Archive for military commissions

VIDEO: #Guantanamo Bay hunger strike force feeding protest #FreeFayiz

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barry wingard RT tv gitmo hunger strike

Jacob Dean of Filter Free Radio is a longtime pal o' mine from various shows we have in common on the Radio Machine. He's a very young, very cool guy who knows a lot about a lot and speaks his mind.

On Wednesday June 26, 2013 the United International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Jacob volunteered to be strapped down and "force-fed" to lend his body in support of the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention Against Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

In the words of Portland's hunger striker S. Brian Willson, "We are not worth more. They are not worth less."

Recorded 4-6pm on June 26, 2013 at Portland City Hall. (This is NOT actually torture, just political street theater.):

Jacob Dean interviews 71 year-old S. Brian Willson, Activist, Author, a Vietnam veteran member of Veterans For Peace, Portland Chapter 72, beginning Sunday, May 12 reduced his food intake by more than 85 percent, fasting on 300 calories a day in solidarity with the 130 uncharged Guantanamo prisoner hunger strikers now in deteriorating health, many of whom are being force-fed. Willson, a trained lawyer and criminologist, anti-war activist and author, lives by the mantra: "We are not worth more; They are not worth less."

He joins 65-year-old grandmother Diane Wilson, a fifth-generation Texas shrimper, anti-war activist and author, who began an open-ended, water-only fast on May 1 outside the White House, and intends to fast until the prisoners are freed.

There are more than 1,200 people around the country participating in a rolling hunger strike to bring attention to the plight of the fasting prisoners at Guantanamo, who have been illegally detained for over ten years with little recourse. May 16 [was] the 100th day of the hunger strike.

The hunger strike/fast demands President Obama take immediate action to close the prison and release the prisoners. Interview recorded 6/22/2013

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here; That link includes one specific to only Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Please read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari, who is not a terrorist and was sold for bounty, now wants to die

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Today's L.A. Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

As an American and a Jew, I am horrified that we are still holding men at Guantanamo Bay. It reminds me of the Germans holding Jews in concentration camps.

Close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and show America and God that we are better and more compassionate as a people. Release the detainees or find a place for them in the United States and treat them like human beings.

Lolly Hellman

Los Angeles

As anyone who reads The Political Carnival regularly knows, I write about Guantanamo a lot, and have for years, ever since I was asked to by Lt. Col. Barry Wingard who represents Kuwaiti detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. Fayiz is not a terrorist, yet he’s been abused, held without charges, and imprisoned for eleven years, but has done nothing wrong. He is currently starving himself to death at Gitmo.

Barry stands by Fayiz’s innocence, and Barry is one very principled, extremely smart lawyer who knows what he’s talking about.

Please watch this interview with Barry, titled, No charges, no trials: “After 11 1/2 years, these men live in animal cages… essentially dead men who just happen to breathe.”

Today I was sickened when I read about Fayiz in my Los Angeles Times today in an article titled, "Guantanamo detainee says prison 'shakedown' sparked hunger strike." Here's a brief summary:

An Afghan gives a detailed account of prison conditions in a declassified affidavit. He says U.S. guards in a February raid confiscated detainees' personal items and roughly handled Korans.

Here's the part about Fayiz:

Carlos Warner, an attorney for Fayiz al Kandari of Kuwait, a suspected Al Qaeda propagandist, said he was shocked when he saw his client in March. "He couldn't stand; he'd lost over 30 pounds; his cheeks were sunken," Warner said.

He spoke with him by phone a week ago, and Al Kandari, 36, described the tube feeding as feeling like "razor blades passing through you." Nevertheless, Al Kandari pledged to "go all the way," and told his attorney: "This is a peaceful hunger strike. They won't let us live in peace, they won't give us a trial, and now they won't let us die in peace."

I've come to "know" Fayiz over the years through Barry Wingard who has shared personal stories of his meetings with him, and from time to time, Fayiz's own personal feelings and stories. Fayiz has always been kind, patient, and grateful to Barry, and even to me for the posts I write. This is a young man who was sold for bounty, who did nothing, who had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, who has not been charged, who has not been given a trial, and yet he has been caged like an animal for over 11 years.

And now he wants to die.

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here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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VIDEO: Why You Should Care About The Massive #Guantanamo Hunger Strike

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barry wingard RT tv gitmo hunger strike

LeeCamp2:

Two-thirds of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) have been hunger striking since February. Some may soon die. But there's a reason you should care about these men...

1) Get more info here: http://www.closeguantanamo.org/
2) Music by Hierosonic: http://hierosonic.com/
3) Moment of Clarity Kickstarter only has a few days left. Help us get there! http://bit.ly/MOCshow

Lee Camp does it again:

"These men have done nothing wrong. Set them free."

"Think of how we react when another country does this."

As anyone who reads The Political Carnival regularly knows, I write about Guantanamo a lot, and have for years, ever since I was asked to by Lt. Col. Barry Wingard who represents Kuwaiti detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. Fayiz is not a terrorist, yet he’s been abused, held without charges, and imprisoned for eleven years, but has done nothing wrong. He is currently starving himself to death at Gitmo.

Barry stands by Fayiz's innocence, and Barry is one very principled, extremely smart lawyer who knows what he’s talking about.

Please watch this interview with Barry, titled, No charges, no trials: “After 11 1/2 years, these men live in animal cages… essentially dead men who just happen to breathe.”

______________________________________________

here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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VIDEO-- Melissa Harris-Perry: "While Congress continues to make it impossible to close Gitmo, human lives are hanging in the balance."

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gitmo mhp showI cannot thank Melissa Harris-Perry enough for including this segment on her show. Regular readers know I've been covering Guantanamo Bay detainee/torture/indefinite detention stories for years, focusing primarily on one innocent, non-terrorist detainee, Fayiz Al-Kandari, and his attorney, Lt. Col. Barry Wingard.

Please, please read and share this post: No charges, no trials: “After 11 1/2 years, these men live in animal cages… essentially dead men who just happen to breathe.”

Now please watch this report:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Melissa Harris-Perry:

"...Make no mistake, political prisoners are not a thing of the past. Currently 166 prisoners remain detained at Gitmo, the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba. In February, detainees began a hunger strike, protesting searches and seemingly unending detention. The official number of hunger strikers stands at 37 with 11 of them being force-fed through tubes. while the Pentagon  remains mute about the situation, the White House had this to say on Wednesday..."

Joshua Earnest, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary:

"I can tell you that the White House and the president's team is closely monitoring the hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay. For details about what is actually happening there I would refer you to the Department of Defense. But I can tell you that the administration remains committed to closing the facility at Guantanamo Bay. Progress has been made under this and the previous administration, but given the legislation that Congress has put in place, it's clear that it's going to take some time to fully close the facility."

MHP:

"So while Congress continues to make it impossible to close Gitmo, human lives are hanging in the balance."

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here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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No charges, no trials: "After 11 1/2 years, these men live in animal cages... essentially dead men who just happen to breathe."

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barry wingard RT tv gitmo hunger strike

There is a video at the RT site that I hope you'll watch. Since it's not embeddable, all I can do is transcribe it.

My longtime buddy Lt. Col. Barry Wingard was interviewed about the hunger strike by detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and it deserves a lot more attention. It is getting next to none here in the U.S., so I'm doing what little I can to share it and I hope you will, too.

Barry is my dear friend Marcy Bruno's (R.I.P.) son, and the military attorney I've written about for years who represents Kuwaiti detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. Fayiz is not a terrorist, yet he's been abused, held without charges, and imprisoned for eleven years, but has done nothing wrong. Barry stands by his innocence, and he is one very principled, extremely smart lawyer who knows what he's talking about.

This brief interview needs no further comment from me. Barry's own words speak volumes:

RT: I understand you do have access to your clients in Guantanamo, apparently. When was the last time you saw them and what state were they in?

Lt. Col Barry Wingard: The last time that I saw my clients was between the 25th of February and the 8th of March. I visited with them multiple times. I was shocked at the condition they're in. In fact, we were the first people who broke the story that the hunger strike had begun around February 6th or 7th and had continued on. My client at that point had lost 26 pounds and at this point it’s official that he has lost almost 40 pounds – one third of his body weight from 147 pounds. The hunger strike is still ongoing...

RT: How long can they go on like that?

Barry: I can imagine we’re getting near to the end when something serious is going to happen. The administration down in Guantanamo Bay initially denied the report that the hunger strike was occurring. They then said it was seven, then 14, then 21 [people]. They then said it wasn’t the largest hunger strike in history. Then they came out and said it’s 24, 25, and today 26. So the story is getting more and more accurate as we go, but we’re running out of time, as you point out.

RT: Do you think it really will take that?

Barry: Well, I’m here to tell you that after 11 1/2 years, these men that live in animal cages in America’s offshore prison in Guantanamo Bay, they ask for justice. They’ve been there 11 1/2 years. Ninety per cent of them have no charges. I can tell you having looked at my clients’ cases, they will never get a trial based upon the evidence that is against them, so if their home countries are not willing to intervene and do something, I don’t see it coming from Washington. Washington seems to take the position that we don’t have the time to deal with these 166 condemned men in our offshore prison.

RT: How’s Washington going to deal with the PR if someone does die?

Barry: Well, I mean, you’re going to have to answer that as far as a political question. I’m a lawyer. I’m here to look at the facts and tell you that I’ve reviewed these cases and I'm here to tell you that these guys will never get trials. If they’re never getting trials, then we have to go by what the president said in March of 2011, when he said indefinite detention will be implemented in Guantanamo Bay and will be the law of the United States. Forty-eight men will be condemned to die never being given a trial or given an opportunity to defend themselves. They are essentially dead men who just happen to breathe.

RT: For the people you’ve spoken to there – including your clients – what was their mindset? Is it the same as when they started 45-46 days ago, as it is now? Did they think they’d have to maybe take this through to the bitter end, or did they think something would give beforehand?

Barry: I can’t speak for what every man down there thought, but what I can tell you is the vast majority of people in Guantanamo Bay are cleared for release. They’re cleared to go home. The United States acknowledges that they’ve committed no crime, yet we still continue to house them in a penal colony in Guantanamo Bay. Imagine if the situation were reversed and the US had 166 citizens held in some other country’s offshore prison. I don’t want to go into what happened in the early years as far as enhanced interrogation, but the situation isn’t getting any better. These men have figured out that probably the only way for them to go home, cleared or not, is in a wooden box. I mean, 7 proceedings in...

RT: Do you take any comfort at all in this US military plan to spend $49 million upgrading the facility, making it more comfortable for the inmates?

Barry: This is not about soccer fields or food or anything else. This is about justice and freedom. This is a bigger concept. This is what the US stands for. Not more servings of food and not more soccer fields to play on. This is a matter of getting these men home or giving them trials. And that's the answer.

"These men have figured out that probably the only way for them to go home, cleared or not, is in a wooden box... This is not about soccer fields or food or anything else. This is about justice and freedom. This is a bigger concept. This is what the US stands for."

'Nuff said.

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here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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New horrifying report-- 2004: Rumsfeld, Cheney, Col. Jim Steele, secret detention centers, and of course, torture

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Please, just go read the entire article at The Guardian. It's substantive, it's a little long, but it's a must-read.There's video there, too. Two of the videos are only seconds long:

On the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the allegations of American links to the units that eventually accelerated Iraq's descent into civil war cast the US occupation in a new and even more controversial light. The investigation was sparked over a year ago by millions of classified US military documents dumped onto the internet and their mysterious references to US soldiers ordered to ignore torture. Private Bradley Manning, 25, is facing a 20-year sentence, accused of leaking military secrets.

Steele's contribution was pivotal. He was the covert US figure behind the intelligence gathering of the new commando units. [...]

Steele's career hit an unexpected buffer when he was embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair. ... While the congressional inquiry that followed put an end to Steele's military ambitions, it did win him the admiration of then congressman Dick Cheney who sat on the committee and admired Steele's efforts fighting leftists in both Nicaragua and El Salvador. [...]

But it was the actions of the commandos inside the detention centres that raises the most troubling questions for their American masters. Desperate for information, the commandos set up a network of secret detention centres where insurgents could be brought and information extracted from them.

The commandos used the most brutal methods to make detainees talk. ... [T]hey knew exactly what was going on and were even supplying the commandos with lists of people they wanted brought in. [...]

"We were having lunch. Col Steele, Col Coffman, and the door opened and Captain Jabr was there torturing a prisoner. He [the victim] was hanging upside down and Steele got up and just closed the door, he didn't say anything – it was just normal for him."

David Petraeus's name pops up a lot in the piece, too.

Will someone explain to me why there have been no prosecutions of Bush administration participants in these crimes? The details in the Guardian article are horrifying.

A terrible precedent has been set, and nobody has been held legally responsible. Rachel Maddow sure tried to make waves, but it seems that moment came and went pretty quickly.

Back to Dick Cheney, who tried to promote Jim Steele to general back in 1991:

The leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioning the truthfulness of his testimony, refused to act on the Army`s request to promote Steele to brigadier general in 1988.

Defense Secretary Dick Cheney`s office then delayed a second attempt to promote Steele for more than 1 1/2 years while Iran-contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh also scrutinized Steele`s actions, several sources said. [...]

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who opposed Steele`s promotion in 1988, said he plans to urge Sens. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and John Warner (R-Va.), the committee`s ranking minority member, to stop it again...  "Serious questions about Col. Steele`s role in the (contra supply) operations and his association with Oliver North have yet to be answered," Harkin said.

If all this isn't getting your blood boiling, check out these two posts. One is by my dear friend Jason Leopold: EXCLUSIVE: Mystery Behind Guantanamo Prisoner's Suicide Endures, Despite Release of Autopsy Report.

The other is by another pal, Jeff Kaye: “A growing feeling here that death is the road out of Guantanamo”, which starts out with this:

“What would you do if your brother or uncle was kidnapped, sold, and beaten in a prison for 11 years without charge?”

Here's my own recent update on Fayiz Al-Kandari: After 11 years, still no justice for this Kuwaiti Gitmo prisoner. #FreeFayiz.

I also covered the hunger strike here: Gitmo “is forgotten and its condemned men will never get an opportunity to prove their innocence or be free.”

______________________________________________

here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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Gitmo "is forgotten and its condemned men will never get an opportunity to prove their innocence or be free."

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fayiz gitmo art

I recently posted After 11 years, still no justice for this Kuwaiti Gitmo prisoner. #FreeFayiz about Lt. Col. Barry Wingard's client, Fayiz Al-Kandari. I've been writing about Fayiz's story for years. Barry is convinced beyond a doubt that Fayiz is innocent, and yet he's been imprisoned all this time without so much as a trial.

The latest development in this endless saga is another disturbing one. You can read it here on the Free Fayiz and Fawzi Facebook page. In case you can't access it, here you go:

Fayiz has lost more than twenty pounds and lacks the ability to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time due to a camp wide hunger strike. Apparently there is a dispute over searches and the confiscations. We believe there is a desperation setting amongst the prisoners whereby GTMO is forgotten and its condemned men will never get an opportunity to prove their innocence or be free. We have more meetings scheduled over the next two weeks.

______________________________________________

here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to see ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at Answers.com.

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