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Category Archives: Guantanamo

A Reply to Steve Vladeck and Raha Wala

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 6:13 PM

Both Steve Vladeck and Raha Wala have penned responses to my post of last week complaining of the quality of the “Close Guantanamo” debate. I will react very briefly to each. I am, I confess, not sure how to respond to Steve’s post, since it seems to be responding to something I did not write. Says Steve, The fundamental problem with Ben’s . . .
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What the Detention Policy Debate Really Is About

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Ben bemoans the state our nation’s current debate over Guantanamo as “terrible,” observing that “the arguments about Guantanamo are nearly all wrong, disingenuous, irrelevant, or just plain dumb.”  It’s true that Guantanamo—like most political issues—sometimes takes on a special kind of inside-the-beltway rhetorical flavor that can really annoy the wonks, who would much rather focus . . .
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A Return of the Executive Branch Ban on GTMO Transfers to Yemen?

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Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 9:51 AM

From this ABC/Associated Press piece: In another challenge to President Barack Obama’s efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, a ban on transferring detainees to Yemen has been effectively pushed back into place because of security concerns in the volatile Middle Eastern nation, administration officials say. While Obama approved sending detainees back to Yemen nearly two . . .
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The Arguments About Guantanamo are Nearly All Wrong, Disingenuous, Irrelevant, or Just Plain Dumb

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 9:25 AM

Last night, President Obama restated his long-standing desire to close Guantanamo: “As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice—so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit.  Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of . . .
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Moral Obtuseness, Guantanamo, Boko Haram, and the Media

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 6:18 PM

This morning’s BBC’s NewsHour show opened with a news judgment reflecting a genuinely odd moral calculus. At the end of the show’s headlines section, announcer James Menendez says: “coming up later in the program today, our West Africa correspondent . . . is on the shores of Lake Chad, where survivors—many of them missing family members—have . . .
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What President Obama Should Say About Guantanamo in the State of the Union

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Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 5:38 PM

In his State of the Union address, President Obama will undoubtedly address issues of terrorism, including the new threats posed by ISIS and Al Qaida and the recent attacks in Paris.   Much has changed since his remarks at NDU in May 2013 when he announced his understandable but unrealistic desire to declare the conflict with . . .
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Five More Transfers From GTMO

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Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 9:09 AM

The five detainees are Yemeni; four went to Oman, and one to Estonia, apparently. Here’s Helene Cooper, of the New York Times:  WASHINGTON — The United States transferred five more detainees — all of them Yemenis — from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Wednesday, the Defense Department announced. Their release intensified the dispute . . .
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Text of Senator Ayotte’s GTMO Transfers Bill

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 2:20 PM

As promised, here it is. The rather unfortunate-seeming proposal provides, in full: 114TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S.__ To extend and enhance prohibitions and limitations with respect to the transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Ms. AYOTTE (for herself, Mr. GRAHAM, . . .
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A New Bid to Restrict GTMO Transfers

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 12:58 PM

The  proposal, put forth today by Senator Kelly Ayotte and others, comes as no real surprise. The Hill reports: Republican senators unveiled a new bill Tuesday to stop President Obama from releasing more detainees from Guantanamo Bay. “Now is not the time to be emptying Guantanamo,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who introduced the bill. The president is . . .
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On War and Crime

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Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Yesterday at Lawfare, Bryan Cunningham sought to breathe new life into the “military versus law enforcement” debate over terrorism, along the way deeming the horrific assaults in Paris to be “consequences” of France’s police-centric strategy. He thus finds fault with the current counterterrorism regime generally, and invites others to join in a broader discussion about . . .
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Cliff Sloan on Closing Guantanamo

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Worth flagging: yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece, which was published in the wake of Sloan’s departure from the State Department last month.  The op-ed begins: WASHINGTON — WHEN I began as the State Department’s envoy for closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, many people advised me that progress was impossible. They were wrong. In the . . .
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Five More GTMO Transfers

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 9:57 AM

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg has the scoop; apparently the five men are headed for Kazakhstan. The Pentagon freed five Guantánamo prisoners to resettlement in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, a day after they left on a U.S. Air Force cargo plane that had to circle back to the base in Cuba with a mechanical problem. The transfers of . . .
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Two Basic Problems With Abstention in Nashiri

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Wells already flagged yesterday’s D.D.C. decision by Judge Roberts, refusing to enjoin Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri’s impending trial by military commission, and abstaining from reaching the merits of his habeas petition until and unless he’s convicted and is unsuccessful in the direct post-conviction appeal provided by the Military Commissions Act. Interested (or, at least, hyper-attentive) readers may . . .
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Cliff Sloan Stepping Down as State Department GTMO Envoy

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Monday, December 22, 2014 at 9:58 PM

The New York Times reports: WASHINGTON — The State Department envoy who negotiates detainee transfers from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is resigning, dealing another blow to President Obama’s efforts to close a facility that top administration officials say is a blight on the country’s international standing. The resignation of Cliff Sloan, a close confidant . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Four

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 4:25 PM

In this post, we proceed with Lawfare’s ongoing, side-by-side comparison of the SSCI Study’s key findings, and responses to them by both the SSCI Minority as well as the CIA. By way of reminder, the SSCI’s Study made twenty findings and conclusions about the CIA’s detention and interrogation practices after 9/11—twelve of which the blog has summarized so . . .
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CIA Director Brennan Delivers a Statement on SSCI Report

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:28 PM

At approximately 1:40 p.m., John Brennan, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will make a statement on the SSCI’s detention and interrogation study.  Here’s the CSPAN video: Here is the text of Brennan’s remarks: It was 8:46 a.m. on the morning of September 11th, 2001, when the North Tower of the World Trade Center . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority and the CIA: Part 3

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Below you will find the third in our running comparison of broad areas of agreement and disagreement as between the Executive Summary to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, the report by the Committee’s Minority, and the response by the CIA itself.   The Study, you’ll recall, sets forth . . .
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Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority and the CIA: Part 2

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Below, you will find the second installment in our ongoing effort to identify, in summary form, key areas of dispute as between the SSCI, the SSCI minority, and the CIA with regard the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. As you surely know by now, all three today released long-anticipated reports regarding the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and . . .
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Released: SSCI Detention and Interrogation Study, Along With Minority Views and the CIA’s Response

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Here is the long-awaited Executive Summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The latter includes in a single file a foreword authored by Senator Feinstein, as well as the Study’s findings and conclusions.  Additionally, the Committee also has published these materials: Senator Feinstein’s statement;  a history of key dates in in . . .
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Senator Feinstein to Speak on the Senate Floor Regarding the SSCI Report and Torture

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM

We expect the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman to address the chamber, and to discuss her Committee’s long-anticipated study, sometime between 11 and 11:15. A link to C-SPAN’s coverage is here;  the Washington Post’s live feed is below.  We will publish Senator Feinstein’s remarks, if and when we see them in print. Update: we have removed the . . .
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