Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXIII Number 9, September 2015

  Thursday, September 24, 7:30 PM. Monthly 
Meeting. We meet at the Caltech Y, Tyson 
House, 505 S. Wilson Ave., Pasadena. (This is 
just south of the corner with San Pasqual. 
Signs will be posted.) We will be planning our 
activities for the coming months. Please join 
us! Refreshments provided.
  Tuesday, October 13, 7:30 PM. Letter 
writing meeting at Caltech Athenaeum, corner 
of Hill and California in Pasadena. (Summer's 
over -- now we're back in the basement 
Rathskeller.) This informal gathering is a great 
way for newcomers to get acquainted with 
  Sunday, October 18, 6:30 PM.  Rights 
Readers Human Rights Book Discussion 
group. This month we read "Redeployment" 
by Phil Klay.


Hi everyone

Hot enough for you?!  I was glad to see the rain, 
although it took me an hour to get to work (it 
normally takes me 30 minutes) because it was 
coming down so hard!  Our secretary got stuck 
on the 710 and came in 4 hours after her usual 
time of 7 am.

Save the date:  the AI Western Regional 
Conference will be held at the Sheraton at LAX 
November 20-22.  Keep checking the AI website 
for more information.
[Coming soon: Agenda and Registration]

Con Carino,

Human Rights Book Discussion Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at

Next Rights Readers meeting:
Sunday, Oct. 18,  
6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado, Pasadena

By Phil Klay

[The New York Times Sunday Book Review]
March 6, 2014

In "Redeployment," Phil Klay, a former Marine 
who served in Iraq, grapples with a different 
war but aims for a similar effect: showing us the 
myriad human manifestations that result from 
the collision of young, heavily armed Americans 
with a fractured and deeply foreign country that 
very few of them even remotely understand. 
Klay succeeds brilliantly, capturing on an 
intimate scale the ways in which the war in Iraq 
evoked a unique array of emotion, predicament 
and heartbreak. In Klay's hands, Iraq comes 
across not merely as a theater of war but as a 
laboratory for the human condition in extremis. 
"Redeployment" is hilarious, biting, 
whipsawing and sad. It's the best thing written 
so far on what the war did to people's souls.

 "Redeployment" is a collection of stories, each 
in a different voice, some of them set in Iraq - 
mostly in the woebegone towns of Anbar 
Province, where Klay served a tour as a public 
affairs officer - and some in the United States, 
after the various characters have come home. 
Each story calls forth a different dilemma or 
difficult moment, nearly all of them rendered 
with an exactitude that conveys precisely the 
push-me pull-you feelings the war evoked: 
pride, pity, elation and disgust, often pulsing 
through the same character simultaneously.

The war in Iraq was a misbegotten venture, 
begun on bad intelligence and without a vision 
to guide the soldiers after they destroyed the 
state. Whatever else we did there, we didn't 
win. That dark strand winds its way through 
Klay's book; it's never called out and identified, 
but it gives each story, even the funny ones, an 
unsettling, sometimes nauseating, sensation of 
defeat and despair 

In one story, "Unless It's a Sucking Chest 
Wound," the narrator, a Marine home from Iraq 
and out of the service, enters New York 
University Law School and considers a career in 
low-paying public-interest jobs after graduation. 
His friends - bankers and lawyers - try to talk 
him out of it.

 " 'America is broken, man.' Paul took a swig of 
beer. 'Trust me, you don't want to be the guy 
bailing water out of a sinking ship.'

 " 'Iraq vet,' I said, pointing at my chest. 'Been 
there, done that.' "

In Iraq we meet Bob, the self-satisfied private 
contractor who long ago discarded any higher 
purpose, who would rather preside over such 
inane projects as teaching beekeeping skills and 
Little League baseball to Iraqi villagers. That's 
not as far-fetched as it sounds: "Bob, I quickly 
learned, had an existential view of the Iraq war. 
We were fighting in Iraq because we were 
fighting in Iraq. His was not to reason why, his 
was but to receive a $250,000 salary with three 
paid vacations and little expectation of tangible 

Then there's Rodriguez, a Marine who visits his 
battalion's chaplain because he's worried that 
his company, in the murk and stress of fighting, 
has lost restraint, killing civilians and insurgents 
alike. He's got cause to worry. "The only thing I 
want to do is kill Iraqis," one lance corporal tells 
the chaplain. "That's it. Everything else is just, 
numb it until you can do something. Killing 
hajjis is the only thing that feels like doing 
something. Not just wasting time."

Klay has a nearly perfect ear for the language of 
the grunts - the cursing, the cadence, the 
mixing of humor and hopelessness. They are 
among the best passages in the book, which, 
unfortunately, are unfit for a family newspaper.

For me, the most powerful sections of 
"Redeployment" are the ones that reflect not on 
Iraq but on the United States, which the Marines 
begin to see, even when they are still deployed, 
as a place nearly as incomprehensible as the 
country they are fighting in. The soldiers may 
loathe Iraq - "months and months of awful," 
one character puts it - but their experiences 
have rendered them unable to go home again.

 "I have this sense that this place is holier than 
back home," one narrator, still in Iraq, says. 
"Gluttonous, fat, oversexed, overconsuming, 
materialist home, where we're too lazy to see 
our own faults. At least here, Rodriguez has the 
decency to worry about hell."

Indeed, "Redeployment" is mostly about the 
American experience in Iraq, not the Iraqi one. 
(We can only hope that Iraqi literature about the 
war comes forth, too.) Here's a passage from the 
title story; the protagonist has come home to 
North Carolina after seven months:

 "So here's an experience. Your wife takes you 
shopping in Wilmington. Last time you walked 
down a city street, your Marine on point went 
down the side of the road, checking ahead and 
scanning the roofs across from him. The Marine 
behind him checks the windows on the top 
levels of the buildings, the Marine behind him 
gets the windows a little lower, and so on down 
until your guys have the street level covered, 
and the Marine in back has the rear. In a city 
there's a million places they can kill you from. It 
freaks you out at first. But you go through like 
you were trained, and it works. 

 "In Wilmington, you don't have a squad, you 
don't have a battle buddy, you don't even have 
a weapon. You startle 10 times checking for it 
and it's not there. You're safe, so your alertness 
should be at white, but it's not.

 "Instead, you're stuck in an American Eagle 
Outfitters. Your wife gives you some clothes to 
try on and you walk into the tiny dressing room. 
You close the door, and you don't want to open 
it again."

One of the great truths of the war in Iraq (and 
Afghanistan still) was that nearly all its burdens 
were endured by a tiny percentage of the 
population. There was no draft, no higher taxes. 
If you were in the military, you served - which 
means you deployed, again and again and again 
- while the rest of your countrymen carried on 
as though the nation were at peace. The men 
and women of "Redeployment" are mostly too 
young to be bitter yet, but it's not because they 
don't notice.

 "The weird thing with being a veteran, at least 
for me, is that you do feel better than most 
people," one of Klay's characters says. "You 
risked your life for something bigger than 
yourself. How many people can say that? You 
chose to serve. Maybe you didn't understand 
American foreign policy or why we were at war. 
Maybe you never will. But it doesn't matter. You 
held up your hand and said, 'I'm willing to die 
for these worthless civilians.' "

 [Dexter Filkins, a former Baghdad correspondent for 
The Times, is a staff writer at The New Yorker and 
the author of "The Forever War."]

Phil Klay is a graduate of Dartmouth College 
and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He 
served in Iraq's Anbar Province from January 
2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. 
After being discharged he went to Hunter 
College and received an MFA. His story 
"Redeployment" was originally published in 
Granta and is included in Fire and Forget: Short 
Stories from the Long War. His writing has 
appeared in The New York Times, Washington 
Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Granta, 
Tin House, and elsewhere.

In 2014 Klay's short story 
collection Redeployment won the National Book 
Award for Fiction.  He was also shortlisted 
for  the Frank O'Connor Prize and named a 
National Book Foundation '5 Under 35? honoree. 
In 2015 he received the Marine Corps Heritage 
Foundations James Webb award for fiction 
dealing with U.S. Marines or Marine Corps life, 
the National Book Critics' Circle John Leonard 
Award for best debut work in any genre, the 
American Library Association's W. Y. Boyd 
Literary Award for Excellence in Military 
Fiction, and the Chautauqua Prize.

By Robert Adams

Mike Huckabee Thinks Guantanamo 
Detainees Get Better Treatment Than Kim 
Davis. Here's Why He's Completely Wrong.
by Elizabeth Beavers, security with human 
rights policy and activism coordinator, AIUSA
September 16, 2015

What do Kim Davis and the Guantanamo 
detainees have in common? Most people would 
rightfully answer "literally nothing" to that 
question, yet presidential hopeful Mike 
Huckabee compared them in an interview last 

Speaking to Fox News about his recent 
campaign on behalf of the county clerk refusing 
to issue same-sex marriage licenses in Kentucky, 
Mr. Huckabee alleged that the Guantanamo 
detainees are receiving better religious 
accommodations than Ms. Davis. He described 
incredulously the "prayer mats" provided to the 
detainees and the "painted lines" in their cells 
pointing them to Mecca. It was almost as if Mr. 
Huckabee could not believe how pampered the 
Guantanamo detainees are to receive such 

Brushing aside Ms. Davis and the media circus 
surrounding her decisions, it appears Mr. 
Huckabee - and, quite frankly, most of the 
American public - is in need of a few 
reminders about Guantanamo and its 

It is ludicrous to suggest that the detainees are 
in any way treated too well. Instead, their very 
presence in the legal limbo that is Guantanamo 
means that their human rights are being 
violated. There seems to be some wide-reaching 
myth that if a man is in Guantanamo, it is 
necessarily because he participated in the 
attacks of September 11, or was picked up off a 
battlefield in the middle of causing harm to the 
United States, and has no rights. This is a very 
dangerous myth and must be corrected 

There are actually many different types of 
individuals at Guantanamo. Several have long 
been cleared to be transferred out of 
Guantanamo through reviews conducted by 
US national security agencies, yet they are still 
languishing behind bars at Guantanamo. There 
are detainees who have been charged through 
the system of the military commissions, which 
Amnesty International has repeatedly criticized. 
Their trials are heavily delayed or corrupted 
through insufficient procedures. Then there are 
detainees who have neither been charged, nor 
have they yet been cleared for transfer.

None of these categories of detention are 
acceptable. There is no reason that those who 
have been cleared should still be locked up. A 
man named Shaker Aamer is in that category. 
The last British resident at Guantanamo, Mr. 
Aamer was first cleared by President Bush in 
2007 and again under President Obama in 2009. 
Yet he's still behind bars in Guantanamo. Why? 
That's a good question. Unfortunately, no 
officials have provided a good answer for why 
Mr. Aamer or his fellow cleared detainees 
continue to languish in captivity.

The military commission prosecutions similarly 
fail to respect human rights or achieve justice. 
To be sure, all those responsible for the crimes 
against humanity committed on September 11, 
2001 should be brought to justice. But 
Guantanamo and the military commissions 
haven't - and can't - provide that justice. The 
fourteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks 
recently passed, yet the 9/11 trials haven't even 
started yet. The proceedings are paralyzed by 
inefficiency and pre-trial hearings keep getting 
canceled. This is an outrageous failure of justice. 
Those who lost loved ones in the attacks deserve 
to see such justice in their lifetime, but the 
military commission trials are unlikely to begin 
- much less conclude - for years to come. When 
they do take place, they will by design fail to 
meet international fair trial standards.

Mustafa al-Hawsawi is one of the detainees 
facing charges in the military commissions, and, 
like many others, is a torture survivor. He was 
captured in March 2003, was transferred to 
Guantanamo in September 2006, and was 
subjected to secret CIA detention and 
interrogation in between. He was subjected to 
cold "water dousing" in a manner that may 
have been "indistinguishable" from the torture 
technique known as "water-boarding." The 
Senate report also found that he had been 
subjected to excessive force during rectal 
examination. He was later diagnosed with 
"chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and 
symptomatic rectal prolapse." He continues to 
receive inadequate medical care for his 
condition, and faces the possibility of the death 
penalty without a fair trial although he 
maintains his innocence.

Perhaps the most disturbing situation at 
Guantanamo is the group of detainees who 
remain in Guantanamo indefinitely. The glacial 
pace of the clearance system has not yet made its 
way to these individuals, so they wait. What 
must life be like for this group? Hour by hour, 
day by day, year by year they plod through life 
inside the walls of Guantanamo, knowing they 
may die there.

For anyone like Mike Huckabee who believes 
the detainees are being treated too well because 
they get prayer mats, think again. The people in 
Guantanamo are just that - people. They are 
humans with inherent rights by virtue of their 
humanity. This includes the right to a fair trial 
and the right to be free from torture, enforced 
disappearances and indefinite detention. 
Guantanamo fails on all these counts.

Amnesty International USA continues to call 
upon the U.S. government to close the travesty 
that is Guantanamo. The government must 
either charge detainees and promptly 
prosecute them in federal court in compliance 
with international fair trial standards, or 
release them. For too long the U.S. government 
has practiced the policies of fear and abandoned 
its commitments to human rights in the name of 
security. But it is our rights which make us 
secure, and those rights should not die one more 
day in Guantanamo.

By Stevi Carroll

Richard Glossip

The end of July the Supreme Court of the US 
ruled, 5-4, in Glossip v Gross that Oklahoma's 
lethal injection protocol does not violate the 
Eighth Amendment's cruel and unusual 
punishment.  This ruling set in motion the 
execution of Richard Glossip.

On September 16 Sister Helen Prejean, former 
Senator Tom Coburn, and former University of 
Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer along with 
thousands of other people were thrilled to learn 
that Mr. Glossip was granted a stay of execution 
with two hours to spare - until September 30.

What is known is that Mr. Glossip did not 
murder his boss, motel owner Barry Van Treese, 
and that Justin Sneed did bludgeon Mr. Van 
Treese to death.  In a plea bargain, Mr. Sneed 
received life without parole for the murder 
because he gave Mr. Glossip up for ordering the 
murder. Sister Prejean says that the jurors were 
not given evidence that Mr. Sneed gave 
contradictory accounts of what happened to the 
police in either his original trial or his retrial in 

James Clark, senior death penalty campaigner at 
Amnesty International, says that Mr. Glossip 
had inadequate representation at both of his 
hearings and that often inmates will have "top 
quality attorney teams and civil rights 
organizations behind them" as their executions 
draw near rather than at the early stages of their 
cases when the groundwork for their cases, and 
their possible convictions, are laid.

O'Ryan Justine Sneed, Justin Sneed's daughter, 
has said her father's conscience bothers him and 
she has come to believe "...he [Glossip] is an 
innocent man [who] is sitting on death row. ... 
For a couple of years now, my father has been 
talking to me about recanting his original 
testimony, but he has been afraid to act upon it, 
in fear of being charged with the death penalty." 

While Sister Prejean and others find relief in Mr. 
Glossip's stay, Oklahoma City District Attorney 
David Prater believes the effort to save Mr. 
Glossip from execution is a "bullshit P.R. 

Glossip v. Gross went to the Supremes in 
response to executions that were not swift and 
did not seem to be painless.  Since the state of 
Oklahoma realizes executions like Clayton 
Lockett's 43 minute ordeal that ended only 
when he died of a heart attack bring attention to 
their method of killing death row inmates, they 
have increased the dosage of midazolam to 500 
milligrams in contrast to the 100 milligrams Mr. 
Lockett received. September 30 we and Mr. 
Glossip may witness the efficacy of this dosage.

The Onion

Of course, The Onion is a satirical publication, 
and of course, what they create is often 
completely ridiculous.  In their video Ohio New 
Death Penalty Machine, they have reached new 
heights (or lows) to bring attention to the 
realities of State sanctioned murder.

Recent Exonerations

Lewis Fogle
State: PA
Date of Exoneration: 9/14/2015
In 1982, Lewis Fogle was sentenced to life in 
prison for the 1976 rape and murder of a 15-
year-old girl in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. 
He was exonerated in 2015 after DNA tests 
obtained by the Innocence Project and the 
Pennsylvania Innocence Project excluded Fogle 
and identified the DNA of an unknown male.

Bobby Johnson
State: CT
Date of Exoneration: 9/4/2015
In 2007, 16-year-old Bobby Johnson falsely 
confessed to committing a murder in New 
Haven, Connecticut and was sentenced to 38 
years in prison. He was exonerated in 2015 after 
the Connecticut Innocence Project found 
evidence concealed by police that identified the 
real killer.

Ruddy Quezada
State: NY
Date of Exoneration: 8/31/2015
Ruddy Quezada was sentenced to 25 years to 
life in prison in 1993 for a drug-related murder 
in Brooklyn, New York. He was exonerated in 
2015 after the real gunman was identified by 
federal prosecutors and the sole eyewitness 

Scott Lewis
State: CT
Date of Exoneration: 8/15/2015
In 1995, Scott Lewis was sentenced to 120 years 
in prison for a double murder in New Haven, 
Connecticut. He was exonerated in 2015 because 
the key prosecution witness falsely accused 
Lewis based on details fed to him by a corrupt 
police detective.

Daniel Andersen
State: IL
Date of Exoneration: 8/13/2015
In 1982, Daniel Andersen was sentenced to 55 
years in prison after falsely confessing to the 
attempted rape and murder of 20-year-old 
Cathy Trunko in Chicago. He was exonerated by 
DNA testing in 2015.

Charles Pierre
State: NY
Date of Exoneration: 8/13/2015
In 2003, Charles Pierre was sentenced to 25 years 
to life in Rochester, New York for murdering 
two people and setting the house on fire. He was 
exonerated in 2015 after witnesses testified that 
a man who later committed a similar crime 
admitted to this one as well.

Stays of Execution
2	Joe Garza		TX
3	Herbert Blakeney	PA
16	Richard Glossip		OK
17	Angelo Fears		OH
17	William Montgomery	OH
18	Rasheed Simpson		PA
29	Perry Williams		TX

1	Roderick Nunley		MO	
	Lethal Injection - 1drug

UAs                         5
POC                        17
Total                      22
To add your letters to the total contact 

Narges Mohammadi
By Alexi Daher and Joyce Wolf
Group 22 has adopted a new Prisoner of 
Conscience, Narges Mohammadi from Iran. We 
are now committed to taking action for Narges 
every month.

Group member Alexi Daher is our Case 
Coordinator for Narges. [Alexi is on travel this 
month, so Joyce is putting together this column.] 
Early in September, Alexi wrote the following:

 "After two months (or more!) of gathering, 
looking at case information and trying to get 
through to the right people during a busy 
summer, Group 22 finally got assigned a new 
prisoner of conscience on August 18th, 2015 
(which was Larry's birthday). It's the case of 
Narges Mohammadi, (pronounced Nargues  - 
with a gu sound like in google)."

 "You will find Narges Mohammadi's case very 
compelling; she is a journalist, a mother of two 
children, a member of a human rights 
organization that provides pro bono legal 
representation to political prisoners, and she is 
also an anti-death penalty activist. Narges 
Mohammadi's work has earned her prizes in 
several countries. She co-founded the CHRD's 
End Child Executions committee, as well as the 
National Peace Council, which aims to relax 
international tensions over Iran's nuclear policy 
and the Committee to Defend Free, Healthy and 
Fair Elections. At this time, Group 22 is the only 
group working on her case."

 "Our primary goal is to write letters for Narges' 
immediate and unconditional release, as a 
prisoner of conscience. Secondly, we need to 
appeal for all necessary and adequate medical 
treatment. Currently, Narges' health is very poor 
and she is not treated adequately. Proper 
medical treatment is a requirement in Iranian 
prisons. And finally we need to appeal on her 
behalf so she is allowed to communicate with 
her family."

Alexi prepared pre-printed letters for our Letter 
Writing meeting on September 8. As you can see 
from the Monthly Letter Count above, we are off 
to a good start on our case work for Narges with 
17 letters signed and mailed. We will have 
copies of this letter available at our upcoming 

We have a new POC page on the Group 22 
website. Eventually I will put a link to it on our 
main page, but now you can go directly to it at
Here you can find a lot of background 
information about her, as well as updates and 
actions you can take, including sample letters.

As Alexi said, Narges is experiencing severe 
medical problems which are not being treated 
adequately in prison. You can find a recent 
health update at

Alexi is arranging an action opportunity for us 
on Nov. 5 at the Skirball Museum event 
"Striving for Human Rights in Iran". More 
information about this event is on Facebook at

Please join Group 22 in our efforts on behalf of 
Narges Mohammadi.

Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125

Amnesty International's mission is to undertake research and action focused on 
preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, 
freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the 
context of its work to promote all human rights.