Guantanamo Prisoners Were Granted Access to US Courts Ten Years Ago Yet Indefinite Detention Continues

By: Monday June 30, 2014 8:47 am

Just over ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay had a right to challenge their detention in US courts and opened up the pervasive lawlessness at the facility to lawsuits by prisoners.

 

A Very Good Question That Deserves an Answer

By: Saturday October 13, 2012 9:00 am

Religiously speaking, the answers given at the VP debate by Paul Ryan and Joe Biden to the question of how their personal faith relates to their work as politicians were striking. The difference between the two candidates — and the parties and platforms they stand for — could not have been starker. Ryan spoke with absolute certainty that he/his party/his church are absolutely correct when it comes to banning abortion, while Biden expressed both his own personal beliefs alongside respect for those who hold other views and the concomitant right to act on their religious views.

But while abortion was the specific example Martha Raddatz used to frame her question, it is hardly the only one. The editors of the Jesuit magazine “America” pose another very good question themselves, that deserves an answer from both Obama and Romney. If no one brings it up at the town hall-style debate next week, I’d love to see Bob Schieffer ask it at the foreign policy debate that follows.

Innocence Ain’t Good Enough to Get Out of Prison

By: Friday June 15, 2012 11:45 am

Despite the change in the law in 1993 reducing the maximum potential penalties for many minor felonies to less than one year incarceration (i.e., changing the offenses to non-felonies under federal law), the state continued to refer and the feds continued to accept and prosecute cases charging people with felon in possession of a firearm where the prior felony conviction was no longer technically a felony conviction under federal law.

Using Evidence from Water Torture to Hold Detainees at Guantanamo

By: Tuesday August 16, 2011 6:30 am

A few weeks ago, Truthout published an article that examined a number of instances of water torture, including evidence of near-drowning, on prisoners held by the Department of Defense. A second article, with further documentation, including cases other cases of submersion in water and also extreme forms of “water dousing,” will be coming out soon. But not everything can be squeezed into even two articles.

Isolation, Indeterminate Sentences Used to Extract Confessions at California Supermax Prisons

By: Sunday July 17, 2011 6:45 am

The conditions at Security Housing Units (SHU) at Pelican Bay Prison, and other Supermax prisons, clearly constitute torture and/or cruel, inhumane treatment of prisoners. It relies on the use of severe isolation or solitary confinement, the effects of which I’ve written about before in the context of the Bradley Manning case (see here and here). At Pelican Bay, the prisoners in “administrative segregation” are locked in a gray concrete 8′X10′ foot cell 22-1/2 hours per day. The other time (if that privilege is granted) is spent alone in a tiny concrete yard. There is no human physical contact. No work, no communal activities. If the prisoner has enough money they can purchase a TV or radio. Meals are pushed through a slot in the metal door.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jonathan Hafetz, Habeas Corpus after 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System

By: Sunday July 10, 2011 1:59 pm

Just a few years ago, the national debate over the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, indefinite detention, secret renditions and other legal elements of the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror” happened openly in American courtrooms and in the daily newspapers. Increasingly, those debates have receded into the rearview mirror as we content ourselves with the illusion that these issues are no longer urgent, or no longer affect us. In his thoughtful new book, Habeas Corpus After 9/11, Professor Jonathan Hafetz of Seton Hall University School of Law, reminds us that these and other legal innovations in the War on Terror are neither resolved, nor isolated, nor benign. We are still living in the legal universe that was constructed on the fly after 9/11. We just don’t want to admit it.

A Little Speechwriting Help for the State of the Union

By: Saturday January 22, 2011 9:00 am

Next week is the State of the Union address, and I thought I’d offer a little last minute, unsolicited advice to the president and the White House speechwriters. Some may think it presumptuous, but as one of “we, the people,” I think it’s allowable. It’s not like they have to take the advice, after all . . . but it sure would be nice to see and hear something like this.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Gregory Fried, Because It Is Wrong: Torture, Privacy and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror

By: Sunday October 17, 2010 1:59 pm

Father and son, Charles Fried (former solicitor general of the United States under Ronald Reagan, legal scholar at Harvard University and author of Modern Liberty) and Gregory Fried (chair of the Philosophy Department at Suffolk University and author of Heidegger’s Polemos) have undertaken the daunting task of examining the limitations and excesses of modern day Presidential power to gather intelligence by torture and surveillance. In order to reach their ultimate conclusions as to the interplay of law, morality, civil community and political leadership, the Frieds review sources and thought from Aristotle to Machiavelli to the Bible, including principles from epieikeia to “dirty hands” to religious and secular precepts relating to human dignity. They have deliberately kept the conversation, “as wide as possible” in recognition that “ours is a nation founded in philosophy.”

First Guantanamo Habeas Case Makes Way to Supreme Court

By: Tuesday October 5, 2010 12:35 pm

First Gitmo Habeas Case Makes Way To SCOTUS; it will be an important bellwether to see if the Court accepts cert and, if so, what they do with the case.

Government Continues Its Fight for Indefinite Detention

By: Friday September 17, 2010 2:15 pm

The government appealed its loss in the habeas petition of Mohamedou Ould Salahi today; Judge James Robertson’s ruling hewed very closely to the terms of the Authorization for Use of Military Force in his decision.

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