January 2020 Archives

After eight years of pretrial hearings, trials may begin of five detainees involved in 9/11. They've been in Guantanamo now for 14 years. "We are stuck in a kind of legal morass caused really by the nature of [their] detention and later treatment," says Julian Borger, world affairs editor for The Guardian and author of The Butcher's Trail

The CIA is hiding the names of those who ordered and carried out the torture, charges Marc Steiner at The Real News Network. Even after years of legal battles, the United States is likely still using black sites and torture. Psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen and "almost everyone else involved in the extensive ['enhanced interrogation'] program... has remained in the shadows in terms of legality. It's still the dark side of the moon," says Steiner. "So I mean, for all we know, these black sites... could still be going on. We don't know how far up the chain this could go."

Remembering Jim Lehrer

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The October 20 [2009] edition of PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer featured a report on the battle at the University of California, Berkeley, (UCB) to fire war criminal John Yoo, an architect of the torture begun during the years of the Bush Regime and currently a law professor at UCB. The report features a short interview with World Can't Wait activist Stephanie Tang, and video of protests against Yoo, including right in his class room.


Andy Worthington, British journalist and co-founder of Close Guantanamo, spoke at Revolution Books NYC on January 16, 2020, together with Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, attorney for current and former Guantanamo prisoners.


Peter Jan Honigsberg, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and the founder and director of the Witness to Guantanamo Project, offers the most comprehensive picture to date of the lives that were deeply and often traumatically transformed by Guantanamo. From how alleged terrorists were captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan and sold to the US to the Bush administration's use of the term "enemy combatant" to bypass the Geneva Conventions, Honigsberg details how the law was broken in the name of protecting Americans-and how that lawlessness was experienced by everyone who came into contact with Guantanamo.


The fate of the 9/11 attack defendants may be determined in part on the testimony of the very same people who tortured them. 

Dr. James E. Mitchell and fellow psychologist John Bruce Jessen devised the program of violence, sleep deprivation and humiliation that the C.I.A. would employ on detainees, some at Mitchell's own hands. His team waterboarded Khalid Shaikh Mohammed 183 times over a two week period in 2003.

"Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen started off as contract consultants to the C.I.A. and went on to waterboard three other prisoners now at Guantánamo in addition to Mr. Mohammed, starting with a Palestinian man called Abu Zubaydah. By 2005, they set up a business, Mitchell Jessen and Associates, that grew to provide all of the contract guards at the black sites and 80 percent of the agency's interrogators. The United States government paid the business $81 million for their services." -- Carol Rosenberg, The New York Times

"It is unclear how much of the testimony the public or the defendants will get to see," notes Rosenberg. Air Force judge Col. W. Shane Cohen must decide how much evidence to allow about the men's torture. Considering the government's extensive use of national security privilege over the years, and how much information has been shielded from defense lawyers to date, the chances of a fair trial appear slim.

Jury selection is scheduled for January 22, 2021.

This January 11th, 2020 will mark the 18th year anniversary of Guantanamo's opening in the War on Terror in 2002. Witness Against Torture will join other human rights organization in once again calling attention to the brutality of the prison, including indefinite detention and for an end to any and all uses of torture.

UC Berkeley Billboard

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Events & Calendars

War Criminals Watch Events

Important Reading

Physicians for Human Rights
Broken Laws, Broken Lives

NLG White Paper

The President's Executioner

Detention and torture in Guantanamo

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2020 listed from newest to oldest.

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February 2020 is the next archive.

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