Lawfare

Stalking the CIA; Justice lawyers at daggers drawn with the ­intelligence community

Following up on Monday’s op-ed, ‘Gitmo’s Indefensible Lawyers,’ Debra Burlingame and Thomas Joscelyn have more about Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and current Department of Justice Gitmo Task Force lawyer Jennifer Daskal today in The Weekly Standard. Here is an excerpt and the link:

President Bush “will go down in history as the torture president,” Daskal told the Associated Press in March 2008. “The Bush administration continues to insist that CIA and other nonmilitary interrogators are not bound by the military rules and has reportedly given CIA interrogators the green light to use a range of so-called ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques, including prolonged sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, and exposure to extreme cold,” Daskal added.

Daskal’s anti-CIA activism was not limited to making hyperbolic statements to the press. Daskal and Human Rights Watch played a significant role in uncovering the CIA’s secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan, where top terrorists were detained and interrogated.

On November 2, 2005, Dana Priest of the Washington Post reported that the “CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe.” The Post, citing the government’s security concerns, did not name the countries where the facilities were located. But just a few days later, on November 6, 2005, Human Rights Watch revealed the countries in a posting on its website. The organization said it had “collected information that CIA airplanes traveling from Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004 made direct flights to remote airfields in Poland and Romania.” The organization encouraged European officials to investigate further, and the Europeans did just that.

Next week, when Attorney General Eric Holder appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I hope they ask him if Daskal has had direct access to the CIA’s agreements with the countries that assisted America, the transportation assets, and what intelligence Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other high-value al Qaeda detainees provided. I mean, it seems like a good place to start.

Gitmo’s Indefensible Lawyers; Legal counsel to some of the detainees went far beyond vigorous representation of their clients

In the Wall Street Journal, Debra Burlingame and Thomas Joscelyn ask the question “Doesn’t the public have a right to know?”

On the evening of Jan. 26, 2006, military guards at Guantanamo Bay made an alarming discovery during a routine cell check. Lying on the bed of a Saudi detainee was an 18-page color brochure. The cover consisted of the now famous photograph of newly-arrived detainees dressed in orange jumpsuits — masked, bound and kneeling on the ground at Camp X-Ray — just four months after 9/11. Written entirely in Arabic, it also included pictures of what appeared to be detainee operations in Iraq. Major General Jay W. Hood, then the commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, concurred with the guards that this represented a serious breach of security.

Maj. Gen. Hood asked his Islamic cultural adviser to translate. The cover read: “Cruel. Inhuman. Degrades Us All: Stop Torture and Ill-Treatment in the ‘War on Terror.'” It was published by Amnesty International in the United Kingdom and portrayed America and its allies as waging a campaign of torture against Muslims around the globe.

“One thread that runs through many of the testimonies from prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq, and from Guantanamo,” the brochure read, “is that of anti-Arab, anti-Islamic, and other racist abuse.”

How did the detainee get it? More importantly, who gave it to him?

Majeed Abdullah Al Joudi, the detainee in whose cell the brochure was first found, told guards he received the brochure from his lawyer. An investigation by JTF-GTMO personnel revealed that Julia Tarver Mason, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, had sent it to Al Joudi and eight of the firm’s other detainee clients through “legal mail” — a designation for privileged lawyer-client communications that are exempt from screening by security personnel. Worse, the investigation showed that Ms. Mason’s clients passed it to other detainees not represented by Paul, Weiss lawyers. In all, more than a dozen detainees received a copy. … READ THE REST

Those lawyers who formerly worked for Republican administrations and that are criticizing Keep America Safe for calling al Qaeda’s lawyers what they are, i.e. al Qaeda’s lawyers, ought to read it two or three times. This is far from the first time Debra Burlingame has written or spoken out about the lawyers waging lawfare upon our Nation, the one al Qaeda continues to attack.

Many of the lawyers who freely took on the task of defending al Qaeda’s killers or advocating on their behalf not only undermined the legal underpinnings for detaining their clients, but also endangered our troops in combat against them abroad. Some call that indefensible; I call it treason.

Unfriendly Fire; let’s end America’s lawfare against our troops

Last night on Freedom Radio, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Robert Weimann talked about his open letter to Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. Within it, ‘Capt Roger Hill Case: Mister Secretary, it’s time to end the double standard,’ LTC Weimann demonstrates that political considerations have endangered the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and resulted in more than a few unjust prosecutions of our troops.

Battlefield evidentiary requirements will be addressed within a revamp of the Military Commission Act (that was nearly hidden within Friday’s White House announcement). With due respect to President Obama, those few select Members of Congress with whom he is negotiating, and the lawyers involved, if the Rule of Law overrides the Laws of War, that revamp will be reckless legislation.

This is America’s war and America’s sons and daughters are the ones fighting it. If the vast experience of front line troops is not sought and considered — especially from those who have fought this war at the company level — during the revamp of the MCA, a countless number of our troops will die and their missions will fail as a result.

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