Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bush's Third Term?

Campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, more legal backpedaling by the Obama administration?
Detainees being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cannot use US courts to challenge their detention, the US says.
The justice department ruled that some 600 so-called enemy combatants at Bagram have no constitutional rights.
Most have been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of waging a terrorist war against the US.
The move has disappointed human rights lawyers who had hoped the Obama administration would take a different line to that of George W Bush.

Club Gitmo, the Sequel

A new report casts further doubt on the prevailing media mythology about the Guantanamo Bay detention center:
A Pentagon review of conditions at the Guantanamo Bay military prison has concluded that the treatment of detainees meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions but that prisoners in the highest-security camps should be allowed more religious and social interaction, according to a government official who has read the 85-page document.
The report, which President Obama ordered, was prepared by Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations, and has been delivered to the White House. Obama requested the review as part of an executive order on the planned closure of the prison at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, on the southeastern tip of Cuba.
...Guantanamo Bay has a series of facilities with differing levels of security. Prisoners deemed dangerous or not in compliance with prison rules are held in Camps 5 and 6, where recreation time is restricted and there is little or no opportunity for group activity. In Camp 4, by contrast, detainees can gather in dorms or a common area for much of the day, and there are classes, including English and art, as well as a makeshift soccer pitch.
In this clip, Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu (ret.) of discusses Gitmo prisoner abuse--that is, prisoners abusing their military guards: