Tortured Logic: Jawad and Ghailani Cases Challenge US Torture Under Rule Of Law

Muhammed Jawad’s legal battles have stretched on for the last 7 years. For a boy who may have been as young as 12 when he was picked up on an Afghan battlefield, that must feel like an eternity in custody.

He has grown up at Gitmo.

ACLU had another day in court yesterday in the Jawad case, this time arguing that evidence in the case which was coerced through torture and other impermissible means cannot be used to continue to detain him.

The judge in Jawad’s military commission proceedings previously suppressed statements made by Jawad to Afghan and U.S. officials following his arrest, finding that they were the product of torture. However, the government continues to rely on those same statements in Jawad’s habeas corpus challenge.

"Since his arrest in 2002, Mr. Jawad has been subjected to repeated torture and other mistreatment and to a systematic program of harsh and highly coercive interrogations designed to break him physically and mentally," said Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. "The statements wrung from Mr. Jawad in Afghanistan and at Guantánamo during more than 50 interrogations do not remotely meet the standard for admissibility in a court of law."

Lest you think this is simply hyperbole, the ACLU has described what happened with Jawad from the moment of his capture forward — and remember he was a young boy at the time that all of this occurred.

The YouTube above is more detail from ACLU, along with this:

Following his arrest for allegedly throwing a grenade at U.S. soldiers, Jawad was taken to an Afghan police station where he was coerced into signing a confession written in Farsi, a language Jawad could not speak, much less read or write. In fact, Jawad was functionally illiterate even in his native language of Pashto.

Once transferred to U.S. custody, Jawad was illegally rendered to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where he was interrogated at least 11 times and subjected to beatings, forced into painful "stress positions," deprived of sleep, forcibly hooded, placed in isolation, pushed down stairs, chained to a wall for prolonged periods and subjected to threats of death. The U.S. later transported Jawad to Guantánamo, where he was subjected to the notorious "frequent flyer" sleep deprivation program as well as the Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) interrogation methods recently denounced in a Senate Armed Services Committee Report. Eventually, Jawad tried to commit suicide in his cell by slamming his head repeatedly against the wall….

We’re still holding him at Gitmo.

The Ghailani case presents an interesting twist — he was indicted years ago in a NY federal court for involvement in embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. But instead of being tried in federal court, the Bush Administration set him up with a military tribunal. The Obama Administration has reverted his trial to federal court, where the legal path for him first began.

And now Ghailani’s counsel are challenging some aspects of his treatment while at possible CIA "black sites" after his capture, asking for preservation of evidence so that they can have experts examine it.

Just a couple more reasons that the ACLU Accountability Project is necessary.  Because there are still so many open questions about what was done in all of our names.  More accountability, please.


 
55 Responses to "Tortured Logic: Jawad and Ghailani Cases Challenge US Torture Under Rule Of Law"
Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 05:39 am 1

Morning all — rainy day here, and all my plants are soaking it in…


danps | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:12 am 2

Thanks for the update, Christy!


WarOnWarOff | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:14 am 3

Ah, but let us celebrate FREEDUMB! *sigh*


jayt | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:16 am 4

mornin’ Christy…

The Obama Administration has reverted his trial to federal court, where the legal path for him first began.

Hard to get a handle on this administration, isn’t it? Continue Bush policies for some cases, turn some (or at least this one) over to the fed courts.

One wonders whether policy is not being set via shouting matches between different factions at DOJ. Him what yells the loudest wins.

I also wonder whether this may be playing out w/r/t the Dawn Johnsen nomination, i.e. Obama and Holder don’t have sufficient clout or confidence as to the entrenched at DOJ so as to want to be seen as bringing in an enforcer to do damage. Thus no push on the nomination, still trying to placate by way of not bringing the investigator….


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:16 am 5

Anyone WTF is going on with the IG report that was supposed to be released yesterday. How can they just say FU to the judge?


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:17 am 6
In response to danps @ 2

The Jawad case has been a particularly egregious one in terms of maltreatment issues for a minor. There are something like 22 separate cases of Gitmo detainees who are alleged to have been underage at the time of their detention. Which is a direct violation of our treaty obligations — as Andy Worthington explains here:

“As the AP noted, the estimate of Jawad’s age, if confirmed, would make him “one of the youngest detainees ever sent to Guantánamo.” This is certainly true, but as I have reported previously, at least 22 juveniles — including an Afghan boy who was probably just 11 years old when he was seized — have been held at Guantánamo throughout its long history, and in the end, whether Jawad was 12 or 17 at the time of his capture, what matters most is that he was never treated with the kind of care that is appropriate for juvenile prisoners — as stipulated by the UN Optional Protocol on the Rights of the Child (on the involvement of children in armed conflict), to which the United States is a signatory — and, even more importantly, that he is still held, even though it is clear that the government has no case against him.”


eCAHNomics | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:17 am 7

Good morning Christy.

The Jawad case makes my stomach turn.

Reading Horne’s Savage War of Peace, the classic on the Algerian war for independence. One difference between the U.S. and France, is that when the French people finally (very late in the war) found out about the torture, the started turning against the war. In the U.S., torture is a big yawn.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:19 am 8
In response to foothillsmike @ 5

The DOD portion of the report is due today, I’m told — they needed an extra day to clear things out. There must have been some agreement to allow an extension for a day, because it was a court-ordered deadline. Haven’t heard what the problem was — because DOD isn’t talking about it as yet — but I’d expect that portion today absent some substantial showing of need (and no idea what that could be given the previous extensions).

The CIA IG report wasn’t actually due until August. But the Obama folks have been promising it earlier — so it was their own deadline that wasn’t met on that yesterday. Haven’t heard boo on when it can be expected at this point — will let you all know if and when I hear something. Keep an eye on Spencer — his sourcing is superb, and he’s likely to hear ahead of everyone else.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:20 am 9
In response to jayt @ 4

I think it isn’t just DOJ — it’s DOJ versus DOD on a lot of this. And that really has resulted in a shouting match or two, so I’ve heard.


eCAHNomics | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:23 am 10

Still raining, so no outdoor activities, but I’m gonna read another chapter of Savage War of Peace. BBL.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:29 am 11
In response to eCAHNomics @ 10

It’s looking like we are about to get a huge thunderstorm today, if the darkening skies outside are any indication. My poor dachshund really hates thunder, so I hope it’s isn’t going to be a big boomer of a storm for her sake.

Being an old doggie is tough…


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:31 am 12

We had one last night, My JRT wound up under the bed.


twolf1 | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:33 am 13

If July continues on it’s current pace, we will have had 37.5 inches of rain by month’s end ;)


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:33 am 14
In response to twolf1 @ 13

Holy cow!


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:34 am 15
In response to foothillsmike @ 12

PS 4th of july fireworks drive him crazy – poor guy.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:36 am 16
In response to foothillsmike @ 15

Ours, too — this is pretty much the worst week of the year for PJ. , too. Because all the kids in the neighborhood set off little poppers and stuff all week long.

It’s tough to be a geezer dachshund. *g*


twolf1 | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:38 am 17
In response to foothillsmike @ 15

One of my cats is terrified of fireworks but not thunderstorms. the other is terrified of thunderstorms but not fireworks. go figure


allan | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:39 am 18

A culture of cruelty.

Tasers and pepper spray: not just for Francine Busby anymore.


ghostof911 | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:41 am 19
In response to eCAHNomics @ 7

Not everyone is yawning. Velvet Revolution.


STTPinOhio | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:44 am 20

Breaking news (duck and cover)…

North Korea has launched a 4th short range missile today (per CNN).

Why isn’t PETA all over these people?

Those launches have to leave a mark on the donkeys that carry them.


skdadl | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:45 am 21

Thanks very much for this, Christy, and for the ACLU video.

I’m concerned for all the detainees at GTMO, but we keep a special watch for Omar Khadr, whose rights under international and Canadian law are being violated in so many ways, as a Federal Court judge here has recently ruled. Yet our government will not move to repatriate him and to respect the UN Protocol, and it looks as though President Obama won’t either.

The evidence against Khadr is highly suspect; he was tortured when he was first taken to Bagram; and he was fifteen at the time. Further, because his commission had been set up before the Boumedienne decision, his habeas rights are still in suspension. How much more could be wrong with this continued detention?

Our current government (short may be their future) will not move on their own. It is the express will of both Parliament and the Federal Court, though, that Khadr be repatriated, and if Obama would just do the right thing and have a private chat with Steve, we could get the boy out of that prison and bring him home.


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:46 am 22
In response to STTPinOhio @ 20

Guess it didn’t come close to hawaii. What were they aiming for, the ocean?


WarOnWarOff | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:46 am 23
In response to eCAHNomics @ 7

The 2003 Pentagon screening of The Battle of Algiers was apparently taken as a “How To” lesson, rather than a caution.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:49 am 24
In response to skdadl @ 21

I’m hoping for an update later today on how the arguments went in Jawad yesterday. Will let you all know if I learn anything beyond what I’m telling you at this point.


STTPinOhio | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:52 am 25
In response to foothillsmike @ 22

What were they aiming for, the ocean?

50/50 that they hit it.

It’s important that the Pentagon, State Dept., and the White House know this, but why should this be “breaking news”?

It takes away from the more important “All Jackson, all the time” coverage.

And that snark comes from a Michael Jackson fan.


tjbs | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:54 am 26

Thanks for keeping the spotlight on Torture/ Murder/ Treason that is ongoing though in a reduced capacity i.e. feeding tubes.
This so called open democracy sure needs a tune-up.
Looking at the first report which was redacted so it was devoid of information.
We the citizens need to know,in real time, what the government is doing in our name with our tax dollars.
The photos show the truth of the actions we paid for. we need them to carry on an honest convesation about the way forward. This report tries to explain in words what the pictures show so let the people see. We paid for these actions.
These actions done shamefully, in secret and certainly in the dark of night are treasonous acts. Every disappeared human being leaves behind a family stewing for revenge. Those tormented to death while being questioned serve as the finest recruitment tool available to those defending their homeland against the invaders and their machinery of death. The last criminal administration set up an unending supply of people willing to defend that which we chose to invade and bend to our will.

My only acceptable outcome is Nuremburg 2.0 an International body to judge the International war crimes that have not been committed in my name, thank you.


WarOnWarOff | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:55 am 27
In response to allan @ 18

A culture of cruelty.

Indeed. Cruelty, stupidity, greed, we gots it all.


ghostof911 | Thursday July 2, 2009 06:56 am 28
In response to WarOnWarOff @ 23

Same as SERE training for the US special forces. It wasn’t to condition them for surviving in a captive invironment. It was to condition them to become torturers.


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:00 am 29
In response to ghostof911 @ 28

That was not true when my son went through it nor is it true today.


WarOnWarOff | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:00 am 30
In response to ghostof911 @ 28

I’m so old I can still remember how this country reacted in horror when American POWs in North Vietnam blinked their eyes to reveal “T-O-R-T-U-R-E” in code. WTF happened here?


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:04 am 31
In response to WarOnWarOff @ 30

We changed the name to enhanced interogation techniques.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:05 am 32
In response to ghostof911 @ 28

SERE training was designed to teach them what they could expect if and when they were captured based on treatment to which soldiers had been subjected by the North Koreans and during WWII.

It was the screwed up nature of reverse engineering from outside contractors that were specifically brought in by Cheney allies at DOD that screwed the pooch. Talk about skewering history to serve your own ends…


ghostof911 | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:06 am 33
In response to WarOnWarOff @ 30

WTF happened here?

For starters, decades of insensitivity training via populat culture.


ghostof911 | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:09 am 34

Thanks Christy. That would be my response to mike @29.

It was the screwed up nature of reverse engineering from outside contractors that were specifically brought in by Cheney allies at DOD that screwed the pooch. Talk about skewering history to serve your own ends…


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:12 am 35
In response to ghostof911 @ 34

But that’s not the intention of SERE training from the get go. It’s only been the last few years and only for interrogators where things got really screwed up — and it was intentionally done, which makes it far, far worse in my mind.

Which was, I think Mike’s point on that. SERE training wasn’t designed to produce torture — it was designed to do just the opposite.


AZ Matt | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:15 am 36

OT- You want access? From Politico – Washington Post sells access, $25,000+

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it’s a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”

The offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters — is a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival.

And it’s a turn of the times that a lobbyist is scolding The Washington Post for its ethical practices.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:16 am 37

Saw that this morning — insane.


SouthernDragon | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:16 am 38
In response to ghostof911 @ 28

That’s horse shit.


WarOnWarOff | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:20 am 39
In response to AZ Matt @ 36

Is that how Bolton gets his mad fantasies published there?


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:21 am 40
In response to WarOnWarOff @ 39

I think the Rampant Mustache Of Gloom must have an in with the editorial page folks, frankly. Can’t explain his popularity there otherwise.


AZ Matt | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:23 am 41

Guess they don’t need credibility anymore.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:24 am 42
In response to AZ Matt @ 41

I think firing Froomkin was a pretty good indication of that, don’t you think?


ghostof911 | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:25 am 43

I have read other remarks to the same effect, where the original intent of SERE was subverted to comply with the agenda of the new masters. I’m my thinking, as much psychologocal harm was done to the psyche of the special forces members as was the physical harm done to the detainees.


AZ Matt | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:26 am 44

I think of that as the liberation of Dan.


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:27 am 45
In response to AZ Matt @ 36

Blatant whores!


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:27 am 46
In response to AZ Matt @ 44

I do, too — and I’m hoping he lands some really awesome gig next where the people who hire him allow him to do what he does best. Report. And dig.


AZ Matt | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:29 am 47
In response to foothillsmike @ 45

And expensive too!!


foothillsmike | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:33 am 48
In response to AZ Matt @ 47

And I thought prostitution was illegal.


AZ Matt | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:37 am 49
In response to foothillsmike @ 48

Elliot Spitzer thought that too.


BlueCrow | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:43 am 50
In response to tjbs @ 26

“My only acceptable outcome is Nuremburg 2.0 an International body to judge the International war crimes that have not been committed in my name, thank you.”

Amen! Mine, too.


greenwarrior | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:44 am 51
In response to AZ Matt @ 36

can that possibly be legal?


STTPinOhio | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:45 am 52

I think firing Froomkin was a pretty good indication of that, don’t you think?

No fair! I had to step away and you beat me to it.


STTPinOhio | Thursday July 2, 2009 07:47 am 53
In response to AZ Matt @ 44

I think of that as the liberation of Dan.

Man o man, the stories he’s now free to tell.

Here’s hoping he’s not too much of a gentleman to tell ‘em.


perris | Thursday July 2, 2009 11:21 am 54

this “frequent flyer” detention program is new to me, what is that referancing?


NMvoiceofreason | Saturday July 4, 2009 08:40 am 55
In response to perris @ 54

“Frequent Flyer” detention is a type of stress position, often used while being moved from black site to black site.


Sorry but the comments are closed on this post

Close