Obama era justice

A Syrian man's efforts to be compensated for the horrible War on Terror abuse he suffered will undoubtedly fail

Topics: Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.,

(updated below)

From The Washington Post today:

A Syrian man released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay last year sued the U.S. military Wednesday, saying that he was the victim of a “Kafkaesque nightmare” in which he was tortured by al-Qaeda after being accused of being U.S. spy, liberated, then tortured by the Americans, who held him for seven more years by mistake.

Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko, 32, who has been resettled outside the United States, filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the court that ordered his release in June 2009. At the time, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon concluded that the U.S. government’s case for holding Janko “defies common sense.”

Janko was tortured by al-Qaeda and imprisoned by the Taliban for 18 months on suspicion of being a spy for the United States or Israel. Leon found no evidence that the Syrian was loyal to either group.

Janko “is the victim of a decade-long Kafkaesque nightmare from which he is just awakening,” the suit says.

Janko says that he was urinated on by his American captors, slapped, threatened with loss of fingernails, and exposed to sleep deprivation, extreme cold and stress positions. . . .

Spokesmen for the Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment late Wednesday on the case, which had not been entered into the court’s electronic database.

Fortunately, the Obama DOJ — which fought unsuccessfully to keep Janko imprisoned at Guantanamo — has been so consistent in its standards that one need not wait to hear from them to know how they will respond.  It’s the same way they’ve responded in similar cases:  whatever was done to this person is a State Secret that no court can review; those who are responsible for the abuse do and should enjoy full legal immunity; and, besides, we should all be Looking Forward, Not Backward at “unnecessary battles” like this one.  I don’t know why Janko can’t just accept that what was done to him is a big secret that cannot possibly be compensated without jeopardizing American National Security and, more important, realize that he should just get on with his life and the Glorious Future and stop asking us all to Look Backward to what was done to him (all the way back to the ancient past of 2004 and 2007 and 2009).  That’s the only just thing to do. 



Note this similarity as well:  Janko was, as the Court found, first “not only imprisoned, but tortured by Al Qaeda into making a false ‘confession’” that he was an American spy, and then, lawlessly imprisoned for 18 months by the Taliban as a spy, only thereafter to be abducted and lawlessly detained by the U.S. for seven years, where he was also tortured.  All that, despite no evidence whatsoever that he was loyal to Al Qaeda and plenty of evidence that he was not (namely, the fact that they detained and tortured him as an American spy).  Cases such as this one really underscore how wise it is to vest the President with the power to decide — on his own, with no review or oversight — who is and is not a Terrorist worthy of death.

 

UPDATE:  The always-thorough Andy Worthington last June wrote an excellent narrative on the heinous plight of Janko, which is well worth reading (h/t harpie).  That the Obama DOJ’s tactics virtually ensure he will receive no accountability or justice is horrifying, though par for the course by now.

Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>