History Commons Groups

November 14, 2009

The Very Evident Guilt of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri

The US Justice Department yesterday announced that five Guantanamo detainees would finally be moved to New York to face a normal trial, while others, including alleged USS Cole bombing mastermind Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, would face not ordinary trials, but military commissions.

Reading between the lines of the officials statements and taking comment pieces into account, it seems that the reason for this is that prosecutors are confident of convicting the five to be sent to New York (who will very probably plead guilty, so there won’t be a trial), but not so sure they could convict al-Nashiri.

I was pretty surprised by this decision, and would simply like to highlight some evidence indicating al-Nashiri’s guilt that, in my opinion, is very strong and would very probably be admissible in a normal court. Primarily, this is the statement al-Nashiri made at his military commission hearing in spring 2007 (and presumably similar statements he would have made to FBI investigators in Guantanamo Bay).


October 7, 2009

The Wrongful Detention of Fouad Al-Rabiah

Filed under: Torture and Abuse — kevinfenton @ 2:30 pm
Tags: ,

Journalist and author Andy Worthington recently posted a great piece on a detainee I have to confess I had never heard of before, Fouad al-Rabiah. Al-Rabiah has been held in Guantanamo since 2002, but it turns out he is completely innocent (surprise, surprise) and that the charges against him are ridiculous.

The whole piece is very long, with Worthington taking the time to unpick all the SERE-derived confessions, but if you have 20 minutes or so to spare, it is well worth a read.

The “highlight” is a quote from from Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly about the sheer implausibility of what Al-Rabiah was tortured into confessing:

The Court agrees with the assessment of al-Rabiah’s interrogators, as well as al-Rabiah’s counsel in this case, that al-Rabiah’s confessions are not credible. Even beyond the countless inconsistencies associated with his confessions that interrogators identified throughout his years of detention, the confessions are also entirely incredible. The evidence in the record reflects that, in 2001, al-Rabiah was a 43 year old who was overweight, suffered from health problems, and had no known history of terrorist activities or links to terrorist activities. He had no military experience except for two weeks of compulsory basic training in Kuwait, after which he received a medical exemption. He had never traveled to Afghanistan prior to 2001. Given these facts, it defied logic that in October 2001, after completing a two-week leave form at Kuwait Airlines where he had worked for twenty years, al-Rabiah traveled to Tora Bora and began telling senior al-Qaeda leaders how they should organize their supplies in a six square mile mountain complex that he had never previously seen and that was occupied by people whom he had never met, while at the same time acting as a supply logistician and mediator of disputes that arose among various fighting factions.

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