Qosi Sentenced to 14 Pretend Years, Reportedly 2 Secret Years

Remember when Omar Khadr wrote this about the military commissions?

Firstly, the unfairness and unjustice of it. I say this because not one of the lawyers I’ve had, or human right organization or any person say that the commission is fair, or looking for justice, but on the contrary they say it is unfair and unjust and that it has been constructed solely to convict detainees and not to find the truth (so how can I ask for justice from a process that does not have it or offer it?) [new color ink–apparently added later] and to accomplish political and public goal and what I mean is when I was offered a plea bargain it was up to 30 years which I was going to spend only 5 years so I asked why the 30 years? I was told it make the US government look good in the public eyes and other political causes. [my emphasis]

Best as I can tell, the fake plea bargain Khadr was offered–in which he would be sentenced publicly, but in which there was a secret agreement that he would serve just a fraction of that time–is what happened to Osama bin Laden cook Ibrahim al Qosi today. After making great show of picking a jury and directing them they could sentence Qosi to between 12 and 15 years, the military commission sentenced al Qosi to 14 years.

But everyone knows that 14 year sentence doesn’t represent Qosi’s real sentence. Instead, he is reported to be serving 2 more years–though there is a bit of a dispute because his plea promised he’d serve his time in communal quarters even though DOD regulations prohibit that.

The day opened with Air Force Lt. Col. Nancy Paul, Qosi’s judge, reversing herself on an order to the prison camps Monday that, whatever sentence Qosi receives, he must be held in a communal POW-style camp for compliant prisoners.

Paul issued the order Monday, saying she understood captivity in the company of some of the other cooperative detainees at Guantánamo was part of a secret annex to his plea agreement approved by retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, the top Pentagon official overseeing military commissions.

But by Wednesday she noted that collective confinement was not a promise but a recommendation, in part, because, despite a Pentagon bureaucrat’s directive in 2008, the U.S. military has never developed a policy or plan for how to confine war court convicts at Guantánamo.

Call me crazy, but if I were Qosi I’d be really nervous about this double secret plea deal, given that two years is longer than most people are deployed to Gitmo, and two years from now we’ll be in the middle of Presidential election season again.

But that’s what passes for justice in America’s prison colony these days, I guess.

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  1. Peterr says:

    Call me crazy, but if I were Qosi I’d be really nervous about this double secret plea deal, given that two years is longer than most people are deployed to Gitmo, and two years from now we’ll be in the middle of Presidential election season again.

    Sounds like the better unit of time to measure this sentence, then, would be Friedman Units. They’re much more malleable, you know . . .

    “You are publicly sentenced to 28 Friedman Units (but just between you, me, and the fencepost, we’ll cut that to 4 FUs.)”

  2. MadDog says:

    Regardless of whether Qosi’s sentence is 14 or 2 years, based on what we know right now, that sentence is to be served under DOD control at Gitmo.

    So the question naturally arises as to just what regulations and policies govern his confinement.

    After all, “the U.S. military has never developed a policy or plan for how to confine war court convicts at Guantánamo…”

    The same question can be asked about the far longer sentence handed down to Ali Hamza al Bahlul:

    …Only three men have been convicted at a military commission and two of them are already free. The third, al Qaeda filmmaker Ali Hamza al Bahlul of Yemen, is serving a life sentence and kept apart from the other 175 captives under a prison camp interpretation of the Geneva Conventions that segregates war criminals from ordinary war captives at Guantánamo.

    Bahlul was convicted in November 2008 and for a time was held in a cell on a special convict’s block in Camp 5, an austere steel and cement prison camp building with accommodations similar to a Super-Max in the United States…

    I guess when you have kangaroo courts, you also get kangaroo prisons.

    • Peterr says:

      And then isn’t there also a little footnote somewhere that says “If we think you’re still a danger when your time served is up, we can keep holding you anyway, indefinitely”?

      • MadDog says:

        And that’s not all!

        Given that there appears to be no policies, plans or regulations developed by the DOD for the incarceration of these “prisoners”, one could well imagine that should the US want to subject them again to more “enhanced interrogation” sessions, there is nothing to stop them, nor any reason for us to ever know about it.

        No rules and no witnesses!

  3. Jeff Kaye says:

    Is it true that the judge turned to Qosi at the close of proceedings and said, “Tell me, my friend, have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

      • MadDog says:

        From Eli Clifton over at Lobelog:

        Is Jeffrey Goldberg Trying to Rationalize Another Preemptive War In the Middle East?

        …After reading through the Haaretz summary of Goldberg’s article, it appears more likely that he is part of a campaign to push the Obama administration into authorizing a U.S. military strike rather than having any particularly believable scoops about an impending Israeli attack…

        And Paul Woodward over at War In Context:

        You must do what we can’t, because if you don’t, we will

        …Worried about an Israeli attack on Iran? That’s the idea.

        You must do what we can’t, because if you don’t, we will.

        This is how some Israelis are trying to twist Washington’s arm to get the US to attack Iran…

        • Leen says:

          Many in the know warned that the I lobby would be turning up the attack Iran heat this fall. Not sure will that House Resolution 1553 legislation stands right now…basically giving Israel permission to attack Iran based on unsubstantiated claims. Crazy as bat shit Gohmert sponsored that legislation. Bet the vote will come up right before the fall election just like the warmongering Iraq war resolution that 70 some Senators voted for.

          The Israeli lobby is pushing the you are either with us or against us.

          Hope folks are calling, emailing, etc their Reps and saying NO NO NO to the aggressive movement towards Iran.

    • MadDog says:

      And even more posts on the Goldberg piece from:

      Stephen M. Walt over at Foreignpolicy.com – Mainstreaming war with Iran

      If you are worried that the United States might be foolish enough to attack Iran, then you might take comfort in Jeffrey Goldberg’s lengthy and alarmist Atlantic article on the subject…

      …Given his track record as a Middle East analyst — particularly when it comes to the wisdom of using force — you might be justified in viewing that prediction as a sign that war was in fact quite unlikely

      Flynn Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett over at Foreignpolicy.com – The Weak Case for War with Iran

      Jeffrey Goldberg’s new article in the Atlantic is deeply reported — and deeply wrong about the Middle East. But it’s his misunderstanding of America that is most dangerous of all.

    • Mary says:

      The real one or the secret one?

      I still remember when the billionaire guy with the plane made them argue to the court that he had to comply with a “secret” law, that they couldn’t show the court, but could assure the court it existed.

      So sure, why not – secret sentences, secret laws, secret evidence – maybe the defense lawyers should just play along and tell Iglesias they had a secret appeal and got a secret reversal and they’d show the prosecution, but it’s a secret and they’re sure he understands how important it is to keep secrets.

      They can just give him a pinky-swear their clients have been secretly exonerated and secretly ordered released.

  4. workingclass says:

    It doesn’t make any difference what Omar Khadr says or does regarding his day in kangaroo court. His plea is as irrelevant as our idle musings. His captors are like little boys, pulling the wings off of flies. Arbitrary, senseless cruelty is the hallmark of American Imperialism. Who would like to see an end to it? Don’t raise your hand, we are being watched.

  5. mui1 says:

    Yes, The Obama administration doesn’t want the bad PR–no more than Bush– since they’ve been holding innocents. I forget the cook’s story, but wasn’t the guy a little fried and disabled before he was sold to the U.S. as the “worst of the worst.” Then there’s the story of aYemen prisoner possibly schizophrenic, possibly a head injury, who thought Al Quaeda was a city and has been eating his own feces etc. He’s been held for 8 years. 8 years is too long. 2+ 8is too long. & it’s all illegal imprisonment. Especially for a genuinely sick people like the schizophrenic man from Yemen. Especially Khadr who was a minor. Especially the Uighurs who we are holding as political prisoners of China. Forget it, especially for all the prisoners. because 99% are probably innocent.

    • Mary says:

      Isn’t the prisoner from Yemen with the severe mental problems the guy who was their main witness or only witness in numerous of the Yemen nationals detentions? I think the statement from the original GITMO czary guy who has now gone, something about the many Yemeni detainees posing a “special” problem, was a bit of an understatement.

  6. whattheincorporated says:

    We’re bragging about bin ladens fucking cook?

    Please tell me that the pentagons effing with us.

    What’s our next big catch? President Ahmenijad’s secretaries gardener? Kim Jung Il’s Feng Shui advisor? Sadaam Hussein’s janitor?

    Seriously WTF!? We’re wrecking our national image to torture a cook. What is the big revelation? Osama was a picky eater? He wouldn’t touch vegetables?

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be in the corner cursing to noone in particular.

    • Mary says:

      Cooks were a real specialty at GITMO. There was also Errachidi, a bipolar London chef who was tortured for years bc he was – um, making souffles in Mayfair? Yeah – that’s it. They had some guy who said (for money) that Errachidi ran an al-Qaeda training camp except, once he finally got a lawyer, it was very easy to prove he was cooking in London while he was supposed to have been running his training camp.

      Apparently they let Gordon Ramsey pick the worst of the wort to send to GITMO.

      • whattheincorporated says:

        I’ve seen Gordon Ramsey in action.

        Electrodes shocking his nuts off might do him a bit of good.

        Just wait til the next announcement…Kim Jung Il’s hair stylist. To be fair he deserves to be shot for the shoddy work XD

        • Mary says:

          And to be fair, I can understand why a lot of Brits thought Bush’s poodle ought to get the treatment. The scarey thing for Lands End is the precedent that has been set for fashion suppliers – the Shar’ia courts are going to rely on this one in Taliban v. Twinsets.

  7. Leen says:

    Thank you EW for staying on top of this. Anyone hear any coverage in the MSM?

    Khadr etc doing time for allegedly killing U.S. soldiers. Blackwater killers…no time..no trials…no accountability. Above the law. What a message

  8. tjbs says:

    the National Religious Campaign Against Torture is requesting, through their web page, to contact the President and his Attorney General to complain about the decision of the The Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) to investigate human experimentation during torture and referred the investigation over to the …..C. I. A.

    Yeo, Eric are you down with human experimentation or what ?

  9. whattheincorporated says:

    Since we no longer need evidence, reasonable suspicion, need to notify families that their loved ones are detained, can arrest on coerced through torture confessions…can we kidnap cheney bush and The Rahm Bomber, waterboard them to confess to war crimes, the lock them in the basement until they die of natural causes without telling everyone?

    That’s their policy, if it’s good enough for the rest of the world it’s good enough for the war criminals who implemented it.

  10. timbo says:

    Heck, might as well put those prisoners in the prison colony to work. Who wants to buy shares in American Prison Colonies LLC?

    • bobschacht says:

      Don’t laugh. Rachel Maddow tonight had a major segment on the private outfit that runs the prison in Kingman that the killers escaped from last week, and who were here in Flagstaff for a day before splitting up and going out of state. Seems Arizona’s controversial law SB1070 was designed to significantly increase the number of arrests of illegal aliens who would be warehoused in prisons run by said company. So yeah, prisons are a big business, and profits are increased when you increase the number of people that you can throw in jail. Making said companies a “good” investment. (blech).

      That’s capitalism for you!

      Bob in AZ