Court verdict on Adnan Latif not for you to know

Fortunately, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an opinion on Gitmo detainee Adnan Farhan Abd Al Latif's appeal against his continued detention by the Obama administration. Unfortunately, it's none of your business.

Latif's legal status is "indeterminate", according to Wikipedia, despite a judge ordering the administration to "take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif's release forthwith." Latif, a Yemeni citizen, has been held in Guantanamo Bay since 2002. [Thanks, Anonymous!]



  1. As time passes,the (extreme) libertarian idea that State secrets should be illegal and tantamount to conspiracy against the public, seems more and more like the plainest common sense. 

    Maybe the State doesn’t have rights or privileges, only functions, directly related to service to the public.  Maybe State secrets should be justified PUBLICLY before allowed to be at all. Or not at all.

    1. I have kicked that idea around in my head before.  The only particularly good reasons I can think of for state secrets is to keep other nations off balance.  Do you REALLY want every nation to know exactly what your contingency plans are?  I do see the danger, but to be honest, I don’t think that state secrets are as useful as we make them out to be.

      Not having state secrets on the other hand could lead to a revolution in how government works.  If all of that data was wide open, who knows what you could find, what waste you could eliminate, and how much more effectively you could evaluate state activities?  If nothing else, it would certainly make corruption far harder.

      Consider for a moment what it would look like if the state’s books were completely open.  I would bet anything that you would have various non-profits that would instantly jump into action to audit the books of the state and uncover mountains of corruption, waste, and outright theft.  Social scientist of all flavors would smash their brains out in euphoric joy at the idea of getting a hold of that much demographic information and resource allocation.  Medical researchers might find themselves sitting on mountains of data relating to health and safety.

      You might have to re-jigger your foreign policy a little.  You would be a real pain in the ass to deal with for other nations, but it might be a good thing if every assessment report gets to be read by the world.  Sure, your enemies might have an easier time anticipating your moves, but you might have fewer enemies to begin with if your intentions are laid completely bare.

      The Freedom of Information Act was a tiny step towards that sort of world.  Personally, I think that the Freedom of Information Act has proven, without any question, to have been one of the best pieces of legislation we have ever passed.  I look at the Freedom of Information Act and say, “More PLZ!”.

      1. While I agree that having more transparency in government would be a great thing, I wouldn’t be lulled into believing it would be a cure-all for corruption or waste within government.

        The large part of the waste in any large organizations is simply communication/coordination overhead (and, of course, miscommunication/mis-coordination overhead). While we’d like to believe there’s a few key places of collected fat that could be easily lopped off if only we could find them (“oh look, there’s that half trillion we totally missed!”), the truth is that the flesh of government is marbled with small, insignificant, and distributed pockets of fat throughout.

        Not saying it’s a reason not to try it out, just suggesting that it’s not going to be the slam dunk some might think…

    2. I mean– there is a gulf between “where are the nuclear submarines hidden?” & “hey whatever happened to that guy the men in black grabbed & then took away in unmarked helicopters?” you know?

      1. There is a gulf between hiding nuclear submarines, and hiding their very existence, their raison d’etre, and whatnot. Hiding a nuclear submarine is to avoid the sub being destroyed by antisubmarine weapons.  Not to prevent the public from knowing what exactly is done for them for that much money.

        The traffic cop behind a billboard is hiding, and he might give tickets for speeding on public roads. Imagine now that the whole process of traffic policing were hid from public scrutiny.

        It’s not that something might be hidden. It’s that you are hiding all the circumstances that allow an opinion and decisions to be made.

  2. If you’re not open and transparent, you have something to hide.  Public decisions need to be revealed to the public otherwise the public is not informed.  If the public is not informed, there is no democracy… only tyranny.  Welcome to America 2.0: corruption in action.

  3. Given that this country has held one citizen for over 500 days without trial, in conditions that amount to torture, with no trial scheduled as yet, and executed another citizen without trial on executive order, I don’t think this is even unusual anymore.  The only people that think this is a free country are the deluded, and the ruling elite.

    Occupy Everywhere!

    1. People who want to cheer the downfall of the USA can start cheering now, the current governing regime brought that nation down.

      1. while the current people in power are continuing the spiral into hell for all of us, this has been going on far longer than anyone wants to admit.  It is not a Democrat, Republican, Tea Party issue.  It is everyone in Government is on the take for special interests, and like sheep we jump when they dangle the “hot button” issue infront of us that if the other guy wins they will be ripping babies out of wombs out on the street!

        This man will sit in jail because to find he is infact innocent means they might be attacked in the media for being soft on terrorism when they release him.  They will have the eyes of the world on them even more having to admit they screwed up.  So what is one innocent life when they might loose an election…

        Vote out the incumbents, stop voting party tickets, make them afraid of us again.  We vote these fools in, and to pretend we share no blame in any of this is stupid.

  4. Sounds like double-secret probation…

    “There is a little-known codicil in the Faber College constitution which gives the dean unlimited power to preserve order in time of campus emergency. Find me a way to revoke Delta’s charter. You live next door. Put Neidermeyer on it. He’s a sneaky little shit, just like you, right? The time has come for someone to put their foot down. And that foot is me.”

  5. I can’t immagine being the person that put together that document. Maybe their life is full of inane things like this. Hopefully it is, otherwise your looking at a small piece of someone dying inside. I can’t help but think the stain is spreading.

  6. It’s time to acknowledge openly that Obama is as evil as any politician we have had, the more so because so many “progressives” refuse to call him out for his war crimes and other high crimes. He is markedly worse than his predecessor; even Bush never claimed the right to kill American citizens without any due process or oversight. How is this not the act of a totalitarian dictator?

    I understand the extreme cognitive dissonance that comes with believing America is a democracy while trying to process all the evidence that it’s not. But the time has come for people to wake up. We need a Government 2.0 that is transparent, open source and accountable to We the People.

    Occupy Everywhere is not a Left/Right issue. As a recent open letter purportedly from an anonymous Tea Partier said, “A fascist oligarchy on the verge of winning is our common enemy.”

    1.  No, Bush never had to claim it. And if you need to personalize the issues to just one or two men, hold them entirely responsible, then they are the only change you are claiming to seek. What help will you be seeing the rest of the problem?

  7. Adnan Al Latif’s status is “Indeterminate”? Is he Schrödinger’s Prisoner, and so long as we don’t actually look into his Cell he’s both inside & has been set free?

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