in the wake of the supreme court’s most-
recent holdings in boumediene v. bush
(ussct no. 06-1195, slip op. at 66 june 12, 2008),
on the Gitmo processes, the fundamental flaws,
and profound infirmities related to the same, all
the gitmo prisoners’ cases are being transferred
to judge thomas f. hogan, in the federal district
court for the district of columbia — save one,
to be retained by judge richard f. leon.
more on that — in a moment.
for each gitmo case, a no-more than five-
page summary is now due to be filed with
judge hogan, on the status of each prisoner.
as to the case remaining before judge leon,
obaydullah, et al., v. bush, et al. (case No.
08-1173 (RJL), US dist. ct. DC), all parties
will be in court this afternoon, at 2:30 pm, edt
for a “joint status conference and to discuss
common procedural and substantive issues in
the above-captioned case and the other
guantanamo bay detainee cases over which
this court presides. . .”
so — i’ll now track this down — what
is note-worthy about it? we already knew
that hamdan — hamdan v. bush, before
judge robertson, would stay there — and
we knew why — but what of this one: obaydullah?
more to come, but here is why hamdan
is being handled separately — from a
july 2, 2008 federal court press release:
. . .It has been determined that one initial issue to be decided will be a motion to enjoin a Military Commission at Guantanamo from going forward. Judge James Robertson has been assigned that issue, and it will be decided initially in the case of Hamdan v. Bush, Civil Action No. 04-1519.
Chief Judge Lamberth stated that “The judges of this Court are committed to deciding theses cases as expeditiously as possible. The judges are convinced that the coordination and case management role assigned to Judge Hogan will greatly assist in moving all of these cases to a prompt resolution”. . .
returning, now, to what is known of
gitmo prisoner obaydullah (no.
762) — he 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