Guantánamo Dispatch

Updates and analysis from ACLU attorneys in Cuba observing the proceedings of the Guantánamo Bay military commissions.

Guantánamo Dispatch: Arguing for the First Amendment

Guantánamo Dispatch: Arguing for the First Amendment

By Zach Levine, ACLU National Security Project at 5:18pm
With the world watching, a pre-trial hearing got underway this week in the Guantánamo military commission prosecution of the five alleged 9/11 co-conspirators. Prime among the issues before the military judge was how transparent the commissions will be. The ACLU’s Hina Shamsi argued our motion in support of the public’s constitutional right of access to the proceedings – and against the government’s unconstitutional effort to prevent the public from hearing defendants’ testimony of their torture and abuse in U.S. custody.

What We Stand For

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 11:43am

Yesterday was a stark reminder that instead of closing the book on the Bush-era military commissions, President Obama is adding another sad chapter to that history. Although President Obama promised transparency and sharp limits on the use of tortured…

Guantánamo's Layers of Lawyers

Guantánamo's Layers of Lawyers

By Rita Cant, Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:38am

In the criminal justice system, we're familiar with two separate yet equally important groups of lawyers. On one side, we have attorneys for the government, who investigate, charge, and prosecute crimes. On the other, we have the defense attorneys,…

Guántanamo Dispatch: New Revelations of Attorney–Client Surveillance

Guántanamo Dispatch: New Revelations of Attorney–Client Surveillance

By Ian Kysel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:37pm

As debate rages about the National Security Agency vacuuming up Americans' phone and Internet data, a different form of government surveillance is on the docket here in Guántanamo. This week, at the military commission pre-trial hearings of Abd al…

ACLU Joins Human Rights Coalition Opposing Force-Feeding at Guantánamo

ACLU Joins Human Rights Coalition Opposing Force-Feeding at Guantánamo

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 9:30am

The hunger strike in Guantánamo is now in its fourth month. At the military’s latest count, 100 of the 166 prisoners are on strike, motivated in large part by their indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial. Twenty-nine of those men are being…

Guantánamo Prisoner's Memoirs Offer Rare First-Person Account of Torture

Guantánamo Prisoner's Memoirs Offer Rare First-Person Account of Torture

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:31pm

A detailed and harrowing first-person narrative of a prisoner's experiences in Guantánamo is available to the public for the first time: Slate today published a three-part series of excerpts from The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi. The…

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:10pm

In Guantánamo Bay last week, I had an enlightening opportunity to talk with Brigadier General Mark Martins—the Chief Prosecutor of the military commissions—along with a handful of other NGO observers of the commissions. There…

Report from Guantánamo Hearings: When Due Process is a Matter of Life and Death

Report from Guantánamo Hearings: When Due Process is a Matter of Life and Death

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:39pm

After two lengthy days of arguments, the al-Nashiri case seems hardly closer to coming to trial. Defense counsel suggested the trial wouldn't even begin until 2015.

Guantánamo Dispatch: When a Guilty Plea is the Way Out

Guantánamo Dispatch: When a Guilty Plea is the Way Out

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 9:53am

I watched a man yesterday plead guilty to war crimes in a military commission, and it troubled me. It troubled me because just the day before, I watched the defense counsel in another commission proceeding taking place at Guantánamo this week make…

Guantánamo Dispatch: The Gremlins in the Commissions

Guantánamo Dispatch: The Gremlins in the Commissions

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:59am

FORT MEADE, Md. - Ninety miles off the coast of Florida, a government experiment continues to go horribly, and predictably, wrong.

Watching last week's pretrial hearings in the Guantánamo military commissions prosecution of the men accused…

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