Recently, the Obama Administration’s plan to bring Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, characterized as “the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks,” from Guantánamo and try him and several others in a Federal Court in New York City has made headlines. Those on the right have attacked this decision claiming, among other things, that Mohammed should be kept in Guantánamo, that he does not deserve constitutional rights, and that such a trial will expose New York City to further attacks.
I have been overwhelmed by the dozens of responses to my last posting. I have also been very impressed with the level of discourse. This reinforces what I’ve noticed at dozens of RFC events I’ve attended over the years – the RFC has attracted a great community of support, and it is a pleasure to know you!
After more than a decade there is finally some hope for the Cuban 5 - Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González who have been imprisoned since 1998. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. Four were sentenced to life and one to 75 years. The 5 were agents of the Cuban government, but were not committing espionage against the United States. Instead, they were monitoring Cuban exiles in South Florida who were plotting terrorism against Cuba.
The case of Private Bradley Manning, accused of being the source of Wikileaks’ massive outing of “secret” United States diplomatic information virtually disappeared from the mainstream media during the last few months. My Google search earlier this week produced just two articles in alternative newspapers that even mentioned his name during the past month. That changed today, however, because after 18 months in detention, a military court is holding a hearing to determine whether Bradley Manning should face a Court Martial.
We’re in the midst of our spring granting cycle this month at the RFC. We’ve made our first of two sets of awards. Already, three families and one targeted activist youth have joined our community as new grant recipients. These new grantees include: