Archive for military tribunal

Military judge restricts more materials in 9/11 trial. UNclassified materials.



Just now on MSNBC, Alex Witt said this (I'm coming in mid-sentence, but she was discussing the Zero Dark Thirty controversy): "...Enhanced interrogation techniques-- torture-- some will call it that."

SOME? Or anyone but the Bushies and their stellar, upstanding, patriotic Department of Justice that decided to call it something else in order to duck prosecution of Bush and the Waterboardettes? Torture is torture, and it doesn't work, it's illegal, immoral, and just plain wrong on every level.


Witt casually tossed off the "some will call it that" as if it were an afterthought, not fact. "Enhanced interrogation techniques" is a Bushian euphemism for torture. That has been well established. Documented. End of story. It's about time everyone reports about it accurately.

Which brings me to the L.A. Times piece I read today:

The military judge overseeing the trial for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others has ruled that lawyers cannot make public even unclassified materials.

The ruling by the judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, follows an order on Dec. 6 in which he directed that any evidence or discussion about harsh interrogation techniques used against the five men also be kept secret. He issued the ruling despite accusations by human rights groups that the government was trying to hide the fact the men were tortured. [...]

In another development, President Obama this week signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which supports overall military operations but also puts on hold his plan to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay — a pledge he repeated in October during his run for reelection.

Of course, GOP debate audiences cheered waterboarding, which means they were cool with illegally torturing other human beings. So much for the "family values" "pro-life" crowd.


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


Attorney: Gitmo plea deal pledge broken


It's probably a good idea for the U.S. government to keep its word on a plea deal so that other Gitmo detainees would be encouraged to trust them to follow through on their own plea deals:

The attorney for a former al-Qaida cook said Monday that the government did not deliver on a promise that led him to plead guilty to supporting terrorism, and she said that could discourage other inmates at Guantanamo from reaching deals with prosecutors.

Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi of Sudan was removed from a communal-living compound over the weekend, and placed in more isolated confinement, despite a recommendation in the plea agreement that he stay, a Pentagon official said.

His defense attorney, Navy Cmdr. Suzanne Lachelier, said the move could make other detainees reluctant to accept plea deals.

The prosecutors and a Pentagon official who oversees the tribunal system made the broken pledge to al-Qosi.


Dick Cheney's "fairly large concessions"


By GottaLaff

I found it harder than usual to post a video of Cheney today, so I refrained. I didn't want to subject any of us to his face, his speech patterns, his lies, his offensive digs, or his nasty demeanor.

However, Greg Sargent posted a comprehensive recap of Dickless McHeartStent's appearance on ABC today. Here it is, in part, but please go read the whole thing.

And thank you, Greg, for saving me from the torture (pun intended) of having to sit through another one of his nauseating interviews:

Some real news in the Dick Cheney interview on ABC: First, Cheney basically endorsed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

And second, he made fairly large concessions when it comes to his criticism of the current administration: He conceded that the shoe bomber could have been placed in military custody under Bush, but wasn’t. And he acknowledged that some in the Bush administration — not himself, obviously — saw trying terror suspects in civilian courts as an effective weapon against terrorism.

No question, Cheney repeated many standard attacks on Obama — he doesn’t view our hunt for terrorists as a war; he’s trapped in a pre-9/11 mentality; etc.

But Cheney struggled to explain why it’s fair game to criticize Obama’s use of Mirandizing and civilian trials when these techniques were used under his administration.

There now. That was relatively painless.


VIDEO- Meet the Press: Rachel Maddow on trying terrorists in federal court


By GottaLaff

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

She is the finest talker on the Talk Tee Vee Machine. If brains were Nielsen ratings, she'd beat the Grammy Awards tenthousandfold.

"There have been 3 convictions under military tribunals. Three. And two of the people convicted are now free."

Aaron Schlock on the other hand....