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July 22, 2006

Comments

Katherine, you're invaluable.

Your posts should be read by every American.

Someday, sadly too late to help many of these individuals, they will be widely read, and we will look back in shame, and wonder how it all happened.

Meanwhile, from the AP:

"An Algerian man believed to be the last domestic detainee still in custody from a national dragnet after Sept. 11 -- and who was cleared of links to terrorism in November 2001 -- was set free this week, his lawyer said Friday. ...

The magistrate wrote in a 2003 decision that Benatta had been "undeniably deprived of his liberty," and "held in custody under harsh conditions which can be said to be oppressive."

Despite the ruling, immigration officials kept him in custody in Buffalo while he appealed a deportation order and renewed his quest for asylum based on a claim that, as a military deserter, he would tortured or killed if he returned to Algeria."

But, to repeat, this is impressive worth. Justice Brennan once told a reporter the way to go is "tell them stories."

We need to spread these stories, show who is being harmed. Thus, I want reports about attempts to overturn FISA to include why the law was in place in the first place. Wrongful executive overreaching.

Ultimately, "enemy combatants" are not at stake here. PEOPLE are. So, thank you for reminding us.

How desperately morally bankrupt is the current administration's policy regarding Guantanamo. I understand the anger and logic behind their actions and even at some level I can empathize with it.

I suppose we don't know all the details on this person's story so the administration may have better reasons for holding this person. But if this is the case it seems to me all the better reason to bring all these stories out with open court hearing etc.

It seems to me we are not fighting a traditional 'war' but one for the hearts and minds of those who may opt to be terrorists ... how much easier is it to recruit terrorists with stories that appear as unjust as this?

For some reason, it's always the little details that get me -- the bits of incompetence or thoughtlessness that are by far not the worst or most important part of a story, but that suggest whole new levels of ineptitude or whatever you want to call it.

The idea that the people who are sitting in judgement of the Guantanamo detainees do not know who the Hazara are is one of those details.

I mean: it's as though someone took over the US in order to get rid of the KKK once and for all, and held a bunch of blacks in detention because they hadn't bothered to find out enough to know that blacks were very unlikely KKK members.

It's that basic.

Yes.

This guy seems like a poster child for someone an Article 5 hearing could have screened out. Someone in Afghanistan must've been able to tell them who the Hazara were, and say: "hey, this guy looks Shi'ite, and he speaks Farsi, not Pashto."

It's really just amazing how long the argument "they're terrorists, so they don't deserve a hearing or evidence to show that they're terrorists" has carried the day.

If anyone would like more evidence that the Hazara didn't like the Taliban, here you go.

The merchant told Gile the story of an elderly man, so overwhelmed with gratitude to the United States for its intervention in the conflict that he made a gift for President Bush - a gift that was a year in the making and made, given the conditions of the country, under penalty of death.

Gile was astonished when he saw the hand-knotted rug, a portrait of Bush, filled with Christian and Catholic symbolism. Filling the center of the rug is an incredible likeness of Bush, dressed in religious vestments, standing at a podium decorated with the official seal of the country and flanked by two waving American flags.

Directly above Bush is Jesus with a sacred heart and stigmata carefully knotted into the rug's pattern. The rug also shows cherubs and, apparently in an homage to both Bush and a fallen Northern Alliance leader, two lions.

"(Ahmed Shah) Masood was often called 'the Lion of Panjshir.' As one of the country's military leaders, he put some very, very heavy licks to the Soviets and then turned around and delivered the same to the Taliban," Gile said. "He was assassinated two days before 9/11."

One corner of the rug reads, "President George W. Bush," while the opposing corner has the words, "Number one champion."

Click the link for a picture.

I would like to apploud you for discussing this topic. I have linked to your blog, and this blogpost from my own site. It is great to see some awareness on the Hazaras situation. Than you. Sofie

Update: In September 2007 The DoD released another thousand or so documents, include 2 heavily redacted memos (on pages 11-18 of
http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Decision_memos_000583-000677.pdf#11)
that state Gordon England, the "Designated Civilian Official", authorized Faizullah's release on January 25, 2006.

The DoD also released the Summary of Evidence memos prepared for his CSR Tribunal (page 62 of http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/000600-000699.pdf#62, drafted on 15 October 2004), and
the Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his Arb hearing, on 12 August 2005 (pages 41-43 of http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Factors_000595-000693.pdf#41)

FWIW I strongly suspect that captive 919 was one of the many Afghans who have just a single name. The record shows that JTF-GTMO lacked the competence to issue each captive one consistent name with which to track them. There are clues I consider overwhelming that the software they used to track the captives couldn't cope with individuals who didn't have both a first name and a last name. Several of the other captives JTF-GTMO gave the last name "Ullah" told their Tribunals and Review Boards that they only had a single name. I refer to these guys as "the brothers Ullah".

Katherine, you referred to Faizullah having a writ of habeas corpus petition filed on his behalf. In September 2007 the DoD released about 200 sets of CSR Tribunal documents, in response to habeas petitions. But they didn't release one for Faizullah.

If you have a URL for his habeas documents I would appreciate you sharing it with me, so I can update the wikipedia's entry for him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faizullah

If you have that URL could you either leave it here, or sent it to arcticredriver. That is my yahoo email ID.

Cheers!

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