Andy Worthington marks seven years since Gitmo began operating as a concentration camp outside of the law, that is slowly coming to an end, perhaps… he also notes the more secret legal black holes-
Disturbingly, the three foreign prisoners seem to have spent time in secret CIA prisons before ending up at Bagram, but what is also disturbing about their cases is that there seems to be no distinction between these prisoners and others who were transferred to Guantánamo, except, of course, that the Bagram prisoners continue to have no rights whatsoever, and the government intends to make sure that they never do.
According to SCOTUSblog, which reports on significant court cases in the United States, Judge Bates appeared to recognize this discrepancy, as he “voic[ed] some concern over the government creating a ‘black hole’ for detainees in a ‘law-free zone’” at Bagram, and “hinted” that he may allow some of the prisoners to file court cases to challenge the basis of their imprisonment.
Everyone concerned with the exercise of justice must hope that Judge Bates will indeed grant habeas rights to prisoners like Haji Wazir, Redha al-Najar, Amin al-Bakri, Fadi al-Maqalah, and, in due course, to others — also held for years — whose identities are either completely unknown or only suspected. Anything less, and Bagram will indeed remain a law-free black hole, even as plans move ahead to close Guantánamo.
Just today though noises emerged from the Obama camp that indicate they will not be pursuing torturers and will in fact negate the principles established at the Nuremberg trials, they were only following orders-
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein told The Associated Press in an interview this week that there is a clear distinction between policymakers and those who execute the policy. “They (the CIA) carry out orders and the orders come from the (National Security Council) and the White House, so there’s not a lot of policy debate that goes on there,” said Feinstein, D-Calif. “We’re going to continue our looking into the situation and I think that is up to the administration and the director.”
“The men and women of the intelligence community have been on the front lines in this world of new and evolving dangers,” he [Obama] said. “They have served in the shadows, saved American lives, advanced our interests, and earned the respect of a grateful nation.”
So just how far away are they from the Bybee excuse for crime-
All that is required to avoid prosecution is a CIA agent’s “good faith belief” that his actions will not cause torturous pain and suffering. Such a belief “need not be reasonable,” Bybee writes.
Change, Hope, blah blah blah.