Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp
The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, also known as Gitmo or the Spa is a military prison of the United States of America on the southeastern tip of the island of Cuba. In this prison terrorists / enemy combatants can be held indefinitely without charge or trial. The liberal organization Center for Constitutional Rights organized attorneys to file habeas corpus petitions in the Washington, D.C., federal court on behalf of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
On April 2, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals by a group of detainees of this camp stating that it would be inappropriate to rule until the group had exhausted other remedies. Despite demagoguery and promises to close Guantanamo as a "moral" issue while campaigning in 2008, Barack Obama did not close the camp in his 8 years of the presidency. As of 2022, Socialist premier Joe Biden expressed no interest in closing the prison.
Guantanamo Bay is a coastal area on southeastern Cuba occupied and controlled by the United States government pursuant to a 1903 Lease Agreement with the newly independent Republic of Cuba subsequent to the Spanish–American War. The Agreement established that:
|“||While the United States recognizes the continuance of the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba over the [leased areas], the Republic of Cuba consents that during the period of the occupation by the United States . . . the United States shall exercise complete jurisdiction and control over and within said areas.||”|
In 1934 the United States and Cuba entered into another treaty that provided that, absent an agreement to modify or abrogate the lease, it would remain in effect "[s]o long as the United States of America shall not abandon the . . . Naval Station of Guantanamo."
Allegations of Torture
Obama CIA director John Brennan was in charge of the of the federal government torture program. The controversy over warrantless wiretaps was always only cover for the real source where information was gained - Brennan's torture program. At the same time it served public notice Americans had to surrender some freedoms and civil liberties to a group of insiders who knew what was best for them. Legalities didn't matter anymore.
During "a profanity-laced screaming match at the White House" in August 2009 CIA Director Leon Panetta protested Obama's decision to create a team of interrogators overseen by the White House. Responsibility for interrogations of suspects was shifted away from the CIA, and the White House National Security Council staff given direct control. Brennan was placed in charge of the program.
Unlike executive departments and agencies such as the Department of Justice, FBI, and CIA, the National Security Council staff are not subject to Congressional oversight, and operate outside the spotlight of public view. The American Civil Liberties Union made this point during the elections of 2008 when the George W. Bush NSC staff was involved only in decisions and authorizations and before the Obama NSC staff took on an operational role.
Sixty documents disappear from the computers of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Torture Review investigation. Chairwoman Feinstein said that CIA personnel at first denied that the documents were missing, then blamed the IT contractors, then informed her it was at the behest of the Obama White House.
Bowe Bergdahl swap
- See also: Obama war crimes
When Barack Obama released five Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for American deserter Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, he assured Americans that the enemy combatants would not be allowed to return to Afghanistan. 6 American soldiers lives were lost searching for the American deserter. Upon Bergdahl's return, Obama celebrated Bergdahl as a heroic “POW,” a designation the Pentagon never gave him. Khairullah Khairkhwa, one of the five released from Guantanamo, sat across the table from Joe Biden’s personal representative in Moscow in the spring of 2021, where Mullah Khairkhwa was part of the Taliban delegation that negotiated the terms of the US withdrawal. Mullah Khairkhwa is the mastermind of the Taliban takeover, even though the Pentagon classified Khairkhwa as too dangerous to release.
Khairkhwa assured the Biden junta that the Taliban would not retaliate against Afghans who worked with the US military or the US-backed government in Kabul. However, reports out of Kandahar and Kabul soon after the fall of Afghanistan indicate the Taliban was going door to door with a kill list to wipe out their enemies. Mullah Khairkhwa previously served as the Taliban’s interior minister prior to 2002, where he oversaw Islamist punishments, including beheadings and stonings.
All five of the terrorists in the Bowe Bergdahl swap assumed prominent positions in the Taliban interim government announced on September 11, 2021:
- Acting Minister of Information and Culture: Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah
- Defense Deputy Minister: Mullah Mohammad Fazil
- Acting Director of Intelligence: Abdul Haq Wasiq
- Border and Tribal Affairs Minister: Mullah Norullah Nori
- Acting Governor of Khost Province: Muhammad Nabi Omari
- Fox News; Mixed Rulings on Terror Detention Policies, June 28, 2004
- First post-Supreme Court habeas petitions filed on behalf of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Center for Constitutional Rights, 2004.
- Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court, updated April 6, 2007.
- Rasul v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466 (2004) (quoting lease).
- Obama White House v. CIA; Panetta Threatened to Quit Tensions Lead to CIA Director's "Screaming Match" at the White House, Matthew Cole, Richard Espisito, and Brian Ross, ABC News, August 24, 2009.
- White House To Oversee New Interrogation Team, Dina Temple-Raston, npr.org August 24, 2009.
- New Unit to Question Key Terror Suspects - Move Shifts Interrogation Oversight From the CIA to the White House, Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post, August 24, 2009.
- National Security Council Reloaded, J. E. Dyer, Commentary blog, 08.25.2009.
- Tower Commission Report, p. 13.
- ACLU Urges Congress to Examine White House National Security Council as Central Decision-Maker on Torture, ACLU Press Release, (6/10/2008).