For Those Who Came In Late

The New York Times Magazine has a nice feature story on some of the military lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees. Commander Swift Objects won't tell people who have been following the story closely much that's new, but it's well-told, and has a very sympathetic profile of Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, one of the lawyers, who is among the group that has sued Rumsfeld claiming the entire system of detainee trials is unconstitutional.

Probably the only things that were new to me was some of the details of the machinations inside the Pentagon regarding who could serve as defense counsel, and what they could do, and the fact that it was Alberto Gonzales who authorized them to file what turned out to be a very powerful amicus brief in the al Odah case, which the Supreme court will be deciding some time in the next days or weeks.

One thing the article doesn't mention, is that the defense lawyers at Guantanamo are in the same chain of command as the prosecution, instead of the normal situation under which they would be separate. The absence of insulation increases the opportunity for intimidation, and it's especially to Switf et al.'s credit that they are being as tough as they are.

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One Response to For Those Who Came In Late

  1. jason says:

    it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. andrew sullivan has just brought up a point that’ll be hard to overcome for rumsfeld.

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