David Markus has the scoop in Southern District of Florida Blog: Federal Defenders secure release of “enemy combatant” shepherd, the story about how two local Florida public defenders (Paul M. Rashkind and Tim Cone) sprang a goatherd from Guantanamo.
The Defenders began representing Taj about a year ago and, after security clearances were approved, Paul Rashkind began to uncover evidence and develop a strategy to obtain his release. Just 14 days ago, Rashkind and Cone filed a set of classified challenges to Taj’s continued detention, explaining why he should be released now. Last night, on the eve of the military hearing, Taj was on a plane back to Afghanistan. He was released to his family earlier today. Rashkind commented, “America was not a safer place while he was detained, but we can certainly feel better about ourselves now that he is home.”
The moral of the story: access to counsel is a critical right.