- Bush Signs Spy Bill, ACLU Sues
- FISA – Surveillance Society: How They Voted
- Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Long Shot Appeal For Reversal of Last Year’s Third Circuit Ruling
- LAD/J.Patrick O’Connor Interview
- Secret US-Iraq “Status of Forces” Agreement Would Preserve Human Rights Violations, Torture Policies In Iraq
- Related: Is Torture by Music a “Performance in Public”?
Abu Ghraib Torture Lawsuits Target Military Contractors in US Courts
Four former Abu Ghraib detainees are suing two U.S. military contractor corporations and three individual contractors. The four were wrongly imprisoned, tortured and later released without charge. According to the complaints, the defendants abused detainees physically and mentally and then destroyed documents, videos and photographs; prevented the reporting of the torture and abuse to the International Committee of the Red Cross. They actually hid detainees and other prisoners from the Red Cross; and misled non-conspiring military and government officials about the state of affairs at the Iraq prisons.
The defendants are CACI International Inc. and CACI Premier Technology, Inc., of Arlington, Va.; L-3 Services Inc., an Alexandria, Va.-based division of L-3 Communications Corp. and three individual contractors, Adel Nakhla, of Maryland, Timothy Dugan, of Ohio, and Daniel Johnson, of Seattle.
Guest – Attorney Susan Burke with Burke O’Neil LLC
The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Pennsylvania challenged the government’s efforts to deport an Egyptian torture victim of Sameh Khouzam. The government claims to be relying on unreviewable “diplomatic assurances” from Egypt that it will not torture him upon his return. Last January, in the first decision of its kind, a federal district court sided with the ACLU and ordered the government to stop the deportation of Sameh Khouzam based on such secret and unreliable promises and release him under conditions of supervision.
However, the Bush administration appealed this ruling, claiming that the executive branch has unfettered authority to deport Khouzam and to detain him indefinitely pending his legal proceedings. Khouzam, a Christian who came to the United States in 1998 fleeing religious persecution in Egypt and a charge of murder, was granted protection from deportation under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 2004. This after a federal appeals court found that he would likely be tortured if sent back to Egypt.
Guest – Lee Gelernt, senior staff attorney with ACLU who is working on Sameh’s case
Last week, Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, and Project Safe Haven took to the streets of major US cities in a national day of action. Recently, the Canadian Federal Court sided for the first time with a US war resister, disagreeing with the Immigration and Refugee Board decision and ordering a re-hearing for military deserter Joshua Key, his wife Brandi, and their four children.
Josh Key moved to Canada during a 2 week leave from the Army. On July 4th, 2008, Joshua Key won a Federal Court appeal thus forcing the Refugee board to re-examine his asylum claim of conscientious objector and Iraq war veteran. The court ruled that Key had been forced to systematically violate the Geneva Conventions as part of his military service in Iraq and that such misconduct amounts to a legitimate refugee claim.
In another case, former National Guard soldier Corey Glass of Fairmount Indiana is facing deportation from Canada. He was recently told that his application to stay in Canada for “humanitarian and compassionate” reasons has been rejected. This, as Pentagon officials suggest he has been discharged and the U.S. Army is not seeking to persecute Glass. But Glass’ lawyer, Alyssa Manning of Parkdale Legal Community Services, says the reports are untrue. Manning says, quote: “He would be a felon, he’d be criminally inadmissible to Canada; he’d potentially be imprisoned as well as subjected to non-traditional punishment such as ‘hazing’ (within the military).
Guest – Matthis Chiroux with Iraq Veterans Against the War