Guantánamo Dispatch

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

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 compelling arguments that the very same charges should be dismissed because they are not legitimate war crimes.
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…

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…

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…

At Guantánamo Today: ACLU Asks Judge Not to Censor Torture Testimony

At Guantánamo Today: ACLU Asks Judge Not to Censor Torture Testimony

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 9:53am

I’m in Guantánamo today, expecting to argue the ACLU’s constitutional challenge to the censorship of torture in the military commissions this afternoon or tomorrow. 

The Guantánamo military commissions were created…

Reporting From Guantanamo: “Why Not Get It Right the First Time?”

Reporting From Guantanamo: “Why Not Get It Right the First Time?”

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:08pm

At the Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay this week, military commission proceedings have resumed in the capital case against Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri, a 47-year-old citizen of Saudi Arabia, who is facing a possible death sentence for his…

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…

Guantánamo: A Betrayal of Our Values, a Human Rights Crisis, and Expensive as Hell

Guantánamo: A Betrayal of Our Values, a Human Rights Crisis, and Expensive as Hell

By Amshula Jayaram, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:52pm

The House Armed Services Committee just voted to approve HR 1960, otherwise known as the National Defense Authorization Act...

"Look to Guantánamo Before It Is Too Late"

"Look to Guantánamo Before It Is Too Late"

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:05pm

The ongoing crisis in the prison at Guantánamo Bay is escalating, and new details are emerging as media have been allowed to visit this week. A few days ago, as part of an operation to shift hunger-striking prisoners from communal living to individual…

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security 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…

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