More on detainee-lawyer restrictions in GITMO

More on detainee-lawyer restrictions in GITMO

Posted By Greg McNeal On April 27, 2007 @ 11:02 am In Law Blog, Counterterrorism | 1 Comment

Over at [1] National Security Advisors Professor Tung Yin comments on the governments efforts to restrict lawyer access to detainees. He [2] states:

I’m guessing that the “conduit to the news media” is a reference to [3] disbarred criminal defense lawyer Lynne Stewart, who was convicted of providing material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations by making her client, the Blind Shiekh, “available” to his followers via a translator.

I made a similar suggestion in a post [4] here. Professor Yin goes on further to state:

I’m curious, however, whether the government believes that any of the detainee lawyers are engaging in conduct even remotely comparable to Stewart’s. My sense is that most of the lawyers involved in these cases work for large law firms such as Jenner & Block, Perkins Coie, and others, and I’d be highly surprised if they were anything but circumspect.

Despite the parallels drawn by Professor Yin and I the governments allegations are in fact much more direct. According to this [5] Jurist report:

The Justice Department said that the new restrictions are necessary because lawyers have “caused unrest” at Guantanamo, such as hunger strikes and other protests, have provided detainees with information about events outside the prison, and have provided media outlets information from detainees.

Military officials seized legal papers from Australian detainee David Hicks as part of its investigation into several detainee suicides at Guantanamo last year, and the DOJ later told a US court that paper provided by lawyers may have aided the suicide plot. The papers seized include notes marked “privileged attorney-client material” and suggest that detainees were misusing the attorney-client communication system.

The arguments made by the government can be found in the Bismullah-Parhat brief [6] posted at SCOTUS Blog.

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