Saturday, March 7, 2009


Yesterday I (and every other habeas counsel) received an email for the DOJ telling us that they are going to ask Judge Hogan (the coordinating judge for the Guantanamo litigation) to amend the Protective Order (the rules that guide the litigation) and they were just wondering if we would oppose the change.... sigh.


The latest attempt to interfere with the attorney client relationship that the DOJ is proposing would forbid us from talking with our clients about information that our clients supposedly provided to the government, if we learned about that information from reviewing a classified document... unless of course our clients happened to have mentioned that same information to us in a letter or in a client meeting (of course if our client never mentioned the supposed "information" to us it could very well be that they never uttered those words!) And if we want to discuss with our client something that our client supposedly told the government, but which is in a classified document, the Government would like the procedure to be that we would have to make a written request to the "privilege team" explaining exactly why we need to talk with our client about whatever it is that our client supposedly said, and the "team" will check things out with the "appropriate government agencies" and get back to us....sometime this century. You should also take note that our client's interrogation reports (that is really what they are trying to stop us from using) are ostensibly classified because of other information in the reports that should not see the light of day...names of interrogators etc, that the government just has not gotten around to redacting. We of course cannot mention that type of information with our clients... but now the Government is trying to classify our clients own words so that we cannot verify what the government claims our clients have said.... unless of course the Government gives us permission.

There is more to this, but in a nutshell this tells it all: the DOJ wants everything our clients (supposedly) told the military/government to be considered classified and bar us from talking with our clients about it unless our clients happened to have told us the same thing... the DOJ continues to try to put a strangle hold not only on our communications with our clients but our communications with other habeas counsel.... and the end result of this new proposal is that it would make it even more difficult to prove our client's innocence.