[Gitmo Observer staff posted this item for Ms. Hattie Harman because she had no internet access at Guantanamo Bay to post this herself.]
After a very pleasant flight, I arrived at GTMO a little after 1:00 p.m. today (Sunday). In addition to the contingent of NGO observers, press, and defense, prosecution, and judicial personnel, passengers on the flight included several “regular” military travelers to the Naval Station (i.e., military personnel with no involvement in the legal proceedings against the detainees but traveling to GTMO on other military business). The flight included a movie (Spiderman 2), a hot meal (choice of lasagna or chicken), and hot towel service. It was reminiscent of air travel in the 1980s!
We were busy all afternoon getting badges for access to the court areas, obtaining supplies at the Naval Exchange, and doing a lot of waiting. Despite the warnings of recent Gitmo Observer travelers, I expected more from the Internet here. My attempt to purchase (at the cost of $150.00) wired Internet access from the NGO “internet cafe” was foiled for my lack of a proper adapter.
I was able to make it into “town” at 7:00 p.m. to a location that reportedly had wireless Internet access only to find it was not functioning. Not only am I presently unable to post to the Gitmo Observer Blog, I am without any access to email or any other Internet-dependent mode of communication. There is of course no cell phone service either. We’ll see what tomorrow brings on the communication front.
Hearings Commence Tomorrow, Monday, November 17
In the morning, I expect to be escorted along with the other NGO observers to the courtroom in advance of the 9:00 a.m. commencement of this set of pretrial hearings in the United States’ prosecution of abd al Hadi al-Iraqi. Hadi is accused of several crimes arising out of his alleged role as an al Qaeda commander in Afghanistan during the post-9/11 period. Four motions are scheduled to be heard in this three-day session.