Sunday 17th of November 2019

our guantanamo gulag shame .....

Whilst Australian citizen, David
Hicks, continues to endure his 4th year of illegal imprisonment
& torture in America’s Guantanamo Bay gulag, a new report by Joshua
Denbeaux, a law professor at Seton Hall, has found that, based on data supplied
by the Pentagon, that "55% of the detainees have not committed any hostile
acts against the United States or its coalition allies." Lawyers: Many
Guantanamo Detainees Not Accused
 

The report finds that "only
8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters. Of the remaining
detainees, 40% have no definitive connection with al Qaeda at all & 18% are
have no definitive affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.

Further, the vast majority of
detainees in Guantanamo were not captured by US forces on a battlefield, but
either by Pakistan or forces of the Northern Alliance, at a time when the
United States was offering very large rewards for the capture of any
"suspected enemies." 

Australian Prime Minister, John
Howard, along with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer &
Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, have loudly & repeatedly asserted,
without any substantiation, that David Hicks is “guilty” of terrorist-related
crimes.

Whilst there are currently a
number of Australian citizens being illegally detained & tortured by
foreign governments, the Australian government wrings its hands & says it
knows nothing or can do nothing. In the case of David Hicks, the government
claims that it is “satisfied” that he is being treated “fairly” & that he
will receive a “fair trial” at the hands of the US Military Commission. 

In marked contrast to the bland
assurances offered by the Australian government, Corine Hegland writes in the
US National Journal that evidence considered "persuasive" in
the military tribunals "is made up almost entirely of hearsay evidence,
recorded by unidentified individuals with no firsthand knowledge of the events
they describe” Guantanamo's
Grip

The failure of the Australian
government to secure & protect the human & legal rights of any of its
citizens illegally imprisoned & tortured, is a scandalous disgrace. 

In the case of David Hicks, the
injustice being perpetrated against him, with the deliberate connivance of the
Australian government, is even more of a shameful disgrace, given its failure
to ensure that he received a prompt trial, in accordance with judicial
standards that apply in both Australian & American criminal jurisdictions. 

By failing to observe its duty of
care to all of its citizens, including David Hicks, the Australian government
has marked itself as being devoid of the values that it so loudly &
hypocritically professes to be protecting & defending in the phoney war on
terror.

shooting the messenger .....

‘The CIA’s top counter-terrorism official was fired last week because he opposed detaining Al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons abroad, sending them to other countries for interrogation and using forms of torture such as “water boarding”, intelligence sources have claimed.

Robert Grenier, head of the CIA counter-terrorism centre, was relieved of his post after a year in the job. One intelligence official said he was “not quite as aggressive as he might have been” in pursuing Al-Qaeda leaders and networks.

Vincent Cannistraro, a former head of counter-terrorism at the agency, said: “It is not that Grenier wasn’t aggressive enough, it is that he wasn’t ‘with the programme’. He expressed misgivings about the secret prisons in Europe and the rendition of terrorists.”

Grenier also opposed “excessive” interrogation, such as strapping suspects to boards and dunking them in water, according to Cannistraro.’

CIA Chief Sacked For Opposing Torture

the caress of totalitarianism .....

‘A draft United Nations report on the detainees at Guantanamo Bay concludes that the U.S. treatment of them violates their rights to physical and mental health and, in some cases, constitutes torture.

It also urges the United States to close the military prison in Cuba & bring the captives to trial on US territory, charging that Washington’s justification for the continued detention is a distortion of International Law.

The report, compiled by five UN envoys who interviewed former prisoners, detainee’s lawyers & families, & US officials, is the product of an 18 month investigation ordered by the UN Commissioner on Human Rights. The team did not have access to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.’

Report: US Is Abusing Captives

"Guilty" for $25,000 reward

From the Washington Post
My Guantanamo Diary
Face to Face With the War on Terrorism
By Mahvish Khan
Sunday, April 30, 2006; Page B01

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba
I introduce myself and Peter Ryan, a Philadelphia lawyer for whom I'm interpreting. I hand Mousovi a Starbucks chai, the closest thing to Afghan tea I've been able to find on the base. Then I open up boxes of pizza, cookies and baklava, but he doesn't reach for anything. Instead, in true Afghan fashion, he urges us to share the food we have brought for him.

Mousovi is a physician from the Afghan city of Gardez, where he was arrested by U.S. troops 2 1/2 years ago. He tells us that he had returned to Afghanistan in August 2003, after 12 years of exile in Iran, to help rebuild his wathan , his homeland. He believes that someone turned him in to U.S. forces just to collect up to $25,000 being offered to anyone who gave up a Talib or al-Qaeda member.

As I translate from Pashto, Mousovi hesitantly describes life since his arrest. Transported to Bagram air base near Kabul in eastern Afghanistan, he was thrown -- blindfolded, hooded and gagged -- into a 3 1/2 -by-7-foot shed. He says he was beaten regularly by Americans in civilian clothing, deprived of sleep by tape-recordings of sirens that blared day and night. He describes being dragged around by a rope, subjected to extremes of heat and cold. He says he barely slept for an entire month.

He doesn't know why he was brought to Guantanamo Bay. He had hoped he would be freed at his military hearing in December 2004. Instead, he was accused of associating with the Taliban and of funneling money to anti-coalition insurgents. When he asked for evidence, he was told it was classified. And so he sits in prison, far from his wife and three children. More than anyone, he misses his 11-year-old daughter, Hajar. When he talks about her, his eyes fill with tears and his head droops.

I don't know exactly what I had expected coming to Guantanamo Bay, but it wasn't this weary, sorrowful man. The government says he is a terrorist and a monster, but when I look at him, I see simply what he says he is -- a physician who wanted to build a clinic in his native land.

read more at the Washington Post

..........--------------

The rumors have it

From the ABC

PM disputes report on Hicks's condition
Prime Minister John Howard says he has been told the only Australian in detention in the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention centre is doing well.

A US military lawyer acting for David Hicks, Major Michael Mori, has spoken out about his client's condition in the wake of three deaths at Guantanamo Bay.

The three men hanged themselves in their cells on the weekend.

Major Mori says the conditions at Guantanamo drove them to suicide.

He says he is concerned about Hicks, who is in solitary confinement, is depressed and has lost a lot of weight.

"I found him very desperate for human contact, you could just tell when I first got to see him he was just so hungry to interact with another human being, he'd lost a lot of weight," he said.

"I think the weight loss is part of his loss of appetite, just coming on from sort of his depression manifesting itself in that way."

But Mr Howard says he has heard reports to the contrary.

read more at the ABC
-------------------

Gus is reassured that the flabby rumours that fall in Mr Howard's ear from the manure producing planter-beds of the White House have ten times more weight than the reality Major Mori, the lawyer for Mr Hicks, sees first hand... See cartoon at the head of this line of blogs...

implausible denial .....

Yes Gus, the usual response from
the pontius pilate purveyor of proverbial prime porkies ….. 

This morning the rodent claimed
that David Hicks had received a “consular visit” around two weeks ago &
that the report from that visit “was positive”. 

As junior bushit said of the
rodent: “You can take that to the bank”. 

Howard has made “plausible
deniability” an art form: always relying on the convenient words of others
& therefore always able to claim that “he didn’t know” if & when things
go wrong, just as he did with AWB. 

And if the issue is an
inconvenience, he’ll simply run dead on it but, never, ever take action to
challenge or question what he says he’s been told: just as with the AWB. 

Whilst the rodent chooses to
conveniently rely on the “positive” assurances he has received from our foreign
affairs officials, others might think there is good reason to be more
sceptical. 

Way back in December, 2001, Hicks
was “sold” to US Special Forces in Afghanistan for US$1,000. He was then packed
into the brig of the USS Peleliu, in the Arabian Sea, from where he was twice
flown, shackled & blindfolded, to a nearby land base for ten-hour torture
sessions, which were marked by kicking, beatings with rifle butts, punching
about the head & torso, death threats at gunpoint & anal penetration
with objects - all by Americans. Subsequently he was “rendered” to Guantanamo
Bay, after being wrapped in the standard sensory-deprivation package of drugs,
earmuffs, goggles & chains. 

Less than two months later, our
Ambassador to Washington concluded a shameful formal agreement with the
Pentagon’s Office of Military Commissions, whereby the US promised to
repatriate Hicks once his case had been finalised, provided Australia agreed to
honour whatever terms the US tribunal might impose. 

But the same foreign affairs
officials never thought to pose embarrassing questions to the US about the
torture or illegal “rendition” of an Australian citizen & no effort was
made to secure & protect his legal & human rights. 

Long before the sickening torture
& abuse of Abu Ghraib spilled into public view & long before the secret
illegal regime of renditions & secret CIA prisons was exposed, David Hicks
had already experienced crazy donny’s “deprivation of light & auditory
stimuli”. 

But that didn’t matter: little
johnnie had already accepted his guilt, just as he has always accepted
everything that junior bushit & crazy donny have told him. 

And today, half way through his 5th
year of illegal torture & detention, denied his human & legal rights,
abandoned by his own country & the bulk of his fellow citizens, David Hicks
spends 22 hours a day in solitary confinement: locked inside a cement room with
a solid steel door. Apart from a small window with opaque glass that allows a
faint glow during the day, he is again being denied human contact or sunlight
& is suffering the severe distress that such sensory deprivation inflicts. 

And nary a word from our folks in
Canberra ….. 

According to his lawyers, Hicks
is very ill. He is losing his eyesight, suffers from excruciating back pains
& he is suffering from depression, with his mental health rapidly
deteriorating.

But that’s OK. 

Just as long as the prime rodent can say "he didn't know" or "no-one told him" .... or us. 

Meaning?

From the ABC

Hicks in good health, says Downer
Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer says Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks is in fine health, apart from a sore back.

Three inmates at the detention centre committed suicide on the weekend, prompting renewed concern for Hicks's welfare.

Mr Downer has told Lateline that Hicks received a consular visit last week and he is not in solitary confinement.

"It's a maximum security prison but he's not being kept in solitary confinement according to the consul general and David Hicks did complain about some back ailment that he's had for some time but he didn't seem particularly depressed according to the report that I've read," he said.

"I don't know if the consul-general didn't pass on everything, but in the report that I've read there was no reference to that."

Mr Downer says he is not worried that Hicks is a suicide risk.
read more at the ABC
--------------------------

Gus: One can breathe the cat-piss smell of a well-drenched press release and the bland perfume of master-tailored consular reports...
"Mr Downer says he is not worried that Hicks is a suicide risk."
Does this means that Hicks is not a suicide risk or does our Mr Clowner mean that Hicks is a suicide risk but Mr Clowner is not worried about it?

time for another hydro .....

 

The Editor,
Sydney Morning Herald.                                                     June 13,
2006.

The atrocious legal & human
rights abuses perpetrated at Guantanamo Bay are not only emblematic for the
sick puppies running the Bush administration’s failed war on terror, but also
its chronic incompetence (‘’Stench of despair’ at Guantanamo’, Herald,
June 13). 

If our police had arrested more than 700
"killers" & "terrorists" & held them for over four
years, whilst only charging ten, the government’s head would be on a pike. 

It’s time for another hydro.