I am surprised to learn that President-elect Obama is seriously considering legislation to create special courts for the men at Guantanamo. I hope Obama, a lawyer himself, will take the time to carefully review the “evidence” against many of the men still being held at that base. At first blush, some of the so called “evidence” might strike the untrained as serious but if Obama reviews the underlying support for that “evidence” he will see that the reason behind many of these detentions is (to quote one of the military tribunal panel members) “garbage.” I represent two of the men at Guantanamo and I have looked at what is supposed to be the secret evidence against my clients. I can tell you that there is a reason they keep this information secret and it is not about “national security”, this is about national embarrassment. In fact, calling this “garbage” is, in my view, a gross understatement. Couple this with the resignations of six of the prosecutors in the Military Commission system and it should be clear that there are serious problems underlying the cases. It is appalling that these men have sat at Guantanamo for almost seven years with no charges against them and no judicial review of the evidence. If Obama follows through with his trial balloon and sets up yet another system to try these men my clients will look at another year or more before they get the fair hearing that they so desperately need. The US Supreme Court said in June that these men have waited long enough for their hearings. I pray that Obama will heed the call of the Supreme Court and let our justice system, which has worked just fine for over two centuries, do its job.
H. Candace Gorman
Attorney at Law