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Category Archives: Guantanamo

Evidence of Absence: A Brief Reply to Peter Margulies on the al Bahlul Argument

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 9:55 AM

In light of both our prior exchange and my Just Security post from yesterday, I only have two new points to make in response to Peter Margulies’ post on yesterday’s D.C. Circuit oral argument in al Bahlul v. United States, which raises the question whether military commissions may constitutionally try offenses that are not recognized as international war crimes. As I . . .
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Government Files Response in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

The government has filed its response to six Guantanamo detainees’ August 25, 2014 petition for en banc rehearing in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld. The detainees argued that (1) the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014) established that they were entitled to freedom from substantial burdens on their . . .
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PRB Recommends Repatriation for One Saudi Detainee, Continued Detention for Another

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Yesterday the Periodic Review Board recommended the repatriation of Muhammad Murdi Issa al-Zahrani, a Saudi detainee who has been held in Guantanamo for 12 years after being captured in Afghanistan in 2002. The Board’s short statement concluded that given the “uncorroborated nature” of Zahrani’s association with Al Qaeda, his lack of ties to at-large extremists, and . . .
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Government Files Response in Hatim v. Obama

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Today the government filed a short response to the detainees’ petition for an en banc rehearing in Hatim v. Obama, the Guantanamo counsel-access case. Recall that last month the D.C. Circuit ordered the United States to respond to a joint motion filed by Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim, Abdurrahman al-Shubati and Fadel Hentif. The detainees are seeking review of a . . .
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Signing Statements, the Commander in Chief Power, and Guantanamo Closure

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Friday, October 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM

According to the Wall Street Journal,  the President’s people are “drafting options” to bring about Guantanamo’s closure, an objective that would require the White House to get around a statutory restriction on transferring GTMO detainees to the United States.  Or not: Vice’s Jason Leopold reports that NSC Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden today said the Administration does not know what “‘new press . . .
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More Partisanship Over Guantanamo Closure

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Friday, October 10, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Congressional Republicans are reportedly rushing to condemn the White House’s alleged consideration of ways to close Guantanamo and move detainees to the United States despite legislative prohibitions.   Senator Pat Roberts has vowed to “shut down the Senate” if the President tries to bring Guantanamo detainees to the United States (Fort Leavenworth is in his home state . . .
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Petitioner Files Reply in Bahlul v. United States

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Petitioner Ali al-Bahlul filed his reply brief yesterday in Bahlul v. United States, the D.C. Circuit case that will decide whether a military commission may render a stand-alone conspiracy conviction. In the new filing, petitioner makes a point of rejecting the government’s claim for plain error review before elaborating on the four arguments put forth in his opening brief. The argument . . .
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Judge Kessler Orders Release of Guantanamo Force-Feeding Videos

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Friday, October 3, 2014 at 7:30 PM

An important development today in Dhiab v. Obama: over the government’s objections, D.C. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler has ordered the unsealing of secret videos that show Guantanamo Bay prisoner Abu Wa’el Dhiab being forcibly extracted from his cell and force-fed. Back in June, a number of media outlets, including the New York Times and the Associated Press, sought . . .
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Confusing the Issues in al Bahlul

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:11 PM

For the two people still following the exchange between me and Peter Margulies over the bottom-side briefing in the al Bahlul D.C. Circuit military commission appeal, I wanted to offer a very quick (and hopefully final) word in response to Peter’s surreply from this afternoon, in an effort to crystallize the true points of departure between . . .
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Why Article III Matters: A Reply to Peter Margulies on al Bahlul

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 10:23 PM

I must confess that I don’t fully understand Peter Margulies’ response to my post from earlier today. My post argued that the bottom-side briefing in the D.C. Circuit in al Bahlul offers a relatively weak (and, in my view, already debunked) explanation for why Congess can allow allow military commissions to try enemy belligerents for wholly domestic offenses without . . .
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Breaking News: Guantanamo Closure Plans Are Stalled (but now it’s the Pentagon’s fault)

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:03 PM

So reports the Associated Press this morning. This story stating the obvious upshot of President Obama’s doomed Guantanamo policy has a few interesting aspects to it, but fails to put Guantanamo policy in the broader context of a legal framework that President Obama has talked about putting in place, or how recent events with respect . . .
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Article III and the Bottom-Side Briefing in al Bahlul

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Jane already flagged the merits brief filed by the U.S. government on September 17 in al Bahlul v. United States, the major challenge to the power of the Guantánamo military commissions to try non-international war crimes that was remanded by the en banc D.C. Circuit to the original three-judge panel back in July (and in which oral argument is . . .
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Government Files Response in Al Bahlul v. United States

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Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Last month Guantanamo detainee Ali al Bahlul filed his opening brief in Al Bahlul v. United States, in a bid to overturn his conviction for conspiracy to commit war crimes, the single military commission conviction against Bahlul that the D.C. Circuit left standing in its July 14, 2014 en banc ruling (the court vacated his convictions for material support and . . .
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Appellees File for En Banc Rehearing in Hatim v. Obama

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Yesterday petitioner-appellees Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim, Abdurrahman al-Shubati and Fadel Hentif filed a joint motion for en banc rehearing in Hatim v. Obama, the counsel access case. The detainees seek review of a three-judge D.C. Circuit panel’s August 1, 2014 decision upholding the constitutionality of security procedures instituted at Guantanamo in 2012 and 2013, including genital searches before and after detainees . . .
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Get Yer Guantanamo Recidivism Report Here!

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Monday, September 8, 2014 at 12:03 PM

The latest DNI Guantanamo recidivism report is available here. The last such report is here. As you’ll see, not a a lot of change. Here are the numbers:                            

CA2 Affirms SDNY Denial of FOIA Suit for Al-Qahtani Photos

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

That seems to be the sum and substance of the Second Circuit’s ruling today.  The 3-judge panel’s decision opens: Appellant Center for Constitutional Rights seeks disclosure by the government, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), of certain videos and photographs of a high profile Guantanamo Bay detainee, Mohammed al‐Qahtani, who is believed to be the so‐called “20th hijacker” . . .
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U.S. News Gets it Wrong on Guantanamo and Foley’s Killer

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 11:27 AM

If terrorist capture comes, can a debate over Guantanamo vs. federal court be far behind? Apparently not. This time, the debate is coming even before the terrorist’s capture—or even his positive identification. And U.S. News and World Report, at least, is getting the answer wrong. The magazine reports that “Legal experts say it’s possible the jihadist who beheaded American . . .
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Detainees File Petition for Rehearing En Banc in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Yesterday, plaintiff-appellants in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld filed their petition for a rehearing en banc, two months after the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that six detainees subjected to prolonged detention and alleged mistreatment at Guantanamo did not sufficiently allege that the officials who authorized and supervised their detention acted outside the scope of their . . .
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Abdul Razak Ali Replies to His Own Cert Petition

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Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Here’s a novelty: Guantanamo detainee Abdul Razak Ali—whose case we have written about a fair bit—has filed a reply brief in response to his own cert petition. Here’s how it opens: Petitioner Abdul Razak Ali respectfully submits this reply brief in further support of his petition for certiorari with respect to the Decision and Order of the . . .
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Administration Response to GAO Report on Bergdahl

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Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Here’s the government’s response to the GAO report, to which Wells linked yesterday, concluding that the Bergdahl trade violated the law. A statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby reads: As Secretary Hagel has testified before Congress, the recovery of SGT Bergdahl was conducted lawfully. This decision was made after consultation with the Department . . .
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