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The U.S. Department of Defense - The Guantánamo Bay Concentration Camp

 

Background

Media Reports

Government & NGO Reports

Interrogation Reports

Legal Documents

Photo Credits

 

Newest media report: CIA Flight Carried Secret From Gitmo (6/8/2010/Associated Press)

Newest government report: MEPs Debate Closure of Guantanamo Prison Camp (3/2/2009/European Parliament)

Newest legal document: Memorandum Order (9/4/2009/Mohammedou Salahi vs. Barrack Obama et al)

 

Background

 

“[…] ‘I was in extreme pain and so weak that I could barely stand. It was freezing cold and I was shaking like a washing machine. They questioned me at gunpoint and told me that if I confessed I could go home.

 

“‘They had already searched me and my cell twice that day, gone through my stuff, touched my Koran, felt my body around my private parts. And now they wanted to do it again, just to provoke me, but I said no, because if you submit to everything you turn into a zombie.

 

“'I heard a guard talking into his radio, ‘ERF, ERF, ERF,’ and I knew what was coming - the Extreme Reaction Force. The five cowards, I called them - five guys running in with riot gear. They pepper-sprayed me in the face and I started vomiting; in all I must have brought up five cupfuls. They pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed. They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in chains, into the rec yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.’

 

“Tarek Dergoul, a British citizen born and brought up in east London and released without charge after almost two years at Guantanamo Bay, was describing one of many alleged assaults he says he suffered in American custody. […] Dergoul’s testimony suggests that Guantanamo hides another terrible secret - proof, in the shape of hundreds of videos shot by US guards, that here, too, America’s war against terror has led to wanton brutality against helpless detainees. […]”

 

Excerpt from an article of the “Observer” from May 16th, 2004.

Camp Delta at the Guantánamo Naval Base

 

Related Media Reports

 

August 6th, 2010 - CIA Flight Carried Secret From Gitmo

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

April 12th, 2010 - Guantanamo Detainee Ordered Freed

1 news article from the Inter Press Service

 

January 25th, 2010 - Two Algerian Torture Victims Freed from Guantanamo

1 feature article from the Public Record

 

January 21st, 2010 - How I Fought to Survive Guantánamo

1 feature article from the Guardian

 

January 18th, 2010 - The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta Sergeant Blows the Whistle

1 feature article from Harper’s Magazine

 

November 11th, 2009 - White House Allies Say Obama Bungled Guantanamo Closing

1 news article from McClatchy Newspapers

 

November 9th, 2009 - Guantanamo Conditions ‘Deteriorate’

1 feature article from Al Jazeera

 

October 22nd, 2009 - US Bands Blast Use of Music in Guantanamo Interrogations

1 news article from Agence France Presse

 

October 21st, 2009 - Justices to Decide on U.S. Release of Detainees

1 news article from the New York Times

 

October 14th, 2009 - Gitmo Update: 38 Cases, 2 New Releases, and 1 Showdown

1 feature article from ProPublica

 

October 6th, 2009 - Detainee’s Lawyers to Get Interrogation Tapes

1 news article from the Washington Post

 

September 28th, 2009 - Obama Team Clears 75 at Guantanamo for Release

1 news article from Reuters

 

September 26th, 2009 - Guantanamo Prison Not Likely to Close in January, Officials Say

1 news article from CNN

 

September 17th, 2009 - U.S. Judge Orders Kuwaiti Held at Guantanamo Freed

1 news article from Reuters

 

September 10th, 2009 - DOD Lawyer Hedges on Closing Gitmo by January

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

September 6th, 2009 - Growing Number of Guantanamo Detainees Cleared For Release Remain Imprisoned

1 feature article from the Public Record

 

August 27th, 2009 - Young Afghan Freed from Guantanamo to Sue US Gov’t

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

August 22nd, 2009 - A Gitmo Prosecutor’s Act of Conscience

1 news article from CBS News

 

August 21st, 2009 - Judge Orders Release of Guantanamo Bay Detainee with Family Ties to Bin Laden

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

July 30th, 2009 - Judge Orders Young Guantanamo Detainee’s Release

1 news article from the Washington Post

 

July 28th, 2009 - Afghanistan Would Collect Guantanamo Detainee-Lawyer

1 news article from Reuters

 

July 25th, 2009 - Guantánamo Bay: The Inside Story

2 feature articles from the Times

 

July 23rd, 2009 - U.S. Rebuffs U.N. Requests for Guantanamo Visits, Data on CIA Prisons

1 news article from the Washington Post

 

July 22nd, 2009 - U.S. Judge Challenges Evidence on a Detainee

1 news article from the New York Times

 

July 16th, 2009 - Guantánamo War Court Faces Technological, Legal Challenges

1 news article from the Miami Herald

 

July 7th, 2009 - Officials: Fate of Guantanamo Detainees Uncertain

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

July 3rd, 2009 - Documents Describe Chaos of Gitmo’s Early Months

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

June 27th, 2009 - White House Weighs Order on Detention

1 news article from Washington Post

 

June 23rd, 2009 - Judge Orders Syrian Guantanamo Inmate Freed

1 news article from Agence France Presse

 

June 8th, 2009 - Recently Released Gitmo Detainee Talks to ABC News

1 news article from ABC News

 

June 2nd, 2009 - Yemeni Prisoner in Guantanamo Commits Suicide: U.S.

1 news article from Reuters

 

May 26th, 2009 - Ex-Detainee Describes Struggle for Exoneration

1 news article from Washington Post

 

April 7th, 2009 - Red Cross: Gitmo Medical Personnel Violated Ethics

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

March 23rd, 2009 - Plea Bargain Was Considered for British Detainee

1 news article from the New York Times

 

March 19th, 2009 - Ex-Bush Admin Official: Many at Gitmo Are Innocent

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

March 16th, 2009 - Red Cross Report: CIA Tortured Terror Suspects

2 news articles from the Associated Press & New York Review of Books

 

March 7th, 2009 - Guantanamo Prisoner Tells of Dark Afghan Prison

2 news articles from the Associated Press & Agence France Presse

 

February 23rd, 2009 - Gitmo Detainee who Claimed Torture is Freed

1 news article from the Associated Press

 

February 20th, 2009 - British Resident to be Freed from Guantanamo Bay

1 news article from Reuters

 

February 15th, 2009 - Diplomats Say Guantanamo Detainee Fit to Travel

1 news article from Reuters

 

February 12th, 2009 - British Group Heads to Guantanamo to Free Resident

2 news articles from the Associated Press & BBC News

 

February 4th, 2009 - Ministers Face Torture Pressure

1 news article from BBC News

 

January 22nd, 2009 - Obama Signs Order to Close Guantanamo in a Year

2 news articles from the Associated Press & Reuters

 

January 16th, 2009 - Holder Wants Some Detainees Tried in the U.S.

1 news article from the New York Times

 

January 13th, 2009 - Obama’s Plan to Close Prison at Guantánamo May Take Year

1 news article from the New York Times

 

January 8th, 2009 - Hunger Strikers Surge to 10 Percent at Guantánamo

1 news article from Miami Herald

 

December 2nd, 2008 - Guantanamo ‘a Stain on US Military’

1 news article by BBC News

 

November 26th, 2008 - Freed Guantanamo Prisoner Arrives Home in Yemen

3 news articles by Los Angeles Times, Reuters & Agence France Presse

 

November 15th, 2008 - George W. Bush Could Pardon Spies Involved in Torture

1 news article by Daily Telegraph

 

November 10th, 2008 - Obama Plans US Terror Trials to Replace Guantanamo

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

October 15th, 2008 - CIA Tactics Endorsed In Secret Memos

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

September 4th, 2008 - Mexico Drug Plane Used for US ‘Rendition’ Flights: Report

2 news articles by Agence France Presse & CounterPunch

 

August 18th, 2008 - Marine Lawyer has Sought Judicial Reform

1 news article by the San Diego Union-Tribune

 

June 22nd, 2008 - Inside a 9/11 Mastermind’s Interrogation

1 news article by the New York Times

 

June 13th, 2008 - Justices Say Detainees Can Seek Release

2 news articles by the Washington Post & Agence France Presse

 

June 6th, 2008 - British Judge Sets Hearing on Evidence for Detainee

1 news article by the New York Times

 

April 21st, 2008 - Torture Victim’s Records Lost at Guantánamo, Admits Camp General

1 news article by the Guardian

 

April 2nd, 2008 - U.S. and Britain at Odds Over Guantánamo Inmate

1 news article by the New York Times

 

February 6th, 2008 - AP Confirms Secret Camp Inside Gitmo

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

January 14th, 2008 - Joint Chiefs Chairman: Close Guantanamo

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

October 4th, 2007 - Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations

1 news article by the New York Times

 

July 21st, 2007 - Court Tells U.S. to Reveal Data on Detainees at Guantánamo

2 news articles by the New York Times

 

June 5th, 2007 - Military Judges Dismiss Charges for 2 Detainees

1 news article by New York Times

 

May 31st, 2007 - Death of Guantanamo Detainee Is Apparent Suicide, Military Says

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

April 30th, 2007 - Guantanamo Lawyers Predict More Suicides

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

February 20th, 2007 - Guantanamo Detainees Can’t Challenge Cases in U.S. Courts

1 news article by the Washington Post

 

February 14th, 2007 - Bush Order Allows Guantanamo Trials to Move Ahead

1 news article by Reuters

 

February 3rd, 2007 - Life Harsher in New Guantanamo Unit

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

January 4th, 2007 - Pentagon Says Abuses Already Investigated

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

January 3rd, 2007 - FBI Details Possible Detainee Abuse

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

December 16th, 2006 - Military Taking a Tougher Line With Detainees

1 news article by New York Times

 

November 17th, 2006 - U.S. Military Plans New Compound for Trials

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

November 4th, 2006 - U.S. Seeks to Silence Terror Suspect

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

October 18th, 2006 - Regret and Resentment at Guantanamo

1 news article by BBC News

 

October 17th, 2006 - Bush Signs Bill Setting Detainee Rules

2 news articles by the New York Times & Reuters

 

October 17th, 2006 - U.S. Faces Obstacles To Freeing Detainees

2 news articles by the Washington Post & Reuters

 

October 15th, 2006 - Marine Corps Issues Gag Order in Detainee Abuse Case

1 news article by the Los Angeles Times

 

October 15th, 2006 - Expecting U.S. Help, Sent to Guantánamo

1 news article by the New York Times

 

October 13th, 2006 - Southern Command to Probe Gitmo Charges

3 news articles by the Associated Press (2) & the Washington Post

 

October 7th, 2006 - Pentagon to Probe Gitmo Beatings Claim

2 news articles by the Associated Press & the Los Angeles Times

 

October 6th, 2006 - Prisoner Abuse by U.S. Guantanamo Guards Described

2 news articles by Reuters & the Associated Press

 

October 1st, 2006 - Detainee Memo Created Divide in White House

2 news articles by the New York Times & Bahrain Daily News

 

September 29th, 2006 - Senate Approves Broad New Rules to Try Detainees

3 news articles by the New York Times, the Associated Press & Reuters

 

September 22nd, 2006 - Top Republicans Reach an Accord on Detainee Bill

1 new article by the New York Times

 

September 16th, 2006 - Military Lawyers Caught in Middle on Tribunals

1 news article by the New York Times

 

September 10th, 2006 - At a Secret Interrogation, Dispute Flared Over Tactics

1 news article by the New York Times

 

July 13th, 2006 - White House Prods Congress to Curb Detainee Rights

1 news article by the New York Times

 

June 29th, 2006 - Supreme Court Blocks Bush, Gitmo War Trials

2 news articles by the Associated Press and the Washington Post

 

June 18th, 2006 - How US hid the suicide secrets of Guantanamo

1 news article by the Observer

 

June 12th, 2006 -  Prisoners’ Ruse Is Suspected at Guantánamo

3 news articles by the Guardian, New York Times and Al Jazeera

 

June 11th 2006 -  Three Prisoners commit Suicide at Guantánamo

2 news articles by the New York Times and the Washington Post

 

May 16th, 2004 - US Guards ‘Filmed Beatings’ at Terror Camp

1 news article by the Observer

 

Government & NGO Reports

 

February 3rd, 2009 - MEPs Debate Closure of Guantanamo Prison Camp & CIA Rendition Flights

Press Release from the European Parliament

 

“[…] In a joint debate, MEPs debated Guantanamo Bay prisoner camp and CIA renditions flights. Many MEPs called on Member states to facilitate the closure of the facility within one year (as announced by the new Obama administration) by accepting detainees while, at the same time, ensuring that detainees are not sent to countries where they could be persecuted. During tis legislative period, MEPs repeatedly called on the US to close the Guantanamo camp. […]”

 

January 22nd, 2009 - Executive Orders 13491, 13492 & 13493

Compilation of 3 presidential documents filed at the U.S. Federal Register

 

“[…] Sec. 3. Closure of Detention Facilities at Guantanamo.

 

“The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order. If any individuals covered by this order remain in detention at Guantanamo at the time of closure of those detention facilities, they shall be returned to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States detention facility in a manner consistent with law and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. […]”

 

July 9th, 2008 - Human Rights Annual Report 2007

Report by the U.K. House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee

 

“[…] 74. The FCO report states that it is the Government’s position that the circumstances in which detainees are held indefinitely are ‘unacceptable’ and that it firmly believes the detention facility ‘should close’. It welcomes ‘President Bush’s commitment to close the detention facility as soon as practicable’. However, Human Rights Watch’s submission notes that ‘in fact, President Bush has now stated that he will not do so, and that he will leave Guantánamo for the next President to deal with’. The FCO report notes some outstanding concerns with the US Military Commissions Act 2006 (which aims to bring about the trial of some of the detainees), particularly relating to habeas corpus and the treatment of those acquitted. In what was seen as a coded criticism of the United States, the Foreign Secretary commented in February 2008 that ‘it’s very, very important that we always assert that our system of values is different from those who attacked the US’ on 9/11. […]

 

“77. We conclude that the European Union can and must do more to help the United States in bringing about the overdue closure of the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay. We welcome the Government’s representations on behalf of the five British residents in Guantanamo Bay. Given its decision to intervene in their cases, we recommend that the Government should express particular concern over the prospective trial of Binyam Mohamed under the Military Commissions Act and lobby strongly against any use of the death penalty if he is found guilty. We recommend that the Government should continue to press for the return of Binyam Mohamed and Shaker Aamer to the UK. […]”

 

May 2008 - A Review of the FBI’s Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations

Report by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (6,1 MB)

 

“[…] Our report found that after FBI agents in GTMO and other military zones were confronted with interrogators from other agencies who used more aggressive interrogation techniques than the techniques that the FBI had successfully employed for many years, the FBI decided that it would not participate in joint interrogations of detainees with other agencies in which techniques not allowed by the FBI were used.

 

“Our review determined that the vast majority of FBI agents complied with FBI interview policies and separated themselves from interrogators who used non-FBI techniques. In a few instances, FBI agents used or participated in interrogations during which techniques were used that would not normally be permitted in the United States. These incidents were infrequent and were sometimes related to the unfamiliar circumstances agents encountered in the military zones. They in no way resembled the incidents of detainee mistreatment that occurred at Abu Ghraib.

 

“However, FBI agents continued to witness interrogation techniques by other agencies that caused them concern. Some of these concerns were reported to their supervisors, which sometimes resulted in friction between FBI and the military over the use of these interrogation techniques on detainees. Some FBI agents concerns were resolved directly by the agents working with their military counterparts, while other concerns were never reported. Ultimately, however, the DOD made the decisions regarding which interrogation techniques could be used on the detainees in military zones. In our report, we describe the types of techniques that FBI employees reported to their supervisors. […]”

 

February 6th, 2008 - Detainee Operations - JP 3-63

Military Doctrine by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (1,2 MB)

 

“[…] 4. Detainee Categories

 

“The DOD definition of the word ‘detainee’ includes any person captured, detained, or otherwise under the control of DOD personnel (military, civilian, or contract employee) […]. It does not include persons being held primarily for law enforcement purposes except where the United States is the occupying power. As a matter of policy, all detainees will be treated as EPWs until some other legal status is determined by competent authority. During the course of operations classified by the United States as international armed conflicts, captured opposition personnel who satisfy the criteria enumerated in the GPW will be granted the appropriate status as a matter of law. Detaining officials must recognize that detained enemy combatants who have not satisfied the applicable criteria in GPW will have a status as unlawful ECs, but are still entitled to humane treatment. The inhumane treatment of detainees is prohibited and is not justified by the stress of combat or deep provocation.

 

“a. Enemy Combatant. In general, a person engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners during an armed conflict. The term ‘enemy combatant’ includes both ‘lawful enemy combatants’ and ‘unlawful enemy combatants.’

 

“(1) Lawful ECs, who are entitled to protections under the GPW, include members of the regular armed forces of a state party to the conflict; militia, volunteer corps, and organized resistance movements belonging to a state party to the conflict, which are under responsible command, wear a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance, carry their arms openly, and abide by the laws of war; and, members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the detaining power. Lawful combatants are EPWs upon capture, and are entitled to ‘combatant immunity’ for their lawful pre-capture warlike acts. They may be prosecuted, however, for violations of the law of war. If so prosecuted, they still retain their status as EPWs.

 

“(2) Unlawful ECs are persons not entitled to combatant immunity, who engage in acts against the United States or its coalition partners in violation of the laws and customs of war during an armed conflict or who support such acts. For purposes of the war on terrorism, the term unlawful EC is defined to include, but is not limited to, an individual who is or was part of or supporting Taliban or al Qaeda forces or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.

 

“b. Enemy Prisoner of War. Individual under the custody and/or control of the DOD according to Articles 4 and 5 of the GPW. […]”

 

July 20th, 2007 -  Interpretation of the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3

Executive Order by the U.S. White House

 

February 14th, 2007 - ICRC Report on the Treatment of 14 “High Value Detainees” in CIA Custody

Report by the International Committee of the Red Cross

 

February 14th, 2007 - Executive Order Trial of Alien Unlawful Enemy Combatants by Military Commission

Press Release by the U.S. White House

 

October 17th, 2006 - President Bush Signs Military Commissions Act of 2006

Press Release by the U.S. White House

 

September 28th, 2006 - Military Commissions Act of 2006

Act of U.S. Congress proposed to the U.S. President for acceptance

 

September 6th, 2006 - Summary of the High Value Terrorist Detainee Program

Report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

 

September 5th, 2006 - The Department of Defense Detainee Program

Directive by the U.S. Department of Defense

 

September 2006 - FM 2-22.3 Human Intelligence Collector Operations

Field Manual by the U.S. Department of the Army

 

May 15th, 2006 - List of Individuals Detained at Guantánamo Bay from Jan 2002 through May 15, 2006

Report by the U.S. Department of Defense

 

February 15th, 2006 - Situation of Detainees at Guantánamo Bay

Report by the Commission on Human Rights, United Nations

 

“[…] 25. Many of the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay were captured in places where there was – at the time of their arrest – no armed conflict involving the United States. The case of the six men of Algerian origin detained in Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2001 is a well-known and well-documented example,24 but also numerous other detainees have been arrested under similar circumstances where international humanitarian law did not apply. The legal provision allowing the United States to hold belligerents without charges or access to counsel for the duration of hostilities can therefore not be invoked to justify their detention. […]”

 

March 28th, 2003 - Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Report by the Joint Task Force - Guantanamo (JTF - GTMO) (4,3 MB)

 

“[…] a. This standard operating procedure (SOP) provides policy, procedures, and responsibilities for the security, administration, and treatment of detainees in custody at Camp Delta. This SOP also establishes procedures for transfer of custody from Camp Delta. […]”

 

March 14th, 2003 - Re: Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the U. S.

Memorandum by U.S. Department of Justice (5,9 MB)

 

“[…] You have asked our Office to examine the legal standards governing military interrogations of alien unlawful combatants held outside the United States. You have requested that we examine both· domestic and international law that might be applicable to the conduct of those interrogations.

 

“In Part I, we conclude that the Fifth and Eighth Amendments, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, do not extend to alien enemy combatants held abroad. In Part II, we examine federal criminal law. We explain that several canons of construction apply here. Those canons of construction indicate that federal criminal laws of general applicability do not apply to properly authorized interrogations of enemy combatants, undertaken by military personnel in the course of an armed conflict. Such criminal statutes, if they were misconstrued to apply to the interrogation of enemy combatants, would conflict with the Constitution’s grant of the Commander in Chief power solely to the President. […]

 

“Third, we examine the applicability of customary international law. We conclude that as an expression of state practice, customary intemational law cannot impose a standard that differs from U.S. obligations under CAT, a recent multilateral treaty on the same subject. In any event, our previous opinions make clear that customary international law is not federal law and that the President is free to override it at his discretion. […]”

 

 

Interrogation Reports

 

January 2nd, 2007 - Documents related to internal Guantanamo Bay Inquiry

Report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (5,2 MB)

 

June 7th, 2002 - Investigative FBI Report on Prisoner Abuse at Camp Delta

 

“[…] [censored] was interviewed at Camp Delta, present for the interview were SA [special agent] FBI, SA [censored] Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) [censored] linguist [censored] provided the following information, translated by:

 

“[censored] stated he had been beaten unconscious approximately three or four weeks ago when he was still at Camp X-Ray. According to [censored] an unknown number of guards entered his cell, unprovoked, and started spitting and cursing at him. The guards called him a ‘son of a bitch,’ and a ‘bastard,’ then told him he was crazy.

 

“[censored] rolled on his stomach to protect himself, [censored] stated a soldier named [censored] jumped on his back and started beating him in the face. [censored] then choked him until he passed out. [censored] stated that [censored] was beating him because [censored] is a muslim, and [censored] is christian. [censored] indicated there was a female guard named [censored] who was also beating him and grabbed his head and beat it into the cell floor.

 

“[censored] stated that all the soldiers were aware of his [censored] problems, and he was taken to the hospital following the beating, where he received an IV and treatment for his facial wounds. [censored] claimed the camp warden, who is a tall african american male, visited him at the hospital and told the doctors to immediately return him to the camp. [censored] reported the aforementioned incident to two Red Cross representatives at Camp Delta, who he identified as [censored] and [censored]. [censored] stated he did not do anything to cause the guards to enter his cell, and did everything they instructed him to do. [censored] had what appeared to be a recent wound on the bridge of his nose.

 

“[censored] stated that he was put in an isolated cell after he was involved in a dispute over food givent to him. [censored] stated that he is unable to eat certain foods, and was placed in isolation after arguing with a guard. […]”

 

 

Legal Documents

 

Mohammedou Ould Salahi vs. Barrack H. Obama et al

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: 05-CV-0569

 

April 9th, 2010 - Memorandum Order

 

“[…] Mohammedou Quld Salahi, a Mauritanian national, alleges that he is illegally detained at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and petitions this court for a writ of habeas corpus to secure his release.

 

“Salahi has been in custody, without being charged with any crime, since November [redacted] 2001. He was first taken into custody by [redacted] on [redacted] suspicion that he had been involved in the failed ‘Millennium Plot’ to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport. The United States [redacted] transported him to Guantanamo Bay in August 2002, […]. He has been there ever since. He filed this petition in 2005, but his case, like all other habeas corpus petitions from Guantanamo Bay, was put on hold until the Supreme Court decided that Guantanamo detainees have a right to habeas proceedings and that this court has jurisdiction to hear them.

 

“[…] The government’s case, essentially, is that Salahi was so connected to al-Qaida for a decade beginning in 1990 that he must have been ‘part of’ al-Qaida at the time of his capture. The allegations are that Salahi was a recruiter for al-Qaida - that indeed he recruited two of the men who became 9/11 hijackers and a third who became a 9/11 coordinator; that he actively supported his cousin, who is or was one of Osama Bin Laden's spiritual advisors that he carried out orders to develop al-Qaida's telecommunications capacity; and that he had connections with an al-Qaida cell in Montreal.

 

“[…] Salahi concedes that he traveled to Afghanistan in early 1990 to fight jihad against communists and that there he swore bayat to al-Qaida. He maintains, however, that his association with al-Qaida ended after 1992, and that, even though he remained in contact thereafter with people he knew to be al-Qaida members, he did nothing for al-Qaida after that time. […] The government’s case relies heavily on statements made by Salahi himself, but the reliability of those statements - most of them now retracted by Salahi is open to question.

 

“[…] The government’'s problem is that its proof that Salahi gave material support to terrorists is so attenuated, or so tainted by coercion and mistreatment, or so classified, that it cannot support a successful criminal prosecution. Nevertheless, the government wants to hold Salahi indefinitely, because of its concern that he might renew his oath to al-Qaida and become a terrorist upon his release. That concern may indeed be well-founded. Salahi fought with al-Qaida in Afghanistan (twenty years ago), associated with at least a half-dozen known al-Qaida members and terrorists, and somehow found and lived among or with al-Qaida cell members in Montreal. But a habeas court may not permit a man to be held indefinitely upon suspicion, or because of the government’s prediction that he may do unlawful acts in the future - any more than a habeas court may rely upon its prediction that a man will not be dangerous in the future and order his release if he was lawfully detained in the first place. The question, upon which the government had the burden of proof, was whether, at the time of his capture, Salahi was a ‘part of’ al-Qaida. On the record before me, I cannot find that he was.

 

“The petition for writ of habeas corpus is granted. Salahi must be released from custody. It is so ordered. […]”

 

Mohammed Al-Qahtani et al vs. Barrack Obama et al

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: 1:05-cv-01971-RMC

 

October 5th, 2009 - Memorandum Opinion & Order

 

“[…] In response to the Court's June 2, 2009 discovery order requiring the Government to report on the burden that would be imposed if the Court were to require the Government to produce all audio/video recordings of Petitioner from August 8, 2002 through January 15, 2003. [redacted] Each tape is approximately [redacted] hours long.

 

“In order to clear these tapes for release, multiple agencies including the Department of Defense (‘DOD’), the FBI, and the Central Intelligence Agency would have to review the tapes frame-by-frame. Thus, to require the Government to produce all of these videotapes would be excessively burdensome.

 

“However, the tapes created at the end of the period from August 13, 2002 to November 22, 2003 likely have some value to Petitioner. To justify Petitioner’s detention, the Government relies on Petitioner’s statements made from April 2003 through March 2004. Petitioner challenges the veracity and reliability of the statements. He contends that his statements were so tainted by the cumulative effects of abusive treatment that took place previously that the statements cannot be credited or relied upon. Accordingly, Petitioner seeks information regarding his own mental and physical status both prior to and at the time he made the incriminating statements on which the Government relies. Thus, the audio/video recordings made later would be more likely to contain information relevant to Petitioner’s challenge on voluntariness grounds than those made earlier. […]

 

“[…] For the reasons set forth above, it is hereby ordered that the Government shall produce the audio/video recordings of Petitioner created between November 15, 2002 and November 22, 2002; and it is further ordered that the Government shall produce the nine summarized witness statements related to Petitioner that are listed in the appendix to the Schmidt-Furlow Report; […]”

 

 

Fouad Mahmoud Al-Rabiah et al vs. U.S.A. et al

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: 1:02-cv-00828-CKK

 

September 17th, 2009 - Order

 

“[…] For the reasons set forth in the Court's Classified Memorandum Opinion issued to the parties on this date, Petitioner Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah's petition for habeas corpus is granted. The Government is directed to take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate the release of Petitioner Al Rabiah forthwith. The Government is directed to comply with any reporting requirements mandated by the Supplemental Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 111-32, 123 Stat. 1859 (2009), if applicable, to facilitate the release of Petitioner Al Rabiah forthwith. The relevant agencies shall complete a classification review of the Court’s Classified Memorandum Opinion and shall provide the Court with an Unclassified version no later than 10:00 A.M. on September 25, 2009.

 

“This is a Final, Appealable Order. […]”

 

 

Mohammed al-Adahi et al vs. Barack H. Obama et al

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: 1:02-cv-00299-CKK

 

August 21st, 2009 - Memorandum Opinion

 

“[…] Petitioner Mohammed Al-Adahi […] has been detained since 2002 at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Respondents […] argue that his detention is justified under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, […], which grants the Executive the power to detain individuals engaged in certain terrorist activities. The Petitioner disagrees, and has, along with four other petitioners, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus […]. The matter is before the Court on Cross-Motions for Judgment on the Record […].

 

“Upon consideration of the Motions, the Oppositions, extensive oral argument and accompanying exhibits, and the entire record herein, Al-Adahi’s habeas corpus petition and Motion are hereby granted. […]

 

“[…] As a preliminary matter, some attention must be given to the nature of the evidence that has been presented in this case, and how the Court, as fact-finder, will go about evaluating that evidence. In attempting. to meet its burden, the Government has provided evidence in the form of classified intelligence and interview reports that it believes justify the Petitioner’s detention. The reports contain the statements of Petitioner, as well as statements made by other detainees, that the Government argues demonstrate the Petitioner’s status as a member or substantial supporter of al-Qaida and/or the Taliban. […]

 

“[…] There is no question that the record fully supports the Government's allegation that Petitioner had close familial ties to prominent members of the jihad community in Afghanistan. […]

 

“[…] A few days later, Al-Adahi met Bin Laden again and the two chatted briefly about religious matters in Yemen. […] In his testimony, the Petitioner insisted that such a meeting with Bin Laden was common for visitors to Kandahar. […] The Government interprets the access to Bin Laden, as well as the relationship to [redacted and [redacted] brother, an alleged bodyguard for Bin Laden, as part of the evidence that ‘Al-Adahi was part of the inner circle of the enemy organization al-Qaida.’ […]

 

“[…] There is no reliable evidence in the record that Petitioner was a trainer at Al Farouq, that he ever fought for al-Qaida and/or the Taliban, or that he affirmatively provided any actual support to al-Qaida and/or the Taliban. There is no reliable evidence in the record that Petitioner was a member of al-Qaida and/or the Taliban. While it is tempting to be swayed by the fact that Petitioner readily acknowledged having met Bin Laden on two occasions and admitted that perhaps his relatives were bodyguards and enthusiastic followers of Bin Laden, such evidence - sensational and compelling as it may appear - does not constitute actual, reliable evidence that would justify the Government's detention of this man.

 

“For these reasons, and the reasons set forth above, the Court grants the petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Mindful of the limitations on the scope of the remedy in this situation, […], the Court further orders the Government to take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Petitioner'S release forthwith. […]”

 

 

Saki Bacha aka Mohammed Jawad vs. Barack Obama et al

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: 1:05-cv-2385-ESH-(ISN 900)

 

July 30th, 2009 - Order

 

“[…] Before the Court is respondents’ notice that respondents will no longer treat petitioner as detainable under the AUMF […] and petitioner’s response thereto […], respondents’ proposed order and judgment […], and respondents’ memorandum in support of respondents’ proposed order for resolution of this action […]. For the reasons stated during today’s public hearing, it is hereby ordered that Mohammed Jawad’s petition for writ of habeas corpus is granted.

 

“It is further ordered that on or before August 6, 2009, respondents shall submit to the Congress the information required under Section 14103 (e) of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 111-32, 123 Stat. 1859 (2009).

 

“It is further ordered that beginning on August 21, 2009, when 15 days following the submission of the aforesaid information to the Congress have passed, respondents shall promptly release petitioner Jawad from detention at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay and transfer him to the custody of the receiving government.

 

“It is further ordered that petitioner Jawad shall be treated humanely consistent with respondents’ legitimate security and operational concerns. It is further ordered that on or before August 24, 2009, respondents shall file a status report regarding petitioner Jawad’s transfer. So ordered. […]”

 

 

In Re: Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: Misc. No. 08-0442 (TFH)

 

July 10th, 2009 - Memorandum Opinion

 

“[…] Pending before the Court is the government’s Motion to Amend the September 11, 2008 Protective Order and Counsel Access Procedures and the January 9, 2009 Amended TS/SCI Protective Order and Counsel Access Procedures […]. The government asks the Court to amend the protective orders entered in the above-captioned cases in order to prevent petitioners from viewing their own statements, if those statements have been designated as classified or protected. Upon consideration of the motion, petitioners’ opposition, and the government’s reply, the Court will deny in part and grant in part the motion. […]

 

“[…] For the reasons set forth in this opinion, the government’s motion will be denied in part and granted in part. The government’s proposal to amend the Protective Order, the TS/SCI Protective Order, the Counsel Access Procedures, and the TS/SCI Counsel Access Procedures will be denied. The government’s request to modify the procedures for providing petitioners access to their respective protected statements will also be denied. To the extent the government’s motion seeks to modify the procedures for providing petitioners access to their respective classified statements, it will be granted. […]”

 

 

Abdulrahim Abdul Razak Al-Ginco vs. George Bush, Barack Obama et al

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: 1:05-cv-01310-UNA

 

June 22nd, 2009 - Memorandum Order

 

“[…] Petitioner Abdulrahim Abdul Razak Al Ginco (who now prefers the surname Janko) (‘petitioner’ or ‘Janko’) is a detainee being held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He alleges that he is being unlawfully detained by Respondents President Barack H. Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Rear Admiral David M. Thomas, Jr., and Army Colonel Bruce Vargo (collectively, ‘respondents’ or the ‘Government’). On May 28,2009, this Court commenced habeas corpus proceedings for petitioner Janko. […]

 

“[…] Petitioner Janko, a Syrian citizen who spent his teen years in the United Arab Emirates, was taken into custody by U.S. forces in January 2002 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. […] Initially he was held and questioned at Kandahar Air Base, until he was ultimately taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after approximately 100 days. […] In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision in Rasul v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466, 473 (2004) (holding that 28 U.S.C. 5 2241 extended statutory habeas corpus jurisdiction to Guantanamo), petitioner Janko filed his habeas corpus petition with this Court on June 30, 2005. […] As with hundreds of other petitions filed around that time, no action was taken by this Court on the petition until the Supreme Court ruled on June 12, 2008 in Boumediene v. Bush, 128 S. Ct, 2229 (2008), that Guantanamo detainees are ‘entitled to the privilege of habeas corpus to challenge the legality of their detention.’ […]

 

“[…] The Government contends, in essence, that petitioner Janko is an enemy combatant because he was ‘part of ... Taliban or al Qaeda forces’ at the time he was taken into custody by U.S. forces in 2002. In particular, the Government argues that petitioner Janko: (1) traveled to Afghanistan to participate in jihad on behalf of the Taliban; (2) stayed for several days at a guesthouse used by Taliban and al Qaeda fighters and operatives in early 2000, where he helped clean some weapons; and (3) thereafter attended the al Farouq training camp for a brief period of time. […] The Government effectively concedes, however, that petitioner Janko was not only imprisoned, but tortured by al Qaeda into making a false ‘confession’ that he was a U.S. spy, and imprisoned thereafter by the Taliban for over eighteen months at the infamous Sarpusa prison in Kandahar. […] Notwithstanding these extraordinary intervening events, the Government contends that Janko was still ‘part of’ the Taliban and/or al Qaeda when he was taken into custody after U.S. forces learned from a reporter of petitioner’ s presence at the abandoned prison in January 2002. […]

 

“[…] Thus, combining the limited and brief nature of lanko's relationship with al Qaeda (and/or the Taliban), with the extreme conduct by his captors over a prolonged period of time, the conclusion is inescapable that his preexisting relationship, such as it was, was sufficiently vitiated that he was no longer ‘part of’ al Qaeda (or the Taliban) at the time he was taken into custody by U.S. forces in 2002. Accordingly, the Government has failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that lanko was lawfully detainable as an enemy combatant under the AUMF at the time he was taken into custody, and the Court must, and will, GRANT his petition for a writ of habeas corpus and order the Government to take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate his release forthwith. […]”

 

 

Lakhdar Boumediene et al vs. George W. Bush et al

U.S. Supreme Court for the United States

Case No.: 06 - 1195

 

June 12th, 2008 - Opinion of the Court

 

“[…] Petitioners are aliens designated as enemy combatants and detained at the United States Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. There are others detained there, also aliens, who are not parties to this suit.

 

“Petitioners present a question not resolved by our earlier cases relating to the detention of aliens at Guantanamo: whether they have the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus, a privilege not to be withdrawn except inconformance with the Suspension Clause, Art. I, § 9, cl. 2. We hold these petitioners do have the habeas corpus privilege. Congress has enacted a statute, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA), 119 Stat. 2739, that provides certain procedures for review of the detainees’ status. We hold that those procedures are not an adequate and effective substitute for habeas corpus. Therefore § 7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), 28 U.S.C.A. § 2241(e) (Supp. 2007), operates as an unconstitutional suspension of the writ.

 

“We do not address whether the President has authority to detain these petitioners nor do we hold that the writ must issue. These and other questions regarding the legality of the detention are to be resolved in the first instance by the District Court. […]”

 

 

Lakhdar Boumediene et al vs. George W. Bush et al

U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit

Case No.: 05 - 5062

 

February 20th, 2007 - Opinion

 

“[…] Federal courts have no jurisdiction in these cases. In supplemental briefing after enactment of the DTA, the government asked us not only to decide the habeas jurisdiction question, but also to review the merits of the detainees’ designation as enemy combatants by their Combatant Status Review Tribunals. […]  The detainees objected to converting their habeas appeals to appeals from their Tribunals. In briefs filed after the DTA became law and after the Supreme Court decided Hamdan, they argued that we were without authority to do so.16 Even if we have authority to convert the habeas appeals over the petitioners’ objections, the record does not have sufficient information to perform the review the DTA allows. Our only recourse is to vacate the district courts’ decisions and dismiss the cases for lack of jurisdiction.

 

“So ordered. […]”

 

 

Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, et al

Supreme Court of the United States

Case No.: 05 - 184

 

June 29th, 2006 - Opinion

 

“[…] Pursuant to Congress’ Joint Resolution authorizing the President to ‘use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided’ the September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorist attacks (AUMF), U. S. Armed Forces invaded Afghanistan. During the hostilities, in 2001, militia forces captured petitioner Hamdan, a Yemeni national, and turned him over to the U. S. military, which, in 2002, transported him to prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Over a year later, the President deemed Hamdan eligible for trial by military commission for then-unspecified crimes. After another year, he was charged with conspiracy ‘to commit ... offenses triable by military commission.’ […]

 

“The military commission at issue lacks the power to proceed because its structure and procedures violate both the UCMJ and the four Geneva Conventions signed in 1949. […] (a) The commission’s procedures, set forth in Commission OrderNo. 1, provide, among other things, that an accused and his civilian counsel may be excluded from, and precluded from ever learning what evidence was presented during, any part of the proceeding the official who appointed the commission or the presiding officer decides to ‘close.’ Grounds for closure include the protection of classified information, the physical safety of participants and witnesses, the protection of intelligence and law enforcement sources, methods, or activities, and ‘other national security interests.’ Appointed military defense counsel must be privy to these closed sessions, but may, at the presiding officer’s discretion, be forbidden to reveal to the client what took place therein.

 

“Another striking feature is that the rules governing Hamdan’s commission permit the admission of any evidence that, in the presiding officer’s opinion, would have probative value to a reasonable person. Moreover, the accused and his civilian counsel may be denied access to classified and other ‘protected information,’ so long as the presiding officer concludes that the evidence is ‘probative’ and that its admission without the accused’s knowledge would not result in the denial of a full and fair trial. […]”

 

Photo Credits

 

1) Guantánamo Bay, Camp Delta - April 5th, 2006 - Brennan Linsley/AP;

2) Guantánamo Bay, Camp Delta - June 25th, 2005 - Haraz Ghanbari/AP;

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