Obama Inauguration Flag to be Donated to Indiana National Guard After Flown at Guantanamo on 9/11 Anniversary

 

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With flag flown over Guantanamo’s Camp Justice on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 (September 11, 2016), and flown over the U.S. Capitol on Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day (January 20, 2009)

A U.S. flag flown over Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had also flown over the U.S. Capitol Building on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as U.S. President, 20 January 2009, exactly 8 years ago today.

Five alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks who are detained at Guantanamo face war crimes trials there by U.S. Military Commission. The courtroom is at Guantanamo’s Camp Justice, where the Obama inauguration flag was flown on 11 September 2016, the 15th anniversary of 9/11

This flag flown at the inauguration and on the 9/11 anniversary is being donated to the Indiana National Guard to hang in their Armory in Indianapolis.

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Indiana’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr speaks at a departure ceremony for 60 Hoosier Guardsmen with the 38th Infantry Division in Indianapolis, 20 November 2015. The Guardsmen were to “oversee safe, secure, humane, legal, and transparent care and custody of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lowry)

Why donate this flag to the @Indiana National Guard?

In September 2016, about 90 soldiers from the Indiana National Guard, 38th Infantry Division, the Cyclone Division were finishing a 9-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay (2015 – 2016), with another 90 of their soldiers commencing a 9-month deployment to the remote island naval base (2016 – 2017). The soldiers performed various functions across the base, from public affairs, to logistics, to law.

In September 2016, I hand-carried the Obama Inauguration flag to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and it was flown there on 11 September.

The Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where I have taught for many years, has a long history with Guantanamo Bay. My students and I became involved with Guantanamo in 2003—conducting research, providing research memos, consulting (and I was called as an expert witness on a Guantanamo case).

Our Indiana law school has also been sending students, faculty, staff and graduates to Gitmo for years as independent Observers / Monitors, and through our Military Commission Observation Project undertake to attend, observe, analyze, critique and report on Military Commission hearings. We have produced the Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual, which examines rights and interests of a range of Guantanamo stakeholders, including the defendants, the prosecution, defense counsel, victims and their familes, observers, witnesses, soldiers deployed to Guantanamo, media, and others.

Furthermore, we at the law school have produced Know Before Your Go to Guantanamo Bay, which is available for anyone who travels to Guantanamo Bay for any purpose, related to the Military Commissions or otherwise, as it provides information about the Commissions as well as about many non-Commission aspects of Guantanamo Bay.

A forthcoming book is The Guantanamo Bay Reader, which tells the story of the Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions from the mouths and perspectives of those who have shaped, are shaping, and will shape the Guantanamo Bay experience.

Many Indiana Guard members have been Indiana law students / graduates, and some of them have been deployed to Guantanamo Bay.

The Indiana Cyclones have sent troops to Guantanamo for years, and indeed have a long history of servicing the nation there and elsewhere, with multiple deployments to perform military duties in places such as Afghanistan and Kosovo in addition to Guantanamo.

Another flag with inauguration / 911 anniversary provenance

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Indiana McKinney law graduate at Camp Justice (Guantanamo) in front of the flagpole where the Inauguration flag was flown on 9/11 2016. The US flag is at half-mast for the death of former US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

I have another flag with identical provenance – flown above the US Capitol 8 years ago today, and flown at Camp Justice on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

I am donating this 2nd flag to the Indiana University McKinney School of Law to hang in our building – to help demonstrate the overlapping Guantanamo Bay connections of the Indiana National Guard and our students, faculty, staff and graduates, and to demonstrate our pride at the great service performed for the school, the city of Indianapolis the state of Indiana the U.S., and the international community.

Hanging next to these donated flags – at the Indiana National Guard Armory and at the law school — will be the framed President Obama Inauguration Certificate, the framed Gitmo Camp Justice Certificate, and a framed letter explaining all of the above.

George Edwards

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