Friday, July 11, 2008

a follow-up on the gitmo torture case retained by judge leon yesterday


this also appears on the end
of the post about the procedural
wake
rolling behind the supreme
court's ruling in boumediene v. bush
(ussct no. 06-1195, slip op. at 66 june 12, 2008),
but i wanted it to have its own post.

so, here is what is known of
gitmo prisoner obaydullah (no.
762) -- who has been held, without
charge
, for six full years.

he is an afgani by birth, held at gitmo,
without any formalized, independent review
of any presentation of any alleged evidence
of any crime, particularized as to his
actions, or status -- since july of 2002.

he was tortured at bagram,
and transferred from the bagram
air base, to gitmo in late 2002.

he had no advance knowledge of,
or role in, the 9/11 attacks. he
knows of no current -- or even
rumoured -- taliban operations,
anywhere in the world.

yet he has been held without charge,
away from his widowed mother, and his
country of birth, for six years. but now
make no mistake -- the u.s. has NOT
designated him a POW
-- which would have
entitled the u.s. to hold him, without charge,
until the "cessation of hostilities."

of course, under geneva, then, the u.s.
could not have tortured him -- or asked
anything
of him -- other than "name;
rank and serial number
. . ."

so, at the behest of cheney, the u.s.
chose a third path -- first torture him, and
then hold him, indefinitely, without charges.

this third path is like the barnacle branch
itself -- in that the path was created entirely
by the minds of cheney and his advisors -- yoo,
addington and bybee -- and it is an unlawful,
immoral and reprehensible path. shameful.

based on pages 48 through 53 of these
FOUO transcripts (large PDF file) of
his "interviews", he was conscripted by
the taliban (forcibly) as a young boy,
sent to a land-mine "school" -- having
been deemed too young to fight -- and
he deserted the "school", and the taliban,
on the second day of training. though
the taliban looked for him from time to
time, he was never re-captured by the taliban.

he and his mother apparently took up living
quarters in a home, largely as squatters -- a
home earlier abandoned by an afgani communist
of some notoriety, when that communist fled
the encroaching afgani taliban forces. that
communist had apparently hidden land-mines
inside the house that obaydullah and his
mother were squatting on.

obaydullah and his widowed mother eventually
buried the mines they found in a
gargabe heap
on a small strip of the
communist's former property, having decided
that it was unsafe to keep mines inside the
four walls of the residence -- and knowing
that turning over found ordinance to the
taliban in afganistan would subject them
to interrogation (and perhaps torture) about
the origins of the weapons.

there was also the matter of obaydullah being
recognized as a boyhood deserter of the taliban
land-mine training school. that would have
certainly been a path to torture, followed by
another stint of forced military service.

in the coming weeks, we will likely learn
why judge leon decided to retain this case,
and not have it coordinated with all the others
now pending before judge hogan.

i will follow this one -- in this space.

n a m a s t ė



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