Bush Scandals List

173. Guantanamo defense counsels (not the path to career advancement)

Punishment of defense counsel at Guantanamo for doing their jobs. Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift who won the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case which held that the Executive could not set up military tribunals on its own without approval by the Congress was forced out of the Navy JAG corps as a result. Major Michael Mori who defended Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks got for him a plea deal on March 26, 2007 whereby he was given 7 years all but 9 months of which were suspended and which he could serve in Australia. As a reward, Mori was passed over for promotion, offered remote postings, and rejected as a judge trainee. To date, 4 of 6 military defense attorneys up for promotion have been similarly passed over. Another Lieutenant Commodore Matthew Diaz has been convicted of giving secrets to the benefit of a foreign government for having given a list of Guantanamo detainees to a New York law firm the Center for Constitutional Rights in 2005. On May 18, 2007, he was sentenced to 6 months in the brig and discharge. At the time (before the Military Commissions Act), the Center had won the right in Rasul v. Bush to file habeas briefs on behalf of detainees but the US sought to block these by refusing to turn over the names and so preventing the detainees from getting legal representation. The US has fought such disclosure despite Rasul and even though it is obligated to release this information at least to the Red Cross under the Geneva Conventions and failure to do so is a violation of international law. Lt. Colonel Cobly Vokey chief of Marine defense attorneys for the western US resisted his superiors‚ attempts to limit defense efforts in the trials of Guantanamo detainees and Marines accused in the Haditha massacre. He was fired from his position and then re-instated after fellow Marine attorneys protested and he had announced his retirement effective May 1, 2008.

    One Response to “173. Guantanamo defense counsels (not the path to career advancement)”

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