Judge Orders Mohamedou Slahi Released

Remember Mohamedou Slahi, the Gitmo detainee who they loaded onto a boat and drove around to give him the impression he was being moved? The judge in his habeas case has just ordered him released–though we don’t know why yet. (h/t cs)

Slahi is the 34th Guantánamo detainee ordered freed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled detainees could challenge their incarceration in federal court, but his name was already well known because of investigations into detainee abuse.

Those probes found Slahi had been subjected to sleep deprivation, exposed to extremes of heat and cold, moved around the base blindfolded, and at one point taken into the bay on a boat and threatened with death. Investigators also found interrogators had told him they would arrest his mother and have her jailed as the only female detainee at Guantánamo if he did not cooperate.

The interrogations were so abusive a highly regarded Pentagon lawyer, Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, quit the case five years ago rather than prosecute him at the Bush administration’s first effort to stage military commissions.

Read the whole Carol Rosenberg story. As she notes, the judge in question, James Robertson, has had just one other habeas case. And in spite of the fact that he found that case to be “gossamer thin,” he upheld that prisoner’s detention. Suggesting he has ruled Slahi released either because of the torture he underwent (including threats of death that–we know from the OPR Report–John Yoo had warned were clearly torture), or he was set up in a major way.

And, as Rosenberg further notes, Robertson is the guy who first ruled Hamdan’s case to be unconstitutional.

Golly, you think a judge will finally challenge the notion that the government can just detain someone indefinitely because we tortured him into a false confession?

74 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    On a related note, from the WaPo:

    Graham proposes framework for handling terrorism suspects

    Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) has submitted draft legislation to the White House in an effort to create a broad framework for handling terrorism suspects, mapping out proposals that appeal to the administration and others that do not, officials said.

    Senior White House officials have begun circulating a summary of the Graham proposal among leading Democrats on Capitol Hill, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a matter under negotiation…

    …Certain ideas under discussion appear likely to yield a compromise, administration officials said. One promising area involves creating standard procedures for addressing detainees’ petitions for habeas corpus, which force the government to make its case for continued detention, rather than leaving those decisions up to individual judges.

    Other matters, particularly rules governing the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, are more complicated and might not get resolved immediately, officials said…

    (My Bold)

    Heaven forbid judges would have to decide the law. Why, let’s allow the Executive branch be the decider.

    Sound familiar?

    • Rayne says:

      You know, that’s EXACTLY what this crap about a Rahm-Lindsey negotiation/deal on military commissions/civilian trials is really about.

      They are deliberately circumventing the third, co-equal branch of government by determining ahead of the judiciary what the disposition is of persons already rendered and detained, whether charged or uncharged.

      And it’s not the Executive Branch which will decide; if this negotiation continues, it’s a cooperative decision between the Executive and Legislative Branches to cut out the Judiciary.

      Have continued to wonder what the real driver was behind Jack Goldsmith’s op-ed last week; it looks like Goldsmith advocating for avoiding the Judiciary.

      • emptywheel says:

        Why should that be news?

        Remember retroactive immunity? All Walker was allowed to do was read Mukasey’s certification. Turned him into an office clerk, they did.

        Oh, and as I recall, Goldsmith and Comey supported retroactive immunity w/an op-ed, too.

        • MadDog says:

          And let’s not forget the “retroactive immunity” concocted by Lindsey Graham & Co. in the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) legislation:


          (a) Protection of United States Government Personnel- In any civil action or criminal prosecution against an officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States Government who is a United States person, arising out of the officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent’s engaging in specific operational practices, that involve detention and interrogation of aliens who the President or his designees have determined are believed to be engaged in or associated with international terrorist activity that poses a serious, continuing threat to the United States, its interests, or its allies, and that were officially authorized and determined to be lawful at the time that they were conducted, it shall be a defense that such officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent did not know that the practices were unlawful and a person of ordinary sense and understanding would not know the practices were unlawful. Good faith reliance on advice of counsel should be an important factor, among others, to consider in assessing whether a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the practices to be unlawful. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or extinguish any defense or protection otherwise available to any person or entity from suit, civil or criminal liability, or damages, or to provide immunity from prosecution for any criminal offense by the proper authorities…

          Not to mention the removal of “habeas corpus” from the judicial toolkit:

          …(e) Judicial Review of Detention of Enemy Combatants-

          (1) IN GENERAL- Section 2241 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

          `(e) Except as provided in section 1005 of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider–

          `(1) an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; or

          `(2) any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention by the Department of Defense of an alien at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who–

          `(A) is currently in military custody; or

          `(B) has been determined by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in accordance with the procedures set forth in section 1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant…

          Shorter Lindsey Graham: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

            • MadDog says:

              Typical Rahmbo strategy: “If we do everything the Repugs want, they can’t use it against us.”

              If there’s another Democrat who does more to enable Repug objectives, I don’t know who it is.

              The man is world-class fookin’ stupid.

              • Phoenix Woman says:

                Which I suspect is why no Republicans have joined with Dennis Kucinich’s call to have his Fannie/Freddie dealings checked out. They like him just fine where he is.

            • MadDog says:

              Let lindsey donald defend donald lindsey in his treason trial…

              They were made for each other.

        • Rayne says:

          Retroactive Immunity had a different cast of negotiators and began under a different administration. This time it’s wholly under the Obama administration, under an executive who’s supposed to be a scholar of the Constitution.

          Yeah, and Goldsmith has a bit of an M.O. going now, doesn’t he?

      • MadDog says:

        That and all the “AG Holder is weak” articles “suddenly” popping up in all the wingnut propaganda outlets:

        From today’s WSJ: In Holder’s Woes, a Déjà Vu

        From today’s Moonie Times: Eric Holder on the griddle

        From today’s Hot Air blog: Holder on the way out?

        And don’t let anybody tell me this isn’t all by design.

        The timing was supposed to fuel the fire for Holder’s scheduled appearance at the SJC tomorrow, but it got postponed until April 14th.

        Lucky him. Now he’ll just have to endure it all again when the wingnuts reload for the 14th.

        • emptywheel says:

          Ah cool, thanks for that. I’m away from home, and that means McCaffrey the MilleniaLab and I can spend more time wandering sand dunes now.

          • MadDog says:

            The Repugs are reportedly livid.

            Used up all their little blue pills getting ready only to have Leahy zip it up.

            Nothing is more pleasurable than Repug coitus interruptus. *g*

            So, where are you and McCaffrey hangin’ out? Cheboygan? Muskegon? Traverse City?

              • MadDog says:

                Well, enjoy the Spring weather! It came a month early here on the tundra and I’m thinking of a little relaxing sojourn around Minnesota myself.

                  • scribe says:

                    Hey, I had to be picking ticks off my dog today. Not fun. So don’t go carping about early spring around me.

                    • emptywheel says:

                      My dog got a tick in Valley Forge in December a year ago–his first real tick. I think the ticks on hte Atlantic seaboard are full 4-season ticks.

                    • Jim White says:

                      Well, down here in the limp appendage to the country, we celebrate “winter” by tacking a whole extra week or so onto the 30 day cycle between Sentinel tablets for all those vermin going after our dogs…

                  • MadDog says:

                    It has been about 60 or so here for the last couple of weeks, and during March in Minnesota, that’s saying something.

                    Normally, we’re still using icepicks to unlock our car doors in March, but there is zero snow left here in the Twin Cities unless its a snowball tucked away into the freezer for July 4th snowball fights.

    • Mary says:

      Here’s the real news – Graham’s stupid (in the immoral, sort sighted, visionless, egocentric blind spots kind of way), but not ignorant.

      If someone actually put together something that was less atrocious on paper than the Military Commissions Act (that *good guys* like Sherrod Brown fell all over themselves to vote for) they’d have a good shot.

      The court has indicated that it wouldn’t necessarily require a hearing in front of a Judiciary Branch judge if the rules in question papered enough process for the court to call it a reasonable substitution.

      Of course, that begs the question of how, with Article 147, you can ever have a fair process since if you don’t find your detainees to be detainable as combatants (and/or material supporters) you are also proactively finding that Article 147 was violated.

      Unless, of course, in addition to setting up bases to bomb their people Pakistan (and places like Britain and Germany and Somalia etc.) also let us set up tribunals on grounds before we take their citizens out of country.

      You can’t ever “fix” the problem until you recognize it for what it is and that’s something Graham will never do and something that Obama and Holder and pretty much everyone else has completely run away from. I ready to finish putting spam block on even Leahy and Feingold – I’m just so disgusted.

  2. JasonLeopold says:

    On a side note, I just got off the phone with his defense attorney and she said she has been receiving emails and phone calls from people all day accusing her of being a terrorist sympathizer and that she “ought to join with the terrorists.”

    • bobschacht says:

      On a side note, I just got off the phone with his defense attorney and she said she has been receiving emails and phone calls from people all day accusing her of being a terrorist sympathizer and that she “ought to join with the terrorists.”

      This is what we’re really up against. Not Obama, not Holder, but the mass of people who don’t understand the Constitution and don’t believe in the Bill of Rights. We need to do a much better job of public education and civics.

      Bob in AZ

  3. JasonLeopold says:

    Also, regarding Slahi, from the SASC report (my emphasis):

    On April 16, 2003, less than two weeks after the Working Group completed its
    report, the Secretary authorized the use of24 specific interrogation techniques for use at GTMO. While the authorization included such techniques as dietary manipulation, environmental manipulation, and sleep adjustment, it was silent on many ofthe techniques in the Working Group report. Secretary Rumsfeld’s memo said, however, that “If, in your view, you require
    additional interrogation techniques for a particular detainee, you should provide me, via the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a written request describing the proposed technique, recommended safeguards, and the rationale for applying it with an identified detainee.”

    Just a few months later, one such request for “additional interrogation techniques” arrived on Secretary Rumsfeld’s desk. The detainee was Mohamedou QuId Slahi. While documents relating to the interrogation plan for Slahi remain classified, a May 2008 report from the Department of Justice Inspector General includes declassified information suggesting the plan included hooding Slahi and subjecting him to sensory deprivation and “sleep adjustment.” The Inspector General’s report says that an FBI agent who saw a draft of the interrogation plan said it was similar to Khatani’s interrogation plan. Secretary Rumsfeld approved the Slahi plan on August 13, 2003.

    • emptywheel says:

      Rosenberg says they threatened him with execution–that’s new isn’t it (I’m on the other side of the state from my torture library and I’m already feeling like it’ll be one of those trips where things go down while I’m seeing aspens, IN REALITY, turn.

      • JasonLeopold says:

        Actually, it’s not new. Amnesty Int’l posted this a while back (very comprehensive) about his rendition and torture and said Schmidt/Furlow investigation found he was threatened with death.

        The investigation did find that Mohamedou Slahi had been threatened with death and “disappearance” by military interrogators. The detainee had also been told that his family was in US custody, and that he should cooperate in order to help them. For example, on 20 July 2003, a masked interrogator told Mohamedou Slahi that his family had been “incarcerated”. Again, on 2 August 2003 he told the detainee that his family were in US custody and was in danger. A letter was given to the detainee indicating that because of his lack of cooperation, US agents in conjunction with the Mauritanian authorities would interrogate his mother, and that if she was uncooperative she would be detained and transferred for long-term detention in Guantánamo. Not in the unclassified version of the investigators’ report, but contained in a leaked subsequent interview of one of the investigators, was confirmation of Mohamedou Slahi’s allegation that he was taken off from Guantánamo in a boat “where he thought this is where he goes away” (i.e. to be killed or “disappeared”).(24)

          • bmaz says:

            What you ain’t got more netbook memory than a Radio Shack TRS-80 or something?

            I have exceeded my geek quotient with that joke………..

              • Phoenix Woman says:

                They were the step up from the Vietnam-surplus terminal our high school had. Which itself was a step up from having to use card readers and #2 pencils. I still remember the joy we had in Mr. Gambucci’s class when the card reader blew up — damned thing couldn’t read for shit even if you coded your card perfectly.

                Oh, and when Mrs. Ostrand, the science teacher, got in the two Apple IIs — Tweedledee and Tweedledum — that were networked to each other and also had the modem hookup to the MECC computers so we could play “Oregon Trail”… that was Heaven.

              • bobschacht says:

                Hey, I think a TRASH-80 was the very first PC that I owned! That was back in the days of the CD-sized “floppy disk,” in a squarish plastic envelop. I still have a bunch of them around, somewhere.

                Bob in AZ

                • JTMinIA says:

                  TRS-80s with large floppies??? You young people bug me. My first trash-eighty had a cassette deck.

                  • emptywheel says:

                    I was going to say the same. Heck, I even had an Apple II with a tape recorder. The PC was the first computer in our house with a fancy new disk drive.

                    • bobschacht says:

                      I think that in those days of tape recorder data files on the Apple II and TRASH-80, I was using a Kaypro with floppy disks at the University of New Mexico. Remember the Kaypro? It was, after all, “portable.”

                      Bob in AZ

                    • PJEvans says:

                      I met an Osborne, and a protype of the Grid computer.
                      Portable, in the sense I know as ‘[Army | Navy] portable’:
                      it has at least one handle on it and can be moved from place to place on a [truck | ship]. (Like Tektronx oscilloscopes were ‘portable’.)

      • Jim White says:

        See this comment on the earlier thread. WSJ ran a profile of Stuart Couch in 2007 that included the death threat in the boat. From the link I found:

        In his detention-board testimony, Mr. Slahi provided further details, as did other people familiar with the matter. Two men took a shackled, blindfolded Mr. Slahi to a boat for a journey into the waters of Guantanamo Bay. The hour-long trip apparently led Mr. Slahi to think he was to be killed and, in fear, he urinated in his pants.

      • bobschacht says:

        You’re just seeing Aspens turn, now??? In March?
        Or are the Aspens you’re seeing turning green now?
        Here in the snowfall capitol of the lower 48 (Flagstaff, AZ), the glacier on my roof is dwindling, and the shrinking snow drifts are starting to reveal buried bushes, but the Aspens in my front yard haven’t started budding yet.

        Bob in AZ

      • Mary says:

        Couch had indicated that death threats were used against Slahi when he resigned:

        The interrogator said he saw “a plain, pine casket with [Mr. Slahi’s] identification number painted in orange lowered into the ground.” Three days later, the interrogator told Mr. Slahi “that his family was ‘incarcerated,'” the report said.

        On Aug. 2, an interrogation chief visited the prisoner posing as a White House representative named “Navy Capt. Collins,” the report said. He gave the prisoner a forged memorandum indicating that Mr. Slahi’s mother was being shipped to Guantanamo, and that officials had concerns about her safety as the only woman amid hundreds of male prisoners, according a person familiar with the matter.

        “Capt. Collins” told Mr. Slahi “that if he wanted to help his family he should tell them everything they wanted to know,” the report continued.

        The same day, an interrogator made a “death threat” to Mr. Slahi, Gen. Schmidt said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. According to records cited by the report, the interrogator advised Mr. Slahi “to use his imagination to think of the worst possible scenario he could end up in.”

        In his detention-board testimony, Mr. Slahi provided further details, as did other people familiar with the matter. Two men took a shackled, blindfolded Mr. Slahi to a boat for a journey into the waters of Guantanamo Bay. The hour-long trip apparently led Mr. Slahi to think he was to be killed and, in fear, he urinated in his pants.

        Robertson could, in addition to or in lieu of the torture, be focused on the combatant and maerial support issues. IIRC, while Slahi has confessed to jihad involving the Soviets and possibly with telling binalshibh et al how to get in touch with the Taliban for training, the main evidence that he was a high up current al-Qaeda operative came from binalshibh and gosh, it’s not like there was any torture involved there …

        IOW, he might be setting some boundaries on civilian courts and charges v. indeterminable detention as a non-combatant combatant in the only war guaranteed to outlast the war on poverty.

  4. JasonLeopold says:

    Also, from the SASC report P 166 of the PDF

    JTF-GTMO Plans for Interrogation of Slahi (U)
    _ A memo dated on January 16, 2003 – the day after the Secretary of Defense
    rescinded interrogation techniques he had previously authorized for GTMO – described a plan for the interrogation of Mohamadou Walid Slahi. While Slahi’s interrogation does not appear to have begun until July 2003, the January 16,2003 memo described specific techniques JTF­ GTMO intended to use in his interrogation, many of which mirrored those used in the Khatani
    interrogation. For example, the memo stated that interrogations would be conducted for up to 20 hours per day on Slahi, just as they had been for Khatani. 1040 The memo said that interrogators could pour water on Slahi’s head to “enforce control” and “keep [him] awake. Interrogators
    had also poured water over Khatani’s head as a “method of asserting control.

    The January 16,2003 memo stated that “K-9 dogs can be present and made
    to bark to agitate [Slahi].

    • emptywheel says:

      Two points.

      I wonder if there’s a section of the OPR report that remains redacted, but which the govt had to release to his lawyers, about his treatment?

      Also note that dogs are one of the few things specifically ruled out in Appendix M–at least as we see it.

      • JasonLeopold says:

        Interesting. I’m going to follow up on that. Also note from the Amnesty link:

        The Schmidt/Furlow investigation had concluded in 2005 that during the period July to October 2003, Mohamedou Slahi had been subjected to “environmental manipulation”, in other words to extremes of hot and cold using the air-conditioning. The investigation concluded that no disciplinary action was required as “environmental manipulation” was an interrogation technique that had been approved by the Secretary of Defense, and there was “no evidence in the medical records of the [detainee] being treated for hypothermia or any other condition related to extreme exposure.” The investigation concluded that it was unable to corroborate Mohamedou Slahi’s allegations that he had been beaten, or that he had been subjected to sexual humiliation by female interrogators (although it acknowledged that “female interrogators used their status as females to distract the [detainee]”). Not in the published report was the statement given to the investigators by a former psychiatrist with the Behavioural Science Consultation Team at Guantánamo who stated that “sexual tension” was one of many authorized interrogation techniques. This could incorporate “shocking behaviour [that] would be culturally taboo, disrespectful, humiliating…”(23)

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    “Sleep adjustment”? Nice Eichmannish phrase for prolonged deprivation, usually accompanied by sensory overload – lights, noise, wildly loud music, dramatic temperature changes – the combination of which could easily become torture.

    Threats of death, as many know, are specifically prohibited as banned torture.

    I wonder what Mr. Obama will do to attempt to stop the dreaded drip, drip of torture facts becoming public and staining him and his administration, not just the Republicans and their “brand”?

  6. tjbs says:

    Next thing you’ll know some uppity independent judge might conclude that having tracheotomy kits for questioning is kinda of a red flag. Some other judge might conclude that cutting a human suspect’s penis with a scalpel is over a BRIGHT line.

  7. orionATL says:


    thanks for this post.


    i wonder if the regretably slow developing, but nonetheless developing, view of the involvement of the u.s. doj in sanitizing
    torture by cia and dod, is beginning to impinge on the thought processes of federal judges, at least those not as highly partisan as silberman, scalia, roberts, et al.

    if so, the emptywheel site might well bear some responsibility.

  8. Jeff Kaye says:

    Of course, he wins the habeas ruling, but when will he be released. Will the Mauritanians take him? The Germans?

    A fascinating Der Spiegel article on Slahi (10/09/08), h/t Andy Worthington. Note that Slahi is another one of these purported masterminds. He reportedly was fingered by Binalshibh.


    Members of the military police sent an e-mail to William Haynes, one of the closest advisors to then-Defense Secretary Rumsfeld in the Defense Department. They warned that torture could jeopardize an indictment against Slahi, because courts can throw out evidence extracted under torture.

    But their concerns were ignored, and on May 22, 2003, the case was handed over to the intelligence agents. On July 1, General Miller approved an interrogation plan…. includ[ing] placing a hood over Slahi’s head and forcing him to board a helicopter, so that he would believe that he was being taken to a different, even more horrible place where, as agents whispered darkly, “the rules are different.”

    Miller’s plan also included 15-hour interrogation sessions with sleep deprivation, followed by a four-hour rest period…. [Note: this is the kind of treatment allowed by Appendix M, and was also what NCIS used pre-9/11 on U.S. Navy suspect Daniel King. The article also notes Slahi was exposed at this time to constant loud noise.]

    Camp officials sent a man to Slahi’s cell who identified himself as “Navy Captain Collins” from the White House…. The bogus captain showed Slahi a fake letter with the words “Director of Intelligence of the US Army” on the letterhead. According to the letter, Slahi’s mother was questioned because her son had been so uncooperative, and there was a chance that she too would be sent to Guantanamo. Collins also told Slahi that if he continued to refuse to cooperate, he would “disappear into a dark hole”….

    Rumsfeld was eventually told about the Mauritanian and, on Aug. 13, 2003, he personally approved more severe interrogation methods….

    … on Aug. 25, several soldiers picked up Slahi from his cell in Camp Delta and placed isolation goggles on his head, causing him to lose his sense of orientation. He was then taken out to sea in a boat. Making sure the prisoner could overhear them, the agents on the boat said Slahi was about to be executed and made to disappear. He was so terrified that he urinated in his pants.

    Fourteen days later, Slahi finally capitulated….

  9. scribe says:

    Funny, how this comes down on the day the S.Ct. denied cert in Kiyemba II, letting stand the D.C. Circuit’s decision that no judge has the power to order a detainee released into the US.

    In other words, sad to say, Slahi is likely to be little ado about nothing.

  10. JasonLeopold says:

    Hey Marcy, I asked his attorney about the OPR report and she said she was not shown anything or told that there was anything in there that referred to him. Also, Jeff, an unclassified copy of the ruling will likely coime out in two weeks but the DOJ will likely ask for a stay from what I have gathered and so it does not look like he will be released anytime soon

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Why am I not surprised?

      That’s horrible what his attorney is being subjected to. The entire purpose of the right-wing assault, is to freeze opposition to their “anti-terrorist” campaign, one way or the other… if not by new laws, then by spreading fear among those whose work is to provide constitutional protections. Remember what they did to Lynne Stewart. Here’s what Ramsay Clark had to say about the intent of that prosecution (taken from Wikipedia, who sources to DemocracyNow!):

      “It is clear that Lynne Stewart and the truth and the Constitution of the United States are all victims of 9/11 and of a repressive government that is taking advantage of the fear that they have helped create arising from that that is destroying freedom in this country… I don’t know of anything that Lynne did that I didn’t do. We did what we had to do to represent our clients. And if you don’t do that, then you don’t have truth before the jury or before the public and you don’t have the Constitutional right to the assistance of counsel.

      This is also what happened during the McCarthy period, when few came forward to defend those labeled communists, i.e., outside the pale.

      • bmaz says:

        I thought the prosecution of Stewart was a tad overzealous, but not totally unwarranted; there was some definitely inappropriate conduct. And Ramsay Clark is not the most credible voice here.

    • emptywheel says:

      They’re going to ask for a stay from the ruling (which is expected) or from producing an unclassified opinion? The latter might make the judge a little cranky.

      • Mary says:

        I don’t know about a stay, but they will likely fight over parts of it, like they did with Kessler’s decision in the Fahri Saeed Bin Mohammed case.


        She didn’t buy into the torture as evidence bit either.

        BTW – remember that Couch was going to go and testify before Congress, but Haynes intervened and ordered him not to and he’s never been called back with the admin changes and Dems in charge. If it’s not theatre and if you have staked out being the new torture-keeps-America-safe territory as your own, I guess there isn’t much interest.

  11. MadDog says:

    Now on to a totally OT, gossip-spreading, wildly speculative, and wholly unsubstantiated rumor-mongering question concocted by nothing more than my own unhinged mind:

    In my comment in your previous post, I mentioned that Politico piece announcing their hiring of Davey Weigel.

    I thought a curious bit at the end of that Politico piece was this:

    …When I asked Merida if the Post might hire another blogger to cover politics on the left and the activist wing of the Democratic Party, he responded: “Stay tuned.”

    And now to my “question”:

    Would it be farfetched to envision EW as a candidate for that WaPo blogger position?

    In my view, not if top quality and superior blogosphere cred were your highest goals.

    • emptywheel says:

      WRT Weigel, while he does have a bizarre problem with Jane, his reporting on the right is good. And I’d rather have him cover the right than, say, Eric Erickson. So I think it was a good choice.

      As for me, rest assured, WaPo is not interested in me nor I in them. And I don’t cover the left. I cover torture, among other things, and the WaPo isn’t all that interested in covering that, as demonstrated by their employ of Thiessen.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        Weigel is by far the best reporter covering the right (although he doesn’t have many contacts among the religious right). I hope his work for the WaPo is as good as his stuff for the Windy. I can’t thing of anyone remotely comparable covering lefty politics, but then, I don’t think you need the same kind of coverage for the left.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      I think the publisher would be more likely to poison Marcy than hire her.

      Boxturtle (And can you imagine Marcy tolerating that level of editorial control?)

  12. Jim White says:

    Filed under the “Give Me a ****ing Break” file: my heart beat faster when I saw the AP headline touting an exclusive story on pending charges against Blackwater. And then I read that it’s only pertaining to “stockpiling” a whole 22 automatic weapons in North Carolina. Sheesh. That’s such a non-story that I refuse to even link to it. I’ll bet there are 80 year old ladies in North Carolina with more automatic weapons than that.

    [Yes, I’m lookin’ at you Rep. Foxx, what are you gonna do about it?]

    • fatster says:

      Well, phooey. I’m petty, small-minded and frustrated enough to have gotten a bit of enjoyment out of that, even if it is penny-ante. But, I’ll follow your more high-minded, rational perspective and not provide the link, either.

  13. JohnLopresti says:

    Carol Rosenberg*s paper*s 2MB dossier on Slahi contains some interesting thorough excerpts from a tribunal transcript, and even an in propria personal petition for habeas in longhand script. A quick reading, the tortured detainee was in alQ actively for 10 weeks in the early 90s, but was the brother of alQ brass, so, a person of interest. His occupation was IT. His country of origin has some village-like traditions with regard to arrest and extradition; I once met someone who explained that country*s civil law in that respect. Perhaps UK will intervene, as, for personal safety*s sake, Slahi has requested to live in the US, amazingly, after the gamut and nine years without habeas or a fair trial.

    re OT, the problem with cassette is the databits stretched after a few media accesses read funny, if at all. The laptop100 was a better value for its day, though had no internet cafe wifi option; and Compuserve was a waste of time, faster to buy the paper. Reagan quintupled the price of memory chips imports, so ordering a 128KRAM machine meant $300. premium increment on price. Fortunately, sub-micron chip fab, plus portable media were key to bringing computers into reach of personal budgets nearly worldwide. Slahi is into microelectronics, too, op cit.

    • bobschacht says:

      Good! Britain was not a wholly independent actor in its torture program, so perhaps this will help pry the lid open on more details of the American involvement. Maybe we’ll even get to understand the difference between the wagging tail and the dog.

      Bob in AZ

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