No "Other Gitmos"

(Originally posted on The Hill's Congress Blog.)

Late last Friday, the Justice Department made a familiar and disappointing argument that the 600 or so detainees at the U.S.-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan should be denied the right to challenge their detention. It's disappointing because President Obama has followed the Bush administration's lead by refusing this basic right to detainees in overseas U.S. prisons. It's familiar because the courts have already seen this case. It was called Boumediene v. Bush, and it ended when the Supreme Court found that Gitmo detainees have the right to challenge their detention at Guantánamo. Bagram should not be a Constitution-free zone any more than Guantanamo should.

The detention facility at Bagram was set up by the U.S. military after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Like Guantánamo, it was designed to be out of the reach of U.S. courts — a legal black hole — during the so-called "war on terror," which itself lacks geographical or durational boundaries. Like Guantánamo, Bagram holds individuals from all over the world, including locations where there are no combat operations taking place. Like Guantánamo, Bagram holds terrorism suspects who were not captured on the battlefield and has imprisoned victims of the Bush administration's illegal extraordinary rendition program. And like with Guantánamo, there are well-documented reports of serious prisoner mistreatment and torture at Bagram. But in some ways, Bagram is even worse than Guantánamo because there is less judicial oversight, process and public scrutiny.

That dearth of scrutiny is what led to the death of Dilawar, the Afghani cab driver and Bagram detainee profiled in the Oscar-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side. Government records show that Dilawar's harsh torture and abuse during interrogations at Bagram ultimately led to his death, which the government deemed a homicide, even as the military publicly claimed he died from natural causes.

President Obama took the admirable first step of ordering the closure of Guantanamo. And he's spoken about recommitting this country to justice and rule of law, not only here at home, but abroad as well. This can't happen if the United States refuses detainees the right to challenge their detention. When the U.S. detains anyone, anywhere, it must ensure that humane treatment and some fair process for challenging detention are provided. When prisoners are in American custody, anywhere, our values and commitment to the rule of law are at stake.

If we’ve learned anything from Gitmo, it’s that U.S.-run detention facilities cannot be beyond the reach of the courts and left only to the political branches. Closing Guantánamo is not enough if we repeat the same mistakes elsewhere.

Add a comment (3)
Read the Terms of Use

Vic Livingston

RADWAR PROTEST THURSDAY AT U.K. 'D.E.W.' CONFAB

• Will Obama Justice Dept. Rubber-Stamp Bush Approval of Radiation Weapons for "Use" on "Targeted" U.S. Citizens?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-k-e-u-humanists-head-london-protest-rad...

OR (if link is corrupted/disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Vic Livingston

URGENT TO:

ATTY. GEN ERIC HOLDER; DOD SEC. ROBERT GATES; DHS SEC. JANET NAPOLITANO; DNI DENNIS BLAIR; CIA DIR. LEON PANETTA; FBI DIR. ROBERT MUELLER; TREASURY SEC. TIMOTHY GEITHNER; S. SERVICE DIR. MARK SULLIVAN

RE: Ongoing BUSH-CHENEY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVAL OF RADIATION WEAPONRY USE (read: TORTURE)...

...on "TARGETED" U.S. CITIZENS -- including those deemed "UNDESIRABLES" and POLITICAL "DISSIDENTS"...

... and associated "PROGRAMS OF PERSONAL FINANCIAL DESTRUCTION"

***

Silent, injury- and illness-inducing, potentially lethal radiation weaponry and devices ("Directed Energy Weapons") are being used by security/intel/law enforcement operatives...

...via their nationwide vigilante "Extrajudicial Punishment Network"...

...to inflict pain upon, and to degrade the health of, innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens in communities across America...

...with the apparent knowledge of local law enforcement -- whose officers believe they are "covered" by supervising federal agents.

These covert assaults are facilitated by "organized community gang stalking" units whose citizen vigilantes are recruited from the ranks of federally-funded volunteer organizations; local public safety departments; community policing groups; public safety retirees and government/municipal employees; and their families. These gang stalkers make surreptitious entries of private homes, and commit various acts of vandalism and physical and psychological harassment.

It appears that this system of extrajudicial targeting and punishment, justified as "intelligence-based policing," is directed by federal and local officials representing multiple agencies.

WHEN WILL BARACK OBAMA AND ERIC HOLDER RESTORE THE RULE OF LAW IN BUCKS COUNTY, PA, PHILA., NYC, D.C. AND ALL ACROSS AMERICA?

President Obama must issue an IMMEDIATE series of executive orders banning the Bush-Cheney "extrajudicial punishment vigilante network"...

...and its array of coordinated government "programs of personal financial destruction" -- one of the root causes of the global economic crisis that began with a meltdown of the home mortgage market.

THIS IS AN AMERICAN SOCIAL GENOCIDE.

Sen. Leahy's "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" is needed.

But first, President Obama, Vice President Biden and Atty. Gen. Holder, you must act to end these crimes against humanity and unconstitutional abuses of power. And bring to justice all of those who are responsible for this national disgrace.

***

IT IS DAY 38 OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

DO YOU R*E*A*L*L*Y KNOW WHAT YOUR SECURITY MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATION CENTER IS UP TO?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network...
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-ameri...

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):
http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Hawaiian style

Bagram is another of too many symptoms of a misguided policy on terror. The best way to either foster sympathy or create a terrorist is to capture and abuse him or his relatives or his country men.

We will never change anyone's mind with a gun. We will never close off the support areas that terrorists take advantage of by "war". We only create another thing that the terrorist points to when he wants to drum up recruits.

We cannot afford, either politically or financially, to continue to turn the world into an us and them; have and have not; you're either with us or against us division.

Diplomacy and compassionate help for the areas of the world that would foster terror while expensive would be more beneficial than war, and maybe cheaper.

Do you think the Iraq was beneficial to anyone? Not to the US in either lives or treasure. Not to Iraq who has lost thousands in lives, and untold irreplaceable treasures to humanity.

Does anyone seriously think the killing of one sadistic bad man was worth all this? If so you have to advocate troops going into Iran and N. Korea, both of which would lead to nuclear war.

The US became a rogue nation because of Iraq. We don't need to compound it.

There is hope if we remember that there is a way to deal with other human beings than preemptive war, just because we have a big military.

Unfortunately the beneficiaries are our war profiteer organizations and industry, and Al Qaeda, which did not exsit there before the war!!!

Sign Up for Breaking News