Knosha

Posts Tagged ‘War Crimes

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.

Written by Aaron Nee

November 6, 2008 at 9:25 pm

We’re all Georgians?

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In response to the conflict between Georgia and Russia in South Ossentia, McCain stated on behalf of the U.S. “today, we are all Georgians,” but perhaps we should not be so quick to declare solidarity with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Investigations by Human Rights Watch and eyewitness accounts reveal war crimes committed by Georgian forces in South Ossetia.  Mounting evidence suggests civilians were targeted in the Georgian attack.  Accusations include accounts of Georgian tanks firing into an apartment block, then firing on fleeing civilians.

The BBC’s Tim Whewell speaks with Ossentian victims.

For commentary on the Georgian/Russian conflict in South Ossentia, see Edward S. Herman’s article.

Written by Aaron Nee

October 29, 2008 at 6:14 am