We now know why the Cole bombing lawyers at Guantánamo resigned, they found a microphone concealed in the room used for lawyer-client conferences, and the court has refused to discuss this. Under these conditions, now only would I have resigned, I’d have seriously considered defecting to Russia and revealing all the crap that they have pulled:
Lawyers for the alleged USS Cole bombing mastermind quit the capital case after discovering a microphone in their special client meeting room and were denied the opportunity to either talk about or investigate it, the Miami Herald has learned.
The narrative, contained in a 15-page prosecution filing obtained by the Herald, is the first authoritative description of the episode that caused three civilian defense attorneys to resign from the death-penalty case of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri on ethical grounds: Rick Kammen, a seasoned death-penalty defender, and Rosa Eliades and Mary Spears. In fact, the prosecution says the listening device that lawyers discovered in an early August inspection of their special meeting room was a legacy of past interrogations — and, across 50 days of ostensibly confidential attorney-client meetings, was never turned on.
The description, an eight-paragraph, declassified version of something the public was not allowed to know until this week, was contained in a prosecution filing at the U.S. Court of Military Commissions Review signed by the chief prosecutor for military commissions, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, and three appellate lawyers on his staff.
It says that, after the three lawyers quit the case in October, prison workers “removed flooring, walls, and fixtures” in an attorney-client meeting site exclusively used by Nashiri and his lawyers and “confirmed that legacy microphones, which were not connected to any audio listening/recording device nor in an operable condition, were removed.”
I don’t believe them, and neither do the lawyers who quit:
Kammen, reached by the Herald, called the prosecution account “outrageous” and “really grotesque selective declassification” designed to permit “some portion of the truth to seep out, but only in ways that the government feels will help it.”
At the time of their resignations, Kammen said he was only allowed to say that something had occurred, which he could not describe; that he sought discovery from the judge in order to investigate the episode as well as a hearing, and the requests were denied it. The judge’s denial is classified.
“Our concerns were much greater than what they appear to admit was there,” he said. He added, however, that even the portion the prosecution now permits the public to know “demonstrates that either Colonel Spath was lied to by the government or in many of his statements he was lying to the public, the press and the victims in a way that was absolutely shameful and disgraceful — by casting it as fake news.”
War court watchers wondered why the discovery was considered a national security secret in the first place.
“If this really was an innocuous slip-up with unplugged microphones, why has the government apparently tried so hard to cover it up?” Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, told the Herald.
These military commissions have always been a travesty, as this incident clearly shows.