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Posts Tagged ‘Geneva’

Guantanamo Complies With Geneva Conventions

Posted by Larry Barnes on February 23, 2009

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2009 – The detention facilities at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, meet all standards of humane treatment and are in compliance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the vice chief of naval operations said today.

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Navy Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, vice chief of naval operations, briefs Pentagon reporters on Feb. 23, 2009, about his findings concerning the compliance of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the stipulations contained in the Geneva Conventions. DoD photo by R.D. Ward

Navy Adm. Patrick M. Walsh was chosen by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to head a team to review and report on the facilities at Guantanamo as part of an executive order President Barack Obama issued Jan. 22.

The review team conducted more than 100 interviews with Joint Task Force Guantanamo personnel over 13 days of investigation in Cuba . The team conducted multiple announced and unannounced inspections of all camps, reviewed paperwork and observed many aspects of daily operations, Walsh said.

“Collectively, we talked to a number of detainees and observed daily activities, including [use of feeding tubes] and interrogations,” Walsh said during a Pentagon news conference.

The team looked at shelter, clothing, food and water, practice of religion, recreation, the detainee discipline system, protections against violence, sensory deprivation and humiliation, human-to-human contact, health care, interrogation and access to attorneys and outside entities. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention prohibits violence to life and person, taking of hostages, outrages upon personal dignity and passing of sentences without judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court.

“From our review, it was apparent that the chain of command responsible for the detention mission at Guantanamo consistently seeks to go beyond the minimum standard in complying with Common Article 3,” he said. “We found that the chain of command endeavors to enhance conditions in a manner as humane as possible, consistent with security concerns.”

The team also recommended ways to improve conditions at the detention facilities. While Obama wants the facility closed by next year, until it does close, conditions must meet all humane standards, Walsh said.

“We do not intend to suggest that these recommendations are items that the department must pursue to satisfy Common Article 3,” he said. “Rather, they are items that we view as consistent with the approach of the chain of command to continually enhance conditions of detention.”

Socialization, or interaction among detainees, is important for the detainees because of the length of time they have been detained, he said. In certain camps, more socialization is needed. The team called for more “human-to-human contact, recreation opportunities with several detainees together, intellectual stimulation and group prayer,” the admiral said.

The review team recommended better health care, and the task force leaders appreciate the role health care plays at the facility, Walsh said.

Finally, as long as the facility remains open, it must have the requisite resources, the admiral told reporters.

“The most significant activity in this regard involves the continued support for camp improvement projects currently under way that affect the ability to provide socialization opportunities,” he said. “Of significant concern is that the department continued to properly resource Guantanamo until every detainee departs.”

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Posted in GITMO, Guantanamo, Military, New, Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Kills 16 Innocent Paki’s

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 24, 2009

The enraged Islamic world retaliated against the arrogant Obama administration with a Falluja car bomb blast that killed 13 Iraqi’s. It is not apparent that anything will stop the Obama administrations war on civilians.

Thirteen people have been killed in a car bomb attack targeting a police patrol near the western Iraqi city of Falluja, police have said. The police patrol was returning to its base in the town of al-Karmah when the IED exploded.

The area is a stronghold of Sunni insurgents, and the attack comes a week after Obama attacked a village in Pakistan and before Iraqi provincial elections.

The dead in the two most recent attacks included several dozen police officers sources said.

In December two bomb attacks in Falluja killed 19 police officers.

Falluja has been relatively calm although attacks have continued. The scene of heavy fighting four years ago, US military and local tribes have co-operated in reducing terrorist activity since 2006.

Coming on the heels of an Obama missile strike on Pakistan, this latest attack could be seen as a continuation of resistance to his policy.

Posted in Afghanistan, Iraq, Obama, Sons OF Iraq, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bush: 8 Years in 8 Minutes. Olbermann 1/19/09

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

http://www.truthout.org/011… Friday 16 Janu…

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UBERHACK, eight minutes of BDS and lies.

Tripe and lies couched as news. Mindless drivel passing as substance, worse than reducing substance to a sound bite. It is sound bites compiled to simulate substance. I am ashamed that i allowed my self to be lured in by the biggest lie, it was over eight minutes.

The word is petty UBERHACK, it’s in the dictionary. Look it up.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, Gaza, GITMO, Hamas, Harry Reid, Iraq, Israel, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Palistine, Pelosi, Pentagon, Sons OF Iraq, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sons of Iraq’ Graduation Demonstrates Reconciliation

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 18, 2009

By Ray McNulty
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Jan. 15, 2009 – Nearly 900 former members of the “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group officially joined the ranks of the Iraqi police at a graduation ceremony here yesterday.

Former “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group members demonstrate tactical movements that they will incorporate in their duties as police officers as part of their graduation ceremony at Al Furat Iraqi Police Training Center in Baghdad, Jan. 14, 2009.

Numbering 894 men and three women, they are the second class drawn from former Sons of Iraq members to graduate from the month-long police academy course at the Al Furat Police Training Center. Last month’s graduating class of 1,031 included 19 female police officers.

“These two graduations are tangible proof that the government of Iraq has kept its promise,” Maj. Gen. Khadim of the provincial directorate of police for Baghdad, said through an interpreter. “It offered Iraqi police jobs and training to former Sons of Iraq in recognition of their service. We will continue to extend a salute of respect and partnership to those who wish to serve with us.”

Registration has begun for the next class of police candidates, who will begin training before the end of January. Early indications point to another history-making class, which is expected to include nearly 500 female recruits, officials said.

“This transition of Sons of Iraq into the Iraqi police is a visible sign of reconciliation,” Army Col. Byron Freeman, commander of 8th Military Police Brigade, said. “Every graduation like today’s is a clear sign of progress. This effectively heals sectarian conflict with a sought-after job.”

Since Oct. 1, the Sons of Iraq program, previously administered by coalition forces, has been the responsibility of the Iraqi government. At that time, the Sons of Iraq rolls numbered nearly 100,000 throughout the country.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Harry Reid, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Pelosi, Pentagon, Sons OF Iraq, Stupid People, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GITMO Part Four; Defense Officials Address Detainee Concerns

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2009 – As the Defense Department prepares plans to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, defense officials acknowledge the possibility that released detainees could return to the battlefield.

“It’s something that we’re cognizant of. It’s obviously something that we try to assess at the time of transfer when we are looking at these individuals,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters today.

President Barack Obama yesterday signed an executive order that directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo within a year.

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The detention center has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of the global war on terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. About 250 detainees are being held at Guantanamo, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Of the more than 500 detainees who have been transferred from Defense Department custody, 18 allegedly have resumed terrorist activities and another 43 former detainees are suspected of having resumed their former lives, Whitman said.

Whitman addressed a query from a reporter citing news reports that a former Guantanamo detainee had apparently become an associate leader for al-Qaida in Yemen.

Guantanamo inmates’ cases are reviewed annually, Whitman said, to ascertain whether or not they qualify for release. However, he said, there’s no guarantee released individuals won’t return to terrorism.

“You can’t have absolute certainly,” Whitman acknowledged.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday acknowledged there are challenges inherent with shuttering the center.

“Clearly, the challenge that faces us, and that I’ve acknowledged before, is figuring out how do we close Guantanamo and at the same time safeguard the security of the American people,” he said.

There “are answers to those questions,” Gates said, noting there is “a lot of work to do.”

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, Gaza, GITMO, Guantanamo, Harry Reid, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Pelosi, Pentagon, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GITMO Part Three

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

    Guantanamo Pair Defiant In Court

Correspondents said the pre-trial hearing was chaotic at times, as two of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks on the US made unrepentant court appearances at pre-trial hearings at Guantanamo Bay.

Ramzi Binalshibh said he was proud of the attacks while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said he did not fear death and was working “for the cause of God”. These two were among five men appearing at a chaotic hearing at the naval base.

US President-elect Barack Obama is expected to issue an order to close the camp within days of taking office. The day’s hearings were intended to determine whether Mr Binalshibh was mentally competent to represent himself. He and his co-defendants have all said they do not want to be represented by US military lawyers.

“We did what we did and we are proud of this. We are proud of 9/11,” Mr Binalshibh told the courtroom in Arabic as guards removed his shackles.

Earlier Mr Mohammed, who claims to have been tortured while in the camp and is the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, had requested the dismissal of all US lawyers on his bench.

“The people who tortured me received their salaries from the American government and the lawyers do too,” he said.

He later told the court he and his co-defendants were not afraid of receiving the death penalty because they were “doing jihad for the cause of God”.

When warned by the judge to stop interrupting the proceedings, he told them: ”This is terrorism, not court, you don’t give us an opportunity to talk.”

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Both defence and prosecution lawyers had asked the military judges to delay proceedings until after Mr Obama’s inauguration, but their request was refused.

The Pentagon last month withdrew and refiled charges in about 20 cases, saying this was merely a procedural step. This has added to the air of uncertainty surrounding the trials, correspondents say.

A Canadian national, Omar Khadr, faces a separate hearing, accused of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan. His lawyers are also arguing for certain statements to be suppressed, saying they were obtained through torture and coercion.

The US military says these were the result of “conversational and non-coercive interviews”.

Mr Khadr, who was 15 years old at the time, is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. Mr Khadr’s trial is scheduled to begin on 26 January but his lawyer, Navy Lt Cdr Bill Kuebler, says he believes it is unlikely that the military tribunals will go ahead once Mr Obama is in office. “It is simply unimaginable to think that these proceedings would continue when you have an administration that is on the record saying that so clearly,” he said. “What’s very clear… is that they want to take a different course of action on Guantanamo.”

Barack Obama pictured on 12 December during a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon
Mr Obama has said he knows closing the camp will be challenging. Last week, senior advisers confirmed that Mr Obama would issue an executive order within days of entering the White House to close the detention center.

But shutting Guantanamo, where some 245 inmates remain, will not be immediate and Mr Obama himself has signaled that it will be a challenge.

His choice for attorney-general, Eric Holder, told his Senate confirmation hearing that he considered the interrogation technique of water boarding to be torture.

The CIA has admitted using the technique on at least three terrorism suspects, including Mr Mohammed.

The Bush administration set up the Guantanamo Bay camp in 2002 to hold foreign terror suspects captured during the war against the Taleban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The camp once held some 750 inmates, believed to be mostly foreigners detained in Afghanistan on suspicion of being Islamist fighters.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, Gaza, GITMO, Guantanamo, Harry Reid, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Pelosi, Pentagon, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel declares ceasefire in Gaza

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel declares ceasefire in Gaza.

Israel has begun a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, three weeks after launching a full-scale assault against Hamas.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had achieved its goals and Hamas – which has been firing rockets at Israel – had been defeated.

But he said troops would remain in Gaza for now. Hamas said it would not accept one Israeli soldier in Gaza.

Nearly 1,200 Palestinians have been killed since the violence began on 27 December. Thirteen Israelis have died.

The US has welcomed the ceasefire – which came into effect at 000GMT – saying it “expects that all parties will cease attacks and hostile actions immediately”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed relief, saying the ceasefire should be “the first step leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza”.

‘Goals achieved’

The Israeli prime minister’s announcement came in a televised address following a late-night cabinet meeting.

We feel the pain of every Palestinian child and family member who fell victim to the cruel reality created by Hamas
Ehud Olmert
Israeli prime minister

Israel’s “goals have been achieved, and even more”, Mr Olmert said.

Hamas was badly damaged both militarily and in terms of government infrastructure; rocket factories and dozens of smuggling tunnels had been destroyed, he said.

But the success of the ceasefire depended on Hamas, he said.

Troops would remain in Gaza for the time being and if Hamas held fire, the military would “consider pulling out of Gaza at a time that befits us”.

If militant rocket fire into Israel continued, Israel would respond with force, the Israeli leader added.

A Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhum, condemned the move. Hamas could not “accept the presence of a single [Israeli] soldier in Gaza”, he said.

GAZA LATEST
Palestinians carry the body of a relative killed in an Israeli airstrike during a funeral on 17 January 2009

Israel must withdraw completely, lift its economic blockade of Gaza and open border crossings, the spokesman said.

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says the question now is whether Hamas decides to lick its wounds and regroup – or whether it gambles on dragging Israel into a war of attrition.

Hamas representatives have been taking part in talks in Cairo, brokered by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, aimed at reaching a bilateral deal.

Egypt will on Sunday host a summit, attended by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the UN chief and several EU leaders, aimed at securing a permanent truce.

Minutes before Mr Olmert spoke, a rocket was fired from Gaza, a BBC producer in Gaza said.

‘War crime’

The Israeli announcement came on the 22nd day of violence in Gaza.

HAVE YOUR SAY

If Hamas is not involved then the cease fire is agreed with whom?

Khizar Mohammed, Mumbai, India

Overnight Israel carried out more than 50 air strikes on Gaza, as Hamas rocket fire from the territory continued.

United Nations officials said two children, aged five and seven, were killed when Israeli tank fire hit a UN school where hundreds had taken shelter in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), said an investigation was needed “to determine whether a war crime has been committed”.

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, told the BBC that Israel was waiting for more information on what happened.

Posted in Bush, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Obama, Palistine, Stupid People, United Nations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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