Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chat Online with Military Attorneys Representing Guantanamo Prisoners

Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd is hosting a an online discussion with two military attorneys who have represented detainees held at Guantanamo's prison. According to the website:
Lt. Col. Barry Wingard and Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Bogucki, the U.S. military attorneys for Kuwaiti Guantanamo Bay detainee Fayiz Al Kandari, will hold a virtual town hall meeting at Virtually Speaking Studios. The attorneys will share Fayiz’s story, discuss legal developments in his case, provide their views on the Obama administration’s detention policies and take questions from the audience.

Lt. Col. Wingard, a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the Air Force, has served 26 years in the U.S. military and is a veteran of both the Bosnia and Iraq conflicts. Lt. Cmdr. Bogucki, a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the Navy, previously represented former Kuwaiti detainee Fouad Al Rabiah, an innocent man who was released from Guantanamo Bay in December 2009.

Fayiz Al Kandari, who was sold into U.S. custody in 2001, has been imprisoned for more than eight years.

Time: April 26, 2010 from 6pm to 7pm
Event Type: jsb
Organized By: BookemJackson Streeter for Jackson Street Books
Fayiz Mohammed Ahmed al-Kandari. Al-Kandari is a Kuwaiti citizen, who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo since 2002. Al-Kandari's case has been championed by well-known blogger GottaLaff at The Political Carnival.

As I wrote last December:
Like a number of idealistic Muslims, Fayiz al-Kandari was caught up at a young age by the suffering of Muslims in the war in Bosnia. He became very active in charity work, and this work led him to Afghanistan....

But Fayiz became one of a number of Arabs (he is originally from a well-to-do Kuwaiti family) who was sold to the Americans for bounty money.

Andy Worthington describes what happened next:
In Guantánamo, Fayiz al-Kandari’s refusal to accept that “there is no innocent person here” has marked him out as a particularly resistant prisoner — and resistant prisoners are given a particularly hard time. Over the years, he has been subjected to a vast array of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which, as Lt. Col. Wingard described them, “have included but are not limited to sleep deprivation, physical and verbal assaults, attempts at sexual humiliation through the use of female interrogators, the “frequent flier program,” the prolonged use of stress positions, the use of dogs, the use of loud music and strobe lights, and the use of extreme heat and cold.”

Despite all this, he has not been “broken,” and has been able, unlike Fouad al-Rabiah and numerous other prisoners, to resist making false confessions about his own activities. He has also refused to make false confessions about the activities of other prisoners, despite being offered many opportunities to do so, and despite being told about others who have made false allegations against him.

Al Kandari's attorney, Major Barry Wingard, has made clear that the evidence against his client is based on far-fetched hearsay evidence. Wingard has been outspoken in his criticism of the Guantanamo military commissions and the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and other inhumane types of treatment.
Fayiz al-Kandari, along with over a hundred other Guantanamo prisoners, deserve their fair day in court. The prisoners who have been granted release via habeas petitions or other legal remedy, but who are still held in Guantanamo for an indefinite confinement, should be released immediately. Let them be allowed to live freely in the country that incarcerated and held them illegally, and tortured them. If there is some chargeable crime, and evidence of such crime, let them be tried as anyone would be, in a court of law, not a bogus military kangaroo court.


SeattleTammy said...

Thanks for posting this Jeff. We're getting a tremendous response about the Town Hall. This is such an important issue for me and I appreciate your helping get the word out.


Valtin said...

To Settle Tammy:

I'm glad I could help. So glad to hear you're getting such a good response.

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