Military Lawyers Speak: Guantánamo Is a Disgrace

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 7:17pm
Today, in partnership with Brave New Foundation, we released a new video for our Close Gitmo campaign. This video features interviews with three military commission defense lawyers and a former military commission prosecutor talking about the military commissions system that was set up to prosecute detainees in U.S. custody. They use words like "disgrace," "sham," "kangaroo court," and "deeply unethical" to describe the system. See for yourself:

Protect Universal Human Rights: Close Gitmo

By Ateqah Khaki at 4:56pm

This week marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR, which serves as the founding document of the modern human rights system outlines the basic rights and protections that are to be enjoyed by all people…

The Obama Administration, Guantánamo, and Restoring America’s Standing

By Glenn Greenwald at 3:23pm

Last week, Barack Obama was interviewed by Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes and the following exchange occurred:

Kroft: There are a number of different things that you could do early pertaining to executive orders. One of them is to shutdown Guantanamo Bay. Another is to change interrogation methods that are used by U.S. troops. Are those things that you plan to take early action on?

Obama: Yes. I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture. And I’m gonna make sure that we don’t torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.
Obama’s statement was widely celebrated as evidence that he intends to act swiftly and decisively to end the Bush administration’s most controversial detention and interrogation policies. But that reaction overstates the meaning and importance of what Obama actually said.

Obama’s response to the question that was asked was perfectly satisfactory as far as it went. He was asked whether he intends to close Guantanamo and “change interrogation methods” and he answered “yes” to both. It would have been rather shocking if he had answered any other way. Could one even imagine Obama proclaiming that he intends to leave Guantanamo open or that he intends to leave unchanged Bush’s interrogation programs?

Pentagon Admits Number of Guantánamo’s Children is Higher than Originally Disclosed

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 7:58pm

An AP article today announced the Pentagon has admitted that 12 children under the age of 18 have been held at Guantánamo since it opened in 2002. The news report comes on the heels of a study released last week by the U.C. Davis Center for…

ACLU on C-Span Tomorrow

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 3:30pm

Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. EST, Christopher Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel for the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, will be on C-SPAN talking about the Close Gitmo campaign. So no sleeping in tomorrow! Grab a cup of joe…

Meanwhile, Back in a South Carolina Navy Brig...

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 5:45pm

By now you might've heard that President-elect Barack Obama is devising plans to close Guantánamo Bay. Maybe you've even watched Robert Greenwald's video on our new Close Gitmo site, and signed the petition.

But back in South Carolina,…

Weekend in Camp Justice

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:27am

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

On Friday, Hamdan's lawyers wrapped up their defense with dramatic written testimony from alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the essence of which was that Hamdan — as the evidence had…

All Together Now: "Torture of Prisoners Is Immoral, Unwise, and Un-American"

By Jenny Egan at 3:18pm

Huzaifa Parhat, well into his seventh year at Guantánamo, had a civilian judge review the evidence for his detention for the first time last week. The court ruled that the Pentagon's Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) declaration that Parhat…

Boumediene — Sadness and Celebration

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:16pm

It's been a riveting month at Guantánamo. First was the sad spectacle of the “arraignment” of alleged 9/11 conspirators — in a courtroom expressly designed to suppress their statements about brutal torture in CIA custody,…

The Seminal: Why Do Americans Tolerate Gitmo's Disgraceful Existence?

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 1:20pm
Alex Thurston writes: "In the 'War on Terror,' the Bush administration's actions have increasingly mirrored those of the 'terrorists' whose specter it so often dredges up."…
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