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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan

Guantánamo Prosecutor Comes Clean

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In October Salon.com published a story titled “Confessions of a former Guantánamo prosecutor” written by Human Rights Watch counterterrorism advisor Stacy Sullivan.  The article is based on correspondences between Sullivan and Army Lt. Col. Darrell Vandeveld, a prosecutor at the Guantánamo Bay military commissions.  Vandeveld prosecuted seven cases before resigning.  The difficult decision to resign came when Vandeveld was no longer able to serve in good conscience as prosecutor for an unjust Commission.

The article describes the case of detainee Mohamed Jawad, a youth accused of injuring three people by throwing a grenade into a vehicle with US troops.  Among the numerous disturbing details of Jawad’s case is the fact that the teenager was unlawfully detained with adults and denied contact with his family (a violation of US and international law).  The boy was subjected to prolonged isolation; was made to wear a hood over his head while shackled and forced to stand for extended periods of time; and over a 14 day period, he was moved from one cell to another 112 times (about every 3 hours) as part of a sleep deprivation exercise known as the “frequent flier program”.

Following Vandeveld’s resignation, the Pentagon dropped the charges against five of the detainees whose cases he was working.  Jawad was not among the five.

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Written by Aaron Nee

November 6, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Civilian Death Toll Rises in the “Real” War – Afghanistan

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Over the course of the US Presidential campaign, Obama has asserted that the real war is in Afghanistan. The President elect has called for an increased US military presence in the region.  Tuesday brought yet another grisly example of what a US presence in Afghanistan looks like.  A wedding celebration in the Kandahar province was brought to a gruesome end when a US led air strike slaughtered over 35 celebrants and injured more than two dozen others.  Because of the severity of the injuries inflicted, the death toll is expected to rise.

More details on the air strike can be read at China View.

For information on the August 22nd massacare of possibly as many as 90 Afaghani civillians by US forces see, Eric Schmitt’s Oct. 8th report in the International Herald Tribune.

Written by Aaron Nee

November 5, 2008 at 8:47 pm