British authorities have been trying to rid the UK of Muslim Cleric Abu Hamza
for more years that they care to remember. Finally his extradition to the USA is on the cards. Hamza tried every means open to him to prevent his extradition. The latest has been an appeal by representatives insisting that he needs medical diagnostic tests before he is extradited. The judge was not having any more of this though and ruled that such tests, if they are necessary, can be carried out in the US.Four more men will be extradited with Hamza. All are often referred to as terror suspects. These are
Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz. Judges have decided that there is no new nor compelling evidence which would halt extradition proceedings. The extradition proceedings will now get under way. According to the BBC this is what will happen next:
- Met Police Extradition Unit officers take custody of detainees at Long Lartin prison
- Detainees taken to secure location for legal handover to US Marshals Service
- Detainees loaded onto aircraft from US Marshals Alien Transport System
- Flight to US
- Trials at later date
Trials at a later date? When, considering the timescale so far? Where? An open civilian court of law?The family of Babar Ahmad, a UK citizen, have
voiced their frustration at his possible extradition. His case is somewhat different to that of Abu Hamza. Babar and his family have pressed for a trial in the UK.
report included the following which was from a BBC report: "The Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service have denied impropriety. The unprecedented interview in the maximum security Long Lartin Prison came after the BBC challenged a government ban on filming Mr Ahmad. The High Court ruled that there was an overwhelming public interest in hearing Mr Ahmad discuss his case, because of his unique situation.
"I have been in prison now for nearly eight years without trial," Mr Ahmad said. "I am facing extradition to the US to spend the rest of my life in solitary confinement. I have never been questioned about the allegations against me. "I do not hold the Americans responsible for anything that has happened to me, but I think it is fair to say that I am fighting for my life - and I am running out of time."
The 37-year-old from Tooting in south London was arrested in 2004 on an extradition warrant from the United States.The BBC fought a High Court battle to allow Mr Ahmad to be interviewed. US prosecutors say he headed a terrorist "support cell" in London through a website called Azzam.com. He faces life imprisonment if convicted. Scotland Yard had arrested Mr Ahmad the previous year, but released him without charge."
Since when did the UK not try suspects? Mr Ahmad'
s father has said that his son should face trial in the UK. The only link to the US appears to be that the website was hosted in the USA. How can people be held for such long periods of time with no trial?? No hard evidence? No proof of guilt? The UK and British people pride themselves on the excellent legal processes the country abides by. What is so different in the case of Babar Hamad?More HereRead an exclusive report in the Independent hereUpdate: Around 19:15pm Friday October 5, the men were all taken by police escort from Long Lartin prison to RAF Mildenhall.
The men are expected to be handed over to US marshals waiting there. According to the BBC "A US Department of Justice-owned civilian Gulfstream jet,"
has been waiting since Tuesday of this week. As all the men should be facing a civilian court no army officers should be present.
Guantanamo Bay must be a thorn in President Obama's side and also to his election campaign. Three years ago the President attempted to fulfill one election promise and close Guantanamo. He was not successful.
Instead a token gesture of Human Rights improvements was made. There is now a ban on evidence obtained by torture but lawyers of those held in this US camp still only have restricted access to their clients. This has led to the lawyers involved denying that the camp has any legitimacy.
A military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay is set to formally charge Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men. They all stand accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks. Kudos to President Obama for wanting to hold an open trial in New York. However it appears the people and politicians of the US were against this. This means that the accused will all face a military trail at Guantanamo.
An arraignment will be held today, May 5, 2012. According to the BBC "Self-pclaimed 9/11 "mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four others - Waleed bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi - are expected to be tried together. They are accused of planning and executing the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, which saw hijacked planes strike New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania and left a total of 2,976 people
Some of the families and loved ones of the victims have been arriving at Guantanamo. Since 9/11 some of these accused have allegedly claimed to be proud of their involvement in 9/11 and admitted responsibility. However none are expected to enter a guilty plea.
CIA documents reportedly confirm that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning, that is waterboarding, 183 times.
Looking across the Pond Guantanamo continues to puzzle and anger. Dismissing basic human rights and freedoms when it suits is a dangerous game and so often it backfires.The old adage of as you sow so shall you reap comes to mind yet once more as far as the US goes.
You have to wonder what some people, not least the military, have to hide.
Tags: Guantanamo Bay, military 9/11 trial, 9/11 arraignment, US law
Obama Privacy Bill of Rights: Is It What the U.S. Needs Or Not?
The post here was written in February 2012. Today July 11, 2012 there is news which relates to the article. Find it at the end of the report, after you refresh your memories as to the original content.
This blogger receives updates from various companies online. The latest included information on possible Internet privacy changes. It seems that many Western countries are intent on preventing us maintaining our Internet freedoms. Recently TEK reported that the Canadian government were looking at making changes. The UK has limited its users freedoms also. The latest email contained information about proposed US changes. Here is what it said:"The Obama Administration announced a privacy plan last week in hopes of increasing protections for consumer privacy. The Administration has been working toward this effort for several months and has created a framework consisting of a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a multi-stakeholder process to determine how the rights will apply to the context of business, an adequate enforcement model, and a commitment to strengthen interoperability between the privacy standards in the U.S. and its global partners.
While privacy advocates welcomed the proposal, for the most part, some of them have voiced concerns about the enforcement of the plan. Others, including Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, have also spoken out in opposition of the White House’s proposal.
According to Thierer, the intentions at the core of the plan appear to be good, but the consequences that may result instead could be very harmful. For instance, he believes the framework is strikingly similar to the privacy laws and regulations in Europe.
He told us that, if fully executed, the Administration’s approach could be damaging to consumers and competition for Internet businesses. In addition, Thierer said the plan could limit new services and lead to more government regulations over the Web.
In the White Paper released, the Administration asks Congress to adopt the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and give the FTC and state attorneys general the power to enforce them. However, given the election year and other pressing issues, Thierer pointed out that it was unlikely that anything would happen in this regard this year.
Do you think the U.S. needs “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”? We’d love to hear your opinion"
There you have it. It is for you to decide how this may affect you and whether you find it acceptable.
July 11, 2012, RT has reported that last Friday US President Obama "quietly" signed an Executive Order allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security. What! The full RT report can be found here.
A pertinent line or two that you may find interesting reads, In explaining the order, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) writes that the president has authorized the DHS "the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications." Make of that what you will!Tags: SOPA, internet privacy, Obama signs order, US President Obama, US privacy
In the US state of California supporters of Cannabis are said to be livid.
Federal officers are targeting thousands of storefront marijuana dispensaries. The fact that these even exist was news to this UK citizen.
Many feel that the Feds plans will go much further than necessary. However they have stipulated that, at least initially, it will be huge operations that are in their sights plus those close to schools and the like.
The cannabis suppliers operate under California law which relates to the sale of medical marijuana. However there have been claims that some of these are a front for more sinister dealings. California's medical marijuana laws have been in force for 15 years.
US California attorney has said that the law is being abused stating, "That is not what the California voters intended or authorized, and it is illegal under California law. " He was referring to the allegations that, "California's medical marijuana law has given cover for large-scale commercial operations to engage in drug trafficking across state lines, with thousands of pounds of marijuana worth tens of millions of dollars flowing across the country from California".
Supporters of the law claim that this is just one more way that President Obama has let them down saying, "Barack Obama is betraying promises made when he ran for president and turning his back on the sensible policies announced during his first year in office."
Opinion: It seems to this Brit that medical marijuana has distinct benefits but of course its use and distribution is open to abuse. Perhaps officials should make sure it is regulated and controlled rather than withdrawing a valuable treatment for some patients. Regulation will have its own set of problems but it should prevent the current ones California is experiencing.