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Posts Tagged ‘Guantanamo’

“The Third Jihad” Movie

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 4, 2013

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Detainees, GITMO, Guantanamo, Harry Reid, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Palistine, Pelosi, Terror, United Nations, US Forces, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What Did O’Bummer Know?

Posted by Larry Barnes on May 19, 2009

The Good News…….
What did O’bummer know and when did he know it.

“The lack of a comprehensive, well-thought-out plan led to a predictable political backlash on Guantanamo,” McCain said. “Instead of unifying Americans behind a plan that keeps us safe and honors our values, the administration’s course of action has unified the opposition to moving forward and move forward we must.”

The Bad News: When did O’bummer start planning the GITMO closure. The day he first suggested it? The day he became “Present”-ditz? The day he submitted a request for funding? When the Planes are loaded and ready for departure?

Plan? Plan? There’s no Plan! I thought it was funny in “Beyond Thunder Dome”. It’s not funny in national policy.

Posted in GITMO, Guantanamo, Obama, Stupid People | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

U.S., Afghan Forces Kill Eight, Detain Five

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 17, 2009

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2009 – Coalition and Afghan forces killed eight militants and detained five in recent operations throughout Afghanistan, U.S. military officials reported.

In operations today:

— Afghan soldiers, assisted by coalition forces, killed two militants in Farah province’s Khaki Safed district. The combined patrol came under machine-gun, small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire from five to seven militants. Shortly thereafter, 20 to 30 fighters joined in from established firing positions. The Afghan and coalition forces pursued the militants on foot. Most abandoned their fighting positions, but two were killed and several others were wounded as the combined elements cleared the area.

— In Kandahar province’s Maywand district, U.S. and Afghan troops killed six enemy fighters and detained one in an operation targeting an alleged mid-level terrorist responsible for orchestrating attacks on U.S. forces. Afghan troops killed five of the insurgents in a field near the compound where the suspect was believed to be. The other insurgent was killed inside the complex after taking up arms and refusing to surrender. About 5 and a half pounds of opium was found and destroyed at the compound.

— In Nangarhar province, Afghan army commandos detained a suspected insurgent after receiving a tip from local villagers that the suspect was coordinating terrorist activities from his home.

— In Logar province’s Baraki Barak district, U.S. and Afghan troops detained a suspected insurgent believed to be responsible for acquiring and developing bomb-making material for use against local residents and security forces.

In Paktya province’s Zormat district yesterday, Afghan commandos detained three suspected insurgents during a search of an alleged insurgent leader’s home. The suspects and their alleged leader are believed to be involved in mortar and small-arms attacks against Afghan and U.S. forces.

No Afghan or U.S. casualties were reported from these operations.

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International Effort Benefits Afghanistan’s Alasay Valley

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 17, 2009

By French Army Maj. Patrick Simo

An Afghan soldier distributes information to local children in a village of Afghanistan's Alasay Valley. A joint effort by the Afghan, French and U.S. militaries conducted a medical operation in the valley April 5 and 6, 2009, providing care to more than 600 Afghans from local villages. French Army photo by Maj. Patrick Simo

An Afghan soldier distributes information to local children in a village of Afghanistan's Alasay Valley. A joint effort by the Afghan, French and U.S. militaries conducted a medical operation in the valley April 5 and 6, 2009, providing care to more than 600 Afghans from local villages. French Army photo by Maj. Patrick Simo


Special to American Forces Press Service

ALASAY VALLEY, Afghanistan, April 17, 2009 – The Afghan, French and American militaries conducted a medical operation here April 5 and 6, providing care to more than 600 Afghans from local villages.

A joint civilian-military cooperation and provincial reconstruction team also met with students and teachers from two schools in the village to determine the community’s needs. The teams distributed more than 500 school kits in Sultankhel, an area known for attacks on coalition troops.

Meanwhile, Afghan and U.S. servicemembers patrolled the bazaar and met with local vendors.

“The patrols with the French were fantastic,” U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Todd Davis said. “Once we entered the bazaar, the French moved very slow and tactically, clearing alleyways and shops one by one.”

Following the community outreach, the teams held several community council meetings with local leaders in the Spee and Skan valleys to review the security situation in the eastern district.

The second-in-command of the Afghan National Army’s 1st Kandak brigade and the head of the Afghan National Police met with the chief American embedded training team and a representative of French Task Force Tiger, discussing security concerns for more than six hours.

“There is a real desire to move forward and unite around the sub-governor in order to extend this quiet situation to the valley bottoms,” one of the local elders from Alasay said.

The key to this mission was to talk, share and find solutions to solidify the still-fragile relationships in the valley, following a major offensive operation in March involving two companies of Task Force Tiger and two companies from the ANA’s 1st Kandak.

Since December, the Kapisa combined tactical group increased security in its area of operations. The daily presence of Afghan and French soldiers in the valleys is particularly effective, Task Force Tiger leaders said.

“In this kind of counter-insurgency war, the people are truly the center of gravity of our operations,” said Col. Nicolas Le Nen, French commander. “We are able to simultaneously conduct kinetic actions and support operations to the inhabitants of the valleys. Winning of the hearts and minds is crucial if we are to improve security, governance and development of the province.”

(Maj. Patrick Simo of the French army serves with the Task Force Tiger public affairs office.)

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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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Obama Vows to Root Out Terrorist Havens

Posted by Larry Barnes on February 12, 2009

Story by John Kruzel
Date: 02.10.2009
Posted: 02.10.2009 12:17

President Barack Obama said Feb. 9, the most sobering moment of his nascent presidency has been signing letters to families of fallen troops.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama said Feb. 9, the most sobering moment of his nascent presidency has been signing letters to families of fallen troops.

“It reminds you of the responsibilities that you carry in this office and the consequences of decisions that you make,” Obama said in his first presidential news conference on prime-time television.

His comment came in response to a question about whether he would reverse a Pentagon policy banning media coverage of deceased service members’ coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

“We are in the process of reviewing those policies in conversations with the Department of Defense,” he said. “I don’t want to give you an answer now before I’ve evaluated that review and understand all the implications involved.”

Obama said the question was timely, given reports of four U.S. troops killed in Iraq today. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families,” he said.

The president said his meeting last week with families of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack victims served as a reminder of the U.S. mission to root out terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan.

“This is a situation in which a region served as the base to launch an attack that killed 3,000 Americans,” he said. “And this past week I met with families of those who were lost in 9/11 — a reminder of the costs of allowing those safe havens to exist.”

Obama said the U.S. must work smartly, effectively and consistently to prevent extremists from operating in Afghanistan and near the border in Pakistan’s federally administered tribal area, or FATA.

The president said political reconciliation is not progressing in Afghanistan as it has in Iraq, which held a relatively peaceful provincial election Jan. 31.

“You do not see that yet in Afghanistan,” he said. “They’ve got elections coming up, but effectively the national government seems very detached from what’s going on in the surrounding community.

“In addition, you’ve got the Taliban and al Qaida operating in the FATA and these border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he continued. “And what we haven’t seen is the kind of concerted effort to root out those safe havens that would ultimately make our mission successful.”

Obama said top officials are conducting a thorough review of Afghanistan. He declined to a give a timeline for a U.S. troop withdrawal from the country, but added: “I’m not going to allow al Qaida or bin Laden to operate with impunity planning attacks on the U.S. homeland.”

Obama said one goal of Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, who is currently traveling in the region, is to deliver to Pakistan the message that they are endangered by terrorist activity in the FATA. Obama said Holbrooke also will encourage a regional approach to targeting safe havens there.

“It’s not acceptable for Pakistan or for us to have folks who, with impunity, will kill innocent men, women and children,” Obama said.

On Iran, the president said the United States will be “looking for openings” to engage diplomatically over coming months.

“My expectation is, in the coming months, we will be looking for openings that can be created where we can start sitting across the table, face to face, [discussing] diplomatic overtures that will allow us to move our policy in a new direction,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of mistrust built up over the years, so it’s not going to happen overnight,” he added.

The president said Iranian actions over many years have been unhelpful in promoting peace and prosperity regionally and globally. He cited attacks, financing of Hamas and Hezbollah — which the U.S. considers terrorist organizations — bellicose language toward Israel and the country’s development or pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

“All of those things create the possibility of destabilizing the region and are not only contrary to our interests, but I think are contrary to the interests of international peace,” he said.

Obama said his appointment of foreign Maine Sen. George Mitchell as U.S. envoy to the Middle East and comments he has made since taking office last month indicate the United States’ desire to deal with the region differently.

“Now it’s time for Iran to send some signals that it wants to act differently as well and recognize that even as it is has some rights as a member of the international community, with those rights come responsibilities,” he said.

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GITMO Part Two

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

A judge has suspended for 120 days the Guantanamo Bay trials of five men accused over the 9/11 attacks, as requested by US President Barack Obama.

Among the five is alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who had opposed the suspension saying he wanted to confess to his role in the attacks.

The new administration also circulated a draft order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year. Mr Obama had earlier asked for a four-month halt to all tribunals there. The request was one of his first acts as president.

Before the military judge’s ruling in the 9/11 case, four men including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said they opposed halting the trials. Lawyers for a fifth man supported the proposed suspension.

Earlier a judge in a separate case – that of Omar Khadr, a Canadian man accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2002 – suspended that trial. Lt Cmdr William Kuebler, a lawyer for Omar Khadr, said the practical effect of the ruling was “to pronounce this system dead”.

“There will certainly be no more military commissions in Guantanamo Bay,” he said.

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The Obama administration is circulating a draft executive order calling for the closure of the detention centre.

“The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order,” the draft read.

It calls for a review of all pending cases, and provides for some prisoners to be released and others to be transferred. It is not known when Mr Obama will issue the order. Mr Obama has repeatedly promised to close the camp, where some 250 inmates accused of having links to terrorism remain and 21 cases are pending.

In his inaugural address on Tuesday, he emphasized the idea of respect for justice and the rights of the individual, rejecting “as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”.

A two-page document issued late the same day and ordered jointly by Mr Obama and the US Department of Defense, sought a 120-day suspension of trials. The delay would “permit the newly inaugurated president and his administration time to review the military commission process”, the document said.

The legal process has been widely criticised because the US military acts as jailer, judge and jury, the BBC’s Jonathan Beale reports from Guantanamo. Closing Guantanamo Bay will not be easy. Questions remain over where those charged will be tried and where those freed can be safely sent.

Our correspondent reports that the written ruling to suspend the 9/11 cases brought anger and frustration among representatives from five families of victims of the attacks, with one accusing Mr Obama of political posturing.

But there was a sense of relief among defense lawyers, who had criticized the cases as “show trials”.

Michele Cercone, a spokesman for the EU Justice and Home Affairs Commission, said the Commission was “very pleased that one of the first actions of Mr Obama has been to turn the page on this sad episode of Guantanamo”.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, GITMO, Guantanamo, Harry Reid, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Pelosi, Pentagon, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

GITMO Part One: Detainee Treatment Remains Key as Officials Weigh Guantanamo’s Future

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 14, 2009

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2009

With both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and President-elect Barack Obama advocating closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, the Defense Department is focused on a way forward that protects the American people while also ensuring proper detainee treatment, a senior defense official said today. A decision by the convening authority for military commissions that a detainee suspected of being the 20th 9/11 hijacker was submitted to inappropriate interrogation methods does not mean the case against him won’t ultimately go forward, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Judge Susan. J. Crawford told the Washington Post in an interview published today that she did not refer the case against Mohammed al-Qhatani to a military commission because she believed his treatment met the legal definition of torture. Crawford told the Washington Post she did not refer the case against Qhatani because he had been subjected to so-called “special interrogation techniques” that were authorized for a brief period in 2002. Instead, she dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning that the prosecution can return to the convening authority at a later time with more evidence to re-swear the charges.” Some of the aggressive questioning techniques used on al-Qhatani, although permissible at the time, are no longer allowed in the updated Army field manual,” Whitman told reporters today. The Army published Field Manual 2-22.3, “Human Intelligence Collector Operations,” in 2006 to replace the previous manual with clearly worded doctrinal guidance on conducting military interrogations within U.S. and international law. Whitman said the Defense Department has taken great efforts to ensure it conducts interrogations and detainee operations in a legal manner.” We have conducted more than a dozen investigations and reviews of our detention operations, including specifically the interrogation of al-Qhatani, the alleged 20th hijacker,” he said. “The investigations concluded the interrogation methods used at [Guantanamo Bay], including the special interrogation techniques used with Qhatani in 2002, were legal.”

Despite those findings, department officials adopted new and more restrictive policies, Whitman said, as well as improved oversight procedures for interrogation and detainee operations. Whitman emphasized that the department does not tolerate detainee abuse.” We have always taken allegations of abuse seriously,” he said. “We investigate all credible allegations of abuse,” including more than a dozen internal investigations and major reviews of interrogation procedures and detainee operations.

Crawford’s decision on the Qhatani case made news as two other detainees were being arraigned at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing and other terrorist attacks, and Noor Uthman Muhammad, an alleged Taliban and al-Qaida leader, were scheduled to be arraigned today. The Defense Department works to ensure full and fair proceedings that give both the prosecution and defense the opportunity to present evidence, Whitman said.

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The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of six detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Four detainees were transferred to Iraq, one to Algeria and one to Afghanistan. These detainees were determined to be eligible for departure following a comprehensive series of review processes.

The transfer is a demonstration of the United States’ desire not to hold detainees any longer than necessary. It also underscores the processes put in place to assess each individual and make a determination about their detention while hostilities are ongoing – an unprecedented step in the history of warfare.

The Department of Defense has determined – through its comprehensive review processes – that approximately 60 detainees at Guantanamo are eligible for transfer or release. Departure of these detainees is subject to ongoing discussions between the United States and other nations.

Since 2002, more than 525 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.

There are approximately 245 detainees currently at Guantanamo.

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

 
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