Tag Archives: torture

BBC Airing Guantánamo Guard/Detainee Reunion

Posted by: Audiegrl

“He would say, ‘you ever listen to Eminem or Dr Dre’ and… I thought how could it be somebody is here who’s doing the same stuff that I do when I’m back home”~~Former Guard Brandon Neely

Brandon Neely, center, was a Guantánamo Bay guard, and Ruhal Ahmed, left, and Shafiq Rasul were prisoners.

Brandon Neely, center, was a Guantánamo Bay guard, and Ruhal Ahmed, left, and Shafiq Rasul were prisoners.

Why would a former Guantanamo Bay prison guard track down two of his former captives – two British men – and agree to fly to London to meet them?

BBC News/Gavin Lee~~”You look different without a cap.”

You look different without the jump suits.”

With those words, an extraordinary reunion gets under way.

The journey of reconciliation began almost a year ago in Huntsville, Texas. Mr Neely, 29, had left the US military in 2005 to become a police officer and was still struggling to come to terms with his time as a guard at Guantanamo.

He felt anger at a number of incidents of abuse he says he witnessed, and guilt over one in particular.

Highly controversial since it opened in 2002, Guantanamo prison was set up by President George Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to house suspected “terrorists“. But it has been heavily divisive and President Barack Obama has said it has “damaged [America’s] national security interests and become a tremendous recruiting tool for al Qaeda“.

Mr Neely recalls only the good publicity in the US media.

The news would always try to make Guantanamo into this great place,” he says, “like ‘they [prisoners] were treated so great’. No it wasn’t. You know here I was basically just putting innocent people in cages.”

The prisoners arriving on planes, in goggles and jump suits, from Afghanistan were termed by then US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as the “worst of the worst“. But after getting to know some of the English-speaking detainees, Mr Neely started to have doubts all of them were fanatical terrorists.

Mr Neely was 22 when he worked at the camp and left after six months to serve in Iraq. But after quitting the military his doubts about Guantanamo began to crystallize. This led to a spontaneous decision last year to reach out to his former prisoners on Facebook.

Released in 2004, after being held for two years, Mr Rasul and Mr Ahmed and another friend from Tipton had been captured in Afghanistan on suspicion of links to the Taliban. The three said they were beaten by US troops although this was disputed by the US government at the time.

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But what were the pair doing in Afghanistan in 2001?

They explain that, being in their late teens and early twenties at the time, they had made a naive, spontaneous decision to travel for free with an aid convoy weeks before a friend’s wedding, due to take place in Pakistan.

Mr Ahmed admits they had a secret agenda for entering Afghanistan, but it wasn’t to join al-Qaeda.

Aid work was like probably 5% of it. Our main reason was just to go and sightsee really and smoke some dope“.

Does their former prison guard believe them? Yes, says Mr Neely, who says he thinks it was a case of “wrong place, wrong time“.

Both sides are beginning to bond, yet towards the end, Mr Neely has a confession of his own. It threatens to destroy the mood of reconciliation.

He is deeply ashamed of an incident in which he “slammed” an elderly prisoner’s head against the floor.

Mr Neely recalls that he thought he had been under attack because the man kept trying to rise to his feet. But weeks later he discovered the prisoner thought he was being placed on his knees to be executed and believed he was fighting for his life.

Mr Ahmed is speechless, then evidently conflicted as he wrestles in his mind with whether or not he can forgive. Eventually, he says he can.

But should Mr Neely be prosecuted for his actions? Mr Ahmed pauses again.

He’s realized what he did was wrong and he’s living with it and suffering with it and as long as that he knows what he did was wrong. That’s the main thing.”

Afterwards, each say they had genuinely found some sort of closure from meeting. The sense of relief in all their faces speaks volumes, and they leave the meeting closer to one another.

Their story will be featured on the documentary Guantanamo Reunited on BBC Radio 5 live on Thursday 14 January at 2200 BST.

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NYT-Guantánamo Reunion, by Way of BBC

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The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart: Fright Club

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CIA Misled Congress FIVE Times Since 2001, Say Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee

Posted by Audiegrl

Nancy.Pelosi2

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House

The Hill/Jared Allen—The CIA misled Congress at least five times since 2001, according to Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The Democrats said CIA officials had either lied or withheld information from Congress. They also said CIA officials did not fully inform Congress about the use of enhanced interrogation techniques during a September 2002 briefing, which would validate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) claim that she was lied to about the program.

The ongoing probe found the practice of incomplete briefings or outright lying was part of a “large disease” of misinforming even the chairmen of the select intelligence committees, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said at a Tuesday press briefing that highlighted the early findings.

Schakowsky and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) are leading two subcommittees investigating the legitimacy of intelligence briefings to Congress.

Pelosi came under fire after she said at a testy press conference in May that the C.I.A. had lied to her and other members during a 2002 briefing about its use of waterboarding on detainees. Pelosi was the ranking member of the Intelligence panel at the time.

We were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used,” she said at the May press conference. “They [the C.I.A.] misled us all the time.”

Republicans demanded proof from Pelosi of CIA lies, and the Speaker was also criticized for not objecting to waterboarding when she first learned about it.

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Democrat Rush Holt Wins Congressional Approval For Measure To Mandate Videorecording Of Interrogations

Posted by HershelWellingtonIV

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ)

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ)

ThinkProgress/Zaid Jilani—Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed as part of the 2010 Defense Authorization conference report a new requirement that would mandate the videorecording of all interrogations of anyone in a Defense Department facility:

Congress is moving to require videotaping of interrogations of detainees held by the military, a step proponents say will prevent abuse and create a valuable intelligence record.

The provision, which the House passed on Thursday as part of the 2010 Defense Authorization Act conference report, would apply to interrogations of anyone held at a Defense Department facility. Because the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret overseas prisons have been closed, it would most likely cover terrorism suspects whether they were questioned by a military or a C.I.A. officer.

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True Crime TV: LAW & ORDER Season Premiere Features Torture Prosecution

Posted by Audiegrl

Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson)

Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson)

When young war veteran Greg Tanner is found murdered in a Hudson University parking garage, Detectives Lupo and Bernard connect the murder to law professor Kevin Franklin, an attorney who formerly worked for the Department of Justice. But when the case is brought to court, it seems Tanner may have been more affected by the war than his discharge stated. Lupo and Bernard find that the pieces start to fit when Franklin’s memos from the Bush Administration are leaked.

Watch a clip of the LAW & ORDER Season 20 premiere “Memo From the Dark Side”

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44-D True Crime: Former Reality Show Contestant Brian Lee Randone is Charged with Killing His Girlfriend

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Posted by Audiegrl

You all might remember us covering another reality show murder case last month. Ryan Jenkins a self-professed millionaire and contestant of VH1’s “Megan Wants A Millionaire” was accused of killing his wife, Jasmine Fiore in LA, and then fleeing to Canada where he committed suicide. My post “True Crime: Have Reality TV Shows Gone to Far?” suggested that reality shows needed to employ more thourogh vetting processes, before more people get hurt. Here we go again….

Brian Lee Randone

Brian Lee Randone

AP—A self-proclaimed preacher who was on the TV beauty pageant “The Sexiest Bachelor in America” will be arraigned next week for allegedly torturing and murdering his girlfriend, an ex-adult movie actress.

Brian Lee Randone, 45, was charged last week with one count of murder and one count of torture. He was scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 29 and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Randone remained jailed Friday on $2 million bail. Robison did not know whether he had an attorney.

Randone was arrested on Sept. 11. Prosecutors said he beat and choked Felicia Lee during a domestic dispute at their apartment in the foothill community of Monrovia, northeast of Los Angeles.

He then dialed 911 to report she was unconscious, investigators said.

“It appeared to be torture prior to the murder,” Sgt. Brian Schoonmaker, a homicide detective working the case, said Friday. Lee apparently suffered dozens of injuries in the 24 hours before she died, Schoonmaker said, but he did not provide details.

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Appeals Court Says Ex-Detainee Can Sue Ashcroft, Rejects Legal Immunity Claims

Abdullah al Kidd

Abdullah al Kidd


Posted by betham37

It just keeps coming and coming and somehow Bush and Cheney avoid it all.  Ashcroft and Yoo have their necks on the block.

This was a 3 judge panel that issued their finding that Abdullah al-Kidd can sue Ashcroft.  And these judges were appointed by the Bush Administration.

I am a strong proponent of keeping us safe from terrorism, but this is beyond the pale what the Bush Administration did.  And worse, these people will end up hating us and then what.  Of course al-Kidd is an American but I’m sure he’s very bitter.  I hope he wins his case and Ashcroft will have to pay him big bucks.  They really need to learn that they just can’t arbitrarily seize someone just because he’s a Muslim and looks creepy.

I do believe we have our fill of domestic terrorists that are killing Abortion Doctors and anyone that disagrees with their loony ideals.

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