the guantanamo camp 2008
night's lantern guantanamo archives 2004 ~ 2005 ~ 2006 ~ 2007
free all political prisoners
as of -
may 20, 2008: clive stafford smith, a lawyer representing numerous guantanamo detainee claims that 27 thousand people are held by the u.s. in secret prisons elsewhere, without access by american law, the red cross or the press; in an interview with democracy now! he states that the u.s. is taking prisoners to iraq to avoid legal scrutiny; his organization reprieve is u.k.based ("clive stafford smith: us holding 27,000 in secret overseas prisons; transporting prisoners to iraqi jails to avoid media & legal scrutiny," amy goodman, may 19, 2008, democracy now!); each undeclared prisoner is a violation of the geneva conventions.
may 17, 2008: a pentagon legal adviser brig. gen. thomas hartmann may no longer advise the military commission - a military judge found him less than objective... ("top pentagon legal advisor disqualified from guantanamo trial: nyt," bernard hibbets, may 10, 2008, jurist).
may 8, 2008, ottawa: on may 6th teenagers from schools nearby held a protest for omar khadr on parliament hill ("canadian students demand guantanamo detainee's return," agence france press, may 7, 2008, google news) - possibly understanding that a society refusing rights to a muslim canadian child will eventually strip their own; despite encouragement of liberals and urging by the new democratic party, the conservative government refuses to require return of omar khadr to canada; khadr is to stand 'trial' in a military court that lacks validity under international law; the u.s. court at guantanamo stands on force, torture, violation of the geneva conventions, violation of the uniform code of military justice, violation of the convention on torture, violation of the war crimes act of 1996; this particular case carries a fillip of cruelty that suggests a mind control program - a barb that cuts through the public's numbness causing pain and fear - the badly wounded prisoner is subjected to medical, psychological and interrogative torture, starting at fifteen; khadr who survived multiple wounds including being shot twice in the back is accused of killing a medic; the u.s. soldier who shot a wounded child twice in the back remains unnamed: it is a violation of law to kill the wounded or to execute prisoners in the field; so the wounded half-murdered kid is charged with a crime; and what if khadr's crime is self defense ? after years of torture, degradation, psychological controls, he may say in court exactly what the military wants; the bush administration is offering the public a non trial; a few canadian teenagers understand there is a moral crime of their elders here - you do not let a child be tortured; the crimes against khadr are without immunity and without statute of limitations.
i've arranged entries sequentially for record of ongoing crimes, at the guantanamo camp 2004 ~ 2005 ~ 2006 ~ 2007 page, and place on site as appendix 1 to the foregoing, a summary assessment of guantanamo on june 2004, outlining alleged crimes and officials responsible; reports first presented by 'alternative' media are substantiated in subsequent entries; dr. marjorie cohn's presentation to the u.s. house judiciary committee on may 6th clarifies the criminality of torture and the lack of immunity to the laws against it. - jbg.
may 3, 2008, sudan: with two other prisoners generally unnamed in press reports, sami al-haj has been released from guantanamo bay concentration camp, and returned to sudan; this member of the international press corps was taken prisoner, then refused to serve the c.i.a / d.i.a., and was held six and a half years without charges and without human rights; endangered by his hunger strike and on a hunger strike for over a year, according to democracy now! he was transferred to the government of sudan as a prisoner, but sudan released him instead of further incarceration, and he was taken immediately to hospital; sudan achieved refoulement of this member of the press while canada has not brought home omar khadr, tortured as a minor child by the u.s., with initial cooperation of canada's intelligence service, and the ongoing accession of u.s. and canadian systems of justice and complicit politicians ("after more than six years, al-jazeera cameraman sami al-haj released from guantanamo bay," associated press, may 2, 2008, international herald tribune "al jazeera cameraman sami al-haj freed from guantanamo," amy goodman, may 2, 2008, democracy now! which supplied the following quote as well); sami al haj spoke from his hospital bed: ...our human condition, our human dignity was violated, and the american administration went beyond all human values, all moral values, all religious values.... although i’m happy, there is part of me that is not, because my brothers remain behind, and they are in the hands of people that claim to be champions of peace and protectors of rights and freedoms; but the true just peace does not come through military force......
april 24, 2008: cbc news reports that the canadian embassy (washington) cared to write a letter (sept. 13, 2002) trying to discourage omar khadr's imprisonment in guantanamo bay as the concentration camp first began operations; the letter found the camp "inappropriate" for a fifteen year old; the embassy was also aware of "ambiguity" in the accounts of events ("letter shows canada asked u.s. not to send khadr to guantanamo," ap, april 17, 2008, cbc news).
about 25 detainees allege being forcibly drugged in u.s. custody; though denied by dod and cia, a paper trail of permission to use drugs on detained suspects leads to john yoo as a justice department attorney; detainee descriptions include possible use of halucinogens (considered a cbr warfare weapon of war), and sodium pentathol; in a summary by the washington post, "assertions of drugging" (april 22, 2008), drugs were allegedly used for sedation, routine sedation, interrogation, transit & transfer sedation ("detainees allege being drugged, questioned," joby warrick, washington post april 22, 2008, uruknet.info; "detainees allege forced drugging during u.s. interrogtions," mike rosen-molina, april 23, 2008, jurist).
april 11, 2008, guantanamo: papers concerning his trial entrusted to omar khadr's jailors were briefly withheld from the prisoner this week, initially without explanation, then because the documents included a script of tolkien's lord of the rings, subsequently removed; this kind of severity points up the mind controls prisoners are subjected to; khadr's military lawyer claims canada admits u.s. criminality in its detention of khadr as a minor; among others former general romeo dallaire, now a canadian senator, has called for khadr's return ("ottawa admits injustice of khadr's case, lawyer says," steven edwards canwest, april 7, 2008, national post;"legal files missing, khadr's lawyer says," michelle shephard, april 9, 2008, toronto star [access: www.thestar.com]; "khader[sic] documents taken because of tolkien script," michelle shephard, april 10, 2008,
; "bring omar khadr home," romeo dallaire, march 31, 2008, national post); see lawyers against the war letter of june 12, 2007 [archive]; michelle shephard of the toronto star ("ex-detainee worried about khadr," april 10, 2008) reports that a released guantanamo prisoner , murat kurnaz, who watched khadr grow up, claims that when wounded, pain medication was withheld from the child prisoner during interrogation; the claim supports khadr's own charges as filed (see march 18, below).
march 27, 2008, ottawa: march 26th, canada's supreme court reserved judgement on requiring full discosure from csis on omar khadr, including the turning over to his lawyers of its uncensored interrogatory documents and the names of americans to whom the documents were released; canadian agents interrogated khadr in 2003; the court's decision could establish canada's position on the legality of the u.s. concentration camp; federal court has already requested full disclosure but the government appealed... ("top court reserves judgment on release of khadr transcripts," march 26,2008, cbc news; "khadr case stands to be top court's most challenging," editorial, march 27, 2008, orangeville citizen; "supreme court presses crown on khadr," kirk makin, march 26, 2008, globeandmail.com; "top court questions ottawa's motive on khadr file," kirck makin, march 27, 2008 globeandmail.com); the government's position seems to embarrass the court as well as the people.
washington d.c.: lawyers for zayn abidin muhammed husayn have filed an "unlawful detention suit" on the grounds that their client has been driven insane; the suspect, a known victim of cia waterboarding, is being held in camp 7 ("lawyers: terror suspect tortured, insane," carol rosenberg, march 20, 2008, miamiherald.com).
march 22, 2008 omar khadr's case is submitted to the supreme court of canada, which will consider whether his treatment by the u.s. violates his rights under geneva conventions and international law; the court turned down a u.s. justice department challenge trying to place the issue beyond canadian jurisdiction ("omar khadr: at long last a day in court," chris cook, march 20, 2008, pacific free press); in 2005 a federal canadian court already found khadr's charter rights violated and ordered csis and dfait agents to stop questioning him at guantanamo; the judge found their interrogation of the child prisoner for information purposes only and in sub charter standards; omar khadr background [archive]; also, guantanamo update of sept. 10, 2005 for omar khadr; the canadian court expects to examine the notes from their interrogations ("khadr came within seconds of death in firefight," omar el akkad, march 20, 2008, globe and mail; "omar khadr: a most peculiar young offender," sean fine, march 22, 2008, globe and mail; "top court to hear arguments challenging terror suspect's detention," steven edwards, canwest, march 20, 2008, access: < canada.com >).
march 18, 2008: the front page of the ottawa citizen, march 18, 2008, carries steven edwards' story, "khadr's prison story," with its information sourced to an affidavit by omar khadr; the story makes no mention of evidence asserting khadr's innocence [i haven't verified the affidavit; most points of the story are affirmed by a search through previous night's lantern guantanamo coverage]; n.b.: canada's capital city primary newspaper is presenting front page evidence of war crimes by americans against a child who is a canadian citizen; interrogator "abuse" breaks geneva conventions, exceeds crimes of previously released information, makes clear that khadr was - after being shot twice in the back and sustaining multiple shrapnel wounds - tortured under medical care, and in hospital, and that pain from his medical conditions was used as an instrument of interrogation, punishment. and derision; the actions alleged, are unacceptable; to what extent was the treatment of omar khadr a result of propaganda against 'terrorism,' and to what extent has canada's mass media damaged the khadrs as an entire immigrant family, sacrificing their legitimate rights / pasts / beliefs to the propaganda purposes of a "war on terror" ? to what extent has the media en masse served a government agenda rather than truth ? the liberal and conservative governments' neglect of khadr's rights are pointed up by the prime minister's current attempt to intervene for a canadian, brenda martin, held in a mexican prison for alleged financial crimes ("pm calls mexico's president over jailed canadian," ctv.ca news staff, march 18, 2008, ctv.ca; "khadr's prison story;" steven edwards, march 18, 2008, the ottawa citizen; "canadian facing trial at guantanamo accuses us military interrogators of abuse," ap, march 18, 2008, international herald tribune).
march 16, 2008: military judge peter brownback has ordered the government to supply omar khadr's defence team with all notes on interrogations of khadr from 2002 afghanistan, and the interrogators' names; one was court martialed for abusing detainees; khadr's lawyer claims with supporting evidence that the government has changed documents specifically to provide false evidence of khadr's guilt; canadian media continues to risk scapegoating khadr's family, possibly to justify canada's lack of concern for the human rights of a child and a citizen ("u.s. govt. must hand over notes from khadr interrogations: judge," steven edwards canwest, march 14, 2008, canada.com; "evidence doctored to implicate khadr: lawyer," isabel teotonio, march 14, 2008, toronto star access: < www.thestar.com >; "an abused child in prison," dan gardner, march 12, 2008, ottawa citizen).
february 25, 2008, ottawa: standing for the rule of law, joe comartin (ndp minister of paraliament), dominic leblanc (liberal m.p.), vivian barbot (bloc québécois m.p.), and khadr's u.s. navy attorney at guantanamo, william kuebler, held a news conference asking the harper government do what it's supposed to, demand repatriation of omar khadr; the number of empowered supporters is growing; the toronto star notes irwin cotler' backing; on january 18, 2008, cotler and 77 law professors and members of parliament joined in efforts to return the detainee to canada; the group asked help from the conservative's foreign affairs minister; as the former liberal government attorney general and professor of international law, cotler himself was not able to return khadr to canada; recent information suggesting the detainee's innocence of charges strengthens a growing concensus for his return; night's lantern guantanamo pages first note omar khadr in july 2005 (passim; "opposition mp's demand action on omar khadr," ctv.ca news staff, feb. 25, 2008, ctv.ca; "law professors, mp's sign brief to free khadr," michelle shephard, jan. 18, 2008, thestar.com; "harper urged to intervene for khadr," michelle shephard, feb. 25, 2008, thestar.com; "trio of opposition mp's press for khadr's return," feb. 25, 2008, cbc news); a difficulty in bringing khadr back to canada is that he's the victim of crimes recognized by the geneva conventions, including torture, and crimes against the rights of children, while government is required to affirm the rights of citizens; in this instance the government has not; many groups of lawyers (ie. the canadian bar) have requested khadr's repatriation to canada; what might have been an act of compassion may become a legal point; for background see omar khadr [archive] by gail davidson / lawyers against the war; see also the lawyers against the war "call to action" letter of june 12, 2007 [archive] asking the conservative government to protect khadr's rights.
february 21, 2008: the u.s. military is threatening to sentence 6 detainees to death by lethal injection; mohammed al-qahtani, ramzi bin al-shibh, mustafa ahmed al-hawsawi, ali abd al-aziz , walid bin attash, khalid sheikh mohammed, are charged with various roles in the destruction of world trade center buildings; yet the bush administration version of 9 / 11 lacks credibility, while the standards and practices of guantanamo prison camp lack the respect of legal systems around the world ("u.s. seeks death penalty for 9/11 suspects," catherine philip, feb. 11, 2008, times online; "executions may be carried out at gitmo," michael melia and andrew o. selsky ap news, feb. 12, 2008, wiredispatch.com).
february 8, 2008: rear admiral mark buzby has confirmed the presence of camp 7, a secret camp within guantanamo, which currently holds 15 prisoners described as "high-value;" the camp's secrecy and intelligence officer reluctance to know about the facility ("u.s. admiral confirms secret camp at gitmo," andrew o. selsky, feb. 7, 2008, ap news) suggests the military knows its regimens are illegal.
february 5, 2008: relying on reports from detainee abdul hamid-al-ghizzawi's lawyer, the libyan reports he has contracted aids at the camp through a blood test in 2004; he has already become infected with tuberculosis since his imprisonment at guantanamo; his psychological and physical health is deteriorating; there is negligible evidence against him; his imprisonment is a crime; medical conditions and treatment that could result in his death should be examined for intention, and use of monitoring for any medical or psychogical testing purposes; to reestablish a human norm officers involved must be held responsible for inevitable results of cause and effect ("horror at guantanamo: libyan detainee infected with aids," andy worthington, jan. 31, 2008, counterpunch).
canadian omar khadr is appearing at his court hearings; accounts describe him as nonplussed; military / civilian lawyers, the brass, reporters, are earning a good living in the 'freest countries on earth,' supporting a nazi-oriented judicial mechanism; recent evidence released to press and lawyers "by mistake", reveals the testimony against khadr is supposition; the once secret testimony strongly suggests that there isn't a valid case against khadr, who was shot as an unarmed child, imprisoned as a child, abused and tortured, without any rights at all, amid the safeguards of history, the documents of human rights and justice, the pretentions of the righteousness which gave way to the greed and injustice that make guantanamo a prison camp; the people left standing for human rights and decency are making "mistakes" in defense of a future; previously lawyers have requested charges dropped against khadr on the grounds that he was charged as a child; in complicity with the crime canada's justice continues to discriminate against the human rights of a muslim citizen (sources: "doubt cast on allegations against omar khadr," omar el akkad , feb 4, 2008, globe and mail aprec. lawyers against the war; "lawyers for khadr want charges dropped," feb. 4, 2008, cbc news).
january 19, 2008, ottawa: under a right wing minority government canada's foreign service has had to remove the names of the u.s. and israel from its training manual torture list ("canada removes u.s., israel from torture watchlist,"david ljunggren, jan. 19, 2008, reuters); see jan. 17, 2008 (below); the appeasement risks furthering the known use of torture, a war crime.
january 18, 2008, guantanamo: rear adm mark h. buzby, resigned january 1, 2008, after six months as guantanamo naval base commander and was replaced by rear adm. david m. thomas; preceding commanders at guantanamo were rear adm. harry b. harris, jr. (march 2006 - june 2007), maj. gen. jay hood (march 2004 - march 2006) ("guantanamo commander reassigned after six-month tenure," kiely lewandowski, jan. 12, 2008, jurist).
january 17, 2008, canada: canada has placed the united states and israel on a torture watch list; guantanamo is specifically cited as are specific u.s. torture practices such as "forced nudity, isolation, sleep deprivation and blindfolding prisoners" ("canada puts u.s., israel on torture watchlist," david ljunggren, jan. 17, 2008, reuters alertnet) as the conservative government tries to distance itself from this content of a "training manual for diplomats" no satisfactory explanation is offered for the government's failure to stand up for the basic human rights of omar khadr, taken prisoner and tortured as a minor child; the conservative government tells the public that khadr is treated humanely; the training manual "torture awareness workshop reference materials," used by foreign affairs suggests that "afghanistan, china, egypt, guantanamo bay, iran, israel, mexico, saudi arabia, syria and united states" are sources/locations of torture ("envoys given manual on 'torture awareness,'" michelle shephard, jan 17, 2008, toronto star); a strong legal condemnation of khadr's torture has come from his u.s. military advocate, lt.-cmdr william kuebler; university of ottawa professor of law amir attaran questions the appropriateness of the prime minister's response to torture of a citizen ("canada puts u.s.on torture watch list: ctv," jan. 17, 2008, ctv.ca news); extensive previous entries concerning omar khadr remain throughout night's lantern guantanamo archives; also see gerald and maas statement, l.a.w.'s letter to the canadian government [archive], l.a.w.'s background on omar khadr [archive].
guantanamo: with no word of any change in sami al haj's circumstances or condition, please note recent entries on our urgent page; speaking with amy goodman of democracy now! (jan. 15, 2008) al haj's brother asim al-haj sami al-haj of sudan claims the al-jazeera cameraman was interrogated 130 times about al-jazeera, was asked to work for the u.s., and was the "victim of a political operation against al-jazeera;" democracy now! failed to answer asim's al hasjami's question - why other countries didn't make the u.s. obey international law.
on january 11, 2008, there were protests against torture by people throughout the world; some in attempts to communicate their horror dress in orange prison garb and act out the scenes of torture and imprisonment; over seventy were arrested at the u.s. supreme court as though these are still trying to understand what it means, this torture by the state used against anyone - the total deprival of the dignity of a human being, of human value, by inflicting pain and fear; torture is the work of terrible cowards and is currently well supported by the u.s. supreme court, institutions of law, and the military command which employs it, and the politicans accepting the unacceptable.
previous: guantanamo bay camp archives 2004 ~ 2005 ~ 2006 ~ 2007
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gerald and maas night's lantern
with appreciation to sources, ed. & commentary by j.b.gerald; images by j.maas
update of may 20, 2008