The bipartisan report on detainee torture at Guantanamo (pdf) released by the Senate Armed Services Committee on December 11 did a good job of telling Americans what they should have long known:
Consider this incredible sequence of events. A young American citizen was invited to study in a Middle Eastern country. Having arrived there, the dictatorship running the country kidnapped him and held him in solitary confinement for seven years without a trial. The dictatorship didn't just incarcerate him, they stubbornly refused to charge him with a crime during his incarceration. His family and friends have petitioned for his release, but the dictator vaguely insists he was a subversive and intended to attack his country — though the ruler stubbornly refuses to provide any details about how this might have happened. Release of these details — even seven years later — would jeopardize "national security." But it's also widely known that this person was apprehended unarmed and had not engaged in any violence.
Last month, a consortium of human-rights groups from the University of California at Berkeley released a report entitled Guantanamo and Its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and Their Impact on Detainees [pdf]. Its 136 pages prove in dispassionate prose allegations that Americans passionately debate: the U.S. government imprisoned mostly innocent men, without trial or criminal charges, at its prison in Guantanamo Bay, abused a great many of them, and tortured some.
Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon issued a release order on November 20 for five Algerian prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Algerians had been locked up in Guantanamo for seven years without a trial, and Leon dismissed the government claims that they stay locked up based upon one anonymous government source that the administration would not let the court question or review.
On November 6, a Florida jury convicted former FBI Agent John J. Connally, Jr. of initiating the 1982 slaying of a business executive by a hit man for Boston's infamous "Irish Mafia." Connolly is one of several FBI agents at the heart of a decades-old scandal in which the FBI was found to be protecting some of the worst Mafia killers from apprehension and prosecution by other federal, state, and local authorities.
For more than 13 years, The New American has been a leading force in advancing the thesis that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the convicted conspirators in the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City did not act alone, and that the Clinton administration had engaged in a massive coverup of overwhelming evidence pointing to additional co-conspirators, both foreign and domestic, in the deadly bombing.
On October 2, U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani sentenced Mohamad Fouad Abdallah, 40, of Dearborn, Michigan, to eight months in prison for e-mailing death threats to Debbie Schlussel, a Detroit-area conservative columnist, blogger, attorney, and TV-radio commentator. Abdallah, an avid Hezbollah supporter who had threatened the outspoken Schlussel with rape and murder, claimed in court to be remorseful for the threats, but the judge was unimpressed. "I find it abhorrent," Judge Battani said of Abdallah's sexually obscene threats against Schlussel.
Lynn Moses is scheduled to be locked up in federal prison on August 6. His crime? Protecting the city of Driggs from flooding.
For six years, Sibel Edmonds has been carrying out an heroic crusade to protect her adopted country from national security threats within the top levels of the American government. Hired as an FBI translator in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Edmonds, a Turkish American, threw herself into the daunting task of translating thousands of hours of recordings of backlogged intercepts in Turkic, Farsi, and Azerbaijani. What she heard on the tapes was alarming: Turkish agents in the United States bribing high-level U.S. officials and obtaining our military and intelligence secrets. What she witnessed at the FBI was even more appalling: translators who were intentionally filing false translations and passing information to foreign powers; and, what’s even worse, FBI superiors who did nothing about it when these serious breaches were brought to their attention.