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March 15, 2010

Gitmo Lawyers: More Lynn Stewart Than John Adams

Much of the media and the protectors of the legal priesthood decided to focus on the real evil of the Gitmo lawyers matter...the people at Keep America Safe who dared to question the legal high priesthood. Meanwhile, Debra Burlingame and Thomas Joscelyn decided to do real reporting on what some of the Gitmo lawyers were up to.

I could be wrong but I'm reasonably sure abusing the privileged legal mail system to provide anti-American propaganda to terrorists isn't in the tradition of John Adams.

In a sworn affidavit submitted to the D.C. District Court and obtained by the writers of this article in a Freedom of Information Act request, Maj. Gen. Hood did not equivocate when it came to the Amnesty International pamphlet. "The very nature of this document gives tremendous moral support to those who would strike out against our country," he stated. "It is not a factual report. Instead it is filled with second and third hand accounts, photos of protests that were staged, inflammatory photos from Iraq and provocative story captions."

(Major General Jay W. Hood, then the commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo) noted that many of the captured al Qaeda terrorists held at the camp had been "specifically trained on the Manchester Manual [an al Qaeda training manual discovered at a safe house in Britain]," which "encourages detainees to claim torture and abuse." He warned that "[e]xamples and vignettes of alleged abuse of other detainees" could be used "to fabricate their own claims of abuse and torture."

In fact, from al Qaeda's perspective, the Amnesty International brochure was better than the Manchester Manual. It cued detainees that the abuses at Abu Ghraib "were not an aberration." The brochure told them that images from the Iraqi prison were consistent with "numerous allegations of torture and ill-treatment reported from detention centres in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay."

The message to the detainees was clear: If you want to claim you are being tortured, here is a vast menu of examples from which to choose.

...We obtained Justice Department accounts of some of those incidents under a Freedom of Information Act request. Examples included an incident in which a lawyer sent his detainee client the transcript of a virulently anti-American speech that compared military physicians to Joseph Mengele, the Nazi doctor of Auschwitz, called DOJ lawyers "desk torturers" and suggested that the "abuses carried out by U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib . . . could involve the President in the commission of war crimes."

Other incidents listed in the FOIA material included: a lawyer who was caught in the act of making a hand-drawn map of a detention camp's layout, including guard towers; a lawyer who sent a letter to his detainee client telling him that "we cannot depend on the military to do the right thing" and conveying his message of support to other detainees who were not his clients; lawyers who posted photos of Guantanamo security badges on the Internet; lawyers who provided news outlets with "interviews" of their clients using questions provided in advance by the news organization; and a lawyer who gave his client a list of all the detainees.

When the Departments of Justice and Defense tried to exclude attorneys from firms who engaged in such behavior the attorneys simply sued the government for continued access to their terrorist clients. And won.

I'm reasonably familiar with the whole John Adams defends British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre story. I don't quite recall him breaking the rules to do it or providing the soldiers with anti-American propaganda. Then again, I'm not a lawyer so who am I to criticize the High Priests of the Bar?


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posted by DrewM. at 09:50 AM

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