Judge Rejects Obama Administration’s ‘Deeply Troubling’ Effort to Close Hearing on Forced-Feeding at Guantanamo

By: Thursday October 2, 2014 5:00 pm

A federal judge rejected efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to close a hearing in a lawsuit brought by a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, who wants a court to determine whether the government’s practice of forced-feeding is lawful.

Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who is Syrian, was cleared for release by Obama’s Guantanamo review task force in 2009, however, he remains imprisoned without charge or trial. He has been in detention since 2002. He went on hunger strike and began to be subjected to forced-feeding on April 9, 2013.

 

Judge Rejects DOJ’s Secrecy Argument That Public Doesn’t Know How to Evade Location Tracking

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 9:33 am

In a case involving a Freedom of Information Act request for information related to government policies and procedures for law enforcement use of cell phone tracking, a federal judge has ordered the release of records, which the Justice Department sought to keep secret by claiming they would “alert law violators”—otherwise known as criminals—to how to evade detection.

The ACLU in Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a lawsuit seeking documents on location tracking technology on July 31, 2012. The Justice Department has produced a few documents but has continued to insist that many of the documents requested are “work product” so they are protected from disclosure. The agency has also refused to search for documents that were requested.

What Will Happen to Secret Prisoners at Bagram as US Withdraws More Forces from Afghanistan?

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 6:40 am

The United States will face a deadline at the end of the year and will apparently no longer have the right to hold prisoners in Afghanistan. It will have to decide what to do with a group of prisoners at Bagram military base, who President Barack Obama’s administration would like to continue to hold in indefinite detention.

Brigadier General Patrick J. Reinert, the current facility’s commander, said, “We’ve got to resolve their fate by either returning them to their home country or turning them over to the Afghans for prosecution or any other number of ways that the Department of Defense has to resolve.” The administration is considering transferring the prisoners to the US court system or possibly Guantanamo Bay.

Posse Comitatus and the Fourth Amendment

By: Tuesday September 30, 2014 7:35 am

Back in pre-Constitution America, the British army would burst into the homes and businesses of American colonists.
The searches would often be destructive, and intended so. Some of the time the point was to seize incriminating “revolutionary” materials, many times the point was simply to harass and threaten people the Crown feared and wanted to send a message to. It was in direct response to such invasions of freedom that the Founders wrote in the Fourth Amendment “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

Government Won’t Explain Why It Thinks ‘State Secrets’ at Risk in Lawsuit Against Anti-Iran Group

By: Saturday September 27, 2014 12:50 pm

The Justice Department has informed a judge that it refuses to additionally explain why it believes “state secrets” are relevant or some how entwined in the defense of an anti-Iran advocacy group accused of defamation.

Greek businessman and ship owner Victor Restis alleges that United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) falsely and maliciously identified him as part of a the organization’s campaign to name and shame individuals and companies that do business in Iran. But the Justice Department has moved to invoke the state secret privilege.

Why Is DOJ Protecting Anti-Iran Group & Not Prosecuting It for Possessing ‘State Secrets’?

By: Friday September 19, 2014 10:09 am

A lawyer representing a Greek businessman and ship owner, who has accused an anti-Iran advocacy group of falsely and maliciously identifying him as part of their campaign to name and shame individuals and companies that do business in Iran, has responded to the Justice Department’s unprecedented decision to claim state secrets privilege.

Government Tries to Alter Court Transcript in EFF NSA Spying Case

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 3:13 pm

This is one of the crazier things I’ve seen in a while, and as someone who works with a lot of whistleblowers, that’s saying something.

The EFF is suing the NSA and other government agencies in the case Jewel v. NSA, attempting to stop illegal dragnet surveillance. According to EFF there was a hearing on June 6 in a crowded courtroom, but after it was over the government asked to have “classified information” that they had presented in open court removed from the court transcript. And they wanted to do so in secret so it would never be a matter of public record.

Moreover, EFF was under a gag order not to speak about it until today

CBP Requests Federal Court Keep Identity of Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teen Secret

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 7:50 am

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has asked a federal court in Arizona to keep the name of a Border Patrol agent, who killed a 16-year-old, secret.

Obama Administration Still Keeping Much Secret About Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 2:10 pm

The Justice Department released two memos on the authorization of warrantless wiretapping, as part of the top secret program, Stellar Wind. The memos were created during President George W. Bush’s administration and contain the “legal justification” for electronic surveillance without a warrant. However, one of the me was previously provided with significant redactions to the ACLU in March 2011. It remains heavily censored.

The memo was written by former Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) head and lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, and is dated May 6, 2004.

As ACLU staff attorney Patrick Toomey told The Washington Post, “What these memos show is that nearly three years after President Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ emails and phone calls, government lawyers were still struggling to put the program on sound legal footing.”

Court: Releasing Images of Guantanamo Prisoner Would Incite Violence, Especially Since He Was Tortured

By: Wednesday September 3, 2014 4:15 pm

A federal appeals court has ruled that the United States government can keep video and photos of high-profile Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohammed al-Qahtani secret because it is well-known that he was tortured and abused and any future release of information depicting him could be used by terrorist groups to incite anti-American violence.

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. At issue are at least 58 FBI videos “depicting Qahtani’s activities in his cell and his interactions” with Defense Department personnel. There are also two videos showing “forced cell extractions,” where Qahtani was likely removed from his cell in an abusive or aggressive manner, two videos showing “document intelligence debriefings” and “six mugshots” of Qahtani.

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