uruknet.info
  اوروكنت.إنفو
     
    informazione dal medio oriente
    information from middle east
    المعلومات من الشرق الأوسط

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 23/10/2014 01:44 ] 83069


english italiano

  [ Subscribe our newsletter!   -   Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter! ]  



Trial at Guantánamo: What Shall We Do With The Torture Victim?


November 12, 2011 - At Guantánamo on Wednesday, one of the most notorious torture victims of the Bush administration — Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — was arraigned for his trial by Military Commission, charged with masterminding the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, off the coast of Yemen, which killed 17 US sailors and wounded 39 others. Al-Nashiri is also one of three "high-value detainees" who, under the Bush administration, was subjected to waterboarding, an ancient form of torture that involves controlled drowning....For those who support George W. Bush’s attempts to twist the law out of shape in an attempt to claim that torture was not torture, and then to use it on "high-value detainees" in a series of despicable torture dungeons located in other countries, the trial of al-Nashiri at Guantánamo is something of a triumph, although it is difficult to see how the torture apologists reach this conclusion. In fact, al-Nashiri’s arraignment, nine years after he was first seized in the United Arab Emirates, is a disgrace...

[83069]



Uruknet on Alexa


End Gaza Siege
End Gaza Siege

>

:: Segnala Uruknet agli amici. Clicka qui.
:: Invite your friends to Uruknet. Click here.




:: Segnalaci un articolo
:: Tell us of an article






Trial at Guantánamo: What Shall We Do With The Torture Victim?

Andy Worthington

November 12, 2011

At Guantánamo on Wednesday, one of the most notorious torture victims of the Bush administration — Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — was arraigned for his trial by Military Commission, charged with masterminding the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, off the coast of Yemen, which killed 17 US sailors and wounded 39 others. Al-Nashiri is also one of three "high-value detainees" who, under the Bush administration, was subjected to waterboarding, an ancient form of torture that involves controlled drowning.

Appearing publicly for the first time in nine years, al-Nashiri, a millionaire and a merchant before his capture, who is now 46 years old, was clean-shaven, and responded politely when asked by the judge, Army Col. James Pohl, whether he understood the proceedings, and whether "he accepted the services of his Pentagon-paid defense team." As the Miami Herald described it, he replied, "At this moment these lawyers are doing the right job."

For those who support George W. Bush’s attempts to twist the law out of shape in an attempt to claim that torture was not torture, and then to use it on "high-value detainees" in a series of despicable torture dungeons located in other countries, the trial of al-Nashiri at Guantánamo is something of a triumph, although it is difficult to see how the torture apologists reach this conclusion.

In fact, al-Nashiri’s arraignment, nine years after he was first seized in the United Arab Emirates, is a disgrace. He was held in torture prisons in Thailand and Poland (where prosecutors are investigating his torture claims), and possibly also in Romania, Lithuania and Morocco — and what distinguishes these locations from other prisons is how the Bush administration had to undergo devious, underhand negotiations to site its prisons on foreign soil. This rather tends to prove that torture was still torture, however much John Yoo, a compliant lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, said it wasn’t in a series of notorious memos that will forever be known as the "torture memos," because if it was legal, then why was all the dirty subterfuge needed?

For the supporters of Guantánamo and torture, the sordid details of his treatment are not generally discussed, perhaps because it might be revealed how he was only held in a prison in Thailand until the Thai government got fed up with harboring American torturers, and was then sent to Poland, where, eventually, the same thing happened. His torture, according to the apologists, was supposed to show robustness and resolve on the part of the Bush administration, and not the fairly desperate maneuverings of abusers who knew that their activities were illegal.

The apologists also shrug off the alarming truth that al-Nashiri was waterboarded, and also shrug off the findings of the CIA Inspector General, who concluded, in a report in 2004, that CIA operatives had gone too far when they threatened him with a gun and a power drill while he was hooded, and also made threats against his family. Another way of expressing this would be to note that the use of the gun and the drill constituted "mock executions."

To the best of our knowledge, the torture of al-Nashiri yielded no useful intelligence. However, because of the way he was treated, and because of the Bush administration’s foolish insistence that terror suspects were not criminals, but "warriors" in a possibly endless "war on terror," the federal court trial that should have taken place shortly after his capture in 2002, if there was any evidence that he masterminded the bombing of the USS Cole, never took place.

Nine years on, supporters of military trials for terror suspects may be celebrating because al-Nashiri’s trial by Military Commission is finally going ahead, although, in the meantime, numerous other terror suspects have been successfully prosecuted in federal courts. Supporters of Guantánamo and torture tend to ignore the many successful federal court trials of the last decade, choosing instead to believe that being tortured in secret CIA prisons and then held in Guantánamo somehow makes prisoners like al-Nashiri much more significant than these other terror suspects.

How else do we explain the uproar over the trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the only prisoner held in secret CIA torture prisons and then Guantánamo to be transferred to the US mainland to face a federal court trial? Ghailani was transferred in May 2009 (before Congress imposed a ban on the transfer of any more prisoners for trials on the US mainland), and was tried last fall, convicted and given a life sentence in January this year.

Even so, the supporters of the Military Commissions tried to portray his trial as a failure, and continue to rail against federal court trials for terror suspects, even going so far, in passages included in the National Defense Authoization Act, which is currently being examined by Congress, as to demand mandatory military custody for all terror suspects in future, even though that will cripple the ability of law enforcement officials to effectively investigate their crimes, and even though the military has shown no willingness to become a misplaced policeman for deranged ideologues in Congress.

President Obama is also to blame for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri’s presence in a courtroom in Guantánamo, because his administration revived the Commissions in the summer of 2009, deciding that federal court trials were appropriate for some Guantánamo prisoners, and Military Commissions for others. That allowed the opponents of federal court trials to campaign against them, pushing the administration to drop its plans to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks in New York, and obliging senior officials (and specifically Attorney General Eric Holder) to undertake a humiliating climbdown, and to announce that federal court trials were off the agenda, and the Military Commissions were the only game in town.

That led directly to the notion that mandatory military custody for terror suspects is somehow acceptable, when it is clearly not, and left the administration, like an unconvincing puppeteer, holding Military Commission trials at Guantánamo which they have so far failed to endorse confidently, reaching plea deals in all three cases dealt with to date — those of Ibrahim al-Qosi, Noor Uthman Muhammed and Omar Khadr.

As a capital case and one involving such well-publicized torture, al-Nashiri’s case is much more of a test for the Obama administration, which cannot, for once, shirk its responsibilities through a plea deal. There is no way of knowing, as yet, if al-Nashiri will find a way to fundamentally challenge the administration, or if his trial will, in spite of the precedents established throughout the Commissions’ inglorious history, somehow proceed smoothly, but it seems unlikely.

At the arraignment, Richard Kammen, one of al-Nashiri’s defense attorneys, made it clear that questions about his client’s treatment would form part of the defense’s case. "Is torture a mitigating factor?" he asked Col. Pohl, to which the judge replied that the question would be appropriate when — if — al-Nashiri came to be sentenced. As the Miami Herald also explained, "Kammen also asked Pohl if he would fulfill his obligation under international treaty to report to 'outside authorities’ evidence that Nashiri’s 'torture’ was arranged by high public officials, doctors, psychiatrists and lawyers," to which the judge replied, "I will comply with the law."

That sounds promising, but as the media focus drifts away from Guantánamo once more with the realization that al-Nashiri’s trial will not begin for at least a year, it is also worth recalling that, fundamentally, this is not the right venue for the trial of anyone accused of terrorism, or, indeed, of war crimes that are not real, and were only invented by Congress in 2006 and revived, fundamentally unaltered, in 2009.

Instead, the courtroom at Guantánamo, where the world is supposed to see justice being delivered, is composed in equal parts of an ideological fixation, on the part of Republicans, and an unconvincing capitulation, on the part of the administration, and these are not the correct ingredients for a fair trial, especially as the Obama administration has refused to confirm that, should al-Nashiri somehow not be convicted, there is no guarantee that he will be released, which, of course, makes a mockery of the entire process.

Note: The courtroom sketch above is by Janet Hamlin, and is courtesy of Janet Hamlin Illustration.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, "The Complete Guantánamo Files," a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo" (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

As published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation.



:: Article nr. 83069 sent on 13-nov-2011 03:57 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=83069



:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

The section for the comments of our readers has been closed, because of many out-of-topics.
Now you can post your own comments into our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uruknet




:: Share this new !
Facebook Twitter
BlinkList del.icio.us
Digg Furl
Google Bookmarks ma.gnolia
Netscape Newsvine
reddit StumbleUpon
Tailrank Technorati
Windows Live Yahoo! My Web





       
[ Printable version ] | [ Send it to a friend ]


[ Contatto/Contact ] | [ Home Page ] | [Tutte le notizie/All news ]







Uruknet on Twitter




:: RSS updated to 2.0

:: English
:: Italiano



:: Uruknet for your mobile phone:
www.uruknet.mobi


Uruknet on Facebook






:: Motore di ricerca / Search Engine


uruknet
the web



:: Immagini / Pictures


Initial
Middle




The newsletter archive




L'Impero si è fermato a Bahgdad, by Valeria Poletti


Modulo per ordini




subscribe

:: Newsletter

:: Comments


Haq Agency
Haq Agency - English

Haq Agency - Arabic


AMSI
AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - English

AMSI - Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq - Arabic




Font size
Carattere
1 2 3





:: All events








     

[ home page] | [ tutte le notizie/all news ] | [ download banner] | [ ultimo aggiornamento/last update 23/10/2014 01:44 ]




Uruknet receives daily many hacking attempts. To prevent this, we have 10 websites on 6 servers in different places. So, if the website is slow or it does not answer, you can recall one of the other web sites: www.uruknet.info www.uruknet.de www.uruknet.biz www.uruknet.org.uk www.uruknet.com www.uruknet.org - www.uruknet.it www.uruknet.eu www.uruknet.net www.uruknet.web.at.it




:: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
::  We always mention the author and link the original site and page of every article.
uruknet, uruklink, iraq, uruqlink, iraq, irak, irakeno, iraqui, uruk, uruqlink, saddam hussein, baghdad, mesopotamia, babilonia, uday, qusay, udai, qusai,hussein, feddayn, fedayn saddam, mujaheddin, mojahidin, tarek aziz, chalabi, iraqui, baath, ba'ht, Aljazira, aljazeera, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Palestina, Sharon, Israele, Nasser, ahram, hayat, sharq awsat, iraqwar,irakwar All pictures

 

I nostri partner - Our Partners:


TEV S.r.l.

TEV S.r.l.: hosting

www.tev.it

Progetto Niz

niz: news management

www.niz.it

Digitbrand

digitbrand: ".it" domains

www.digitbrand.com

Worlwide Mirror Web-Sites:
www.uruknet.info (Main)
www.uruknet.com
www.uruknet.net
www.uruknet.org
www.uruknet.us (USA)
www.uruknet.su (Soviet Union)
www.uruknet.ru (Russia)
www.uruknet.it (Association)
www.uruknet.web.at.it
www.uruknet.biz
www.uruknet.mobi (For Mobile Phones)
www.uruknet.org.uk (UK)
www.uruknet.de (Germany)
www.uruknet.ir (Iran)
www.uruknet.eu (Europe)
wap.uruknet.info (For Mobile Phones)
rss.uruknet.info (For Rss Feeds)
www.uruknet.tel

Vat Number: IT-97475000150