An Update from Obama’s Gulag

Looks like those military tribunals are not going as well as expected, so now they are trying to ensure that effective and vigorous representation by counsel is impossible:

In a federal court hearing that fully disclosed the deepening level of distrust between the military officers who run the Navy’s prison at Guantanamo Bay, and the volunteer lawyers who represent the detainees there, the presiding judge reacted with obvious skepticism to the military’s new move to curb those lawyers’ activities there.


As the hearing unfolded, a government lawyer suggested darkly that detainees’ lawyers have brought unspecified “contraband” into their meetings with clients at the Naval prison, and argued that intensifying activities in prosecuting war crimes cases there are raising new security fears among military officers, with many more lawyers in their midst. Answering those expressions of distrust, lawyers for detainees countered that the government cannot be trusted to keep its word even if it promises not to interfere with legal representation; they cited shifting details of lawyer curbs as well as the government’s more fully expressed doubts that some of the detainees have any remaining right to a lawyer.

“‘Counsel visits [to Guantanamo] are a burden on the resources and manpower of Guantanamo Bay to provide accommodations for counsel and on security personnel to ensure the safety of counsel and their good behavior as well,” Justice Department attorney James J. Gilligan said at the hearing. In turn, one of the lawyers for the detainees, New York attorney Rebecca Briggs, contended that “these limitations [on counsel’s access] that are being added in footnotes [in government access rules] just highlight the fact that their assurances to yield their discretion responsibly cannot be taken at face value, unfortunately.”

When the rabid right wing rants that Barack Obama wants to create some sort of Soviet style totalitarian state, they miss the fact that Obama has already done so, but he hasn’t expanded it beyond Muslims ……… yet.

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