Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Charly's Washington Post Obituary

Charles B. Gittings Jr.; ran Web site dedicated to stopping prisoner abuse

By Richard A. Serrano
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Charles B. Gittings Jr., 57, who for nearly nine years ran a Web site dedicated to stopping prisoner abuse in the war on terrorism, died July 14 at his home in Fort Bragg, Calif. He had cancer.

Although he was not a lawyer, Mr. Gittings had a lifelong interest in military tactics and law that led him to become an invaluable resource to some of the nation's greatest experts in the field.

Not long after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Mr. Gittings created the Project to Enforce the Geneva Conventions, a Web site he ran from his home compiling torture memos, court filings, amicus briefs and other evidence of war crimes.

At the time, Mr. Gittings was divorced and had lost his job as a computer programmer. He decided to put his knowledge to work helping the lawyers represent the detainees.

"I was resolved to do whatever I could to help in this crisis," he said in a recent interview. "You can never prove these things, but I do think I made a difference."

His evidentiary material was often used by lawyers representing detainees to challenge the George W. Bush administration's justification for harsh treatment and lengthy sentences without trial for many of the prisoners captured in the war on terrorism.

After President Obama took office in January 2009 and failed to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, Mr. Gittings turned his attention toward the new administration as well.

"I thought things would get a lot better under Obama," he said in the interview. "But they're still having these illegal kangaroo courts and the so-called military commissions, and they're still doing indefinite detentions without charges. And those are war crimes."

Charles Benjamin Gittings Jr. was born in San Francisco.

Survivors include three children and his parents.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Memoriam: Charles B. Gittings, Jr.

Charles Benjamin Gittings, Jr. born July 23rd, 1952 passed away in his sleep July 14th, 2010 at the age of 57. He is survived by his mother Mary Jacks Foldenauer of Fort Bragg, CA and his father Charles Benjamin Gittings, Sr. of Spokane, WA. His three children Roger Gittings of Jackson, TX, Audra Gittings Villarreal of Hurst, TX and William Gittings of Hurst, TX.

It was the Charles’ wish to be cremated and buried on the Hanes Family Ranch in Boonville, CA with his cat Lulu. Services have not been planned yet. Announcements are pending.

New Director's Notes on Charly's Passing

Dear Friends of Charly and the Project to Enforce the Geneva Conventions:

I learned of Charly's passing via a phone call from a family member a few hours ago. He died in his sleep. I saw him three weeks ago and this was about how he told me he wanted it to be. It's a terrible loss for all of us. I hurt.

I am humbled to now serve as director of the Project upon his passing. For information or input about PEGC, please contact me directly. His mother Mary will not be equipped to deal with these matters.

The Project will fire up again after I sit for the Bar in two weeks. Charly had two words for me about that: "Pass it." I hope I will.

If friends and supporters of the Project wish to send me comments about Charly and the Project, I will publish them here with your permission.

With great sadness,

Deborah Lagutaris, J.D.