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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald (TNS)

The Mauritanian captive whose censored Guantanamo memoirs have been published around the world has lost a bid to have a federal court intervene in his conditions of confinement at the U.S. Navy base prison in Cuba.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that he doesn’t have the authority to order the Obama administration to set a date for a parole board hearing for Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who turns 45 Monday.

Just 18 of Guantanamo’s current 107 captives have gone before the Periodic Review Board since President Barack Obama created it in March 2011. Two more captives have hearing dates set for next month.

The judge also said that he had no authority to order the U.S. military to return possessions Slahi was once allowed to keep in a cell _ including family photographs and gifts from prison staff, including a nonnetworked laptop computer and books. “The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not apply to Guantanamo detainees,” Lamberth wrote.

Slahi, held captive by the United States since November 2001, has spent years in segregation at Guantanamo in a special detention site called Camp Echo, apart from nearly all the other prisoners at the Navy base’s prison complex. He has never been charged with a crime and at one point won an unlawful-detention suit that was subsequently overturned on appeal and returned to federal court for a rehearing that has not been held.

Although a 2009 federal task force listed Slahi as a possible candidate for a trial, his name did not appear on a list of seven captives still considered for trial this year by the chief war crimes prosecutor.

Slahi’s lawyers asked the federal court to intervene in his case as his Guantanamo Diary was being published in dozens of countries and languages. The book is a compilation of essays he wrote at the prison in Cuba in 2005 for lawyers to help them prepare his unlawful detention case. Prison staff originally marked the pages “Top Secret,” meaning only his lawyers had access to them in a classified setting. Through the years, however, U.S. censors declassified a large part of the material.
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(c)2015 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)