal, or by a criminal who “got off on a technicality,” that such releases are in furtherance of our law and ideals.”

    **************************

    That explanation rings cold. The criminal released by virtue of the application of our law or the criminal released on parole was lawfully released. There is nothing in law that required your client’s release. His habeas appeal was overturned by the DC Circuit and he was not released under due process of law as your other examples suggest. While the difference might be lost upon grieving family members it is far more easy for the public to accept a ruling of an American court that a prisoner is lawfully entitled to release. Enemies deserve only what our law requires, not more rights than our citizens enjoy. Lest we forget, they are trying to kill and maim our people or our allies.

    Sorry, my friend, to most Americans including this lawyer, your client is deserving neither of sympathy nor publicity. He made his bed; he can’t now be heard to complain –posthumously or otherwise — about having to lie in it.

  50. The Ultimate Injustice at Guantánamo: The Death of Adnan Latif
    By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project
    http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/ultimate-injustice-guantanamo-death-adnan-latif
    09/12/2012

    On Saturday, Guantánamo prisoner Adnan Latif was found unresponsive in his cell in Guantánamo’s Camp 5, the disciplinary wing of the camp, and pronounced dead. His identity was revealed only yesterday. Mr. Latif’s case, in life and now in death, represents the repercussions of our government’s failed Guantánamo policy and demonstrates the responsibility each branch has played in that failure.

    Mr. Latif was seized by Pakistani authorities near the Afghan border in late 2001, handed over to the U.S. Government, then transferred to Guantánamo in January 2002. He maintained his innocence of any affiliation with terrorism, explaining that he had traveled to the region in August 2001 to receive medical treatment from a charity for a head injury he received in a car accident – treatment he was unable to afford at home. The U.S. government claimed Mr. Latif had been recruited in Yemen to attend a training camp in Afghanistan.

    After reviewing his case, the Department of Defense in 2004 recommended that Mr. Latif be returned to his native Yemen. For reasons unknown, he remained incarcerated. Again, in 2007, the Defense Department determined Mr. Latif should be transferred from Guantánamo “subject to the process for making appropriate diplomatic arrangements for his departure.” But he remained incarcerated. In 2009, President Obama’s Guantánamo Bay Task Force, comprised of U.S. intelligence, law enforcement and military agencies, unanimously approved Mr. Latif once more for transfer. Then came the Christmas Day 2009 bombing attempt, apparently orchestrated by a group based in Yemen, and President Obama ordered a moratorium on transfers there. Mr. Latif remained incarcerated. Congress subsequently imposed such onerous conditions on transfers from Guantánamo to any country that moratorium or not, Mr. Latif had little chance to be set free – absent a court order. And so, years after the government first told Mr. Latif he could go home, he remained incarcerated.

    Then in 2010, after an exhaustive review of all of the government’s evidence against Mr. Latif, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Kennedy ordered his release, finding the government had not shown Mr. Latif was part of Al Qaeda or an associated force. The ruling gave force to the Supreme Court’s historic 2008 decision that Guantánamo prisoners had the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal court, and the courts would subject the government’s case for detention to meaningful review.

    Judge Kennedy found that the Obama administration’s case for Mr. Latif’s continued incarceration turned on one raw hearsay intelligence report, unvetted by expert government analysts. Not a single eyewitness placed Mr. Latif at any training camp, guesthouse or battlefield in Afghanistan. Mr. Latif’s lawyers demonstrated that the intelligence report was riddled with errors and inconsistencies. But President Obama’s Justice Department chose to appeal Judge Kennedy’s decision. In a profoundly flawed ruling, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision, holding that the government’s single raw intelligence report should be presumed correct, despite its myriad flaws. Two judges of a three-judge panel overturned long-standing judicial principles and substituted their own judgment for the trial court’s seasoned view of the evidence. In the words of the dissenting justice: “Not content with moving the goal posts, the court calls the game in the government’s favor.”

    This past June, the Supreme Court refused to hear Mr. Latif’s appeal of the D.C. Circuit’s decision. Without comment, Supreme Court turned its back on Mr. Latif and others like him, letting stand the appellate court’s now overly deferential standard for courts to test the government’s evidence.

    During his time in Guantánamo, Mr. Latif repeatedly went on hunger strike to peacefully protest his brutal treatment and imprisonment without charge or trial. When the mental pain became too much, his lawyers said, he tried to take his own life, more than once slitting his wrists, other times eating shards of metal and glass.

    Each time Mr. Latif was cleared to go home by the executive branch – and a single time by a court – a military officer would have come to his cell to tell him he was leaving Guantánamo. Imagine hearing that repeated possibility of freedom, only for hopes to be dashed every single time. Now Adnan Latif is dead.

    Dozens of other men still in Guantánamo have received similar repeated news, only to find it changed nothing in their daily lives and they remained in prison. How many of those other men who have never even been charged with a crime will our government allow to languish until death?

  51. ” Not a single eyewitness placed Mr. Latif at any training camp, guesthouse or battlefield in Afghanistan. ”

    ***********************

    No one that is except Latif, himself.

    I’m struck, Elaine, by the almost magical omission from the article you posted about Latif’s confession of his direct involvement with fighting for the Taliban against the Northern Alliance. The author also forgets about Latif’s mental instability; his suicide attempts; his throwing of human bodily fluids at guards; and his well trodden al-Qaeda sanctioned route through Pakistan to the battlefields in Afghanistan; his al-Qaeda handler; his lack of a passport; his admitted training in warfare by the Taliban; his adherence to jihad; the confirmatory notes of the two FBI agents who conducted the investigation and interrogation; and his denial of relief by two federal courts who heard every word of his tale of woe about misquotes and mistaken interrogations. No, those pesky facts fade into insignificance in the mind of one who seeks to blame the American government for every wrong — real and imagined.

    That may pass as unbiased news in some circles, but not with anyone who’s interested in the truth. If you’d like the real facts, you can always read the public record:

    http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/C891703993091388852579ED007142EF/$file/10-5319-1371305.pdf

  52. Elaine M:

    “I have to ask how many of that 27.9% were “confirmed” and how many were “suspected” of later engaging in militant activity. And what is the definition of “militant activity” as used in this context?”

    ******************

    Those terms are specifically defined for you in the biannual reports:

    http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Reports%20and%20Pubs/Reports%20and%20Pubs%202012/Summary%20of%20the%20Reengagement%20of%20Detainees%20Formerly%20Held%20at%20GTMO.pdf

  53. Latif might have confessed to anything when he was grabbed up in a war zone. We all know that some confessions are not constitutional enough to stand up in court. And another problem with any confessions you might have from Guantanamo detainees is lack of control over those who initially “arrested” the “defendants” in the first place.

    There is, was, and can be NO justification for Guantanamo. ESPECIALLY since the chief prosecutor there, upon quitting and publicly revealing his reasons (few years ago) said he had been advised there “must be no acquittals.”

    Guantanamo was just a very big undeniable piece of proof that we have reached a point where WHATEVER the government (at ANY LEVEL) wants to do can be arranged by some combination of:

    1- ignoring the rules
    2- putting together a hodgepodge of actions that is difficult to describe and follow
    3- involving enough low level people to force them into more and more rogue behavior at their own risk
    4- lying
    5- secrecy
    6 – unmitigated force including assassination and torture and
    [my personal favorite]

    7- acting like there was some great overriding need to do it all because the country would suffer had it not been done and since it was done, the suffering of those it was done to was either deserved or otherwise justified OR the complainers are BAD and need to be punished.

    That is what the four syllables: GUAN TAN A MO

    mean to me. And I have never been there.

  54. malisha:

    He confessed to FBI agents. There are photos showing he was not coerced. But why let a few facts get into the way of your suppositions that … er … well anything’s possible. Why don’t we stick with what actually did happen instead of indulging your disdain for Guantanamo by speculating on what might have happened. It’s all right there in the public record.

  55. It’s not really about my “disdain for Guantanamo,” Mespo, with all due respect. It’s about my firm belief that the conduct at, before and around Guantanamo was the worst government-thug behavior imaginable, and that the rights of every person there, guilty or innocent, have been violated for a prolonged period of time, and that the existence of Guantanamo at this point in time is an indictment of our government. Do I know the particulars of this guy whose name I only learned on the blog? Not at all. In fact, since Guantanamo is outside my area of interest, I know about it very peripherally. I don’t care if he “confessed” to Congress itself in the middle of a filibuster. If he didn’t get convicted of a major crime (defined in a criminal code to which he was subject, of course) with due process I do not consider him guilty of anything. And when you get the lead prosecutor quitting because he says he cannot fulfill his function, what do you have? Do you have a defensible system of laws there?

  56. Another thing occurs to me about Guantanamo. We justify our conduct toward the detainees by two main threads: (a) our reasonable suspicion of them and fear of them; and (b) their apparent opposition to us, giving rise to the need to control them.

    OK there you have George Zimmerman’s attitude toward Trayvon Martin.

    Was there a legal basis for us to do what we did, based on our suspicions, fears and concerns coupled with their opposition? I continue to think not. Not in any constitution I have read.

  57. mespo,

    From the ACLU aticle:

    “After reviewing his case, the Department of Defense in 2004 recommended that Mr. Latif be returned to his native Yemen. For reasons unknown, he remained incarcerated. Again, in 2007, the Defense Department determined Mr. Latif should be transferred from Guantánamo “subject to the process for making appropriate diplomatic arrangements for his departure.” But he remained incarcerated. In 2009, President Obama’s Guantánamo Bay Task Force, comprised of U.S. intelligence, law enforcement and military agencies, unanimously approved Mr. Latif once more for transfer… ”

    and

    “Then in 2010, after an exhaustive review of all of the government’s evidence against Mr. Latif, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Kennedy ordered his release, finding the government had not shown Mr. Latif was part of Al Qaeda or an associated force. The ruling gave force to the Supreme Court’s historic 2008 decision that Guantánamo prisoners had the right to challenge their imprisonment in federal court, and the courts would subject the government’s case for detention to meaningful review.

    “Judge Kennedy found that the Obama administration’s case for Mr. Latif’s continued incarceration turned on one raw hearsay intelligence report, unvetted by expert government analysts. Not a single eyewitness placed Mr. Latif at any training camp, guesthouse or battlefield in Afghanistan. Mr. Latif’s lawyers demonstrated that the intelligence report was riddled with errors and inconsistencies. But President Obama’s Justice Department chose to appeal Judge Kennedy’s decision…”

    *****

    It appears the DOD, a government task force, and a U.S. District Court Judge determined that Latif should have been released. Were they all wrong in drawing their conclusions about Latif after reviewing all the evidence they had in his case?

  58. Jeremy Scahill: “Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama”
    May 19, 2009
    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/19/jeremy_scahill_little_known_military_thug

    Summary of program:
    “Jeremy Scahill reports the Obama administration is continuing to use a notorious military police unit at Guantanamo that regularly brutalizes unarmed prisoners, including gang-beating them, breaking their bones, gouging their eyes and dousing them with chemicals. This force, officially known as the Immediate Reaction Force, has been labeled the “Extreme Repression Force” by Guantanamo prisoners, and human rights lawyers call their actions illegal.”

  59. George Zimmerman shot a guy who was beating George’s head onto concrete while astride him. Dead choir boy has a chorus of family and geek fat lawyer guy who paint a nice picture of him. A judge should dismiss this case based on his motion. Mommy, daddy and fat whining lawyer can whine forever. Free George!

  60. Igottasay, I just took a quick gander around the web because when I wrote the phrase (above) that I had only a peripheral knowledge of the Guantanamo thing, I felt a bit…negligent…and —

    Igottasay, in the last 12, 13 minutes I have found out enough to depress a normal, rational person forever. Search terms Sean Baker, Blackwater, Guantanamo, Scahill, torture, a little this, a little that, I’m looking at this and suddenly I find myself arguing with my damned Superego:

    ===============
    YOU KNEW ALL THIS WHEN YOU WERE 21 YEARS OLD, B*TCH.

    No I didn’t, not really, most of it hadn’t even HAPPENED when I was young.

    YOU KNEW YOU KNEW. REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE IN THE LADIES ROOM AT THE LAW FIRM WHERE YOU WORKED AND THAT OTHER SECRETARY CAME IN AND TALKED ABOUT HER KIDS AND YOU THOUGHT, AND YOU F*CKING SUBVOCALIZED, “I BETTER NEVER HAVE KIDS BECAUSE IT’S NOT SAFE AND IT’S NOT FAIR” — REMEMBER, REMEMBER?

    Uh…what was that secretary’s name?

    YOUR HONOR INSTRUCT THE WITNESS TO ANSWER THE QUESTION!

    Uh…yeah, maybe, a stray thought — I was drying my hands —

    YOU KNEW YOU KNEW YOU KNEW.
    ==============

    Of course I did. Details? No. I still avoid hearing or reading the news, for this very reason. Too much confirmation. Of course I did.

    ==============

    YOU KNEW THAT SINCE THERE HAD ALREADY BEEN SLAVERY, GENOCIDE, TORTURE, THERE COULD BE MORE, RIGHT?

    To me, what is the death of Adnan Latif, of Martin Grossman, of Margaret Park, of Trayvon Martin?

    It is the verdict: that I KNEW.

  61. Elaine:

    “It appears the DOD, a government task force, and a U.S. District Court Judge determined that Latif should have been released. Were they all wrong in drawing their conclusions about Latif after reviewing all the evidence they had in his case?”

    ***********************

    The DOD “recommended” his release and the Administration declined that recommendation based largely on its collective judgment that he would show up again on some battlefield. Two appellate level judges disagreed with one district court judge. Seven Supreme Court justices denied cert effectively agreeing with the two DC Circuit Court judges. Even in a numbers game Latif loses.

    Those you cited are wrong precisely because their superiors at the highest levels of our judiciary and executive departments say they are wrong. That’s the system. it beats the one Latif is advocating by miles.

    For the life of me, I have no idea why anyone cares about this admitted alien enemy combatant who received his full measure of due process (up to and including the SCOTUS) and who likely died by his own hand. If people don’t like the reasoning of the DC Circuit Court’s opinion they should just say so, but making this jihadist out as some martyr to the cause of freedom cheapens freedom and speaks volumes about the asserter.

    Sic sempre terroristis.

  62. Dog, “George Zimmerman shot a guy who was beating George’s head onto concrete while astride him. Dead choir boy has a chorus of family and geek fat lawyer guy who paint a nice picture of him. A judge should dismiss this case based on his motion. Mommy, daddy and fat whining lawyer can whine forever. Free George!”

    (1) Lawyers are allowed to be fat. If you don’t like it, at least stop whining about it.

    (2) If somebody were to shoot you, I would hope your family would be good enough to assemble a chorus to paint a nice picture of you. After all I’m sure some people already believe you’re up to no good, and I’ve heard a few cats call you “real suspicious.”

    (3) Onliest thing to worry about, Dog, is that maybe that judge (who is also fat and therefore you may be oppositional/defiant towards her as well) will not believe fat whining (“I was calling out for help but nobody helped me!”) George and therefore will not dismiss the case. Hmmmm…

    (4) Although my guess is that you’re trying to enter the “cute puppy” contests with these very contrived and irrelevant posts, it really is not about the comparative body mass measurements of the various attorneys involved OR about the comparative personality assessments of the deceased and his confessed killer; it really is about the law (reasonable by your pseudocanine standards or not) that says you receive punishment from the society if you kill somebody after demonstrating malice and without legally justifiable cause. That is, even if George had killed a fat whiner who had really bad stinky unrespectable parents and a long record of snot-nosed misbehavior that any dog would abhor, under the circumstances prevailing on the night of 2/26/2012 in Florida, he would have to face the music now.

    But on another matter, it really is objectionable to try to piss on the dead. Leave that to non-mammals; you should have evolved more by this time.

  63. Malisha:

    “I don’t care if he “confessed” to Congress itself in the middle of a filibuster. If he didn’t get convicted of a major crime (defined in a criminal code to which he was subject, of course) with due process I do not consider him guilty of anything. ”

    *****************

    And pray tell, Malisha, what were all those German and Japanese prisoners of war “guilty” of justifying their confinement at the hands of the American people in the ’40s? Simply finding one conflicted federal prosecutor does not justify throwing open the prison gates and ushering our enemies right back to their spider holes on the battlefield to lay in wait with their AK-47s or IEDs for some baby-faced American to come along and stumble into his ambush in furtherance of his cause of religious intoleration.

    That may not offend the tough hide of your conscience, but it certainly does mine and also seemingly those officials who are charged with the solemn duty of protecting our troops in harm’s way to the best of their abilities.

  64. Mespo, I know you addressed Elaine and not me, but I want to respond to something you said, namely, “the Administration declined that recommendation based largely on its collective judgment that he would show up again on some battlefield.”

    Where in our system of laws is a person who has not been convicted of a felony held because someone in the Executive Branch of Government has a “collective judgment” that the person “would” at some point in the future do something — in another country — that “would” be bad?

    I know the words sound like they have meaning, but really, to me they do NOT. I know that if a guy has been convicted of selling drugs, and he applies for parole, and the “collective judgment” of the Parole Board is that he “would” at some point in the future reoffend, he should continue to be held until the completion of his sentence, but that is not analogous.

    Holding Latif because he “would show up again on some battlefield” is not, in my opinion, a meaningful OR a constututional OR a justifiable reason for holding him. Of course, as with most really important principles, it is now moot.

  65. Ten Years of Guantanamo: What Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Knew
    08 January 2012
    By Jason Leopold, Truthout
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/5979:ten-years-of-guantanamo-what-bush-cheney-and-rumsfeld-knew

    Excerpt:
    The Bush administration deceived the American people about the certain danger posed by Guantanamo Bay detainees – the “worst of the worst” as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called them – when many were simply innocent bystanders, according to a former top State Department official.

    Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, said President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld knew that many detainees had done nothing wrong but still kept them prisoner for political or PR reasons.

    In a nine-page sworn declaration filed with a lawsuit by former Guantanamo detainee Adel Hassan Hamad, Wilkerson said Cheney, in particular, pursued a cynical strategy regarding the detainees in which “the ends justified the means” and assumed that “innocent people languishing in Guantanamo for years was justified by the broader war on terror.”

    Wilkerson said he also learned during discussions with Powell that “President Bush was involved in all of the Guantanamo decision making” and that Cheney had mastered the art of manipulating his boss.

    “My own view is that it was easy for Vice President Cheney to run circles around President Bush bureaucratically because Cheney had the network within the government to do so,” Wilkerson said. “Moreover, by exploiting what Secretary Powell called the President’s ‘cowboy instincts,’ Vice President Cheney could more often than not gain the President’s acquiescence.”

    Wilkerson said Powell was drawn into the Guantanamo discussions because he was under pressure from foreign governments about their citizens who were believed to have been wrongfully detained.

    During one meeting, Wilkerson said he learned that Pierre Prosper, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes and the point person on negotiating transfer of detainees to other countries, “would discuss the difficulty he encountered in dealing with the Department of Defense, and specifically Donald Rumsfeld, who just refused to let detainees go.”

    Wilkerson came to conclude that “at least part of the problem was that it was politically impossible to release them [because] if they were released to another country, even an ally such as the United Kingdom, the leadership of the Defense Department would be left without any plausible explanation to the American people, whether the released detainee was subsequently found to be innocent by the receiving country, or whether the detainee was truly a terrorist and, upon release were it to then occur, would return to the war against the US.

    “Another concern was that the detention efforts at Guantánamo would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were. Such results were not acceptable to the Administration and would have been severely detrimental to the leadership at DOD.”

    Left to Languish

    So, Wilkerson said many of the original 742 detainees, who had been shipped to Guantanamo by late August 2002, were left to languish, though it was clear that many of them had been picked up in Afghanistan or another country with little due process and often because their local captors earned a $5,000-per-head bounty.

    “The majority of them had never seen a US soldier in the process of their initial detention and their captivity had not been subjected to any meaningful review,” Wilkerson said. “A separate but related problem was that often absolutely no evidence relating to the detainee was turned over, so there was no real method of knowing why the prisoner had been detained in the first place. …

    “It was clear to me that, as I learned about how the majority of the Guantánamo prisoners had been detained, the initial group of 742 detainees had not been detained under the processes I was used to as a military officer.

    “It was also becoming more and more clear that many of the men were innocent, or at a minimum their guilt was impossible to determine let alone prove in any court of law, civilian or military. If there were any evidence, the chain protecting it had been completely ignored.”

    Wilkerson blamed the “incompetent battlefield vetting” on the insufficient regular US Army troops sent to Afghanistan in the early days of the conflict. The Bush administration had decided to rely on a small number of US Special Operations Forces working with elements of the Afghan Northern Alliance.

    The Special Forces didn’t have the manpower, the training nor the inclination to deal with the problem of assessing whether captives were enemy combatants or simply unlucky civilians who fell into the hands of local US allies, Wilkerson said, noting:

    “We relied upon Afghans, such as General [Abdul Rashid] Dostum’s forces, and upon Pakistanis, to hand over prisoners whom they had apprehended, or who had been turned over to them for bounties, sometimes as much as $5,000 per head.

    “Such practices meant that the likelihood was high that some of the Guantánamo detainees had been turned in to US forces in order to settle local scores, for tribal reasons, or just as a method of making money. I recall conversations with serving military officers at the time, who told me that many detainees were turned over for the wrong reasons, particularly for bounties and other incentives.”

  66. malisha:

    You are missing the essential point that this man is not a citizen combatant as was Hamdi. He is an alien combatant. He is entitled to nothing more constitutionally that a status hearing, a lawyer to represent him, and a right to habeas relief if a status hearing is not granted or its findings aren’t complied with. That’s it and the SCOTUS has said so.

    Your sentiments about the rights of citizens criminally accused or aliens within our borders charged with crimes is admirable but inapposite. Latif is incarcerated precisely and solely to prevent him from returning to the battlefield not for punishment. The judgment of the Administration on that topic is certainly relevant since we know little if any of the unfiltered facts, the ramblings of the ACLU and his attorney notwithstanding. When they were disclosed in the DC Circuit Court’s opinion we saw quite a different picture.

  67. Elaine M:

    I appreciate the generalized articles from biased sources but I am more interested in why you so readily accept that this man was railroaded despite his able legal counsel and the myriad levels of judicial and administrative review that he was accorded before he took the coward’s way out.

  68. Mespo, we crossed each other in the mail. You said:

    “And pray tell, Malisha, what were all those German and Japanese prisoners of war “guilty” of justifying their confinement at the hands of the American people in the ’40s? Simply finding one conflicted federal prosecutor does not justify throwing open the prison gates and ushering our enemies right back to their spider holes on the battlefield to lay in wait with their AK-47s or IEDs for some baby-faced American to come along and stumble into his ambush in furtherance of his cause of religious intoleration.

    “That may not offend the tough hide of your conscience, but it certainly does mine and also seemingly those officials who are charged with the solemn duty of protecting our troops in harm’s way to the best of their abilities.”
    ===============
    OK, I will pray tell.

    When you take a prisoner of war, you realize that you have taken a prisoner of war and you follow the procedures involved. There is, then, a prisoner exchange at the end of said war. You don’t say you have someone because they’re guilty of anything; they were captured in a war. They go back home at the end of the war just as your folks come back to YOU and for the same reason: no individual reason and no individual crime. They were there.

    If you say, at the end of the war, “We won’t let them go because you might make war again and they might fight again,” there’s going to be a problem, right?

    In fact we DO have to “throw[] open the prison gates” at Guantanamo for several reasons:

    (1) This is not a case of a declared war upon a known enemy in which there can be truce, settlement and prisoner exchange; this is an amorphous and never-ending mess and we have no real evidence that any of the folks we have in Guantanamo WERE soldiers of the actual enemy, whether they are suspected of having emerged from spider-holes or not;

    and

    (2) The entire international community now recognizes, as should WE, that we need to relinquish our unlawful hold on these people because they do not fit into the category of “prisoners of war” by international standards AND we have no evidence they have committed punishable crimes by OUR standards.

    WE have painted ourselves into the corner we are in.

    If I were grabbed up in my country for some or no reason, sold to someone for $5,000 or maybe “given” to someone for some other “reason,” brought to a foreign place, held indefinitely, tortured, isolated, and debased, I might feel very seriously inimical towards those who had done that to me, all inclusive. That hostility I might feel should not THEN be a reason for holding me further, should it?

    Yes, my conscience is injured by the Guantanamo situation. Yes.

  69. mespo,

    “I appreciate the generalized articles from biased sources but I am more interested in why you so readily accept that this man was railroaded despite his able legal counsel and the myriad levels of judicial and administrative review that he was accorded before he took the coward’s way out.”

    *****

    I wonder what state of mind and health you’d be in after spending more than a decade incarcerated at Guantanamo. Has it been confirmed that Latif committed suicide?

    Is it a fact that the DOD, a government task force, and a U.S. District Court Judge determined that Latif should have been released? Or is that just misinformation that I got from “biased” sources?

  70. mespo,

    From another one of my biased sources:

    REPORT ON GUANTANAMO DETAINEES
    A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data
    http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/230/guantanamo-report.pdf

    Excerpt:
    III. THE GOVERNMENT’S EVIDENCE THAT THE DETAINEES ARE ENEMY
    COMBATANTS

    The data permit at least some answers to two questions: How was the evidence of their enemy combatant status obtained? What evidence does the Government have as to the detainees commission of 3(b) violations?

    A. Sources of Detainees and Reliability of the Information about Them

    Figure 12 explains who captured the detainees. Pakistan was the source of at least 36% of all detainees, and the Afghanistan Northern Alliance was the source of at least 11% more. The pervasiveness of Pakistani involvement is made clear in Figure 13 which shows that of the 56%
    whose captor is identified, 66% of those detainees were captured by Pakistani Authorities or in Pakistan. Thus, if 66% of the unknown 44% were derived from Pakistan, the total captured in Pakistan or by Pakistani Authorities is fully 66%.

    Since the Government presumably knows which detainees were captured by United States forces, it is safe to assume that those whose providence is not known were captured by some third party. The conclusion to be drawn from the Government’s evidence is that 93% of the detainees were not apprehended by the United States.15 (See Fig. 12) Hopefully, in assessing the enemy combatant status of such detainees, the Government appropriately addressed the reliability of information provided by those turning over detainees although the data provides no assurances that
    any proper safeguards against mistaken identification existed or were followed.

    The United States promised (and apparently paid) large sums of money for the capture of persons identified as enemy combatants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. One representative flyer, distributed in Afghanistan, states:

    Get wealth and power beyond your dreams….You can receive millions of
    dollars helping the anti-Taliban forces catch al-Qaida and Taliban murders.
    This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for
    the rest of your life. Pay for livestock and doctors and school books and
    housing for all your people.16

    Bounty hunters or reward-seekers handed people over to American or Northern Alliance soldiers in the field, often soon after disappearing;17 as a result, there was little opportunity on the field to verify the story of an individual who presented the detainee in response to the bounty award.
    Where that story constitutes the sole basis for an individual’s detention in Guantanamo, there would be little ability either for the Government to corroborate or a detainee to refute such an allegation.

    As shall be seen in consideration of the Uighers, the Government has found detainees to be enemy combatants based upon the information provided by the bounty hunters. As to the Uighers, at least, there is no doubt that bounties were paid for the capture and detainment of individuals who were not enemy combatants.18 The Uigher have yet to be released.

    The evidence satisfactory to the Government for some of the detainees is formidable. For this group, the Government’s evidence portrays a detainee as a powerful, dangerous and knowledgeable man who enjoyed positions of considerable power within the prohibited organizations. The evidence against them is concrete and plausible. The evidence provided for most of the detainees, however, is far less impressive.

  71. Elaine, The attorneys for the Guantanamo prisoners seem to think it was a suicide. He had made other attempts and had written a suicide letter previously.

  72. I don’t think suicide is properly defined as “a coward’s way out.” I think, in fact, that that notion, while common, is a cop-out. Let’s see what courage we (the non-coward we, of course) should have expected of Latif, since we (the righteous we, of course) presumably stand in judgment of his action.

    1. We expected Latif to have the courage to accept the punishment of Guantanamo.

    2. We expected Latif to have the courage to repeatedly be told that he would be released, and then repeatedly see that hope dashed for no reason comprehensible to him.

    3. We expected Latif to have the courage to accept a lifestyle that he was never trained to adjust to, and to accept the idea that, for instance, if he thought he was a woman who had wrongfully been born a man, he would NOT be allowed to get surgery (as would American prisoners actually convicted of crimes).

    Etc.

    Well Hell, I guess he didn’t come up to standard. So forget HIM! :-x

  73. “During the decade plus that Latif spent in US custody there were ongoing concerns about his mental and physical health and, according to his lawyer, he spent most of the time in solitary confinement.

    He had previously made a number of suicide attempts, and including by slitting one of his wrists during a meeting with a lawyer in 2009.

    He had told lawyers that his circumstances “made death more desirable than living”, and complained of chronic back pain, and other ailments – the US military never complied with his request for a hearing aid to help with deafness in his left ear following a 1994 car accident.” Amnesty International

  74. Malisha:

    Well we have a Congressional declared state of hostilities and a UN resolution authorizing our actions in Afghanistan that no other nation has challenged. We are still engaged there but our role is coming to an end at a definite time. The Afghans still fight on of course. This answer from the left that the war on terror is indefinite is true of course; it’s just not the right question being asked. As O’Connor said in Hamdi, there is nothing to this proposition of endless warfare while we are engaged in an active theater of war from which the combatant was detained. Once hostilities end in that theater we can repatriate the detainees. BTW there “entire” international community has made no such pronouncement as the one you mentioned.

  75. Swarthmore mom,

    I know that many believe he committed suicide–but I had read somewhere last night that it hadn’t been confirmed. I can’t recall where I read it though.

  76. Elaine M:

    “Is it a fact that the DOD, a government task force, and a U.S. District Court Judge determined that Latif should have been released? Or is that just misinformation that I got from “biased” sources?”

    ********************

    Not misinformation just premature erroneous information with the qualifier I expressed above. It’s like saying that slaves are still property because Dredd Scott was decided that way in 1857. Yes somebody did actually say that and yes they were wrong. It’s just that in Latif’s decision the error was corrected within a year. Things change and decisions get modified by higher and more enlightened authorities all the time. That happenstance doesn’t vindicate the earlier decision; it refutes it.

  77. malisha:

    You forgeot one:

    4. We expected Latif to act as a civilized adult and not take up arms against us or our allies based on some religious delusion or hyped up notion of jihad. He didn’t so he suffered his detainment. Caveat terroristis.

  78. Swarthmore mom,

    Adnan Latif Dead: Guantanamo Prisoner Who Died Reportedly Battled Confinement
    By BEN FOX 09/11/12
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/adnan-latif-dead-guantanamo_n_1874333.html

    Excerpt:
    Latif was found unconscious in his cell inside the maximum security section of Guantanamo known as Camp 5 on Saturday and pronounced dead a short time later, according to a statement from the U.S. military’s Miami-based Southern Command. It said the cause of death remains under investigation. He was the ninth prisoner to die at Guantanamo.

    *****

    I don’t know if the investigation of his death has been concluded.

  79. mespo,

    “Yes somebody did actually say that and yes they were wrong. It’s just that in Latif’s decision the error was corrected within a year. ”

    What year are you talking about?

  80. mespo,

    “The DOD “recommended” his release and the Administration declined that recommendation based largely on its collective judgment that he would show up again on some battlefield. Two appellate level judges disagreed with one district court judge. Seven Supreme Court justices denied cert effectively agreeing with the two DC Circuit Court judges. Even in a numbers game Latif loses.”

    Do you trust every judgment/decision/ruling made by US Presidents and their Administrations and the Supreme Court? Do you think two Presidents and their Administrations could have had political reasons for declining the recommendations made to them?

  81. Mespo, lots of people are saying that whereas they expected Trayvon Martin to act like a reasonable kid, he viciously attacked George Zimmerman instead. We don’t know that, do we, unless we take George’s story — without cross-examination — as truth. That is all I am saying about the detainees who are in Guantanamo (and Latif, who is no longer) who have not been convicted of any crimes. Plenty of people will say that they have done wrong. We just shouldn’t let our whole nation degenerate into that kind of tyranny, even if we think it’s justified.

    Yes, the world by in large believes we should have long ago closed down Guantanamo. Besides which, Obama specifically said he intended to do it within a year of his election if I am not mistaken.

    It is so obvious that it has to happen. I have not indulged in all the research; perhaps I “should” but my kid tells me to stop “shoulding” all over myself. I rely upon several sources to let me off doing all the exquisite research to back up my position, but I know it’s there. I will cite several personal conversations with a Yemeni-born American analyst/journalist, Munir Y. al-Mawari, internationally recognized as an Arab speaking pro-US pro-Israel independent journalist, wherein he emphasized that one of the main problems the US has in its diplomacy efforts throughout South Asia and the Middle East is that it has not yet shut down Guantanamo. We’re just messing up our own credibility by this unresolved and seemingly worsening debacle in the land of freedom. I don’t think WE can afford it, much less the unlucky prisoners, the good, the bad and the ugly.

  82. Defense Attorney David Remes’ statement Sept. 11, 2012:

    “Yesterday, the press reported that a Yemeni detainee at Guantánamo had died. The detainee was our client, Adnan Latif, ISN 156, whom we represented since 2004. Slightly built and gentle, he was a father and husband. He was a talented poet, and was devoutly religious. He never posed a threat to the United States, and he never should have been brought to Guantánamo.

    The military has not stated a cause of death. However Adnan died, it was Guantánamo that killed him. His death is a reminder of the human cost of the government’s Guantánamo detention policy and underscores the urgency of releasing detainees the government does not intend to prosecute.”

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/11/2996888/dead-guantanamo-detainee-won-then.html#storylink=cpy

  83. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/12/us/politics/detainee-who-died-at-guantanamo-had-release-blocked-by-court.html

    “But last year, a divided three-judge panel for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated that ruling. Citing inconsistencies in Mr. Latif’s account, the two judges in the majority, Janice Rogers Brown and Karen LeCraft Henderson, also said the report was entitled to “a presumption of regularity.”

    The ruling drew a sharp dissent from the third judge on the panel, David Tatel, who also focused on the flaws of the report. He faulted his colleagues for giving nearly conclusive weight to a sketchy report “produced in the fog of war,” saying their standard effectively required judges to accept as true virtually whatever the government claims, severely undermining a 2008 Supreme Court ruling granting the detainees habeas corpus rights.

    In June, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in Mr. Latif’s case without comment. Judges Kennedy and Tatel were both appointed by President Bill Clinton. Judge Henderson was appointed by President George Bush, and Judge Brown by President George W. Bush.”

  84. Raff,

    I thank you but I cannot accept praise which is not mine…. I think AP. Posted this….

    I’ll take credit on the two headed pelican….

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