Sunday, September 25, 2011

Abu Zubaydah (ISN 10016), the supposed "high-value detainee" seized in Pakistan in March 2002, who spent four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, including facilities in Thailand and Poland. Subjected to waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning, on 83 occasions in CIA custody August 2002, Abu Zubaydah was moved to Guantánamo with 13 other "high-value detainees" in September 2006

Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (ISN 212), the emir of a military training camp for which Abu Zubaydah was the gatekeeper, who, despite having his camp closed by the Taliban in 2000, because he refused to allow it to be taken over by al-Qaeda, is described in these documents as Osama bin Laden’s military commander in Tora Bora. Soon after his capture in December 2001, al-Libi was rendered by the CIA to Egypt, where, under torture, he falsely confessed that al-Qaeda operatives had been meeting with Saddam Hussein to discuss obtaining chemical and biological weapons. Al-Libi recanted this particular lie, but it was nevertheless used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Al-Libi was never sent to Guantánamo, although at some point, probably in 2006, the CIA sent him back to Libya, where he was imprisoned, and where he died, allegedly by committing suicide, in May 2009.

Sharqawi Abdu Ali al-Hajj (ISN 1457), a Yemeni, also known as Riyadh the Facilitator, who was seized in a house raid in Pakistan in February 2002, and is described as "an al-Qaeda facilitator." After his capture, he was transferred to a torture prison in Jordan run on behalf of the CIA, where he was held for nearly two years, and was then held for six months in US facilities in Afghanistan. He was flown to Guantánamo in September 2004.

Sanad Yislam al-Kazimi (ISN 1453), a Yemeni, who was seized in the UAE in January 2003, and then held in three secret prisons, including the "Dark Prison" near Kabul and a secret facility within the US prison at Bagram airbase. In February 2010, in the District Court in Washington D.C., Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. granted the habeas corpus petition of a Yemeni prisoner, Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, largely because he refused to accept testimony produced by either Sharqawi al-Hajj or Sanad al-Kazimi. As he stated, "The Court will not rely on the statements of Hajj or Kazimi because there is unrebutted evidence in the record that, at the time of the interrogations at which they made the statements, both men had recently been tortured."

Others include Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani (ISN 10012) and Walid bin Attash (ISN 10014), two more of the "high-value detainees" transferred into Guantánamo in September 2006, after being held in secret CIA prisons

Other unreliable witnesses, held at Guantánamo throughout their detention, include:

Yasim Basardah (ISN 252), a Yemeni known as a notorious liar. As the Washington Post reported in February 2009, he was given preferential treatment in Guantánamo after becoming what some officials regarded as a significant informant, although there were many reasons to be doubtful. As the Post noted, "military officials ... expressed reservations about the credibility of their star witness since 2004," and in 2006, in an article for the National Journal, Corine Hegland described how, after a Combatant Status Review Tribunal at which a prisoner had taken exception to information provided by Basardah, placing him at a training camp before he had even arrived in Afghanistan, his personal representative (a military official assigned instead of a lawyer) investigated Basardah’s file, and found that he had made similar claims against 60 other prisoners in total. In January 2009, in the District Court in Washington D.C., Judge Richard Leon (an appointee of George W. Bush) excluded Basardah’s statements whilegranting the habeas corpus petition of Mohammed El-Gharani, a Chadian national who was just 14 years old when he was seized in a raid on a mosque in Pakistan. Judge Leon noted that the government had "specifically cautioned against relying on his statements without independent corroboration," and in other habeas cases that followed, other judges relied on this precedent, discrediting the "star witness" still further.

Mohammed al-Qahtani (ISN 063), a Saudi regarded as the planned 20th hijacker for the 9/11 attacks, wassubjected to a specific torture program at Guantánamo, approved by defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. This consisted of 20-hour interrogations every day, over a period of several months, and various other "enhanced interrogation techniques," which severely endangered his health. Variations of these techniques then migrated to other prisoners in Guantánamo (and to Abu Ghraib), and in January 2009, just before George W. Bush left office, Susan Crawford, a retired judge and a close friend of Dick Cheney and David Addington, who was appointed to oversee the military commissions at Guantánamo as the convening authority, told Bob Woodward that she had refused to press charges against al-Qahtani, because, as she said, "We tortured Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture." As a result, his numerous statements about other prisoners must be regarded as worthless.

Abd al-Hakim Bukhari (ISN 493), a Saudi imprisoned by al-Qaeda as a spy, who was liberated by US forces from a Taliban jail before being sent, inexplicably, to Guantánamo (along with four other men liberated from the jail) is regarded in the files as a member of al-Qaeda, and a trustworthy witness.

Abd al-Rahim Janko (ISN 489), a Syrian Kurd, tortured by al-Qaeda as a spy and then imprisoned by the Taliban along with Abd al-Hakim Bukhari, above, is also used as a witness, even though he was mentally unstable. As his assessment in June 2008 stated, "Detainee is on a list of high-risk detainees from a health perspective ... He has several chronic medical problems. He has a psychiatric history of substance abuse, depression, borderline personality disorder, and prior suicide attempt for which he is followed by behavioral health for treatment."

The rest, these documents reveal on close inspection, were either innocent men and boys, seized by mistake, or Taliban foot soldiers, unconnected to terrorism. Moreover, many of these prisoners were actually sold to US forces, who were offering bounty payments for al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects, by their Afghan and Pakistani allies — a policy that led ex-President Musharraf to state, in his 2006 memoir, In the Line of Fire, that, in return for handing over 369 terror suspects to the US, the Pakistani government “earned bounty payments totalling millions of dollars.”
Uncomfortable facts like these are not revealed in the deliberations of the Joint Task Force, but they are crucial to understanding why what can appear to be a collection of documents confirming the government’s scaremongering rhetoric about Guantánamo — the same rhetoric that has paralyzed President Obama, and revived the politics of fear in Congress — is actually the opposite: the anatomy of a colossal crime perpetrated by the US government on 779 prisoners who, for the most part, are not and never have been the terrorists the government would like us to believe they are.

How to Read WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files

The nearly 800 documents in WikiLeaks’ latest release of classified US documents are memoranda from Joint Task Force Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO), the combined force in charge of the US "War on Terror" prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to US Southern Command, in Miami, Florida, regarding the disposition of the prisoners.
Under the heading, "JTF-GTMO Detainee Assessment," the memos generally contain nine sections, describing the prisoners as follows, although the earlier examples, especially those dealing with prisoners released — or recommended for release — between 2002 and 2004, may have less detailed analyses than the following:

Written between 2002 and 2008, the memoranda were all marked as "secret," and their subject was whether to continue holding a prisoner, or whether to recommend his release (described as his "transfer" — to the custody of his own government, or that of some other government). They were obviously not conclusive in and of themselves, as final decisions about the disposition of prisoners were taken at a higher level, but they are very significant, as they represent not only the opinions of JTF-GTMO, but also the Criminal Investigation Task Force, created by the Department of Defense to conduct interrogations in the "War on Terror," and the BSCTs, the behavioral science teams consisting of psychologists who had a major say in the "exploitation" of prisoners in interrogation.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Many detainees locked up at Guantanamo were innocent men swept up by U.S. forces unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants, a former Bush administration official said Thursday.
"There are still innocent people there," Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a Republican who was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, told The Associated Press. "Some have been there six or seven years."
Wilkerson, who first made the assertions in an Internet posting on Tuesday, told the AP he learned from briefings and by communicating with military commanders that the U.S. soon realized many Guantanamo detainees were innocent but nevertheless held them in hopes they could provide information for a "mosaic" of intelligence.

"It did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance," Wilkerson wrote in the blog. He said intelligence analysts hoped to gather "sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified."

Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, said vetting on the battlefield during the early stages of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan was incompetent with no meaningful attempt to determine "who we were transporting to Cuba for   detention and interrogation."

Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to comment on Wilkerson's specific allegations but noted that the military has consistently said that dealing with foreign fighters from a wide variety of countries in a wartime setting was a complex process. The military has insisted that those held at Guantanamo were enemy combatants and posed a threat to the United States.

In his posting for The Washington Note blog, Wilkerson wrote that "U.S. leadership became aware of this lack of proper vetting very early on and, thus, of the reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be immediately released."
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney fought efforts to address the situation, Wilkerson said, because "to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership."

Wilkerson told the AP in a telephone interview that many detainees "clearly had no connection to al-Qaida and the Taliban and were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pakistanis turned many over for $5,000 a head."

Some 800 men have been held at Guantanamo since the prison opened in January 2002, and 240 remain. Wilkerson said two dozen are terrorists, including confessed Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was transferred to Guantanamo from CIA custody in September 2006.
"We need to put those people in a high-security prison like the one in Colorado, forget them and throw away the key," Wilkerson said. "We can't try them because we tortured them and didn't keep an evidence trail."

But the rest of the detainees need to be released, he said.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Newly released British UFO files cover 1987 to 1993 and are arranged in seven downloadable PDF files. But Dr. David Clark, an expert in UFO history with the British National Archives, has offered a quick tour of significant sightings and a video.
The most recent downloadable files are here - and below the video on this page is a "cheat sheet" to what Dr. Clark believe are the more interesting cases.

Key stories and events featured in the files (red text): (Note: the illustrations below were pulled at random.)
P2 – 9
Investigation papers into a report of a UFO near Belfast Airport in December 1989 (see also DEFE 31/179, pages 209 – 217)
p38 – 39
Reports by an anonymous female who claimed to have been approached by a man whilst walking her dog one evening in November 1989. The man told her that he was from another planet, and that “crop circles” had been caused by others like him who had travelled to earth. “One of our more unusual UFO reports” noted a covering letter from RAF Wattisham to MoD and Norfolk police.
DEFE 31/176 (27 Mb)
A project to produce a computerised database of UFO reports (see p432) is halted when the head of the MoD?s Secretariat (Air Staff) senses a potential public relations disaster, should the existence of the project leak to the press.
A helicopter crew reported a close encounter with a “very bright flashing red light” on the night of 21 February 1988. The UFO appeared to be 200 – 300 yards long, with red and white lights and appeared to “swerve to miss the helicopter” as it descended. No location is specified in the report.
p429 – 431
A re-fuelling exercise over the Midlands is mistaken for reports of a sightings of as UFO as “big as a football field.”
Details about a project to produce a computerised database of UFO reports, the main purpose of which is to supply information in the event of relevant Parliamentary questions to ministers (further information at p224 of this file)
DEFE 31/179 (9.4 Mb)
p157 – 158
Defensive press lines are prepared by the MoD after colour photographs of a large diamond-shaped UFO hovering over Calvine (Scotland) are sent to the Daily Record in Glasgow. Details of this sighting, which has remained a secret until now, was dubbed by one former official as “one of the most intriguing [UFO] cases in the MoD?s files” (for further information see
DEFE 31/180 (10.5 Mb)
p37-38 and p55-57).
p183 and p197
The MoD UFO desk asks MoD Security to carry out background checks on two „persistent correspondents? who have been plaguing desk officers with letters and tape-recording phone conversations with officials.
p209 – 217
Investigation papers into a report of a UFO near Belfast Airport in December 1989 (see also DEFE 24/1938 p2-9)
DEFE 31/180 (10.5 Mb)
In 1992, an illuminated airship advertising the Ford Mondeo caused a large number of UFO sighting reports when it flew over central London at night (see also DEFE 31/181 p73)
p37 – 38
Image (poor quality photocopy) of a large diamond-shaped UFO hovering over Calvine (Scotland) and what was later identified as a Harrier.
p55 – 57
Further investigation papers about the sighting of a large diamond-shaped UFO over Calvine (Scotland). Here the task sheet notes that "sensitivity of material suggests very special handling" (see also p37 – 38, and DEFE 31/179 p157 – 158)
p67 – 69
UFO report made to Scottish air traffic controllers by an airline captain flying over the North Atlantic on 4 January 1992. Report was assessed as sounding "like some form of meteorological phenomena".
Burning white lights, flames and rumbling sounds reported by dozens of people over Wales and Hereford in December 1991 were traced to a USAF pilot who jettisoned fuel that was ignited by the aircraft's afterburner.
p111 – 112
Intelligence summary of sightings in Kazakhstan dated October 1991.
A RAF pilot and his student flying at 2,000ft near Cranwell (Lincolnshire) on 11 September 1991 saw a “possible missile” shoot up to 25,000ft and appear to explode. An investigation was undertaken involving RAF and civilian police, and checks were made on radar.
Following the report that six RAF Tornado jets were overtaken by a UFO during an exercise over Germany (see p180 – 182 for the report) UFOlogists who enquired about the incident were advised to contact the Dutch Air Force.
p180 – 182
The crews of six RAF Tornado jets reported being overtaken by a giant UFO, whilst flying over Germany during an exercise controlled by Dutch radar on 5 November 1990. The pilots believed that this could have been a test flight for the then top-secret USAF Stealth Fighter. Their brief report and internal discussion can be found here (further details p157). It later emerged that the pilots had actually seen burning debris from a Soviet rocket body, used to launch a satellite into orbit.
DEFE 31/181 (23.7 Mb)
46 – 72
Numerous reports of moving lights in the sky over South-Western England and South Wales in the early hours of 31 March 1993. These are later traced to the re-entry of a Russian Cosmos rocket body which burned-up, decaying over the North Atlantic (sketches at p61)
In 1992 an illuminated airship advertising the Ford Mondeo caused a large number of UFO reports when it flew at night over central London (see also DEFE 31/180 p12)
Article from The Scotsman about alleged sightings of US spy planes over Scotland (see also p136 – 137, p152 – 155 and p 288 - 289)
Two air traffic controllers at Heathrow filed a report describing a black inverted boomerang shaped UFO seen from the control tower on the morning of 17 December 1992 (see p281 – 282 for reports of a similar sighting in Lincolnshire a week earlier)
p136 – 137
Article in Jane's Defence Weekly about alleged sightings of US spy planes over Scotland (see also p123, p152 – 155 and p288 – 289)
p152 – 155
Article from Quest (UFO magazine) about alleged sightings of US spy planes over Scotland (see also p123, p136 – 137 and p288 – 289)
p178 – 180
In November 1992 a Brighton man reported seeing a brightly-lit UFO shaped like a "squashed rugby ball" hovering above his house. Through the windows in the side, he saw two men wearing beige uniforms – when one of them spotted him the lights went out and the UFO moved out to sea. An RAF note reads: "Caller sounded genuine enough and his main concern seemed to be that he didn't want to talk too much about the craft if it was 'on of ours that we wanted to keep secret'".
p187 – 190
Copies of newspaper stories and correspondence from the public following a story in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph in 1992 alleging that Captain William Schaffner (USAF exchange pilot), who had died during an exercise in 1970, had in fact been involved in a secret operation to intercept UFOs over the North Sea (see also p210 – 268; a full copy of the RAF Board of Inquiry report into the fatal crash, which does not mention UFOs, is at DEFE 31/181 p240 – 246).
p210 – 268
Copies of newspaper stories and correspondence from the public following a story in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph in 1992 alleging that Captain William Schaffner (USAF exchange pilot), who had died during an exercise in 1970, had in fact been involved in a secret operation to intercept UFOs over the North Sea (see also p181 – 197;
a full copy of the RAF Board of Inquiry report into the fatal crash, which does not mention UFOs, is at DEFE 31/181 p240 – 246).
p281 – 282
Numerous witnesses in Louth, Lincolnshire, reported seeing three lights which appeared to be attached to a large, triangular shaped craft on 9 December 1992. The UFO hovered, turned on its axis and then shot off upwards at an estimated speed of 500mph (see p128 from this file for reports of a similar sighting at Heathrow a week later).
p288 – 289
Glasgow Herald article about alleged sightings of US spy planes over Scotland, which includes a note: "another [newspaper article] for your growing collection... attention is really focussing on this now, notwithstanding a recent USAF 'denial briefing'. This is bound to prompt further questions and Parliamentary interest."
Near-miss reported by the crew of a Britannia Airlines 737 with an object travelling at Mach 3, near the island of Elba off the Italian coast (1 May 1992).

Continue reading on Quick tour of newly released British UFO files - National ufo |


Great Britain officially opened its vaults of secret and top secret UFO files on Thursday, March 3, with an “uproar from both our watchers and the national and international UFO community that I’d call one of the biggest watershed moments in the long, long effort to convince the world that we are not alone in this universe,” exclaimed Oregon UFO “watcher” Monica Fulkerson. In turn, British officials said in announcing the release of the approximately 8,500 pages of UFO records that the documents date back to the 1950s and include rare military and public reports not seen by the public.
At the same time, there’s reports in the British media that the release of the secret British UFO files was a “preemptive strike” before Julian Assange releases the WikiLeaks “secret UFO cables” that he disclosed in December.
Assange, the main spokesperson and editor-in-chief for WikiLeaks is currently appealing against United Kingdom extradition for crimes he may have committed in Sweden. Also, the United States wants to silence Assange and WikiLeaks for “national security reasons.”
Meanwhile, Assange has gone public with British media about his WikiLeaks secret UFO files that he says are “significant” and noteworthy to the world community who are eager to learn what secret UFO and alien information files that are now in a top secret location that only Assange and his close circle of WikiLeaks staff control.
People can read parts of the British files free and on line
The release of these British UFO documents includes 35 large files that can be viewed at
It should also be noted that the files are available to download free of charge for one month at this U.K. National Archives website.
For instance, one of the files notes a man saying he had been "abducted" by aliens in October 1998 after seeing an unidentified craft hover over his London home and finding that he had gained an hour of time in the process. "It was a large cigar-shaped vehicle with big projectiles on each side like wings," he told the British ministry. "It seemed to have two very bright lights at the front and a white light flashing round and round underneath. ... As you can imagine, I felt quite shaken."
Another secret UFO file released by the National Archives today points to the Royal Air Force being “inundated with calls one morning in 1967 after residents of southern England awoke to find six small beeping UFOs lying in a perfect line from the Isle of Sheppey to the Bristol Channel.”
British government kept debates over UFO top secret
Another of more than 8,500 pages of documents points to the sworn statements of a retired RAF officer who said he saw a UFO while on holiday in Sri Lanka in April 2004. In turn, this RAF officer, with top secret clearance and having a high level job in British national security, sent the Ministry of Defense supporting photographs of UFOs flying at will over Sri Lanka. The view at the time being “just another UFO” with no real investigation.
"I noticed a partial aura in the sky, a minute or so later there was a clap of thunder, then a short while later a ring like a doughnut appeared," this high ranking RAF officer told the British Defense Ministry.
Also of keen interest to the international UFO community is how the British government had secret talks and frank discussions about the “UFO issue” without disclosing the discussions to the British people, the United Nations, the European Union or the world at large. UFO watchers said the reason is simple: “Anybody would have thought the Brits crazy to say UFO and alien life on Earth is real and happening now.”
The newly released files state, for example, that a “top secret” UFO policy file from 1997 confirms that Ministry of Defense handled UFO reports on a “regular basis.”
Moreover, a file points to a “full debate about UFOs being held in Britain's House of Lords, in January 1979.” The debate featured some of the top minds in the world per the “Lords” are highly educated rich and powerful men who’ve been educated at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.
While the British government’s Ministry of Defense said in releasing the previously classified files, that it “investigated every UFO sighting report it received to determine whether there is any evidence that the United Kingdom's airspace might have been compromised by hostile or unauthorized air activity."
Of course, the conclusions are kept top secret and not available to the public due to “alien life here” may pose a world security threat.
David Clarke, author of "The UFO Files" and consultant to the National Archives' UFO project, told the BBC and other British media this morning after the official release of the massive hoard of previously top secret UFO files that “it does raise some questions about what really happened and should we be prepared now.”
British visionary in UFO science gets his due
At the same time, there’s other UFO news out of England that’s rocking people’s perceptions about who or what are “angels.” The recent re-release of the once censored book “Flying Saucers Farewell,” by British writer George Adamski – who founded the “Royal Order of Tibet in the 1930’s that reveals his “cosmic philosophy” – is now making the rounds at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities with news that “angels may be aliens from another planet.”
Adamski was one of the first major figures in Great Britain that “UFO sightings should be studied” back in the 1940’s when such talk would have gotten him bared from teaching at Cambridge or Oxford.
“He (Adamski) was once viewed as a nuttier, but now with the British government coming clean with the release of its UFO files, people are paying attention to Adamski’s claims,” stated a Cambridge University spokesman when referring to the period of when Adamski taught at one of the university colleges in the late 1930s.
When England began to reject Adamski’s teachings and views about UFO’s, he left for America in the 1950’s after the Roswell reports opened the doors of perception about possible alien life visiting the planet.
Adamski made headlines in America after a Nov. 20, 1952, visit to a remote region where UFO craft had landed in Desert Center, California. On that day, Adamski and seven fellow professors from Cambridge University revealed seeing a “gigantic cigar-shaped” alien space ship hovering near their camp site at Desert Center.
After returning to Cambridge, England, Adamski reported to his fellow associates and the British media that he and others saw dramatic flashes of lights in the sky and a “beautiful small craft,” which he said “descended into a nearby cove.” In turn, the photos that Adamski took were taken by British authorities via national security.
Later, Adamski revealed in lectures at both Cambridge and Oxford Universities that he came “face-to-face with an extraterrestrial."
“Now for the first time I fully realized that I was in the presence of a man from space – a human being from another world.” Adamski went on to report that the alien being was “about five feet, six inches in height and weighed, according to our standard of about 135 pounds. He was round faced with an extremely high forehead, with an average size mouth and beautiful white teeth that shone when he smiled and spoke.”
Moreover, Adamski noted that “it did not look to me as though he had ever had to shave, for there was no more hair on his face than on a child’s. His hair was sandy in color and hung in beautiful waves to his shoulders, glistening more beautifully than any woman’s I’ve ever seen.”
Adamski then dropped another bomb to his Cambridge and Oxford audience. He said the aliens have been on Earth for centuries and argued that the “space people are the biblical angels.”
“The idea of angels having wings growing out of their shoulders and wearing long robes, was instilled in the minds of present-day people by the great artists who pictured them as such. The Bible has always described them as ordinary men from other worlds,” Adamski wrote in his book “Flying Saucers Farewell” that’s a part of today’s release of secret British UFO files.