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GITMO SUICIDE PACT: BOO FREAKIN HOO, PT. DEUX

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 8, 2006 03:37 PM

The manipulative detainees at Guantanamo Bay reportedly used the generous civil liberties protections we gave them to plot their suicide pact. Are you surprised? WaPo:

Three suicides at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may have been part of a broader plot by detainees who were using confidential lawyer-client papers and envelopes to pass handwritten notes their guards could not intercept, according to documents that government lawyers filed yesterday in federal court.

Detainees could apparently hide documents in their cells — including instructions on how to tie knots and a classified U.S. military memo regarding cell locations of detainees and camp operational matters at Guantanamo — by keeping the materials in envelopes labeled as lawyer-client communications. Notes that investigators found after the suicides on June 10 were apparently written on the back of notepaper stamped “Attorney Client Privilege,” which allowed detainees to communicate secretly without interference, according to government officials.

The alleged discoveries have led military commanders to suspend allowing detainees to have paper provided by defense lawyers. Government lawyers have also asked a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to allow them to assemble “filter teams” to scour more than 1,100 pounds of documents seized by investigators, some of which are protected by lawyer-client privilege and would usually be off-limits to authorities.

Defense lawyers for Guantanamo detainees said that their clients are closely monitored and should have no way to pass such notes, and that the filing yesterday is designed to complicate their efforts.

All together now: Boo Freakin Hoo.

Cori Dauber at Rantingprofs expresses disbelief:

Let me understand this — the detainees at Gitmo have distinct pads and envelopes that are set aside for attorney-client communication and the guards aren’t allowed to read anything written on that paper or put in those envelopes?

Have we completely lost our minds? Because someone somewhere sure has.

Yup. We have learned nothing from the Lynne Stewart episode. On a related note, as I wrote in July 2004 in response to John Kerry’s endorsement of the Clinton law enforcement approach to terrorism:

The idea of prosecuting suspected terrorists like burglars or drug dealers seems to make sense in principle, but jury trials for War on Terror suspects are fraught with peril.

“In ordinary civilian trials, there is no significant cost to sharing everything the government knows,” notes Johns Hopkins international law professor Ruth Wedgwood. “But this does not hold against the background of Al Qaeda’s stated ambition of mounting new attacks.” Affording accused Al Qaeda operatives the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial threatens to compromise classified information necessary to prosecute future terrorist trials. Other rights guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment–the right to subpoena witnesses and compel them to testify, the right to an attorney–can interfere with interrogations of captured suspected Al Qaeda agents. Moreover, in civilian courtrooms, prosecutors are severely restrained from closing off classified information under the existing federal Classified Information Procedure Act. Anonymous testimony and intelligence based on hearsay are often inadmissible in civilian courts. And while the lives of those immediately involved in say, a mob trial, might be endangered, the entire nation may be at risk when we allow suspected members of a terrorist network to partake in the discovery process.

The prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers in our civilian court system, though successful, demonstrated the pitfalls of prosecuting the War on Terror like an episode of the TV show “Ally McBeal”–a courtroom comedy. The trials gave the bin Laden network a multi-million-dollar, tax-subsidized defense team, free translation services, personal dry-cleaning services, and access to information that was allegedly used by Islamists to evade surveillance.

All of the convicted World Trade Center bombers received life sentences. Two had faced the death penalty, but were spared by a minority-dominated jury that swallowed the race-baiting of traitorous defense witness Ramsey Clark (the former U.S. attorney general under Lyndon Johnson). Clark testified that no member of a racial minority group–African-American, Arab or otherwise–could expect a fair trial in the U.S. He also blamed the Gulf War and U.S. sanctions on Iraq for creating the psychological “suffering” that led to the embassy attacks. On another front, convicted mastermind Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman may have exploited his right to counsel in order to establish a terrorist message center from behind bars. His lawyer, Lynne Stewart, was indicted in the fall of 2003 on charges of providing material support to terrorists and went to trial in May 2004; she is accused of aiding a plot to kidnap and kill people to help win the release of Rahman and making false statements regarding her efforts to pass messages between Rahman and third parties…

She was convicted of aiding terrorists and lying to the government last February.

How many more like her–unwittingly or not–have aided the enemy under cover of attorney-client privilege?

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Previous:

The Gitmo suicide stunt
The Gitmo suicide was staged
What’s going on at Gitmo?
Gitmo and the London terror bombings
Gitmo reading list: Harry Potter tops
The gullibility of Gitmo-bashers
The politics of the Gitmo debate
The GOP’s anti-Gitmo squad
W. Stands for Waffle
Gitmo detainees desecrate Koran
The Gitmo round-up
Guantanamo Fog
Letter of the morning: What about Castro’s gulags?
In Defense of Guantanamo Bay
What is it with the Washington Post?
Gitmo’s Emily Latella
Guantanamo Bay: The rest of the story
Once more, into the toilet
Newsweek lied.* People died.
Former Gitmo prisoner: Shot dead.

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Categories: Barack Obama, Cuba, Gitmo