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Posts Tagged ‘Guantanamo Bay’

Fox News’ senior judicial analyst made some surprising remarks Saturday that may go against the grain at his conservative network.

By David Edwards, AlterNet, July 12, 2010 |

Fox News’ senior judicial analyst made some surprising remarks Saturday that may go against the grain at his conservative network.

In a interview with Ralph Nader on C-SPAN’s Book TV to promote his book Lies the Government Told You, Judge Andrew Napolitano said that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should have been indicted for “torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrant.”

The judge believes that it is a fallacy to say that the US treats suspects as innocent until proven guilty. “The government acts as if a defendant is guilty merely on the basis of an accusation,” said Napolitano.

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By Daniel Tencer, The Raw Story, January 19, 2010

Four members of a US military intelligence unit assigned to Guantanamo Bay are questioning the government’s official version of the deaths of three detainees in the summer of 2006.

The soldiers are offering a very different version of events than the one provided by the official report carried out by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Their stories suggest the three inmates may not have killed themselves — or, at least, not in the way the US military claims.

Continues >>

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By Gavin Lee | BBC News | Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Brandon Neely (above, centre)

Why would a former Guantanamo Bay prison guard track down two of his former captives – two British men – and agree to fly to London to meet them?

“You look different without a cap.”

“You look different without the jump suits.”

With those words, an extraordinary reunion gets under way.

The last time Ruhal Ahmed met Brandon Neely, he was “behind bars, behind a cage and [Brandon] was on the other side”.

The location had been Camp X-Ray – the high-security detention camp run by the US in Guantanamo Bay. Mr Ahmed, originally from Tipton in the West Midlands, was among several hundred foreign terror suspects held at the centre.

Mr Neely was one of his guards.

The scene of this current exchange of pleasantries couldn’t be more different from where they last met – a television studio in London. Also here is Shafiq Rasul, a fellow ex-Guantanamo prisoner, without whose Facebook page the reunion would never have happened.

Original story with video

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Chris Hedges | Truthdig | Dec 28, 2009

The image of Uncle Sam is seen behind shattered glass at the military recruitment center in New York’s Times Square. - AP / Mary Altaffer

Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.

This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements—who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism—have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at www.educatorsforcivilliberties.org or www.freefahad.com. On Martin Luther King Day, this Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. EST, protesters will hold a large vigil in front of the MCC on 150 Park Row in Lower Manhattan to call for a return of our constitutional rights. Join them if you can.

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For OpEdNews: Jason Leopold – Writer

This report was originally published on Truthout.org

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t

During his 36-minute speech upon accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway Thursday, President Barack Obama explained to an audience of 1,000 how the United States has a “moral and strategic interest” in abiding by a code of conduct when waging war – even one that pits the US against a “vicious adversary that abides by no rules.”

“That is what makes us different from those whom we fight,” Obama said. “That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America’s commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. And we honor those ideals by upholding them not just when it is easy, but when it is hard.”

however , Obama’s high-minded declaration rang hollow in light of fresh reports that his administration continues to operate secret prisons in Afghanistan where detainees have allegedly been tortured and where the International Committee for the Red Cross has been denied access to the prisoners.

Obama has substituted words for action on issues surrounding torture since his first days in office nearly one year ago. Last June, on the 25th anniversary of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Obama said the US government “must stand against torture wherever it takes place” and that his administration “is committed to taking concrete actions against torture and to address the needs of its victims.”

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Gitmo ’suicide’ trio had rags stuffed down throats: report

Raw Story- By Daniel Tencer
Monday, December 7th, 2009 — 1:55 pm

The US military has long maintained that the deaths of three detainees at Guantanamo Bay in one night in 2006 were suicides, but to the authors of an exhaustive report on the incident, it looks like anything but.

One question that the authors of a report (PDF) from the Seton Hall University Law School have is just how — and why — three people who hanged themselves would have managed to stuff rags down their throats before they died. Another question is why neither the guards on duty nor the paramedics who showed up were interviewed; or, for that matter, why the paramedics who showed up didn’t even ask the guards what had happened.

On the night of June 9, 2006, three detainees at Guantanamo’s Camp Delta were found hanged in their cells. The US military initially described their deaths as “asymmetrical warfare” against the United States, before finally declaring that the deaths were suicides that the inmates coordinated among themselves.

The Seton Hall report questions virtually every major element of the Pentagon’s story, and suggests a cover-up of the events of that night. But, lacking a clear picture of what happened, the report has nothing to offer as to what it was that was covered up.

The report’s description of the military investigation into the matter suggests a less-than-exhaustive review:

MORE HERE

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Montana AG Probing American Police Force Deal

TPM MUCKRAKER- Zachary Roth | October 2, 2009, 9:50AM

Could the party be over for American Police Force?

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is investigating the mysterious security contractor’s deal to run an empty jail in the tiny town of Hardin, reports the Billings Gazette. And he doesn’t appear to be messing around.

In a nine-page letter sent late yesterday afternoon to Becky Shay — the former Gazette reporter who recently signed on as APF’s public relations director — Bullock said he’s probing whether APF may be violating Montana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

Specifically, Bullock wants proof for many of the statements on APF’s website which have been called into question by media reports in recent days — such as the claims that the company frequently has contracts with the U.S. government, and has operations in all 50 states.

Bullock also has asked for a copy of the contract between APF and Hardin, which the town has so far declined to make public, and has asked that APF disclose any lawsuits filed against it or Michael Hilton — the APF official who led the negotiations with Hardin, and whose lengthy criminal record and alleged history of alcoholism has intensified concerns about the deal. Bullock also wants any correspondence between APF and any government agency that has accused the company of being deceptive.

Bullock sent a separate letter to Al Peterson and a second official with the Two Rivers Authority (TRA), Hardin’s economic development agency which signed the deal with APF. Peterson didn’t respond to the Gazette‘s request for comment, but asked yesterday by TPMmuckraker about the deal, he replied: “What have we got to lose?”

More on this to come…

Late Update: We’ve now obtained the letters from Bullock to APG [APF] to TRA. You can read them here.

The letter to TRA asks for all documents relating to the APF deal, and also, for information on “[a]ll direct or indirect interests Authority board members or their immediate families in American Police Force (including without limitation its officers, affiliates, or agents).”

In a conciliatory note, Bullock adds: “In writing, I also wish to express my understanding of your concern for your community and the pressure you are under to fill the unoccupied facility.”

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“Captain” Michael? APF Official Admits Title Is Bogus

TPM MUCKRAKER- Zachary Roth | October 1, 2009, 3:33PM

Earlier we told you about Michael Hilton, the American Police Force official with a lengthy criminal record and a history of alcoholism, who inked a deal to have his mysterious security company take over a Montana jail.

And here’s a hilarious little indication of just what kind of a Gatsby-esque character — to put it very charitably — Michael Hilton appears to be.

Reports the AP:

Hilton, 55, uses the title “captain” when introducing himself and on his business cards. But he acknowledged it was not a military rank.

Not a military rank, you understand. Maybe he was captain of his high-school soccer team?

Update: Read TPMmuckraker’s full coverage of AFP [APF]:

Mysterious Private Security Firm Gets Control Of Empty Jail In Small Montana Town

American Police Force Leader’s Long Criminal Record

American Police Force Offers Fugitive Tracking, ‘Covert Pregnancy Testing’ and More!

Reporter-Turned-APF-Flack: “I Made A Great Career Choice”

Montana Town Reassures Public On APF: “There Are No Commandos In The Streets”

“Captain” Michael? APF Official Admits Title Is Bogus

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American Police Force Leader’s Long Criminal Record

TPM MUCKRAKER- Zachary Roth | October 1, 2009, 11:17AM

The American Police Force, that mysterious security company that just took over an empty jail in Hardin, Montana, is looking shadier than ever.

Since yesterday, details have been emerging about the background of the man behind APF — a California-based grifter, who has said he’s a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Montenegro, and uses the name Michael Hilton.

Over the years, Hilton has served jail time for fraud, and had a string of arrests and other run-ins with the law. Based on reports from the AP, the Billings Gazette, and Prison Legal News, here’s a quick rundown:

1988: Hilton arrested in Santa Ana, Calif. for writing bad checks.

April 1990: Hilton is again arrested in Santa Ana for writing bad checks and for grand theft.

1992: A civil judgment of $83,000 is entered against Hilton and Ilia Dokovich.

March 1993: Hilton pleads guilty in Orange County court to 14 felonies, including 10 counts of grand theft. One charge involves a $20,000 real estate scam, in which Hilton persuaded an associate to give him a deed on property in Long Beach, Calif., saying it was to be used as collateral on a loan, then sold the property to someone else. According to the AP, he spends six years in prison in California.

1999: A small claims judgment is entered against Hilton for $3,979.

2000: the same plaintiff obtans another small claims judgment against Hilton in Los Angeles County, this one for $1,852.

March 2000: Hilton is accused of fraud, larceny, and breach of contract, in connection to a venture in which Hilton and others recruited the plaintiff to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to create collectible Super Bowl commemorative coins. According to the complaint, Hilton and the others said the money would be used for the design and manufacture of the coins and for a license to produce them from the National Football League — but the NFL never issued a license. Hilton is ultimately ordered to pay the plaintiff $200,000.

Around the same period: Hilton also faces two similar fraud suits: In one, he’s accused of posing as a fine arts dealer to deceive a Utah couple into giving him a $100,000 silver statue. In the other, he is said to have teamed with a doctor to recruit investors for a southern California assisted-living facility that was never built.

November 2002: Hilton files for bankruptcy, in order to avoid eviction by his landlord.

March 2003: Hilton is arrested for DUI in Huntington Beach.

February 2004: Hilton files for bankruptcy once more, again to avoid eviction.

January 2006: A $5,052 judgment lien is entered against Hilton in Orange County, CA.

A Lexis search conducted by Prison Legal News turned up the following aliases used by Hilton: Miodrag Dokovich, Miodrag Djokich, Miodrag Djokovich, Michael Hamilton, Anthony M. Hilton, Michael A. Hilton, Michael Milton and Hristian Djokich, plus related variants.

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Mysterious Private Security Firm Gets Control Of Empty Jail In Small Montana Town

TPM Muckraker- Justin Elliott | September 30, 2009, 3:16PM

A shadowy private security company that has no known clients but claims to have helped foreign governments combat terrorism and will protect anything from cruise ships to Pakistani convoys has taken over a jail in a small Montana town, with plans to build a law enforcement training facility on the property.

The state legislature is looking into the matter and residents of Hardin, MT, were alarmed last week when executives from the firm, American Police Force, showed up in the town, which does not have its own police department, with Mercedes SUVs bearing “City Of Hardin Police Department” decals.

And the town has had to tamp down reports on conspiracy Web sites that APF plans to impose experimental H1N1 vaccines on residents under threat of quarantine in the jail.

Under a lease signed with Hardin, APF, based in Santa Ana, California, and incorporated just six months ago, is now in control of a 400-bed detention facility the town built a few years ago but never used, a town official confirmed to TPMmuckraker today. The town reportedly stands to make over $2 million per year.

Just what American Police Force plans to do with the detention facility, which comes with 50 acres of land in the small south-central Montana town, is unclear. Also not clear is who, if anyone, APF plans to put in the jail. (Watch a video tour of the jail here.)

Hardin, which is in default on the bonds it used to build the jail, recently undertook an unsuccessful campaign to make the jail a new home for Gitmo detainees. When that failed, the town turned to APF

The 10-year contract that is now awaiting final approval of lawyers gives APF the option of building a training facility, said Al Peterson, spokesman for the Hardin economic development authority. APF has said it plans to invest $30 million in the site, including $17M in the training facility, where law enforcement will get sniper training and learn “DNA analysis” skills.

And where is American Police Force getting the money for this venture? Company spokeswoman Becky Shay — until about a week ago the Billings Gazette reporter covering APF — says they are no plans to answer that question. She did not respond to a request for comment.

The matter has attracted the attention of the Montana state legislature, which is seeking more information about the arrangement between Hardin and APF. The committee that deals with legal matters will send a letter to Hardin officials to get more details on the deal, Representative Bob Ebinger (D) tells TPMmuckraker.

“Because of the apparent secretiveness of this, it gives the far right and far left to come up with all kinds of ideas. That’s why I’d like to see some clarification,” Ebinger says.

Peterson, the Hardin official, says the controversy sparked last week when APF executives appeared in black SUVs marked “City Of Hardin Police Department” was a misunderstanding of an act of goodwill by the company. The decals were taken off within the day, he says.

MORE HERE

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TOUR JAIL IN THIS VIDEO:

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