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Entries in Guantanamo Bay (19)


US Feature: Why is British Resident Shaker Aamer in Guantanamo Bay After 11 Years? 

Aamer's continuing incarceration is all the more mysterious, given that the Americans ruled almost six years ago that he could be freed from Guantánamo. In June 2007, he was officially cleared for release. A security assessment by the US government acknowledged it had no concrete evidence against him. Two years later, the Obama administration reiterated the lack of a case against him, underlining the fact that he could be released.

So why is Aamer the only one among the 16 detainees who possessed British citizenship and residency who is still being held in Guantánamo?

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US Feature: The Boston Marathon Bombs --- The Real Story of the "Saudi Suspect" (Davidson)

Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word “suspect”?

What made them suspect him? He was running—so was everyone. The bystander handed the man to the police, who reportedly thought he smelled like explosives; his wounds might have suggested why. He said something about thinking there would be a second bomb — as there was, and often is, to target responders. If that was the reason he gave for running, it was a sensible one. He asked if anyone was dead — a question people were screaming. And he was from Saudi Arabia, which is around where the logic stops. Was it just the way he looked, or did he, in the chaos, maybe call for God with a name that someone found strange?

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US 1st-Hand: "11 Years of Detention in Guantanamo is Killing Me"

One man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.

I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

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Pakistan Video Feature: Who is Being Killed in the US Drone Attacks? (Al Jazeera English)

Last week an investigation by McClatchy Newspapers revealed that many low-level operatives and people only thought to be "associated with armed groups have been killed in the US drone attacks in Pakistan.

In the first independent analysis of the Obama Administration's internal accounting of the strikes, McClathcy found that of about 482 people killed between September 2010 and September 2011, at least 265 were not senior Al Qa'eda leaders. More than 40 of the 95 drone strikes in the same period hit groups other than Al Qa'eda.

The reports also estimated that there was one civilian casualty during that time.

Jonathan Landay of McClatchy joins Al Jazeera English's Inside Story Americas to discuss the report.

Before that item, the programme considers the disapperance of tousands of legal documents, concerning detainees at Guantanamo Bay, from secure Department of Defense servers.

The incident has delayed military tribunals for the detainees, some of whom have been held since 2002.


Iran Document: Supreme Leader's Speech on "The Battle Within" & Talks With US

Over the last 48 hours, we have paid close attention to the Supreme Leader's speech to an audience from Tabriz, noting 1) its place in the "battle within"; especially the fight between President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani; and 2) its intervention on the nuclear issues and the question of direct talks with the US.

The text of the speech, translated by the US Government's Open Source Center, and posted by Juan Cole on his website:

Let me say this to you, the American Government officials are unreasonable people. Their words are unreasonable; their actions are unreasonable, and repressive. They expect others to surrender to their unreasonable actions. Well, some do surrender. Some governments, some political elite in some countries, surrender to their audacity and bullying behaviour.

But the Iranian nation, the Islamic Republic is not going to surrender.

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US Feature: Countering Rumsfeld's Lie --- Detainees Were Waterboarded (Kaye)

In the controversy over whether torture, especially waterboarding, was used to gather information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News' Sean Hannity recently that "no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the US military. In fact, no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo, period."

In his memoir, "Known and Unknown," Rumsfeld maintained, "To my knowledge, no US military personnel involved in interrogations waterboarded any detainees,not at Guantanamo or anywhere else in the world." But as we shall see, Rumsfeld was either lying outright, or artfully twisting the truth.

Others have insisted as well that the military never waterboarded anyone. Law and national security writer Benjamin Wittes wrote in The New Republic last year that "the military, unlike the CIA, never waterboarded anybody." Harper's columnist Scott Horton also noted last year, "There is no documentation yet of waterboarding at Gitmo, but the case book is far from closed on that score, too."

Yet, though not widely reported and scattered among various articles and reports on detainee treatment by the military, including first-person accounts, there are a number of stories of forced water choking or drowning, both at Guantanamo and other US military sites.

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Guantanamo WikiLeaks Feature: The Youngest Detainee

Video of Omar Khadr's interrogation at Guantanamo

Detainee continues to provide valuable information on his father's associates, and on non-governmental organizations that he worked with in supporting Al-Qaida, as well as other major facilitators of interest to the US. Detainee has also provided valuable information on the Derunta, Al-Farouq and Khalden training camps, indicating that the detainee has been to and likely trained at these locations; and he continues to provide valuable information on key Al -Qaida and Taliban members.

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Guantanamo WikiLeaks Feature: From "Probable Al Qa'eda Member" to US Ally in Libya (Nordland/Shane)

For more than five years, Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu (see his Guantanamo detainee file) was a prisoner at the Guantánamo Bay prison, judged “a probable member of Al Qaeda” by the analysts there. They concluded in a newly disclosed 2005 assessment that his release would represent a “medium to high risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.”

Today, Mr. Qumu, 51, is a notable figure in the Libyan rebels’ fight to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, reportedly a leader of a ragtag band of fighters known as the Darnah Brigade for his birthplace, this shabby port town of 100,000 people in northeast Libya. The former enemy and prisoner of the United States is now an ally of sorts, a remarkable turnabout resulting from shifting American policies rather than any obvious change in Mr. Qumu.

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WikiLeaks Feature: The Revelations About Guantanamo Bay (Rosenberg and Lasseter)

This morning, WikiLeaks has begun the publication of 779 individual assessments by US authorities of former and current Guantanamo detainees. WikiLeaks has put up 67 of the files so far; meanwhile, seven news organisations have been given the entire set to prepare stories.

See also Obama Special: How the Administration Abandoned Its Promise to Close Guantanamo (Finn and Kornblut)

We begin coverage with the article from Carol Rosenberg and Tom Lasseter for one of those news outlets, McClatchy....

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Obama Special: How the Administration Abandoned Its Promise to Close Guantanamo (Finn and Kornblut)

The one theme that repeatedly emerged in interviews was a belief that the White House never pressed hard enough on what was supposed to be a signature goal. Although the closure of Guantanamo Bay was announced in an executive order, which Obama signed on Jan. 22, 2009, the fanfare never translated into the kind of political push necessary to sustain the policy.

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