⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Federal Judge: Evidence Against Detainee Is ‘Surprisingly Bare’

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the government had failed to justify the detention for the last seven years of a 50-year-old Kuwaiti engineer who worked

Iram Martins
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 25, 2009

Last week, a federal judge ruled that the government had failed to justify the detention for the last seven years of a 50-year-old Kuwaiti engineer who worked for Kuwait Airlines and had gone to Afghanistan to do charitable work. He was seized by the Northern Alliance, turned over to U.S. authorities, and shipped to Guantanamo Bay.

Today, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly released a declassified version of her opinion in the case of Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah. Although the opinion is heavily redacted, the judge’s point is clear.

“The evidentiary record on which the Government seeks to justify his indefinite detention is surprisingly bare,” she wrote. “Far from providing the Court with credible and reliable evidence as the basis for Al Rabiah’s continued detention, the Government asks the Court to simply accept the same confessions that the Government’s own interrogators did not credit.”

The U.S. government claimed Al Rabiah provided “material support” to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and met several times with Osama bin Laden. Al Rabiah denied this, but apparently “confessed” under abusive interrogations to having run a supply depot for al-Qaeda fighters. Al Rabiah’s lawyers argued that the confessions were all coerced, and that it was a case of mistaken identity: the government had confused Al Rabiah with another man with the same nickname. That man was killed by American air strikes.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly, while acknowledging that strong possibility, decided she didn’t ultimately need to go there because it was clear that the government did not have credible evidence against Al Rabiah. Instead, she noted the many “inconsistencies and impossibilities” in the government’s case and the unreliable nature of the government’s witnesses, including that at least one of them had been subjected to a week of sleep deprivation via the “frequent flyer” program, which involves moving a detainee from one cell to another every couple of hours. Judge Kollar-Kotelly notes that this was both in violation of the Army Field Manual and violated the guidance issued by the Commander at US SOUTHCOM. In any event, it destroyed the credibility of the witness’s claims against Al Rabiah, which were never repeated again.

In the end, the judge threw out the government’s case, ruling that the detention of Al Rabiah for the past seven years was unjustified:

“[T]he court concludes that Al Rabiah’s uncorroborated confessions are not credible or reliable, and that the Government has failed to provide the Court with sufficiently credible and reliable evidence to meet its burden of persuasion. If there exists a basis for Al Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this Court.”

David Cynamon, Al Rabiah’s lawyer in this victory, sent me these thoughts on the case in an email today:

I think the significance of this case is that it totally rebuts the torture apologists.  Thus far Cheney and his ilk have argued that torture is OK because, after all, guys like KSM and Abu Zubaydah are bad guys and it was necessary to torture them because of the valuable intelligence.  Those arguments are without merit, but they appeal to a lot of people.  But Al Rabiah is not a bad guy — he’s a totally innocent man — and he had no intelligence value because he is an innocent man.  This demonstrates why you need to have a bright line against torture and abuse, and why declaring the Geneva Conventions to be “quaint” and outmoded has such a disastrous effect.  Maybe you start off with the idea that you’re “only” going to torture the KSMs, but pretty soon you end up torturing anyone who doesn’t fit your preconceived determination that everyone at Guantanamo is “the worst of the worst.”  What the interrogation reports show in Al Rabiah’s case is that the more he insisted on his innocence, the harsher the interrogations got, because his interrogators would not, and, indeed could not, believe that he was innocent.

Here’s Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s decision:

Iram Martins | Personal trainer. Aspiring sommelier. Brunch critic who works part-time. When I'm not competing, you'll find me at dog beaches with my black lab or sipping drinks at the best bars in town. I like to fly a lot.


EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill

New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S

EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too

The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐