Tuesday, December 14, 2010

UPDATED with ACTION: December "Catch-Up": Italy Convicts US "leaders"; Gitmo; Aasia Bibi; Aafia Siddiqui & More

ACT NOW PLEASE: We have a crisis: the Senate is on the verge of blocking fair trials for Guantanamo detainees. News story here .


We need you to email or call your Senators right now and urge them to oppose this move. Why? All people have the right to a fair trial, and victims of terrorist attacks have the right to justice. Fair trials in US federal court are the right way to prosecute suspects, ensure justice for terrorist attacks and close Guantanamo.

Look up your Senators at here and/or send to others simply senate.gov.

Suggested Call-In Script

"My name is _________ and I live in ____________(state). I am calling to urge Senator _____________ to oppose a provision in the 2011 Omnibus Appropriations bill to block Guantanamo detainees from coming to the US mainland for prosecution. This provision would further erode the US government's record on human rights. I support fair trials in US federal courts for Guantanamo detainees charged with crimes, and I
oppose military commissions and indefinite detention, as these practices violate human rights. Thank you."

Suggested Email Message

Dear Senator_________,

"My name is _________ and I live in ____________(state). I am writing to urge you to oppose a provision in the 2011 Omnibus Appropriations bill to block Guantanamo detainees from coming to the US mainland for prosecution. This provision would further erode the US government's record on human rights. I support fair trials in US federal courts for Guantanamo detainees charged with crimes, and I oppose military
commissions and indefinite detention, as these practices violate human
rights. Thank you.

See related item at tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/ and GITMO: A DISMAL WEEK FOR AMERICA plz GO here

We must STOP OUR SILENCE re. what's happening to the detainees/prisoners in the war on terror from BOTH sides of the world and AROUND the world in secret sites:

More and more politics and even human rights issues world-wide are allowing or encouraging referral to religions -- even when maybe not necessary -- to be used sometimes in a counter-productive manner. So I've decided to show more such cases/items here in what I hope will be a generally neutral way to raise awareness and discussion.

Also, there is an "leveling" of the "playing field" as civilians worldwide demand a greater degree of human rights and more connecting together worldwide in this effort.

Italy: Court Upholds Convictions of Americans in Kidnapping Case
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO Published: December 15, 2010 in the NYTimes

An appellate court in Milan upheld on Wednesday the conviction of 23 Americans charged with kidnapping an Egyptian cleric in 2003 and ordered even harsher sentences. All but one of the Americans are Central Intelligence Agency operatives. Defense lawyers said they planned to file appeals, which would go to Italy’s highest court. Robert Seldon Lady, a former C.I.A. base chief in Milan, was sentenced to nine years, one more than his previous conviction, while the 22 other Americans received seven-year sentences, up from five years. The Americans were also ordered to pay a total of $1.33 million in damages to the Egyptian cleric, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, above, who was kidnapped in Milan. Prosecutors said that he was taken to Egypt, where, he said, he was tortured. Italy has never formally requested the extradition of the Americans. Through their lawyers, they have pleaded not guilty in the past.

YET, as called for by Amnesty International: Italy Prevents Trial of Intelligence Agents (while indicting US CIA Agents) GO here

Find another item about Italy's case against US here (several comments under this piece agree with Amnesty item above)

Find my blogpost on case of AASIA BIBI who faces hanging for allegedly blasphemy here A note that there are MANY lawyers as well as some journalist, activists and Muslim clerics speaking out on this case and seeking justice for Aasia and a change in the Blasphemy Laws. We in the West must also take a look at our own Blasphemy Laws whether on the books or in practice - and this includes partiality to religion/race and the holding of American items, such as flag, so sacred that there have been threats of death for all who question the same in any manner.

More UPDATES on this case (and be aware how hard Asian human rights lawyers/activists and many Pakistani's in and out of Pakistan are fighting for Bibi's life ) GO here

“Mullah's campaign against Aasia Bibi is a blasphemy to Islam" – by Rauf Klasra”. Rabia says: November 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm ...here (has anyone translate any part into
English? In which ways do you agree with this one?)

From Jinnah Institute dot org Research Brief on Aasia Bibi's Case here

From Christian Science Monitor here(I'm hesitant to send anything from US media where there is pointing of finger from Americans who lack Pakistani and/or Muslim background - yet some of these articles do point out that there are strong Pakistanis on side of human rights fighting for Aasia.

Aasia Bibi | Human Rights First Dec 15, 2010 ... Aasia Bibi, a
Christian farm worker and mother of five, was accused of making
blasphemous comments...GO here OR here

DRONES drone on:

Drones, etc. also a grave misuse of supposed death punishment in an
area of powerless civilians where the inter-cooperation of rights abuses continues by BOTH US & Pakistan's leaders - GO here

More comments on the lack of humane conscience in use of drones here

Various on DR. AAFIA SIDDIQUI: Press Release December 10, 2010 Cage Prisoners dot com activists are in Discussion with Pakistan's Interior Minister here

Andy Worthington Discusses the Repatriation also on 2010/12/11/and find other recent items on Andy's work with Aafia's case/situation at his site andyworthington dot co dot uk. as well as some interesting points on Wikileaks on his top blogpost for December 14th.

Keep Watching Aafia Siddiqu's Official Family Site GO to Free Aafia dot org or click here and protest the ILLEGAL withholding of visits from Dr. Aafia and her family with as many leaders/authorities as you deem helpful. Plz comment below with any tips or responses.

The Honest Faith of Elizabeth Edwards by David Gibson has some choice comments for those who are seekers of interfaith dialogue GO here The article was also published on Politics Today.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that family members said Holbrooke told a Pakistani doctor before being sedated for surgery: "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." Those were his final words. Although his work in Pakistan carried some deep questions and concerns, these words are a striking ending to his life here

Find all of these and more at NOGITMOS dot org (go to news) or at the specific sites:
12/16 / Associated Press / Abu Zubaydah's Lawyers Ask Poles for Probe
12/16 / Agence France Presse / US Senate to consider blocking Guantanamo closure
12/16 / Richard Norton-Taylor and Ian Cobain / Guardian (U.K.) / Lawyers ask government to help former UK resident held at Guantánamo
12/15 / Ronald Kessler / NewsMax / Kit Bond: Releasing Gitmo Terrorists Is a Disaster
12/15 / Josh Gerstein / Politico / Poll: 63% favor military tribunals over civilian trials
12/15 / Stephanie Condon / CBS News / Senate Moves to Block Obama's Gitmo Agenda
12/14 / Human Rights First / Retired Commandant of the Marine Corps: Congressional Ban on Guantanamo Transfers Would Undermine National Security
12/14 / Center for Constitutional Rights / Common Dreams / Leading Rights Groups Urge Spanish Court to Open Investigation without Further Delay into Role of Bush Lawyers in Torture of Guantanamo Detainees
12/14 / Daphne Eviatar / Huffington Post / Pundits Punch and Congress Cows: Bill Bans all Gitmo Prisoner Transfers for Trial
12/14 / Andy Worthington / Guantánamo: A Dismal Week for America
12/14 / Lyle Denniston / ScotusBlog / Detainees and math theory: A legal test
12/14 / Editorial / Los Angeles Times / Guantanamo must go
12/13 / Katie Gradowski / Open Media Boston / Torture, Two Years Later
12/13 / Gabor Rona / Human Rights First / Ben Wittes Redux: Another ‘solution’ in search of a problem?
12/13 / Bejamin Wittes / Lawfare / David Remes Responds to Recidivism Claims
12/13 / Rachel Slajda / TPM Muckraker / Democrats Added Ban On Gitmo Detainee Transfer To Omnibus Spending Bill More news at http://www.nogitmos.org/news or CLICK here for LIVE leads to URLS



    It's time to appoint a special prosecutor

    Bush has admitted he ordered waterboarding, and Holder has testified it is torture, so an investigation is warranted.

    Patrick D. Goodman

    December 13, 2010

    In his presidential memoir Decision Points, former President George W. Bush admits that he ordered the CIA to waterboard Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. According to Bush, when the CIA asked if it could proceed with the procedure, Bush's response was "Damn right."

    Has Bush admitted to the world (via both Kindle and the Today Show) that he committed a federal crime? According to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.'s view of the law, the answer must be "Yes."

    On Jan. 15, 2009, at his congressional confirmation hearing, Holder testified that "Waterboarding is torture." When pressed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) if a president could override the congressional ban on torture, even in an emergency, Holder stood firm: "No one is above the law.…Where Congress has passed a law, it is the obligation of the President or the Commander-in-Chief to follow those laws.…[T]he President does not have the power [to torture]."

    READ the rest


  2. News Digest for December 17, 2010

    12/17 / Benjamin Weiser / New York Times / Ex-Detainee Challenges Single Conviction

    12/17 / Gawker / Army Docs: Guantanamo Interrogators Wanted to Inflict 'More Physical Pain'

    12/17 / Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press / Officials: CIA gave waterboarders $5M legal shield

    12/16 / Associated Press / Abu Zubaydah's Lawyers Ask Poles for Probe

    tax-deductible support:

    No More Guantánamos
    P.O. Box 618
    Whately, MA 01093

    More news at http://www.nogitmos.org/news

  3. News Digest for December 18-19, 2010

    From NoGitmos dot org:

    12/19 / Herald Sun (Australia) / United States asked New Zealand to take Gitmo inmates

    12/18 / Jeff Kaye / Firedoglake / Unreported Detainee Deaths at Guantanamo in Jan-Feb 2002?

    12/18 / Andy Worthington / Tell the UK and US Governments We Need A Deadline for the Return of Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo

    12/18 / Lynn Sweet / Chicago Sun Times / Republicans block Gitmo prisoner transfers

    12/18 / Josh Gerstein / Politico / Durbin: Senate will back Guantanamo transfer ban

    12/18 / Larry Neumeister / Associated Press / Think tank plans study of how US treats detainees

    12/17 / Josh Gerstein / Politico / Ban on U.S. trials for Guantanamo prisoners passes U.S. House again

    12/17 / Jen Dimascio / Politico / House clears annual defense bill; Ike Skelton is working to smooth doubts from Mark Kirk over Guantanamo detainees

  4. No More Guantánamos
    P.O. Box 618
    Whately, MA 01093

    12/21 / Ken Dilanian / Los Angeles Times / Incoming House intelligence chairman pushed for drone strikes

    12/21 / Andy Worthington / Lawyers for Ahmed Belbacha, Guantánamo Prisoner and Former UK Resident, Sue UK Government Over Refusal to Disclose Evidence of His Abuse

    12/21 / David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey / Wall Street Journal / The Wrong Way to Stop Civilian Terror Trials

    12/21 / Jeff Kaye / Firedoglake / Guantanamo Medical Chief Was “Advised Not to Talk About” Drug Decision

    12/21 / Carrie Johnson / NPR / Senate Looks To Restrict Guantanamo Prosecutions

    12/20 / Jeremy Glantz / In These Times / Terrorist by Association: The Justice Department targets nonviolent solidarity activists.

    12/20 / Benjamin Wittes / Lawfare / Time for the Administration to Change its Gitmo Talk

    12/20 / William Fisher / The Public Record / Report: Government Fails To Protect Terrorism Suspects From Being Tortured

    12/20 / Rachel Slajda / TPM Muckraker / Gitmo Transfer Ban, Pushed By Illinois Republicans, Was Part Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Deal

    More news at http://www.nogitmos.org/news

  5. Be sure also to see UPDATED posts for both Dr. Aafia Siddiqui at oneheartforpeace.blogspot.com (with added video of Andy Worthington) and also one for Aasia Bibi at thejourneyofhope.blogspot.com

  6. 12/22 / Frank Ching / The Business Times (Singapore) / Leaks shed light on Guantanamo, Uighurs affair

    12/22 / Center for Constitutional Rights / Common Dreams / CCR Statement on reported Obama Plan on Indefinite Detentions

    12/22 / Human Rights First / Statement on Reported Plan to Permit Indefinite Detention

    12/22 / Charlie Savage / New York Times / Detainee Review Proposal Is Prepared for President

    12/22 / Al Jazeera / New reviews for Guantanamo inmates

    12/22 / Benjamin Wittes / Lawfare / On Executive Orders and Centrist Anxieties

    12/22 / Peter Finn and Anne E. Kornblut / Washington Post / Indefinite detention possible for suspects at Guantanamo Bay

    12/21 / Eric Lichtblau / New York Times / U.S. Ordered to Pay Group of Muslims

    12/21 / Andy Worthington / Guantánamo Prisoners Sacrificed in Political Horse-Trading

    12/21 / Dafna Linzer / ProPublica / White House Drafts Executive Order for Indefinite Detention

    More news at http://www.nogitmos.org/news

  7. News Digest for December 23, 2010

    12/23 / Warren Richey / Christian Science Monitor / Guantánamo: Is Obama's vow to close detention camp facing a reality check?

    12/23 / Peter Landers / Wall Street Journal / Congress Bars Gitmo Transfers

    12/23 / Charlie Savage / New York Times / Vote Hurts Obama’s Push to Empty Cuba Prison

    12/22 / Russ Kick / Disinformation / Arguments Against The Police State at Guantanamo Bay

    12/22 / Kevin Gosztola / OpEd News / Indefinite Detention of Guantanamo Detainees to Become a Long-Term U.S. Policy

    12/22 / Andy Worthington / More Evidence of Medical Experimentation at Guantánamo

    12/22 / Adam Serwer / Washington Post / Obama's indefinite detention policy: A more humane version of Bush

    12/22 / Amnesty International / Common Dreams / Amnesty International Denounces Passage of Defense Authorization Act Prohibiting Prosecution of Guantanamo Detainees in Federal Courts

    12/22 / Karen Greenberg / Guardian (U.K.) / Obama walks back on Guantánamo

    More news at http://www.nogitmos.org/news

  8. Week of 12/23 under archives at nogitmos.org/news (note Andy Worthington's latest on Gitmo or go to andyworthington.co.uk

    News Digest for December 29, 2010

    Last week of December here:

    12/29 / Carol Rosenberg / Miami Herald / Red Cross establishes video link for 90 captives

    12/29 / Benjamin Wittes / Lawfare / More on Yesterday’s Times Editorial

    12/29 / Jeff Kaye / Firedoglake / Dr. Welner Defends His Testimony in Khadr Trial, Spreads Administration Propaganda on Detainee “Recidivism”

    12/29 / Editorial / Los Angeles Times / The Guantanamo 48

    12/28 / SDS / Constitutional Law Prof Blog / Guantanamo Transfers and the Separation of Powers

    More news at http://www.nogitmos.org/news