Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25 - Weekly Vigil to Shut Down Guantanamo (U.S. "Justice" Process Discredited)

Judge Pohl (from a 2013 Guantanamo court sketch by Janet Hamlin)
"a bench order to anyone who ever served on the defense teams of the
Sept. 11 case to find out if any of them indeed were approached . . ."

from The Miami Herald . . .

From Tragedy To Farce: Latest Guantánamo Disclosures Further Discredit The Justice Process

April 19, 2014—Another week of hearings at Guantánamo, another series of jaw-dropping revelations and rulings that underline the futility of the whole enterprise. That the system isn’t working has long been obvious. Now the tragedy is turning into farce.

Exhibit A: The disclosure that the FBI allegedly tried to turn a member of the defense team for 9/11 defendants into a confidential informant, spying on colleagues on behalf of the U.S. government.

Did the FBI not realize that by doing so the agency was damaging the trial procedure at Guantánamo (such as it is)? Did it really believe it could flip a member of the defense team and keep it secret? No wonder some skeptical family members of 9/11 victims believe the whole thing was a deliberate effort to derail the hearings. What else are they to think?...

The upshot is another delay in an absurdly long process. This is the 10th round of hearings for the 9/11 defendants since the five accused were formally charged (finally) two years ago. If a violation occurred, it could require reappointment of a new defense team, setting the process back yet again for who knows how long.

Here’s why these disclosures matter: The American justice system is only as good as the worst practices it tolerates, and the practices at Guantánamo serve only to bring discredit on the very concept of justice.

(Read the entire Miami Herald editorial.)

338 Days Since President Obama’s Renewed Promise to Close Guantánamo: Only 12 Men Released as of April 25, 2014

154 men remain imprisoned. 145 of them haven’t been charged.
76 men have been cleared for release, most of whom have been imprisoned without charge for more than 11 years.
• Reportedly, 21 men are on hunger strike and 16 are being force-fed ( Force-feeding is in violation of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. A mass hunger strike began on February 6, 2013. At its height, in June 2013, 106 men were reportedly participating in the hunger strike. On December 3, 2013, the U.S. military stopped daily reporting on the number of hunger strikers.

Find out more about efforts to end indefinite detention and torture by the U.S. Government at Guantánamo Bay. Please sign petitions addressed to President Obama at the websites marked with a **.

**CLOSE GUANTÁNAMO: A group of lawyers, journalists, retired military personnel and others who believe that Guantánamo undermines our values and harms national security.

**WORLD CAN'T WAIT: A national movement formed to halt and reverse the terrible program of war, repression and theocracy under the Bush and Obama regimes.

WITNESS AGAINST TORTURE: Formed in 2005, when 25 Americans attempted to visit Guantánamo.


ANDY WORTHINGTON: Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantánamo expert



Track the days since Obama’s promise: GTMOCLOCK

Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantánamo: World Can’t Wait, Witness Against Torture, White Rose Catholic Worker, Illinois Coalition Against Torture, Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Join our weekly vigil Fridays 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the corner of Dearborn and Jackson to support the hunger strikers and help demonstrate growing public support for closing Guantánamo! (On May 23, we will gather at Water Tower Park, Chicago and Michigan, as part of a national day of action on the 1 year anniversary of President Obama’s renewed promise to close Guantánamo.)

Related posts

The Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo holds weekly vigils at Dearborn and Jackson in Chicago every Friday at 4:30 p.m. to support the Guantanamo Hunger Strikers and to demand that Guantanamo be shut down. (Learn more about weekly vigils by the Chicago Coalition to Shut Down Guantanamo.)