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Thread: Guantánamo Prison - Tales of Despair

  1. #1

    Default Guantánamo Prison - Tales of Despair

    June 17, 2003

    Tales of Despair From Inmates Released from Guantánamo Prison


    KABUL, Afghanistan, June 16 — Afghans and Pakistanis who were detained for many months by the American military at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba before being released without charges are describing the conditions as so desperate that some captives tried to kill themselves.

    According to accounts in the last three months from some of the 32 Afghans and three Pakistanis in the weeks since their release, it was above all the uncertainty of their fate, combined with confinement in very small cells, sometimes only with Arabic speakers, that caused inmates to attempt suicide. One Pakistani interviewed this month said he tried to kill himself four times in 18 months.

    An Afghan prisoner who spent 14 months at the camp, at the American naval base at Guantánamo, described in April what he called the uncertainty and fear. "Some were saying this is a prison for 150 years," said Suleiman Shah, 30, a former Taliban fighter from Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan.

    None of those interviewed complained of physical mistreatment. But the men said that for the first few months, they were kept in small wire-mesh cells, about 6 1/2 feet by 8 feet , in blocks of 10 or 20. The cells were covered by a wooden roof, but open at the sides to the elements.

    "We slept, ate, prayed and went to the toilet in that small space," Mr. Shah said. Each man had two blankets and a prayer mat and slept and ate on the ground, he said.

    The prisoners were taken out only once a week for a one-minute shower. "After four and a half months we complained and people stopped eating, so they said we could shower for five minutes and exercise once a week," Mr. Shah said. After that, he said, prisoners got to exercise for 10 minutes a week, walking around the inside of a cage 30 feet long.

    In interviews at their homes, weeks after being released, he and the freed Pakistani detainee talked of what they said was the overwhelming feeling of injustice among the approximately 680 men detained indefinitely at Guantánamo Bay.

    "I was trying to kill myself," said Shah Muhammad, 20, a Pakistani who was captured in northern Afghanistan in November 2001, handed over to American soldiers and flown to Guantánamo in January 2002. "I tried four times, because I was disgusted with my life.

    "It is against Islam to commit suicide," he continued, "but it was very difficult to live there. A lot of people did it. They treated me as guilty, but I was innocent."

    In the 18 months since the detention camp opened, there have been 28 suicide attempts by 18 individuals, with most of those attempts made this year, Capt. Warren Neary, a spokesman at the detention camp, said today. None of the prisoners have killed themselves, but one man has suffered severe brain damage, according to his lawyer.

    The prisoners come from more than 40 countries, and include more than 50 Pakistanis, about 150 Saudis and three teenagers under 16, a majority of them captured in Afghanistan, said Dr. Najeef bin Mohamad Ahmed al-Nauimi, a former justice minister in Qatar, who is representing nearly 100 of the detainees.

    Dr. Nauimi represents many of the Saudis, and American lawyers represent about 14 prisoners from Kuwait. There are also 83 Yemenis, he said, and a sprinkling of others, including Canadians, Britons, Algerians and Australians, and one Swede.

    Since January 2002, at least 32 Afghan prisoners and three Pakistanis have been released from Guantánamo Bay. Five Saudis were recently handed over to the Saudi authorities. Yasser Esam Hamdi, an American-born Saudi, was moved from the camp to a military brig in Norfolk, Va., in April 2002. Captain Neary said 41 people had been released in all, but he could not give a more exact description.

    At the same time, the military is preparing to place about 10 of the prisoners before a military tribunal soon, officials said this month.

    Mr. Muhammad, who spent 18 months in Cuba before his release, said that "when they first took us there they would not let us talk, or stand or walk around the cell.

    "At the beginning it was very hard to bear," he added. "There was no call to prayer, and there was no shade. In the afternoon the sun came in from the side."

    Under the current routine, a majority of the prisoners remain in their cells but for two 15-minute periods a week, in which they walk around the cage and take a shower. In addition, the call to prayer is played over the prison's loudspeakers five times a day, according to Capt. Youseff Yee, the Muslim chaplain who oversees the religious needs of the Guantánamo prisoners.

    Conditions improved after the first few months, and prisoners were moved to newly built cells with running water and a bed, Mr. Shah said. Interrogation was sporadic and it varied in length and intensity. Sometimes they were questioned after 10 days, or 20 days, and then not for several months, prisoners said.

    But it was the uncertainty and fear that they would be there forever that drove many of them to despair, prisoners said.

    "All of the people were worried about how long we would be there for," Mr. Shah said. "People were becoming mad because they were saying: `When will they release us? They should take us to the high court.' Many stopped eating."

    One Taliban fighter from the southern province of Helmand, who only uses one name, Rustam, said in May that he was driven to trying to hang himself because he was in a block of Arabs and Uzbeks he described as "crazy."

    "There were some very strange people, they were hitting their heads on the wall, insulting the soldiers, and that is why I hated it," said Rustam, who is 22, in an interview in an Afghan prison in Kabul. "I think they were really crazy people, and that's why I kept asking to be taken out for questioning."

    When he tried to hang himself, Rustam said, the guards found him quickly. "They untied me and said `Don't do this,' " he said. "They gave me medicine, but it was no good. They put me under supervision and moved me to another place."

    Mr. Muhammad, one of three Pakistani prisoners to be released at the end of April, said he first tried to hang himself because for months on end he was surrounded by Arabs and could not speak their language.

    "It was difficult not talking to anyone for so long," he said. "It was because of the jail. They put me in a block full of Arabs, they were only letting us out for a very short time, and it was very difficult. I could feel myself going down."

    After 11 months in the prison camp, he tied his bedsheet to a ceiling wire and hanged himself from it at 4 o'clock one afternoon. "I don't know what happened," he said. "They took me to the hospital. I was unconscious for two days."

    Only after that suicide attempt, Mr. Muhammad said, did his American keepers tell him that he was only being held for questioning, and that one day he would go home. Tranquilizers were prescribed, he said, but he stopped taking the tablets after a while and attempted suicide again.

    Then the doctors gave Mr. Muhammad a powerful injection that he said left him unable to control his head or his mouth or eat properly for weeks. Although he refused to have the injection, the military medical personnel gave it to him by force, he said. He made two further attempts to kill himself that he said were more protest actions at the conditions.

    "We needed more blankets, but they would not listen," he said. "And I kept asking them to take me to the Afghan and Pakistani side. All the time I was with Arabs. I did not speak my own language for months." Mr. Muhammad also threatened to kill himself again if he was given another injection. He remained on tablets until his release, he said.

    American officials have confirmed that one prisoner who tried to commit suicide remains in the prison hospital with severe brain damage. Dr. Nauimi said the prisoner was Mish al-Hahrbi, a Saudi schoolteacher. He said that the teacher became desperate over not knowing what his future held and that he tried to hang himself. The teacher was resuscitated but is unlikely to recover from a severe hemorrhage, the lawyer said.

    Back home with time to ponder their ordeal, the former prisoners now want to demand compensation.

    "The Americans said if anyone is innocent, they will get compensation," Mr. Muhammad said. "They held me for 18 months, and so they should give me compensation. They told me I was innocent, but they did not apologize."

    Human rights organizations have raised concerns about the conditions at Guantánamo Bay and the unclear legal status of the detainees. The American military has refused to consider them prisoners of war, even though a majority were captured on the battlefield, and does not allow them access to lawyers. No charges have yet been brought against any of the detainees, some of whom have been there for 18 months.

    Concerned about their prolonged detention without trial or clear legal status, the head of the International Red Cross, which visits the detainees, urged the Bush administration last month to start legal proceedings for the hundreds of detainees and to institute a number of changes in conditions at the camp.

    Cmdr. Brian Grady, the staff psychiatrist at the camp's medical facility, said in a recent interview that most prisoners suffering from depression brought their symptoms with them to Cuba.

    "I don't know what the effects of this particular confinement are," he said. "I'd be hesitant to comment." Officials at Guantánamo have generally dismissed the notion that the confinement and uncertainty about the future are specifically to blame.

    "I would not particularly say these circumstances are a factor," Commander Grady said.

    But Jamie Fellner, director of the United States program for Human Rights Watch, said in an interview that that was highly implausible.

    "These conditions of confinement by themselves over a prolonged period are enormously psychologically stressful," she said. "Added to that is the uncertainty as to the future."

    Ms. Fellner added that her group had not found any credible reports of physical abuse and that it had investigated several accounts of beatings and such that turned out to be unfounded.

    Hospital officials said that about 5 percent of the inmates were suffering from depression and that they were being treated with antidepressants, typically Zoloft.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  2. #2

    Default Guantánamo Prison

    August 22, 2003

    Injustice in Guantánamo

    As the prisoners in Guantánamo approach their second anniversary in captivity, the Bush administration is finally talking about bringing them to trial. The delay in holding trials, and releasing the innocent, is unacceptable. So are the rules the administration has outlined for conducting their trials. The Defense Department should heed the calls of respected voices in the legal community, including that of the American Bar Association, and develop fairer procedures.

    The detainees held in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on suspicion of involvement in terrorism have been in custody so long it may seem that they have been found guilty of something. But the detainees, most of them captured in the Afghanistan war, have not had trials, and it is not clear when they will. Relatives and human rights groups say many were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, or were picked up based on bad intelligence.

    The administration has indicated that it intends to start putting the detainees before military tribunals soon. The procedures that have been adopted for these proceedings are unfair. The trials themselves may be held in secret, and lawyers can be prevented from speaking publicly about the proceedings. Secret trials make it impossible for the outside world to determine whether justice is being done.

    The military tribunal rules also contain restrictions on lawyers that will make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to mount effective defenses. The government reserves the right to deny detainees and their civilian lawyers access to the evidence being used at trial. The rules authorize the Defense Department to monitor communications between civilian lawyers and clients, and require lawyers to reveal information that they learn from their clients relating to future criminal acts. The American Bar Association, at its annual meeting this month, urged Congress and the executive branch to revise these rules substantially. Finally, the appeals process laid out in the military tribunal rules falls far short of what fairness requires.

    The Bush administration has already denied each of the Guantánamo detainees one basic right guaranteed in the civilian justice system: a speedy trial. Now it appears determined to deny many more. Before these prosecutions go any further, the administration should overhaul its procedures until it has a system capable of exonerating the innocent, and of showing a skeptical world that those who are convicted are in fact guilty.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  3. #3

    Default Guantánamo Prison

    I find it amazing how, during times of national stress, we are so eager to relinquish the institutions that identify us as Americans.

    It's also ironic, since that is what the terrorists are really trying to do - not knock down buildings. The buildings are not as important as the society that builds them.

  4. #4

    Default Guantánamo Prison

    What a shame that offensive stupidity is so common nowadays that it is considered valid debate material.

  5. #5
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    Default Guantánamo Prison

    Quote: from Kris on 7:24 pm on Aug. 22, 2003
    What a shame that offensive stupidity is so common nowadays that it is considered valid debate material.
    Just nowadays, Christian?
    Last edited by Kris; April 2nd, 2008 at 11:08 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Guantánamo Prison

    Particularly. I'm referring to the current access of nationalistic fever that isn't tolerated here.

  7. #7


    The following story was broadcast on CBS 60 Minutes on March 30, 2008.

    Transcript followed by video.

    Ex-Terror Detainee Says U.S. Tortured Him

    March 30, 2008(CBS)

    At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America's shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.

    The story Kurnaz told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley is a rare look inside that clandestine system of justice, where the government's own secret files reveal that an innocent man lost his liberty, his dignity, his identity, and ultimately five years of his life.

    60 Minutes found Murat Kurnaz in Bremen, Germany, where he was born and raised. His parents emigrated there from Turkey. His father works in the Mercedes factory. Kurnaz wasn’t particularly religious growing up, but in 2001 he was marrying a Turkish girl who was. And he decided to learn more about Islam.

    "I didn't know how to pray. I didn't know anything," Kurnaz says. "So I had to study more about Islam so I could go to the mosque and pray."

    In Bremen, he met Islamic missionaries who urged him to go to Pakistan for study. As he was planning the trip, 9/11 happened. He told 60 Minutes he was horrified by the attacks, and had never heard of al Qaeda. He decided to go ahead with his trip anyway.

    "You went to Pakistan several weeks after 9/11," Pelley remarks. "Did you begin to think that that wasn't a great idea?"

    "Today, I know it wasn't a great idea," Kurnaz says.

    Kurnaz told 60 Minutes his story using the English that he learned from his American guards. If he seems a little distant, reserved, you'll understand why as his story unfolds. It begins in 2001, when he was at the end of that trip to Pakistan. He was headed to the airport to fly home to Germany when his bus was stopped at a routine checkpoint.

    "They stopped the bus and because of my color, I’m much more different than Pakistani guys," says Kurnaz, who is lighter-skinned. "He looked into the bus and he knocked on my window."

    "He" was a Pakistani cop who pulled Kurnaz off the bus. The reason Kurnaz was singled out may always be a mystery. But at the time, the U.S. was paying bounties for suspicious foreigners. Kurnaz, who'd been rambling across Pakistan with Islamic pilgrims, seemed to fit the bill. Kurnaz says that he was told that U.S. intelligence paid $3,000 for him. He ended up bound and shackled on an American military plane.

    "I was sure soon as they would find out I'm not a terrorist, they will apologize for it and let me go back home," he says.

    But the plane flew him out of Pakistan and to a U.S. base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was mixed with prisoners fresh off the battlefield. His new identity was "number 53." He was kept in an outdoor pen, in sub-freezing weather and interrogated daily.

    "They asked me, 'Where is Osama bin Laden,' and if I am from al Qaeda or from Taliban. Questions like that. I told them, 'I don't know where is Osama bin Laden, I never saw him and I don't know anything about al Qaeda. I don't know what it is.' And I spent all my time in Pakistan," he says.

    Asked what happened next, Kurnaz says, "I told them just they can call Germany to ask who I am and they can ask anybody in Germany who I am."

    Back in Germany, Bremen police were investigating, and what they were hearing made matters worse: Kurnaz's worried mother told them her son had recently become more religious, had grown a beard and was attending a new mosque; schoolmates said that Kurnaz might have been headed to Afghanistan.

    "It was just guessing, just fear, no more. But the fear turns into a fact," says attorney Bernhard Docke, who was hired by Kurnaz’s mother.

    He says there was no reason to suspect Kurnaz knew anything about al Qaeda. But this was weeks after 9/11 and some of the hijackers had been living in Hamburg. "And so close after 9/11, and close after Germany realized that 9/11 started with the Hamburg cell in Germany, everybody in the secret services got crazy," Docke says.

    Docke says the police report was sent to the Americans. And Kurnaz claims his interrogations at Kandahar turned to torture. He told 60 Minutes that American troops held his head underwater.

    "They used to beat me when my head is underwater. They beat me into my stomach and everything," he says.

    "They were hitting you in the stomach while you're head was underwater so that you'd have to take a breath?" Pelley asks,

    "Right. I had to drink. I had to…how you say it?" Kurnaz replies.

    "Inhale. Inhale the water," Pelley says.

    "I had to inhale the water. Right," Kurnaz says.

    Kurnaz says the Americans used a device to shock him with electricity that made his body go numb. And he says he was hoisted up on chains suspended by his arms from the ceiling of an aircraft hangar for five days.

    "Every five or six hours they came and pulled me back down. And the doctor came to watch if I can still survive to not. He looked into my eyes. He checked my heart. And when he said okay, then they pulled me back up," Kurnaz says.

    "The point of the doctor's visit was not to treat you. It was to see if you could take another six hours hanging from the ceiling?" Pelley asks.

    "Right," Kurnaz says.

    "I suspect you know that the U.S. military will deny this happened. The U.S. military will deny that you were shocked. It will deny your head was held in a bucket of water. It will deny that you hung from a ceiling for days at a time," Pelley remarks.

    "Doesn't matter whatever they will say. The truth will not change," Kurnaz says.

    "And you're telling me in this interview that this is the truth?" Pelley asks.

    "This is the truth," Kurnaz insists.

    Kurnaz isn't alone in these allegations: other freed prisoners have described electric shocks at Kandahar, and even U.S. troops have admitted beating prisoners who were hanging by their arms. Kurnaz's story fits a pattern.

    After six weeks in Afghanistan, Kurnaz was loaded onto another plane, this time bound for Guantanamo. The Pentagon labeled the prisoners "unlawful enemy combatants." They didn’t have the rights of prisoners of war and were beyond the reach of any court.

    At Guantanamo Kurnaz says he endured endless months of interrogations, beatings at the hands of soldiers in riot gear, and physical cruelty which included going without sleep for weeks and solitary confinement for up to a month in cells that were sealed without ventilation or were set up to punish him with extreme conditions.

    "It's dark inside. No lights. And they can punish you in isolation by coldness or by the heat. They have special air conditioners over there. Very strong. They can turn it very cold or very hot," Kurnaz says.

    He says it went on year after year, always the same questions about al Qaeda, and the endless effort to break his will. He heard nothing from the outside and wondered whether anyone knew that he was there.

    Then, in 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo prisoners did have the right to lawyers. And to his complete surprise, one day Kurnaz was told he had a visitor. It was Baher Azmy, an American lawyer.

    "He was chained to a bolt in the floor around his ankle," Azmy says, recalling his first meeting with Kurnaz. "And had an absolutely enormous beard that had marked the years that he was in detention. He looked like someone who had been shipwrecked, which, of course, in a sense, he really was."

    Azmy is a professor at the Seton Hall Law School. He dug into the case and found that the military seemed to have invented some of the charges. Military prosecutors said one of Kurnaz’s friends was a suicide bomber, but the friend turned up alive and well in Germany.

    "How could they have gotten that so wrong? I mean, you're either a suicide bomber or you're not. There's no in between," Pelley remarks.

    "This goes to the utter preposterousness of the government’s legal process that they established in Guantanamo, this tribunal system that was supposed to differentiate from enemy combatant and civilian. So in order to justify that he was an enemy combatant, they simply made up an allegation about someone he was associated with," Azmy says.

    But far worse than the false charges was the secret government file that Azmy uncovered.

    Six months after Kurnaz reached Guantanamo, U.S. military intelligence had written, "criminal investigation task force has no definite link [or] evidence of detainee having an association with al Qaeda or making any specific threat toward the U.S."

    At the same time, German intelligence agents wrote their government, saying, "USA considers Murat Kurnaz’s innocence to be proven. He is to be released in approximately six to eight weeks."

    But Azmy says Kurnaz was kept at Guantanamo Bay for three and a half years after this memo was written in 2002.

    They kept him, Kurnaz says, by inventing new charges. In a makeshift courthouse, Kurnaz claims that a military judge charged that Kurnaz had been picked up near Osama bin Laden's hideout in Afghanistan while fighting for the Taliban. Ironic, since it was the U.S. that flew him to Afghanistan to begin with.

    "Have you ever in your legal career run across anything like this?" Pelley asks Baher Azmy.

    "In my legal career, no," Azmy says. "But in Guantanamo, no detainee has ever been able to genuinely present evidence before a neutral judge. And so as absurd as Murat Kurnaz's case is, I assure you there are many, many dozens just as tenuous."

    And a U.S. federal judge agreed. She ruled the Guantanamo military tribunals violated the prisoners' right to a defense, and she singled out Kurnaz's case as an example.

    60 Minutes asked the Department of Defense to talk to us about Kurnaz. Instead they sent 60 Minutes a statement, calling his allegations "unsubstantiated" and "outlandish," adding that claims that the U.S. military "engaged in regular and systematic torture of detainees cannot withstand even the slightest scrutiny." The statement didn’t address why Kurnaz was held to begin with. (Click here to read the full Department of Defense statement.)

    The break in Kurnaz’s case came when the German chancellor asked President Bush for his release. In August 2006, a plane came to take Kurnaz home. On the way out he was asked to sign a confession his captors had written for him saying he’d been al Qaeda all along. He refused. On the plane he was chained and surrounded by soldiers. But by the end of the flight, he was free.

    "There's a picture of you hugging your mother. Tell me about that moment," Pelley asks.

    "She wouldn't let me go. She wouldn't let me, anymore. She just hugged me. Of course, she was so happy, she cried. And I would go to my father and my brothers, also, but she didn't let me. And they had to wait," Kurnaz remembers.

    He was 19 when he went in, 24 when he returned to Bremen. His wife had divorced him. Kurnaz has written a book, just translated into English called "Five Years Of My Life." And he told 60 Minutes he wanted to visit the United States, but can't because the U.S. still considers him to be an unlawful enemy combatant.


    Produced by Graham Messick and Michael Karzis
    © MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc.

    Related WNY Thread

  8. #8
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    It is a long article, I am at work, and the bosses are walking about the office, but I had to keep reading.

    Stuff like this make me so angry it is not funny. This is an erosion of our freedoms and th eparanoia built in by our political and military leaders that give them the power to do whatever they want to whoever they want.

    It is only a fleas whisker from doing the same to American citizens who are determined to be, by our own newly despotic regime, threats to Homeland Security.

    Add potential financial troubles due to a poorly handled recession and I fear for our freedom's future.

  9. #9
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    I was also furious after watching that piece last Sunday. No recourse, and how many others?

  10. #10


    I'm very angry that they're doing these things in my name.

  11. #11


    Memo gave Pentagon exemption from criminal laws

    Elana Schor in Washington, Wednesday April 2 2008

    The US justice department extended the sweeping wartime powers claimed by George Bush to military interrogators, giving them freedom from criminal laws when questioning al-Qaida suspects, in a 2003 legal memorandum released for the first time yesterday.

    The brief, provided to the Pentagon days before the invasion of Iraq, allowed the slapping, poking, and shoving of detainees without legal consequences.

    Maiming a detainee - defined as disabling or cutting out the nose, eye, ear, lip, tongue, or limb - was also deemed a defensible interrogation tactic if the military could prove it had no advance intention to maim.

    The terrorist attacks of 2001 allowed the White House and the military to invoke a broad right to self-defence, the brief argued.

    "The defendant could claim that he was fulfilling the executive branch's authority to protect the federal government and the nation from attack after the events of September 11, which triggered the nation's right to self-defence," read the brief, written by former Bush administration lawyer John Yoo.

    While the memorandum was revoked nine months after it was sent, the Bush administration has built on its arguments to assert exemptions from US and international law during interrogations conducted at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere overseas.

    Often referring to the president as "the sovereign", Yoo gave Bush the legal right to override international laws "at his discretion".

    "It is well established that the sovereign retains the discretion to treat unlawful combatants as it sees fit," Yoo wrote.

    The 81-page brief was released by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has battled the administration in court to secure documents under US freedom of information laws.

    A companion brief written in 2002 allowed CIA interrogators to use any brutal method that did not cause pain on the level of death or organ failure.

    The brief released yesterday cited past legal rulings that said hooding of detainees, sleep or food deprivation, and forcibly prolonged postures such as the "frog crouch" did not amount to torture.

    The military was also permitted to threaten detainees with death, so long as the threat was not imminent.

    "Thus, a vague threat that someday the prisoner might be killed would not suffice" to violate a law, Yoo wrote.

    However, the memo does rule out mock executions and Russian roulette as legitimate interrogation tactics.

    The brief takes a notably narrow view of the Congress' power to influence American policy during wartime. The US judiciary is also described as prone to "generally defer to executive decisions concerning the conduct of hostilities".

    A few senior members of Congress had seen the brief in its classified format and argued for its public release. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, said the brief "threatens our country's status as a beacon of human rights around the world."

    Several US legal experts expressed alarm at the brief's sprawling vision of presidential authority.

    "If the supreme court adopted John Yoo's theory of presidential dictatorship, it might send us spiraling down toward the end of our two centuries' old constitutional experiment with democracy," Jack Balkin, a law professor at Yale University, wrote on his blog.

    Eugene Fidell, a military justice professor at Yale and American University, told the New York Times that the brief "is a monument to executive supremacy and the imperial presidency".

    Part one of the Justice Department memo (pdf)

    Part two of the Justice Department memo (pdf)

  12. #12


    However, the memo does rule out mock executions and Russian roulette as legitimate interrogation tactics.
    They tossed a bone to Human Rights.

  13. #13
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    What about Czechoslovakian roulette?

    The whole thing was a reactionary power grab.

    Rules made by leaders rarely subject them to the same standards. Officials robbing us of our constitutional rights will never be considered to be threats to America, although they are slowly killing it with this kind of legislation, policy and practice.

    Even now I am fearful of "eyes watching" and my open criticism of them. What kind of freedom is that?
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; April 4th, 2008 at 09:20 AM.

  14. #14


    What a sad day for America and the humanity of the country to which I reside in.

    9/11 was one of our saddest days in our history. All the victims of 9/11 were innocent and it was a major tragedy for our greatest city and for our country.

    So as a result we support torture, we support imprisonment without trial. Un American I say.

    We have some of the most violant cities in the world and we cannot solve our autrocious murders or other violant crimes that give the third world a run for there money. But we can fly into another country and detain people as 'we know' they are guilty. There were teenagers and barely teenagers in Guantanamo Bay. Just sick. But they are guilty so much so that no trial is necessary. Yeah 14 year olds. Get a grip America.

    But America's blood thirst after 9/11 took over all logic. Too bad history means nothing to a majority of Americans. We shall not learn from history.

    While I cannot stand Bush and his nut jobs that surround him, ultimetly it is the American people's fault. The American people voted him in again after this disgrace of a war. Our attention was distracted by the gay issue, those ungodly un americans and those horrible immigrants. Wow, that makes sense, deny some Americans freedom in the name of god and complain about immigrants that our actually saving our cities. The American people wanted this war, that cannot be denied. Now suddenly everyone is so against it but no one cares about the amount of death created by America.

    It was painfully obvious that Iraq had no links to 9/11 no links to Al Qaeda and had no Weapons of Mass Destruction almost right away. War should always be a LAST LAST resort, any flicker of doubt should be seriously contemplated. But Americans where frothing at the mouth with blood. I still say we should have invaded Cananda. Yeah I know it makes no sense but well like Iraq did?

    The majority of Americans are against the war with Iraq now. Too late, the American public blew it. There is a lot of death on American public's hands. Some 80 odd percent of American's supported this war on lies initially. Actually even when confronted with overwhelming evidence, it still took the majority of Americans a couple of years to accept that a war on lies has been fronted. Ohh them damn anti war people nothing but a bunch of hippies. So un American. War on lies is American then?

    I do wonder, are the majority of Americans against the war in Iraq because it costs too much money and the loss of American's soldiers lives and disabilities from the war while sad and becoming is too much. No one cares about the amount of death America has caused by 50 fold of 9/11 on a country that didn't do it.

    The world hates us but we are right in our minds.

    There is an estimated 100,000 dead Iraqi's minimun and millions of refugees. I really don't think American's care about that even though we caused it. We are as a nation completely self oriented no matter who we walk over for our means by any means. And we want the world to care about our plight. An empire when it becomes greedy, violant and glutoneous falls. History repeats itself again. We as Americans supported Bush and this war with our civil liberties and other nation's civil liberties and with death and destruction The world hates us, there is a lot of carnage on our doing, and I blame the American people.

  15. #15


    Tell the Dean of UC Berkeley School of Law to Fire John Yoo

    In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a memo advising the Pentagon that laws and treaties forbidding torture and other forms of abuse did not apply to U.S. interrogators because of the president's wartime power.

    The man who wrote that memo -- John Yoo -- is now happily ensconced as a tenured law professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law. While an unknown number of people suffer the aftereffects of illegal torture he encouraged, Professor Yoo is teaching, writing, and generally enjoying life in California.

    This is flat out wrong. John Yoo should not only be disqualified from ever serving in government again, but he should also be prohibited from spreading his distorted view of the law and the role of lawyers to young law students.

    He must be fired. And the man to do it is Christopher Edley, Jr, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.

    Online email campaign here.

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