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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 05:05 AM
Original message
Translator's Lawyers Cite Contradictions (Gitmo)
Translator's Lawyers Cite Contradictions
Detainee Letters' Status As Classified Is at Issue

By John Mintz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 24, 2004; Page A02

Attorneys for an Air Force translator at the Guantanamo Bay prison who faces a variety of criminal charges said military officials have offered contradictory explanations about whether they consider information found in his possession to be classified. The continually changing reasons make it difficult to determine the basis for many of the criminal charges against him, the lawyers contend.


"Halabi remains in jail and has been in pre-trial confinement for nine months, and still the government does not have a consolidated, consistent or intelligible position on the classification of information" in the case, Halabi's attorneys wrote. "Each time the defense points out the flaws in the classification logic, a different reason for classification of information is created or invented."

The legal documents were filed one month after the U.S. military dropped all criminal charges against Army Capt. James Yee, a Muslim chaplain who also worked at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba for al Qaeda and Taliban suspects. Yee's case was racked with disputes about whether the documents he possessed were properly deemed classified. Yesterday, two Democratic senators on the Armed Services Committee, Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) and Carl M. Levin (Mich.), asked the Pentagon to investigate the military's treatment of Yee.


An Air Force investigator stated that he spent 800 hours examining the Halabi Web site for evidence, and officials said last month they still suspected that there are hidden features in the site that allow outsiders to gather information secreted there. Last fall, the government dropped some charges that Halabi used the Internet to send secrets to unauthorized people.


(had to quote that last part--they're talking about a geocities website that they spent 800 hours investigating--which is absolutely ridiculous.)
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. You've got to read this article to believe it.
Absolutely the most preposterous kinds of speculations and charges you are ever likely to hear.

They ALL deserve real scrutiny and scorn! It wouldn't do justice to try to pick out any more than those provided by Snazzy for a quick look. You've simply got to see them for yourself.

Absolutely imbeciles running this show. To think they created this fiasco and the horrendous attack on Yee shows there are some real strange people who have been given authority they just can't handle.

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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. and reMember KidZ--oNly TerroRistS use cAse-seNsitiVe FiLe SysteMS
Rogues in the military. Where does it end?
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. This is what McCathyism looks like
Let's burn all the witches!
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dArKeR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. So disgraceful Bush has allowed Yee to be used as a political
distraction. Bringing an American up on false charges! Where is Bush's Christian morallity?
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
5. The biggest outrage of all this: "unlawful combatants".
That this country classifies human beings using a term that has no meaning under international law - in order to flaunt it - disgusts me.

This is wholly un-American (and treasonous) behavior.

At a hearing last month, officials said neither the names nor the numbers, nor any combinations, were classified. Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent Lance Wega said, though, that the "family names and addresses of detainees" in the letters remained classified.

In addition, officials said, a CD-ROM that Halabi had with information identical to that on the laptop was classified. Defense attorneys said that, earlier this month, an official at the Southern Command, the military unit that oversees the Guantanamo Bay prison, told them why the CD-ROM was secret, but that he added that the reason was itself classified. Halabi's attorneys wrote that the official's reason was "completely inconsistent" with all the other explanations given previously.

"This is secret...but why it's secret is secret...and we'd tell you why the secret reason is secret...except that's secret, too."

What does it take to awaken the American people to the fact that secret arrests, secret detentions, secret interrogations, and secret secrets are fascist by their very nature?

And check out this lovely gem:

In September, officials also alleged that Halabi committed wrongdoing when, during a break in a hearing, he used a computer in his attorney's office to add some photos of his fiancee to his personal Web site and to remove others. Officials theorized that he might have been trying to destroy evidence or communicate with outsiders using coded messages, and cited the episode as a reason to keep him in jail. Armed with a search warrant, the government seized documents from the lawyer's computer.

Watch out, webmasters - if you're declared a "terrorist" by the Shadow Government, you can be held for simply managing the content of your website in an innocuous manner (even though Halabi did not alter the website, and the military investigators were too stupid to realize there were alternate pages). Sherman Austin knows all about this kind of jackbooted thuggery.

This "with us or against us" crap is getting tiresome - and dangerous.

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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 03:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. extra-judicial bigoted crap
Edited on Sun Apr-25-04 03:40 AM by Snazzy
The fish stinks from the head.

What do we hear time and again after 9/11--well, lots, but what I'm thinking of is the lack of Arabic (or pertinent languages) speakers available to the US.

But that doesn't stop the DOD from messing with their allocation of translators. First there was the flap with firing the gay translators. Now it seems anybody who spoke these languages at Gitmo was under some extra special scrutiny from some General with a hard-on (I like to picture the "precious bodily fluids" commander in Doctor Strangelove--a movie that should be playing over and over on AMC until the damn tape wears out).

Lee apparently offered the prisoners Baklava. Probably the one fact that is not disputed.

This guy had the temerity to have a Yahoo! Geocities personal website where he had both a link to Syrian websites, and "secret page" with pictures of his girlfriend. He is apparently NSA material, had al-Queda not gotten to him first, since that's so fricken sneaky to make an image map, where you click on the "R" in a graphic (her name began with "R"), it links through to a private message to her.

Must have been one hell of a message, taking 800 hours of investigator time to analyze a free website hosted by Yahoo! What, you get 5MB on Yahoo! How much did us taxpayers pay for that one? Not having access to Darpa technology, I could still manage to download the thing, and tell you where it links, when it was modified, and if there is any steganography in the space of maybe 30 minutes, 20 with good coffee. 800 hours. Ought to get someone to explain this to Waxman.

Edit: might add, I went to the website yesterday when I read about this. Still there. Get "bandwidth exceeded," must be the 800 hour guy, still figuring out his caps lock. Nothing complicted or especially computer literate about it. Your basic personal webpage.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Indeed. You hit all the high points.
Btw, is that your website? Well-designed, very neat.

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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. thanks re: two meals out website
Yep, me and a friend. Just about finished. Need to promote it, starting with the sig line. Should do an annoucement on DU somewhere....
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