Sunday, May 20, 2007


For those of you not familiar with Matthew Diaz he was a military lawyer at Guantanamo in 2004-05. I have to admit I do not know as much as I should about Diaz. But it seems that about eight months after the Supreme Court ruled in June 2004 that the Guantanamo detainees were entitled to legal representation Diaz sent the name of the detainees to the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. At the time Diaz said that his decision was the right decision because of how the detainees were being treated and he reminded everyone that his oath was to the U.S. Constitution. That would be the same oath (to the same Constitution) that Gonzales took… but it seems that Diaz took his oath a bit more seriously. As Diaz’s time at the base was nearing an end he stated "I had observed the stonewalling, the obstacles we continued to place in the way of the attorneys.” "I knew my time was limited. ... I had to do something."
Diaz has apologized for his actions. I hope one day I can apologize to Diaz for the actions taken by our country against him…. A country that has lost its moral compass and sentenced this man to six months for doing the right thing.
Thank you Lt. Comdr. Matthew Diaz. You are a hero.


I applaud the 2/3’s of the Harvard Law School Class of 1982 for speaking out publicly against their classmate. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall as that letter was being drafted….fifty six lawyers from Harvard drafting a letter…. And they still managed to get it out in a timely fashion. That alone is a wonder.

I am not one of Gonzales’ Harvard classmates. I graduated from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago six months after Gonzales graduated from Harvard Law School. I admit that it is not a remarkable fact that I am calling for Gonzales’ resignation. In fact, I feel certain that no one will be surprised that I do not think his resignation is enough. Gonzales is the man that said yes to torture, yes to indefinite detention, yes to the illegal surveillance of American citizens… and yes to a bunch of things we still don’t know about and a bunch of things I am forgetting… but we know that there is more illegal/immoral conduct lurking behind the bushes, because frankly, Gonzales is just that type of criminal "yes man."

Gonzales must be tried for his crimes and he must be punished. If we are to preserve our constitution it is time for everyone to step up to the plate and demand that Gonzales be removed from the position of Attorney General. Please call your senators on Monday and demandthat Gonzales be removed from office.


Fifty-six members of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' graduating class at Harvard Law School signed a quarter-page open letter in yesterday's Washington Post excoriating their former classmate for his "cavalier handling of our freedoms."

May 15, 2007
Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

Twenty-five years ago we, like you, graduated from Harvard Law School. While we arrived via many different paths and held many different views, we were united in our deep respect for the Constitution and the rights it guaranteed. As members of the post-Watergate generation who chose careers in law, we understood the strong connection between our liberties as Americans and the adherence of public offi cials to the law of the land. We knew that the choice to abide by the law was even more critical when public officials were tempted to take legal shortcuts. Nowhere were we taught that the ends justifi ed the means, or that freedoms for which Americans had fought and died should be set aside when inconvenient or challenging. To the contrary: our most precious freedoms, we learned, need defending most in times of crisis.

So it has been with dismay that we have watched your cavalier handling of our freedoms time and again. When it has been important that legal boundaries hold unbridled government power in check, you have instead used pretextual rationales and strained readings to justify an ever-expanding executive authority.

Witness your White House memos sweeping aside the Geneva Conventions to justify torture, endangering our own servicemen and women; witness your advice to the President effectively reading Habeas Corpus out of our constitutional protections; witness your support of presidential statements claiming inherent power to wiretap American citizens without warrants (and the Administration's stepped-up wiretapping campaign, taking advantage of those statements, which continues on your watch to this day); and witness your dismissive explanation of the troubling firings of numerous U.S. Attorneys, and their replacement with others more "loyal" to the President's politics, as merely "an overblown personnel matter." In these and other actions, we see a pattern. As a recent editorial put it, your approach has come to symbolize "disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law."

As lawyers, and as a matter of principle, we can no longer be silent about this Administration's consistent disdain for the liberties we hold dear. Your failure to stand for the rule of law, particularly when faced with a President who makes the aggrandized claim of being a unitary executive, takes this country down a dangerous path.

Your country and your President are in dire need of an attorney who will do the tough job of providing independent counsel, especially when the advice runs counter to political expediency. Now more than ever, our country needs a President, and an Attorney General, who remember the apt observation attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." We call on you and the President to relent from this reckless path, and begin to restore respect for the rule of law we all learned to love many years ago.



May 20, 2007
Terror Detainee Back in Australia

ADELAIDE, Australia, Sunday, May 20 (Agence France-Presse) * David Hicks, the Guantánamo Bay detainee who pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge, returned home to Australia on Sunday to complete his sentence, after more than five years in detention at the United States military base in Cuba.

Mr. Hicks, 31, was to be taken to the maximum security Yatala prison. He was sentenced in March to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism. Under a deal with American prosecutors, most of his jail sentence was suspended and he will be able to walk free before Jan. 1, 2008.

Mr. Hicks, who was arrested in Afghanistan in late 2001 and sent to Guantánamo early the following year, was held for years without charge and spent significant amounts of time in solitary confinement.

In March, he made a surprise plea bargain, pleading guilty to providing material support for terrorism in exchange for being allowed to serve out his term on Australian soil.

Under the deal, he has agreed to withdraw all claims of mistreatment during his
time in Guantánamo Bay and is barred from speaking to the news media for a year.