Thursday, October 28, 2004

Terrorist lawyer sues Rumsfeld

A lawyer who has agitated for convicted spies and terrorists is now suing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, alleging culpability for what the attorney calls the "torture" of his al Qaeda-linked clients at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo.

Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights filed the suit this week.

For decades, Ratner and his organization have built a reputation as an advocate for espionage agents of totalitarian foreign governments, including Cuba, East Germany and the Soviet Union, and for international terrorists (see below).

One of his clients, terrorist Victor Manuel Gerena, joins Osama bin Laden on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list and is believed to be hiding in Cuba.

His choice of clients has had little effect on the New York Times and other news organizations, which portray him as a "civil rights" advocate. This page has argued that he should be considered part of the legal and propaganda support structure for international terrorists.

Ratner's British colleague, Clive Stafford-Smith, should be considered in the same category, Fourth World War argued on October 1.

A statement sent out October 28 by Ratner's press agent, Cheryl Stein of Newman Communications in Brighton, Massachusetts says the following:

"The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed papers on behalf of four British citizens held at the Guantánamo Bay detention center for nearly three years. The men, Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmed and Jamal Al-Harith seek damages for torture and other human rights violations stemming from their arbitrary detention on the island prison camp until March 2003. It is brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Geneva Conventions, and Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Rasul was the lead plaintiff in the CCR'S landmark Supreme Court case Rasul v. Bush in which the Court held that those held on Guantánamo had a right to judicial review of their detentions.

"CCR released a report two months ago in which three of the former detainees suing described abuses at Guantánamo. The men, Rasul, Iqbal and Ahmad - collectively referred to as the Tipton 3 -detailed their experiences, graphically describing the same techniques later related to the New York Times by military sources. Regular abuses described by the men include the practice of shackling prisoner's hands and feet to a bolt in the floor while they were seated in a chair and while strobe lights and loud music were played in a room chilled by air conditioning set at maximum levels. The men were subjected to these conditions for up to 14 hours at a time."

Ratner is using human rights as a propaganda device against the United States, as his own ideology shows an affinity for repressive regimes. In a CNN "Crossfire" with this writer in the 1980s, Ratner professed ideological support for the Fidel Castro regime, considered one of the most repressive on earth.


Blogger phil said...

Stefano isn't really a lawyer outside of Italy - he acts as a legal advocate.

6:32 AM  

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