Binyam Mohamed Released from Gitmo

At 1:11 p.m. GMT, a plane carrying Binyam Mohamed touched down in West London. Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen and resident of the U.K., is a victim of extraordinary rendition. He'd been at Guantánamo for four years, but his ordeal began in April 2002 when he was first arrested by Pakistani authorities at the airport on his way back to Britain. He was rendered by the U.S. to Morocco, Afghanistan and finally to Guantánamo, where he was detained for four years. In a statement released through his Reprieve UK lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, Mohamed said:

I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares. Before this ordeal, "torture" was an abstract word to me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim. It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways — all orchestrated by the United States government.

While I want to recover, and put it all as far in my past as I can, I also know I have an obligation to the people who still remain in those torture chambers. My own despair was greatest when I thought that everyone had abandoned me. I have a duty to make sure that nobody else is forgotten.

[…] I wish I could say that it is all over, but it is not. There are still 241 Muslim prisoners in Guantánamo. Many have long since been cleared even by the US military, yet cannot go anywhere as they face persecution. For example, Ahmed bel Bacha lived here in Britain, and desperately needs a home. Then there are thousands of other prisoners held by the US elsewhere around the world, with no charges, and without access to their families.

Mohamed is the lead plaintiff in Mohamed v. Jeppesen, the ACLU's extraordinary rendition lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan. On February 9, 2009, lawyers for President Obama stood before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and reaffirmed the Bush administration's argument that the case should not be heard because doing so would be a threat to state secrets. We, and many others, strongly disagree.

This week, a report commissioned by President Obama on the conditions of confinement at Guantánamo will be released. According to The New York Times, the report concludes that the naval base "complies with the humane-treatment requirements of the Geneva Conventions."

We're puzzled too. As ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero pointed out in a statement, while he was running for President, then-Senator Obama himself acknowledged that the detention center violated international and domestic law. So for the Pentagon to report otherwise is a whitewash, at best. Because we're almost certain that if you ask Binyam Mohamed, who endured four years at Guantánamo, he would testify to quite the contrary.

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Vic Livingston

POLITICAL POSTS CONCERNING STATE-SANCTIONED TORTURE IN THE U.S. CONTINUE TO BE SUBJECT TO APPARENT PRIOR RESTRAINT AND CENSORSHIP BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE OPERATIVES.

***

HERE IS THE LATEST EXAMPLE -- A COMMENT INTENDED FOR THE WASHINGTON POST'S 'THE FIX' BLOG, CONCERNING THE NAMING OF FORMER WASHINGTON GOV. GARY LOCKE AS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CHOICE FOR COMMERCE SECRETARY:

***

ATTENTION GOV. LOCKE: HELP OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STOP RADIATION WEAPONS PROLIFERATION

As commerce secretary, you will be in a position to help stem the dangerous proliferation of silent, injury- and illness-inducing radiation weaponry...

...which apparently continues to be used as a government-sanctioned torture tool against "innocent but targeted" people worldwide -- including here in the U.S., where the Bush Justice Department approved its deployment to local law enforcement for use against persons deemed as "undesirables."

This weaponry, widely circulated among security and intelligence operatives, threatens to proliferate to criminals and terrorists who are not affiliated with sovereign governments...

...if, indeed, that has not already happened.

This weaponry should be banned worldwide as inhumane and as "weapons of mass destruction."

Please note the following articles, and please discuss this issue with President Obama, VP Biden, Sec. Gates, Sec. Clinton, Sec. Napolitano and Atty. Gen. Holder.

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network...
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-ameri...
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-k-e-u-humanists-head-london-protest-rad...

OR (if links are disabled/corrupted):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

ACLU member

What a nice man. He went to Afghanistan to get away from the bad drug using people in his neighborhood. Maybe Afghanistan should open up rehab centers. I'm sure his cell phone number didn't show up on any training camp lists and I am sure he never went to Afghanistan to engage in Jihad. When he was confronted by the US Army he ran away and tried to use a fake passport to escape via Pakistan. What a CandyAss.

Sally

Why was he over there in the first place and why did the investigators spend so much time with this guy? All that time and effort on an innocent man? Was he a senior Al-Qaeda member? Prison lear jets are very costly.

Vic Livingston

Addendum to above:

At about 9:35 p.m. on 2/23, I again attempted to post the above commentary to The Washington Post's "The Fix" political blog.

Once again, I was met by the message that the post was "being held for the blog owner," the same apparently faked message I received this morning. The commentary was NOT posted.

I believe the U.S. government is engaging in selective censorship and prior restraint of telecommunications in this country, based on political content. The very fact that the censorship is applied selectively is prima facia evidence of its unconstitutionality.

Please, ACLU, my rights and the rights of similarly affected persons are being grossly violated. Only a class action lawsuit can hope to end this lawless and maliciously applied censorship. This narrative may help build a case.

It would appear that the rights of The Washington Post to communicate with its readership also is being infringed upon -- not to mention the likelihood that the censors are "spoofing" pages and representing to readers that they are being generated by The Post, when in fact they apparently are "spoofed pages" inserted by rogue operators who are violating the constitutional rights of Americans on an hour-by-hour basis.

Jeff Peterson

Hey Vic,

The Washington Post is a private business. They don't have to print a single rant you have to write. Now you do have the right to stand if front of the Post and rant till the rest of the sheep come home. Have a nice day. LIVE FREE OR DIE

Hawaiian style

Live free or die. How macho. What an intellectually vacuous statement. If you think you are living free now you are already dead from the neck up, and its just a matter of time til the status migrates South to your toes.

The problem is while we talk about living free in our democracy we do NOT.

We lost more rights by stealth and by "war power fiat", by prostituted lawyers writing "good" reasons instead of real reasons, for a predetermined and ordered "legal" conclusion.

The job now is to investigate to see what and how many rights we have lost.

To reinstate them and ensure we don't go through the same imperial usurpation and destruction of the Constitution again.

We do this by trying and punishing those that are guilty of breaking the law: by passing laws that prevent the abuses of megalomaniacs like Cheney and malleable idiots like King Bush from every again doing such things.

Next time we and the Nation might not be so lucky.

The next group might be intelligent, competent and capable, then we would be in serious trouble.

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