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Monday, August 15, 2005

Video of 20 men tortured by Iraqi Interior Ministry

Today it will be reported that Awf Rahoumi, deputy governor of Diyala province Iraq, has shown a video in which 20 men display wounds given to them during detainment by Iraqi Interior Ministry forces. In the videos, the men show their wounds and allege that they were: An Interior Ministry spokesperson questioned about the videos will be quoted as saying that there has been no evidence of abuse in Iraqi prisons, despite the fact that there has been evidence of abuse in Iraqi prisons (links above and HRW report).

Monday, August 01, 2005

Guantanamo trials rigged, three prosecutors resign on ethical grounds

Today the ABC will report on two leaked emails claiming that the trial of detainees at Guantanamo Bay are rigged.

The first email is from prosecutor Major Robert Preston to his supervisor. The article quotes the following paragraphs from his email

I consider the insistence on pressing ahead with cases that would be marginal even if properly prepared to be a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people.

Surely they don't expect that this fairly half-arsed effort is all that we have been able to put together after all this time.

After all, writing a motion saying that the process will be full and fair when you don't really believe it is kind of hard, particularly when you want to call yourself an officer and lawyer.

The second email is from prosecutor Captain John Carr
When I volunteered to assist with this process and was assigned to this office, I expected there would at least be a minimal effort to establish a fair process and diligently prepare cases against significant accused ...

Instead, I find a half-hearted and disorganised effort by a skeleton group of relatively inexperienced attorneys to prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged.

You have repeatedly said to the office that the military panel will be handpicked and will not acquit these detainees and that we only needed to worry about building a record for the review panel.

Brig Gen Hemingway, a legal advisor to the military commissions, denies all the charges made in the emails, and puts them down to "miscommunication, misunderstanding and personality conflicts" (quoted from article).

Maj Preston's email stated that he could not continue to work in a process he considered, ethically and professionally intolerable. He was transferred out of the Office of Military Commissions less than one month later.

Capt Carr also resigned soon after, stating

I echo Major Preston's belief that I cannot morally, ethically or professionally continue to be part of this process.
It is reported that a third prosecutor, US Air Force Captain Carrie Wolfe, also resigned because of concerns that the commissions were rigged.