Archive for the ‘prison’ Category

Obama Told His Actions On Gitmo Could “jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror”

January 30, 2009

“We shouldn’t make policy decisions based on human rights and legal advocacy groups,” retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kurt Lippold said in a telephone interview. “We should consider what is best for the American people, which is not to jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror — or even more adversely impact the families who have already suffered losses as a result of the war.”

The former commander of the USS Cole, the American war ship that was struck by a suicide boat in Yemeni waters more than eight years ago, on Thursday slammed President Barack Obama’s orders to close the Guantanamo detention center and reassess the prisoners being held there.

By Carol Rosenberg
McClatchy Newspapers

Lippold also spoke about the trial….

Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/j
an/30/former-uss-cole-commander-slams-ob
ama-guantanamo/

Related from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/0
1/29/cole.charges/index.html

Related:
Obama’s Unnecessary Muslim Apolo
gia; Misguided on al-Qaeda

Gitmo, Human Rights, Legalities and Terrorist: Will This Be the Bipartisan Test for Obama?

January 25, 2009

Senator John McCain is a former prisoner of war (POW).  A tortured prisoner of war.

Senator Lindsey Graham is a lawyer.  A military lawyer.

Both these allies could be just the help President Barack Obama needs as he tries to navigate the difficult waters of the prisoner, legal, human rights and torture issues surrounding the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The president has asked that the issue be handled with bipartisan resolve and principled care.

“We look forward to working with the president and his administration on these issues, keeping in mind that the first priority of the U.S. government is to guarantee the security of the American people,” McCain  said in a joint statement with Graham.

“This is a tough battleground to determine if we can work in a bipartisan manner,” said one old U.S. Senate hand.  “But the economic stimulus bill will be tough too.”

In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, released by the Department ... 
In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, released by the Department of Defense, detainees wearing orange jump suits sit in a holding area as military police patrol during in-processing at the temporary detention facility Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Shane T.McCoy, File)

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From Senator John Kerry:

Thursday was an important day for the rule of law in the United States of America.

With a handful of signatures to executive orders, President Obama ordered the eventual closure of Guantanamo Bay prison and CIA “black site” prisons, and placed interrogation in all American facilities by all U.S. personnel under the guidelines of the Army Field Manual.

In a season of transformational changes, these are among the most meaningful, because they send a powerful message that America’s struggle against terrorism will once against honor some of the most cherished ideals of our republic: respect for the rule of law, individual rights, and America’s moral leadership.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/25/k
erry.guantanamo/index.html?iref=newssearch

John Kerry says Barack Obama sent a message that fight against terror will respect America's values.

John Kerry says Barack Obama sent a message that fight against terror will respect America’s values.

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By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

President Barack Obama‘s pledge of bipartisan cooperation with Congress will be tested as he tries to fulfill a campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay and establish a new system for prosecuting suspected terrorists.

The undertaking is an ambitious one. Fraught with legal complexities, it gives Republicans ample opportunity to score political points if he doesn’t get it right. There’s also the liklihood of a run-in with his former rival, Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war who before running for president staked his career on overhauling the nation’s detainee policies.

“We look forward to working with the president and his administration on these issues, keeping in mind that the first priority of the U.S. government is to guarantee the security of the American people,” McCain, R-Ariz., said in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The statement seemed aimed at putting Obama on notice that he must deal with Congress on the matter.

In his first week in office, Obama ordered Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to be closed within a year, CIA secret prisons shuttered and abusive interrogations ended.

So far, Obama’s team has given every indication it will engage lawmakers, including Republicans, on the issue. Graham and McCain were among several Republicans briefed last week by White House counsel Greg Craig and handed drafts of the executive orders.

But once the two sides begin delving into details, there will be ample room for dispute.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090125/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/guantanamo_politics

McCain on working with Democrats:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politi
cs/2009/01/22/sot.lkl.mccain.inauguration.cnn

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/0
1/25/mccain-i-wont-be-a-rubber-stamp-for-obama/

Pentagon Says Many Former Gitmo Prisoners Return to Terror; Some Experts Don’t Agree

January 24, 2009

The Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community estimates that some 61 former Guantanamo Bay prisoners have returned to terrorist activities after their release.  Several reporters and intelligence experts disagree.

The Pentagon report, released days before President Obama took office, says 18 former Gitmo detainees are confirmed to have participated in terrorist attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks.

That figure would be about 11 percent of the roughly 520 prisoners who have been released from the Guantanamo facility.

President Barack Obama ordered the Gitmo prison closed just after he took office this week.

Several experts say the Pentagon has inflated the numbers of released prisoners known to have returned to terror activities.  Some say this number inflation is meant to influence policy…..

The issue really is: what if one man goes from prison back to mass killing and terror?

Realted:
Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

Detainee-turned-terrorist numbers raise eyebrows

Related:
Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/
24/gitmo.detainees/index.html

When a Terrorist Gets Free After Prison

January 24, 2009

In 1973, a young terrorist named Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary entered the United States and quickly began plotting an audacious attack in New York City.

He built three powerful bombs — bombs powerful enough to kill, maim and destroy — and put them in rental cars scattered around town, near Israeli targets.

By ADAM GOLDMAN and RANDY HERSCHAFT, Associated Press Writers

Related:
Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

This photo obtained by The Associated Press shows Khalid Duhham ... 
This photo obtained by The Associated Press shows Khalid Duhham Al-Jawary in 2007. Al-Jawary is in federal custody, convicted of building a trio of powerful bombs that were part of a 1973 plot to destroy Israeli targets in New York. Al-Jawary’s bombs never detonated and he wasn’t brought to justice until two decades later after fleeing the country. On Feb. 19, Al-Jawary, 63, will be released.(AP Photo)

The plot failed. The explosive devices did not detonate, and Al-Jawary fled the country, escaping prosecution for nearly two decades — until he was convicted of terrorism charges in Brooklyn and sentenced to 30 years in federal penitentiary.

But his time is up.

In less than a month, the 63-year-old Al-Jawary is expected to be released. He will likely be deported; where to is anybody’s guess. The shadowy figure had so many aliases it’s almost impossible to know which country is his true homeland.

Al-Jawary has never admitted his dark past or offered up tidbits in exchange for his release. Much of Al-Jawary’s life remains a mystery — even to the dogged FBI case agent who tracked him down.

But an Associated Press investigation — based on recently declassified documents, extensive court records, CIA investigative notes and interviews with former intelligence officials — reveals publicly for the first time Al-Jawary’s deep involvement in terrorism beyond the plot that led to his conviction.

Related:
Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/a
p_on_re_us/mystery_terrorist

Obama calls for halt to Gitmo prosecutions

January 21, 2009

In one of his first acts in office, President Obama has ordered the U.S. government to suspend prosecutions of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay for 120 days, military officials said Tuesday.

From CNN

Read the rest:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/01/21/guantanamo.hearings/index.html

The US flag flies over a razorwire fence in Guantanamo Bay. ... 
The US flag flies over a razorwire fence in Guantanamo Bay at the military prison.(AFP/Pool/File/Mandel Ngan)

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From The Washington Post

In one of its first actions, the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.

The instruction came in a motion filed with a military court in the case of five defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The motion called for “a continuance of the proceedings” until May 20 so that “the newly inaugurated president and his administration [can] review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases currently pending before military commissions, specifically.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/cont
ent/article/2009/01/20/AR2009012004743
.html?hpid=topnews

Oprah’s Literary Liars Club: Who Is Responsible?

January 17, 2009

Oprah Winfrey, as near as we can tell, has never and will never take responsibility for anything.  She is currently blaming former guest Herman Rosenblat as a liar.  He’s guilty of  getting on her show more than once with a story that was never true.

Careful historians could have told Oprah on day one that Rosenblat’s story could never have been true under the rule of Nazi, Germany.

Oprah also avoided being truthful and taking responsibility when reporters said a pediphile on Oprah’s payroll at her school in Africa was preying upon young people….

CNN said, “Winfrey personally selected the school’s 152 pupils.”

So who selected the teachers and staff?

Gag!

Related:
 Oprah, Worth $1.5 Billion or More, Fails To Do Her Work

CNN: Teacher Arrested At Oprah’s School
http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ
/TV/11/02/arrest.oprah.school/

Video from Gawker:
http://gawker.com/5133444/oprah-lets-her-fr
iends-do-the-talking-about-her-literary-liars-club

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Oprah Winfrey broke her silence Friday about former guest Herman Rosenblat, saying she’s “very disappointed” in his now discredited story about meeting his future wife in a Nazi concentration camp.

“That’s what happens with lies,” Winfrey said on an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that aired Friday. “They get bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Rosenblat, a 79-year-old resident of North Miami Beach, Fla., and his wife Roma have appeared twice on Winfrey’s show. Winfrey said he had planned to appear again to “explain himself,” but the man’s lawyers scuttled that.

By JIM SUHR, Associated Press Writer

In this Dec. 5, 2008 file photo, Oprah Winfrey arrives at The ... 
In this Dec. 5, 2008 file photo, Oprah Winfrey arrives at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Beverly Hills, Calif.(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, file)

Rosenblat’s tale of a little girl throwing apples over a barbed-wire fence to him every day at a sub-camp of Buchenwald in the 1940s was endearing, Winfrey said.

“And he told that story and I was crying, everybody was crying,” Winfrey said.

Winfrey noted that the couple did have an unusual story.

“They have been married for 50 years and he was, indeed, in a concentration camp and so was she,” Winfrey said.

Berkley Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), had planned to release Rosenblat’s memoir “Angel at the Fence” in February. But after scholars, friends and family members challenged him, Rosenblat acknowledged the story was untrue and Berkley pulled the book.

A planned feature film about Rosenblat’s story still is scheduled to begin production this year, with producer Harris Salomon saying the script may note the “fabricated elements of their wartime love story.”

Read the rest from the AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090117/a
p_on_en_tv/winfrey_holocaust_story

Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

January 14, 2009

The Pentagon said on Tuesday that 61 former detainees from its military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, appear to have returned to terrorism since their release from custody.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said 18 former detainees are confirmed as “returning to the fight” and 43 are suspected of having done in a report issued late in December by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Morrell declined to provide details such as the identity of the former detainees, why and where they were released or what actions they have taken since leaving U.S. custody.

“This is acts of terrorism. It could be Iraq, Afghanistan, it could be acts of terrorism around the world,” he told reporters.

Morrell said the latest figures, current through December 24, showed an 11 percent recidivism rate, up from 7 percent in a March 2008 report that counted 37 former detainees as suspected or confirmed active militants.

Rights advocates said the lack of details should call the Pentagon’s assertions into question.

“Until enough information is provided to allow the press and the public to verify these claims, they need to be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism,” said Jennifer Daskal, a Washington-based lawyer for Human Rights Watch.

Rights advocates contend that many Guantanamo detainees have never taken up arms against the United States and say the Defense Department in the past has described former detainees as rejoining “the fight” because they spoke out against the U.S. government.

“The Defense Department sees that the Guantanamo detention operation has failed and they are trying to launch another fear mongering campaign to justify the indefinite detention of detainees there,” said Jamil Dakwar, human rights director at the American Civil Liberties Union.

President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office next Tuesday, is expected to issue an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also favors shuttering Guantanamo.

But the prison is unlikely to shut until after U.S. officials settle a myriad of legal and logistic issues, including a solution on where to house its occupants.

About 255 men are still held at the U.S.-run naval base in Cuba, a symbol of aggressive interrogation methods that exposed the United States to allegations of torture.

Pentagon officials say that about 110 detainees should never be released because of the potential danger they pose to U.S. interests.

Washington has cleared 50 of the detainees for release but cannot return them to their home countries because of the risk they would be tortured or persecuted there.

The Pentagon said it considers a former detainee’s return to terrorism “confirmed” when evidence shows direct involvement in terrorist activities. U.S. officials see a “suspected” terrorism links when intelligence shows a plausible link with terrorist activities.

“Propaganda does not qualify as a terrorist activity,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Gray, editing by David Alexander and David Wiessler at Reuters)

Advisers say Obama preparing to close Gitmo

January 12, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order his first week in office — and perhaps his first day — to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to two presidential transition team advisers.

It’s unlikely the detention facility at the Navy base in Cuba will be closed anytime soon. In an interview last weekend, Obama said it would be “a challenge” to close it even within the first 100 days of his administration.

But the order, which one adviser said could be issued as early as Jan. 20, would start the process of deciding what to do with the estimated 250 al-Qaida and Taliban suspects and potential witnesses who are being held there. Most have not been charged with a crime.

By LARA JAKES, Associated Press Writer

Related:
 Talks on Iran, a delay on Guantánamo, Economy: Barack Obama’s agenda for his first 100 days

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090112/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/obama_guantanamo

Talks on Iran, a delay on Guantánamo, Economy: Barack Obama’s agenda for his first 100 days

January 12, 2009

Barack Obama signalled a new era in relations with Iran yesterday but conceded that he would not be able to close Guantánamo Bay prison camp early in his presidency.

In his most wide-ranging television interview since his election, Mr Obama made clear the scale of the challenges confronting him at home and abroad. He vowed to act immediately on the US economy and the Middle East crisis, promised to engage with Iran, confront terrorism and work out a plan to close Guantánamo. Those issues are only part of a hugely ambitious agenda that some analysts believe will prove unrealistic.

Mr Obama, who will be sworn in as President next Tuesday, repeated his pledge to close Guantánamo Bay, which still holds 248 detainees, but acknowledged that it would not happen in his first 100 days in office. “It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realise,” he said. “Part of the challenge is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom may be very dangerous, who have not been put on trial,” Mr Obama told ABC’s This Week. “And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it’s true” – a reference to claims that some inmates were subjected to torture and harsh interrogations.

Robert Gates, President Bush’s Defence Secretary, who has been asked by Mr Obama to stay in his post, ordered closure plans to be drawn up last month. Options being looked at combine a special trial system on US soil for the most dangerous inmates, while transferring other detainees overseas.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo
rld/us_and_americas/article5497266.ece

In this photograph provided by ABC News, President-elect Barack ... 
In this photograph provided by ABC News, President-elect Barack Obama is interviewed by George Stephanopoulos during the taping of ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009 at the Newseum in Washington.(AP Photo/This Week, Lauren Victoria Burke)

Obama to wait on Gitmo closure

January 12, 2009

“It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” the President-elect explained.

President-elect Barack Obama said Sunday that some of his campaign promises will have to wait – domestic-policy changes may be on hold because of the dire economic situation, and legal and national security concerns have postponed his promised closure of Guantanamo Bay.  

In an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that aired Sunday, Mr. Obama said he has come to realize that his pledge to close the federal detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within his first 100 days in office won’t happen that soon.

By Christina Bellantoni   
The Washington Times

When he was campaigning for the presidency, Mr. Obama regularly said the prison “sends a negative message to the world” and taints even trade-deal negotiations.

“To the extent that we are not being true to our values and our ideals, that sends a negative message to the world, and it gives us less leverage then when we want to deal with countries that are abusing human rights,” he said during a primary-season debate in Iowa in December 2007.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200
9/jan/12/obama-to-wait-on-gitmo-closure/

From This Week on ABC:
http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/Econom
y/story?id=6619291&page=1