Tuesday, March 22, 2011

GTMO Gag Order

The Miami Herald's GTMO reporter, Carol Rosenberg, reports that the military commission uniformed defense lawyers are protesting the new Guantánamo protective order.  Last week, Retired Vice Admiral Bruce MacDonald, the convening authority for the commissions, issued a 26-page "protective order and procedures" for military and civilian lawyers who represent the detainees in the commissions. The lawyers have been ordered to sign the new ground rules that "not only gag what they can say to their alleged terrorist clients but also to the public." One section of the new rules requires a lawyer to get the CIA’s blessing to ask a detainee about a confession made at a secret overseas interrogation site.

According to the article, the Chief Defense Counsel Marine Colonel Jeffrey Colwell said Friday afternoon the Pentagon was delaying implementation of the order. Colwell issued a response to the order.  He wrote, the document "unreasonably and unlawfully interferes with the attorney-client relationship" between the captives in the Guantánamo camps and American defense lawyers in uniform of their enemy. He noted the "absurd" requirement that lawyers tell the military beforehand what language they will speak with the captive.