Monday, June 1, 2009


A while back I reported on the government's new practice of refusing to allow documents to be filed on the public record. In the past the Guantanamo court documents were screened and a few hours or days later the documents were either cleared for public filing or had a few words or sections blackened out and then the document was cleared. Right around the time of the presidential election everything that was filed in the Guantanamo cases was all of a sudden considered "classified" and nothing was ever declassifed by the Department of Justice (DOJ). (I think this was another way of the old DOJ controlling the filings and the new DOJ either not being aware or not challenging.) Today Judge Hogan said the practice must end. Thanks to Judge Hogan for ending a practice that was going to make the job of historians (and was in fact making the job of habeas counsel) that much harder.


Obama is almost doing as good a job as our congress in making sure that closing Guantanamo is as difficult as possible. The Uighers were ordered released by a judge many months ago when Bush was still in office. It was no surprise when the Bush justice department appealed that decision and filed an outrageous brief accusing the Uighers of being terrorists and a threat to the sanctity of American soil. When Obama came into office he could have put an end to this charade by withdrawing any objection to the District Court opinion. Instead the Obama administration ignored the case and let the DC Circuit rule. After the Uighers filed a cert petition in the Supreme Court we all waited with baited breath to see if the Obama administration would do the right thing. They did not. Last week Obama's new solicitor general filed an opposition to the Uigher's Cert petition in which she seemed to suggest that the reason the Uigher's are still at Guantanamo is because they do not want to go home. It would have been more honest to say that they are still at Guantanamo because they want to live (as going "home" to China means certain death...) and with Obama clinging to the Bush position that the Courts can enter a Habeas petition but cannot order release they are tying their own hands for closing Guantanamo.
Click on the title for Scotusblog's summary and a link to the government's opposition and read more about the Uighers from Andy Worthington.