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October 22, 2016
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Mark Kurlansky

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Tag: Guantanamo Bay

John Oliver Rips Into One of President Obama’s Most ‘Inarguable Failures’: Gitmo (Video)

“No amount of sugar coating can cover up the reality of what we have done at Guantanamo Bay,” said the “Last Week Tonight” host in a segment advocating the permanent closure of the controversial detention center.

Posted on Oct 10, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN


Square, Category Page

The Man Who Captured Abu Zubaydah Says It’s Time to End His Ordeal and Send Him Home

If the government decides you are an “enemy combatant,” you cannot defend yourself in court. It’s a terrible precedent and a threat even to U.S. citizens. We should immediately release the alleged terrorist.

Posted on Aug 26, 2016 READ MORE

The Terror Suspect Who Had Nothing to Give

Abu Zubaydah’s sworn statement provides a chilling, first-person account of how U.S. officials tortured a man they wrongly believed was a top al-Qaida operative.

Posted on Jul 10, 2016 READ MORE

Guantanamo Bay Should Be Closed Forever

The prison is the symbol of everything that is wrong with the United States’ so-called war on terror.

Posted on Jun 20, 2016 READ MORE

Obama’s Trillion-Dollar Nuclear-Arms Train Wreck

As with his pledge to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, President Obama’s pledge to move the U.S. toward nuclear disarmament seems to have been abandoned.

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 READ MORE

Horror Persists, From Brussels to Cuba — Guantanamo, Cuba, That Is

The horror in Brussels is unforgivable. Few can deny, though, that some of the worst policies of the U.S. and its allies serve as recruitment tools for Islamic State and other groups. We need a uniform standard of justice.

Posted on Mar 23, 2016 READ MORE

Military and Intelligence Officials Deem Many Guantanamo Prisoners Fit for Release

Contrary to widespread concern, a U.S. security panel has decided that many of the detainees at Gitmo are not “too dangerous” to be freed.

Posted on Mar 20, 2016 READ MORE

Close Guantanamo and Return It to Cuba

President Barack Obama has yet to fulfill the promise he made in his Jan. 22, 2009, executive order to shut the Guantanamo Bay detention camp “no later than one year from the date of this order.”

Posted on Nov 15, 2015 READ MORE

Obama Administration: Judges Can’t Stop Us From Classifying Whatever We Want

U.S. Justice Department attorneys argued—at a hearing on a lawsuit seeking to make public the videotapes of a prisoner being force-fed at Guantanamo Bay prison—that courts cannot order the unsealing of evidence that has been classified by the government.

Posted on May 9, 2015 READ MORE

Chicago Police Accused of Running Secret ‘Black Site’

An explosive new report in The Guardian claims the Chicago police have created a secret compound for detentions and interrogations where abusive methods are often used.

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN


U.S. Acknowledges Conviction of Guantanamo Detainee Should Not Stand

The conviction of Australian David Hicks, held for nearly six years, was not legally valid, the chief prosecutor says.

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 READ MORE

Close Guantanamo—Then Give It Back to Cuba

This week marks the 13th anniversary of the arrival of the first post-9/11 prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, the most notorious prison on the planet.

Posted on Jan 7, 2015 READ MORE

The Case Against Torture

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s U.S. military-appointed attorney says in this short documentary, “How we treat people ... is a reflection of who we are as Americans.”

Posted on Dec 22, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN

Don’t Expect Supreme Court Action on the Senate’s Torture Report

The anticipated litigation about the CIA’s interrogation tactics will soon land in the lap of the nine justices who sit on the Supreme Court, as issues of critical national importance invariably do. How the high court will rule, however, remains a disturbingly open question.

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 READ MORE

Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War

In sporting events across the country the religion of sports fuses with the religion of war—a mark of all militarized societies. Games at Fenway are as much about venerating the military as the Red Sox.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE

Six Points Concerning Bergdahl

Bringing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home was the right thing to do, and President Obama did it in a mostly reasonable way.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE

Taliban Releases Video of Bowe Bergdahl’s Delivery

The Taliban on Wednesday released a video showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.

Posted on Jun 4, 2014 WATCH & LISTEN

Prisoner Swap Brings Obama Closer to Closing Gitmo

President Obama’s decision to release five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay has been attacked by some as illegal or reckless, but could bring him closer to his goal of closing the prison camp.

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 READ MORE

Obama Defends Deal With Taliban to Free U.S. Soldier

President Obama on Tuesday defended a prisoner swap with the Taliban to free an American soldier, saying his “sacred” trust as commander-in-chief outweighed claims he broke the law and set a dangerous precedent.

Posted on Jun 3, 2014 READ MORE

‘We Needed to Get Him Out’: Hagel Defends Bergdahl Operation

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that an operation to free soldier Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for Taliban prisoners was undertaken to save his life, as the insurgents’ leader hailed the swap as a “big victory.”

Posted on Jun 1, 2014 READ MORE


Posted on May 17, 2014 ENLARGE

Clandestine FBI Inquiry Rattles 9/11 Tribunals

A visit by FBI agents to a member of the team defending one of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks is a reminder that, “no matter how much the proceedings” at Guantanamo Bay “resemble a familiar American trial, the invisible hand of the United States government is at work there in ways unlike anything seen in typical courtrooms.”

Posted on Apr 19, 2014 READ MORE

AP Images

The Manifesto and New Morality of the 9/11 Mastermind

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as the mastermind of 9/11, has released a new manifesto and allegedly come into a new way of thinking and believing.

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 READ MORE

DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0)

Obama Signs NDAA, Maintaining Indefinite Detention Provision

In an odd juxtaposition, Obama signed the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday while criticizing Congress for abridging the constitutional separation of powers, yet is unconcerned about the violation of individual constitutional rights contained in the law.

Posted on Dec 27, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Kin Cheung

Shooting the Messenger

The misguided attempts to justify Edward Snowden’s leaks by casting aspersions on those of Manning, Assange, WikiLeaks and Hammond play into the hands of the security and surveillance state.

Posted on Dec 8, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Patrick Semansky

Bradley Manning and the Gangster State

The soldier’s 35-year sentence means the end of the rule of law. It terminates the ability of the press and the public to hold power accountable. And it presages the rise of a government under which the just will become criminals.

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 READ MORE

AP/Brennan Linsley

California Prison Hunger Strike Raises Issue of Force-Feeding on U.S. Soil

As lawmakers call for an end to the force-feeding of Guantanamo detainees, the California strike serves as a reminder: Inmates in this country can ultimately be given the same treatment.

Posted on Jul 14, 2013 READ MORE

Our National Symbol

Posted on May 28, 2013 ENLARGE

Obama’s Guantanamo

Posted on May 27, 2013 ENLARGE

Drones and Gitmo

Posted on May 26, 2013 ENLARGE

AP/Brennan Linsley, File

It’s Time to Support Guantanamo Detainees

Last Friday marked the 100th day of the detainees’ hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. I am not a Guantanamo detainee, but I too began a water-only hunger fast.

Posted on May 22, 2013 READ MORE

Hunger Strike in Guantanamo

Posted on May 7, 2013 ENLARGE

Obama and Guantanamo

Posted on May 6, 2013 ENLARGE

Guantanamo Dinnertime

Posted on May 5, 2013 ENLARGE

Gitmo Situation

Posted on May 3, 2013 ENLARGE

Abode of Chaos

Drone Killings Used as Alternative to Prison, Attorney Says

The lawyer who authored the White House policy on lethal drone strikes has accused the Obama administration of using them when it didn’t want to capture prisoners who would otherwise go to Guantanamo Bay.

Posted on May 2, 2013 READ MORE

Yearning to Breathe Free

Posted on Apr 30, 2013 ENLARGE

AP/Ricardo Mazalan

Obama Says Guantanamo Prison ‘Hurts Us’

The president failed the first time he promised to close America’s island gulag, but heading into the fourth month of a hunger strike by prisoners there, Obama renewed his commitment Tuesday to shuttering the facility.

Posted on Apr 30, 2013 READ MORE

Gitmo Hunger Strike

Posted on Apr 28, 2013 ENLARGE

AP/Brennan Linsley, File

‘Gitmo Is Killing Me’: Detainee Gives Chilling Account of Hunger Strike

“I’ve been detained at Guantanamo for 11 years and three months,” Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel says. “I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.”

Posted on Apr 15, 2013 READ MORE

The Terror Courts

The details about the courts at Guantanamo Bay have remained sketchy. Until now, as a new book explains how a small group of Bush-era political appointees developed a parallel justice system designed to ensure a specific outcome.

Posted on Apr 5, 2013 READ MORE

AwayWeGo210 (CC BY 2.0)

Shadow Lives

In the last decade, I didn’t travel to distant refugee camps in Pakistan or destroyed villages in Afghanistan to see my government’s war against Islam. I stayed in Great Britain, where by a series of chance events, I found myself inside it, spending time with families transformed into enemies.

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 READ MORE

The Newest Phenomenon in Israeli Politics

Naftali Bennett, a “forty-year-old settlement leader, software entrepreneur, and ex-Army commando,” is the face of Israel’s new religious right, and he’s ready to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a run for his money; a woman stole a train in Sweden and crashed it into an apartment building; meanwhile, although Jodie Foster’s coming out speech certainly made a statement, some LGBT activists argue she should have done so sooner. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 READ MORE

Controversial 2013 NDAA Now Law, Biden’s Awkward Swearing-In Jokes, and More

A look at the day’s political happenings, including the start of the 113th Congress, the GOP continues its war against women and two more states weigh legalizing gay marriage.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 READ MORE


Posted on Sep 11, 2012 ENLARGE

New Trial in the Works for KSM

Remember the name Khalid Sheik Mohammed? KSM, as he became known in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is still accused of masterminding those attacks a decade later and is still being detained at Guantanamo Bay, but Wednesday brought news of movement in his case.

Posted on Apr 4, 2012 READ MORE

AP / Rahmat Gul

Taliban Talks Come to a Halt in Afghanistan

Pointing to “the shaky, erratic and vague standpoint of the Americans” as one key reason for their decision, Taliban leaders in Afghanistan put the kibosh on plans to meet with U.S. envoys, releasing a statement on Thursday explaining the change of plans.

Posted on Mar 15, 2012 READ MORE

Guantanamo at 10: The Prisoner and the Prosecutor

Ten years ago, Omar Deghayes and Morris Davis would have struck anyone as an odd pair. While they have never met, they now share a profound connection, cemented through their time at the notorious U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Posted on Jan 12, 2012 READ MORE

AP / Brennan Linsley

A Decade of Guantanamo

The indefinite detention center that has undermined American justice since the first prisoners arrived from Afghanistan 10 years ago Wednesday is still open for business in Cuba. (more)

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 READ MORE

codepinkhq (CC-BY)

The Gitmo Price Tag

The Obama administration puts the cost of holding each of Guantanamo’s 171 prisoners at about $800,000 per year, or a total of $136 million taken from taxpayers’ pockets annually. That’s more than 30 times what it costs to keep an individual captive on U.S. soil. (more)

Posted on Nov 13, 2011 READ MORE

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