November 06, 2006

If You Can't Tell Your JAG You Were Tortured

by PG

Windypundit's justification for the government's refusal to let detainees talk to their attorneys about the conditions of their imprisonment makes sense:

If this is actually coming from the interrogators and not the administration, then I suspect the secrets they're concerned about have little to do with torture and a lot more to do with deception.
If they've got these guys isolated for months or years, they can tell them an amazing story: The steady destruction of the resistance movement in Iraq, the capture of Osama bin Laden and his return to New York to stand trial, the Israeli nuclear attack on Iran...look, you lost and we already know everything, just make it official so we can finish our paperwork and let you go...
That sort of thing won't work if they know it's coming.
Or rather, it makes sense as long as we're talking about someone like Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, 'cause we all know that the Center for Constitutional Rights is there to Defeat America. On the other hand, if detainees can't pick their attorneys from potential sympathizers, but instead are limited to folks vetted by the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel from the Office of Military Commissions, I don't understand why we're afraid information will leak from the detainee through the attorney to our enemies. The government's already permitted to breach attorney-client confidentiality if it will assist with prison administration (2006 WL 2699305). I understand that the executive's privilege knee jerks any time there's a chance people could find out what the administration's been up to, but hopefully the courts won't fall for it again.

November 6, 2006 01:51 AM | TrackBack
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