January 2010 Archives
"Spain's top investigating judge Baltasar Garzon is to probe suspected torture and ill-treatment of inmates at the US prison of Guantanamo Bay, a judical source said Saturday.
The judge will be acting on complaints lodged by a number of associations, focussing on one prisoner, Ahmed Abderraman Hamed, who has Spanish nationality, the source added, confirming a report published in daily El Pais
Three other detainees, Moroccan Lahcen Ikasrrien, Palestinian Jamiel Abdulatif al-Banna and Libyan Omar Deghayes would also be concerned as they had links with Spain.
In 2005 Spain declared itself competent to investigate any crime committed abroad, but after diplomatic problems the scope of the inquiries was reduced in 2009.
Spanish courts can now deal only with cases that have a clear link with Spain, or cases that are not being investigated in countries where the offences are alleged to have been committed.
El Pais said Washington had not replied to a request made seven months ago from Madrid as to whether it was investigating the allegations now being taken up by Garzon, who is best-known internationally for his pursuit of Latin American dictators...
"Torture...is not a polite debate.
Torture is a crime against humanity.
Torture isn't just a war crime.
Torture is an abomination and a crystallization of everything John Yoo stands for...
It is your responsibility here to not sit politely while John Yoo speaks."Â
- protester, January 27, Commonwealth Club San Francisco
photo by Steve Rhodes
Wednesday night, January 27, "Torture Memos" author John Yoo was confronted by about two dozen protesters at the San Francisco stop of his national book tour for "Crisis and Command". Joined by Code Pink, We Are Change, 9-11 Truth and others, World Can't Wait flyered outside the Commonwealth Club of California (sponsor of the event) and interrupted Yoo's presentation inside, 7 times over the course of an hour, identifying the speaker as a War Criminal and denouncing the Torture State he continues to advocate, and challenging the event's moderator to take a stand: "Professor Weiner, you may be a good person, an ethical professor... but why are you giving John Yoo legitimacy by speaking on the same stage with him?"
Torture is a war crime, and under Nuremburg lawyers who assist war crimes are guilty of war crimes. Yoo's argument for executive privilege (that the President can do anything he pleases) carefully avoided the real issue of what that power was used for.
The audience response was mixed at first, but more and more applauded the disruptions as protesters were led from the room. I noted about a third of the attendees reading our brochure, which exposes the lies hiding under the guise ofÂ "war on terror" and properly identifies Yoo's work as being a crucial weapon of a War OF Terror. We distributed about 200 brochures in total, and had some good discussions with people after the event, including in particular a Commonwealth Club member who expressed her outrage at Yoo's statements and promised to complain to the Club for giving him a platform.
The event was recorded by NPR for future airing, and should be available as a podcast on the Commonwealth Club websiteÂ soon.
John Yoo speaks for the criminals who set up a torture state. Who speaks for their victims - who speaks for the detainees at Guantanamo - at Bagram? Fire, disbar, and prosecute John Yoo, Bybee, Addington, and stop the secret renditions and torture NOW!
EVERY PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY HAS TO CHOOSE A SIDE: ARE YOU FOR TORTURE, OR AGAINST IT?
By Matt Coker, OC Weekly, January 28 2010
Will he be joining John Yoo's other cohortÂ at the California Department of Justice?
The American Civil Liberties Union todayÂ filed suitagainst the Justice Department, seeking a copy of the department's Office of Professional Responsibility report on the authors of the so-called "torture memos."
The OPR ethics probe is looking into the work of three DOJ attorneys --Â Steven Bradbury, John YooÂ andJay Bybee.
In June, Attorney GeneralÂ Eric HolderÂ said the OPR report would be available within a matter of weeks, and in November he said it would be available by the end of the month. No further predictions about the timing of the release have been forthcoming from DOJ.
Because the report had not been released, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act Request for the report in December.
"It's now been another six weeks about since we filed the request, and we've seen no progress from the Justice Department on the release of that report, so we're filing suit,"Â Alex AbdoÂ of the ACLU told Main Justice.
Abdo said the ACLU hasn't heard anything from the Justice Department about the status of the release of the report.
"It seems at this point that the most likely explanation is that typical politics are holding up the report, but that's just speculation," said Abdo...
*the "bottom line" here
Francis A. Boyle, thepeoplesvoice.org
Champaign, U.S.A./The Hague, Netherlands (19 Jan 2010). -- Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, U.S.A. has filed a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the "Accused") for their criminal policy and practice of "extraordinary rendition" perpetrated upon about 100 human beings. This term is really their euphemism for the enforced disappearance of persons and their consequent torture. This criminal policy and practice by the Accused constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute establishing the I.C.C...
When the story first broke, Andrew Sullivan wrote: "This deserves to be the biggest story on the torture issue since Abu Ghraib--because it threatens to tear down the wall of lies and denial that have protected Americans from facing what the last administration actually did."
By Kevin Gosztola
Flickr photo by Damon Lynch: Amnesty International "Close Gitmo" demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy at Grosvenor Square in London on January 11, 2008.
When we consider the indignity and inhumane treatment that detainees at Guantanamo have experienced and the torture and abuse which has surely inflamed Islamists who fill the ranks of al-Qaeda-like networks, what is our nation's collective reaction? How do we respond? Does the thought of Guantanamo even matter to us?...
see also Too Terrible To Be True?
John Yoo, the former Office of Legal Counsel deputy who wrote the so-called "torture memos," appeared at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday to discuss his new book about executive power, "Crisis and Command."Â He said in some areas, PresidentBarack ObamaÂ has gone beyondÂ George W. Bushwhen it comes to the use of executive power.
Yoo pointed towards the Obama administration's increased use of predator drones overseas as an example.
"If we were still in peacetime, and this were the criminal justice system, police are not allowed to shoot missiles at people who might be criminals, might be about to commit a criminal act or might have committed a criminal act, even if we have a hard time finding and arresting them," said Yoo, adding that this is one area where Obama has gone beyond Bush...
Abdul Aziz Naji describes his situation as "dancing between fires." If he were returned to Algeria, he would face threats to his life and safety from both the Algerian government and from fundamentalist insurgents. He was brought to GuantÃ¡namo as the victim of a Pakistani house raid in the chaotic aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Yet, he remains in GuantÃ¡namo because no country will advocate for his release.
By Associated PressÂ Thursday, January 14, 2010
NEWTON -- A second Massachusetts community is considering offering a Guantanamo Bay detainee a permanent home.
The Newton Board of Aldermen is considering a resolution that would invite Algerian native Abdul Aziz Naji to resettle in the Boston suburb if Congress lifts its ban on allowing Guantanamo detainees to move to the United States.
The Boston Globe reports that the resolution, sponsored by Alderman Stephen Linsky, was unanimously approved by a committee and will go before the full board on Tuesday.
Naji is one of about 60 of the detainees who have been cleared of wrongdoing but remain at Guantanamo because they have nowhere to go. His lawyers are from Newton.
A Town Meeting in Amherst in November offered to resettle two Guantanamo detainees if Congress lifted the ban.
ByÂ JACKSON WEST, NBC Bay Area
John Yoo, the formerÂ Department of JusticeÂ attorney who crafted the legal memorandum the Bush administration used to justify waterboarding terror suspects, is out on a charm offensive.
Well, correctly it's a book tour for his tome "Crisis in Command,"Â and last night it stopped at the pinnacle of wonky political book promotional venueThe Daily Show With John Stewart, where Yoo once again distanced himself from formerÂ President George W. BushÂ by pointing out that he never met the man.Â
The interview was long, and Yoo affable whileStewartÂ seemed confused. After the interview, Stewart declared it "pretty unsatisfying." The whole interview, unedited (and possibly not safe for work)Â is available on theÂ Daily Show's Web siteÂ in three parts.Â
Meanwhile, anti-torture protestors at theUniversity of California at BerkeleyÂ announced in an email statement that a scheduled protest will be held at the Office of the Dean of the Boalt School of Law at 3 p.m. this afternoon.
Yoo will be teaching a course on the California State constitution with a co-teacher and 24 students, but surprisingly, the school has not listed the location of the class in its course catalogue. The course is scheduled to begin Tuesday evening.
Ironically enough, Monday was the eighth anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, where some of Yoo's legal theories were put into practice.
In an incident last semester, a protestor interrupted class, and protests have also been held at Yoo's home as well as other campus locations.
It can be argued that the protests are an assault on the academic freedom of the professor and students -- and certainly few professors are as familiar with the legal details of hampering freedom as Yoo.
Jackson WestÂ isn't really sure what Cal was thinking when they hired Yoo in the first place.
Over one hundred and fifty people have spent the last seven days fasting, vigiling, lobbying, and calling for a closure of Guantanamo and an end to all torture. We are only five days away from the one year anniversary of President Obama's Executive Order calling for the closure of Guantanamo.Â
Instead of celebrating a year marked by progress made towards the closure of Guantanamo, we find ourselves marking a time of "Broken Promises - Broken Laws - Broken Lives."Â
As we enter into the second week of our "Fast for Justice," we invite you to read through these brief synopses (click on the link for the full reports) of our days and some reflections thus far, and ask you to join us in working towards an end to Guantanamo and all it represents.Â
SeeÂ videosÂ orÂ photosÂ of our activities in Washington, D.C. For reflections by the fasters, click on the link to full report for each day.
In case you're wondering why "some nice liberal guy from the AG's office" is sleeping with the devil, the answer may be as simple as self-advancement:
David Carrillo ['91, JD '95, LL.M '07]
David A. Carrillo is a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of
Justice, where as a member of the Employment, Regulation, and Administration Section
(ERA) he represents state agencies in civil litigation, writs of mandate and
administrative proceedings on issues of statewide importance in state and federal court.
Before joining the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Carrillo served as a Deputy City
Attorney in San Francisco and as a Deputy District Attorney in Contra Costa County,
and worked as an associate in private practice. In addition to earning B.A., J.D., and
LL.M. degrees from UC Berkeley, currently Mr. Carrillo is preparing a dissertation on
Whether this teaching gig was initiated by the Torture Professor or Carrillo himself, it represents a case of shameless opportunism. IF the guy still has a moral compass, he should come to his senses and take heed of a plea from students.
John Yoo - architect of the torture memos approving waterboarding and torture of children, the PATRIOT act, and the Bush lawyer who believes the Geneva Convention does not apply - returns to UC Berkeley on Jan 12Â Â
In fact, in the last eight months, 31 detainees had been transferred from Guantanamo to other countries. In the eight years before that, more than 520 detainees were sent home or to third countries.Â
Thursday, January 7, 2010 Washington, DC:Â Support Bagram Detainees for Habeas Rights
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington @ 3rd Street NW.Â
Hearing begins at 9:30 a.m.Â Vigil by the CUNY Law Students for Justice at Bagram begins 8:30amÂ Â Hearing in Ceremonial Courtroom (Room 20)Â There will be a rally/vigil after the hearing
Noted war criminal and torture lawyer John Yoo isÂ scheduled to speakÂ at the University of Virginia law school on March 19, 2010.
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Events & Calendars
Important ReadingPhysicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives
NLG White Paper
ON THE LAW OF TORTURE...
The President's Executioner
Detention and torture in Guantanamo