Monday, July 23, 2007

Stephen Abraham in the NYT

Today's New York Times has a piece on Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, the courageous whistle-blower whose affidavit exposed the combatant status review tribunal process as a total farce. The article ends with Abraham's experience as a CSRT panel member - the story may sound familiar to our readers ...

One of the tribunals the lawyers have learned more about since then was the one on which Colonel Abraham sat. Documents they have gathered show that Abraham was assigned to the panel in November 2004. The detainee was a Libyan, captured in Afghanistan, who was said to have visited terrorist training camps and belonged to a Libyan terrorist organization.

By a vote of 3 to 0, the panel found that “the detainee is not properly classified as an enemy combatant and is not associated with Al Qaeda or Taliban.”

Two months later, (after Pentagon officials first attempted to pressure Abraham's panel into changing their result...HCG), the pentagon established a second panel to review the decision anew. The second conclusion, again by a vote of 3 to 0, was quite different: “The detainee is properly classified as an enemy combatant and is a member of or associated with Al Qaeda.”

I will also add that the second panel had no new evidence to support its finding against Mr. Al-Ghizzawi. ...

Yes! The panel Abraham sat on was our client Mr. Al-Ghizzawi's first CSRT panel which found him not to not be an enemy combatant. It was the second, farcical do-over tribunal that classified Al-Ghizzawi an "EC." Seems that the second panel that was used for Mr. Al-Ghizzawi was also used several other times to "do over" earlier panel decisions that did not reach the results that the pentagon demanded.

You probably will not be surprised at this but Lt. Col. Abraham was never assigned to sit on another panel.

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