DOD Kicks Out Gitmo Reporters for Reporting Publicly Available Information

Spencer just tweeted:

Pentagon BANS Michelle Shephard, Paul Koring, Steven Edwards & @carolrosenberg from #GTMO for reporting Interrogator #1’s name #solidarity

And Al Arabiya’s Muna Shikaki tweeted:

Office of Sec of Defense issues statement barring reporters @carolrosenberg, and 3 canadian reporters from covering future trials in gtmo.

What appears to have happened is that DOD has banned Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg, Toronto Star’s Michelle Shepherd, Globe and Mail’s Paul Koring, and Canwest’s Steven Edwards from future trials because they used the name of Joshua Klaus–Omar Khadr’s first interrogator–in their reports this week.

Yet, as skdadl explained today, Klaus’ name is widely known in Canada.

Interrogator #1’s name is well known in Canada, and in fact it’s in Wikipedia.

[snip]

Joshua Claus is the guy. Omar apparently calls him “the skinny blond.” Interesting, given that one of the other interrogators we’ve heard from, a great hulking guy who has “Monster” tattooed on his chest (or somewhere — need to look that up), turns out to be a sensitive fellow (now has PTSD) whose testimony should work to help Omar. (I do have sources for all this stuff, but I’m a bit cross-eyed at the moment.)

Basically, the government is banning journalists for using a name they’ve used in reports in the past, a name that is publicly known.

Is this an attempt to prevent the public from making the connection between two Afghans who died in 2002–Dilawar and Habibullah–and Khadr’s treatment? And/or just an attempt to intimidate the press so the people who know the most about the Gitmo show trials (and particularly Khadr) don’t bring that knowledge to bear on their reporting?

Update: Spencer has more here. He also included the text of the letter sent to the reporters:

Cc: Whitman, Bryan Mr OSD PA
Subject: Ground rule violations

Lady and gentlemen:  I am writing to inform you that reporters from your news organizations violated established and agreed-upon ground rules governing reporting on Military Commissions proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Media Policy and Ground Rules for Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba were provided to each member of the media at Andrews Air Force Base before departure to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on April 26, 2010.  Paragraph 2a delineates the following restriction:  “To not publish, release, discuss or share information identified by commission’s personnel as being Protected Information or otherwise protected from disclosure by these ground rules.” Paragraph 2.g. of the ground rules states “The identities of all commission personnel, to include the Presiding Officer, commission members, prosecutors, defense counsels, and witnesses, will not be reported or otherwise disclosed in any way without prior release approval of OSD(PA).”

Specifically, your reporters published the name of a witness whose identity was protected in court.  The attached Word document is a collection of four news articles written AFTER the Military Judge clearly stated on May 5 that media covering Military Commissions are expected to comply with the protection orders.  All four (4) articles mention “Interrogator #1″ by his real name.

In accordance with paragraph 2 of the same policy, failure to comply with these ground rules or the Presiding Officer’s instructions could result in permanent expulsion from the courtroom area and may result in the removal of the parent news organization from further participation and could subject the (NMR) to criminal prosecution.

As a result of these violations, these individual reporters are barred from returning to cover future Military Commissions proceedings.  Your news organizations may continue to cover the proceedings with other reporters. However, future violations of the ground rules and/or military judge’s protection orders will result in your news organization losing the ability to send reporters to Guantanamo Bay.

If you desire more information, please contact me via e-mail or phone.  If you wish to appeal this decision, you may contact the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations, Mr. Bryan Whitman, at 703-697-6647 or [email protected].

Regards,

Col. Dave Lapan, USMC
Director, Defense Press Operations

So DOD is basically saying that once a reporter agrees to go to Gitmo, they lose the ability to report on stuff they have already reported on.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

141 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    I’ll go with “B”, an attempt to intimidate the press. And I’ll further bet that the given reason is not the real reason they want those reporters banned.

    Boxturtle (And in other breaking news, water is wet)

  2. rosalind says:

    and carole’s last tweet is from an hour ago, when she was heading into the meeting where she got her marching orders:

    # Pentagon spokeswoman assembling #Guantanamo press to issue statement on where DOD groundrules meet judge’s #Khadr case protective order.
    about 1 hour ago via web

    curious if she’s still able to tweet from gitmo and has refrained, or…?

    • emptywheel says:

      Spencer’s report on this notes that the four journalists found out before the rest of the press corps. Given the timing she was probably already herded out to learn that they were banning her.

      • Spencer Ackerman says:

        Let me correct this. Sorry if my initial report was unclear. Some of us were asked to step outside the filing center where we are all working to hear a statement from OSD that our very dedicated OSD representative here had to read. Being reporters, the majority of us went when we sniffed that there was some sort of New Thing to be presented. Another public-affairs officer started mentioning that this just had to do with “the four” but we didn’t know who the four were — so much so that they had to say that this was for Paul, Carol, Michelle and Steve.

        But the pack still walked over to a section of the hangar that houses the filing center, where our OSD rep read the letter Col. Lapan wrote. That was the first the four knew about this decision. It was apparently emailed down here while all of us were in the final press conference with lawyers for Khadr and the government.

        Only after the oral briefing did the four reporters receive an electronic copy of Col. Lapan’s letter.

        As I type, Steve, Michelle and Paul are typing out their day-stories about today’s Khadr hearing. I think Carol may have already filed. In the future, when people ask me what professionalism looks like, I will remember what I am seeing right now.

              • emptywheel says:

                Also tell Michelle that one of her readers (skdadl) noticed the absence of Claus’ name in her most recent report:

                Interestingly, Michelle Shephard of the Toronto Star doesn’t name him in today’s report, although she has interviewed him in the past.

        • Teddy Partridge says:

          Thank you, Spencer, as you are no doubt aware, your reporting became infinitely more important today. Safe filing and safe travels, sir.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    No problem kicking out some of the best reporters covering these “trials”. Pour encourager those that remain, whose newspapers will want them to keep their “access” at all costs. What access that is, what it’s utility may be, and what it costs in objectivity and lost coverage never seems to get asked. Plus this sort of move helps make the expensively produced DoD propaganda more effective.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Reporting on what is already in the public domain would seem to be a pretty basic First Amendment issue that presents no national security issues. It will make it harder for DoD to pretend it and its interrogators did nothing wrong or worth investigating, which would seem to be the can of worms the DoD desperately hopes will stay closed. Never mind that, to change metaphors, that toothpaste is already out of the tube and all over the basin.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      You must not have gotten the latest orders from the Ministry of Truth. That name was never in the public domain. You are being subversive for even saying such things. We have already obliterated even this post. Can’t you feel the flames licking these last typed lett

  5. skdadl says:

    Holy mackerel.

    In answer to your question on the last thread, EW, the first people I’d think of would be the offices of the three opposition parties, Libs, NDP, and Bloc, since Harper’s people will just stall.

    But this is scandalous. They’ve made a big mistake in banning the three major correspondents from this country — the G&M, the Star, and CanWest? I mean, you just can’t do that without getting a reaction.

    Who at the Pentagon is stupid enough to do this?

    • emptywheel says:

      The order was signed by Bob Gates himself.

      Which also means it WASN’T signed by the judge in the case, who yesterday gave a warning but did not find any journalist to be in violation of the protection order.

    • klynn says:

      But this is scandalous. They’ve made a big mistake in banning the three major correspondents from this country — the G&M, the Star, and CanWest? I mean, you just can’t do that without getting a reaction.

      I cannot begin to imagine what the outcry would be if the tide was turned and this was a Canadian trial of a US citizen.

      I am so sorry and ashamed skdadl.

  6. emptywheel says:

    Well, and this is the same kind of thing CIA is doing with the interrogators and John Adams Project. ACLU found the identities of interrogators themselves, but now CIA wants them prosecuted for spreading classified information.

  7. WilliamOckham says:

    I vote for: The Pentagon wanted to get rid of Carol Rosenberg and the Canadians were just collateral damage.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, they’ve tried that in the past.

      Though I’m sure they’d like to get rid of the institutional memory on Khadr as well. Crazy, that. Why wouldn’t they want Canada to know what we did with their teenager?

      • Chacounne says:

        I’m going to say that is exactly what it was. They don’t want Canadians to know what the US did to our teenager and is doing to our now young man. Are there any Canadian reporters left at the hearings ?

        Disgusted and Curious Canadian,
        Heather

        • skdadl says:

          CTV is still there, and I assume that CBC is, although I’ve been a bit puzzled not to find a report from them yet today.

          I suspect that EW is wise to speculate on this as a warning about the trials to come, especially of KSM. Do they want to suppress the names Mitchell and Jessen? Given what Mitchell and Jessen would be likely to do if threatened?

          Jim Haynes: “Acquittals? We can’t have acquittals.” I don’t think the logic has changed much. They really don’t dare have acquittals.

    • Teddy Partridge says:

      Reminds me of RFK’s comment when LBJ announced his 1964 running mate wouldn’t be any Cabinet member: “I didn’t mean to take out all those great fellows along with me!” Since, of course, Johnson’s intent was simply to exclude Bobby.

      I vote for “all of the above.” You know everyone is treading just a little closer to the line today despite their best efforts and sympathy for their excluded colleagues.

  8. Hmmm says:

    Welp, in a Show Trial if you can’t control the Trial part the way you’d like, you gotta control the Show part.

    I can’t believe there isn’t some sort of recourse available here. Under what authority were the reporters removed exactly? The new rulebook, standing law, or just ’cause DoD said so?

    • emptywheel says:

      Check the update, which includes the letter. I’m betting the journalists and their outlets appeal, particularly given that all the Canadians have already reported on Claus.

  9. Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

    I also vote for “and”.

    In addition – though I don’t know about Edwards recent reports on this topic, over the weekend Rosenberg, Sheperd, and Koning all prominently covered the Special Assassins Ops Lt Col W’s testimony that – years after the fact – he changed his written record re the day Khadr’s alleged to thrown the grenade – and changed it to implicate Khadr. And only did so after talking to prosecutors.

    By the way – a worthwhile research project would be checking the current War College staff roster for Lt Cols and then checking their bios to see which reserve Lt Cols are police (asst?) chiefs: those reported aspects of Col W’s vitae should narrow down the pool enough for reporters to find him and directly question the good officer about his decision to alter his written record re alleged homicide years after the fact.

    Sure makes one wonder about the criminal cases Col W may have testified in as a police officer: what else has he changed to implicate a defendant after talking with prosecutors?

  10. skdadl says:

    Gee, I never write fast, but I just did teh discussion board, our blog, Facebook, the aggregator — I guess I could tweet too, eh? The aggregator will do it, though.

    EW, this is a young woman’s game, y’know. I don’t know how you do it. Teh kittehs and I are going to need a wee dram soon. ;-)

        • skdadl says:

          Are you watching the BBC (live on the Guardian site)? They’re broadcasting (on and off, the colour sections) from all these cool neo-mod pubs along the Thames. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the decor I’m seeing.

            • skdadl says:

              Tooting, indeed! lol. I’ve never been to Tooting (Tooting Bec, I think it used to be called on my train map), but they seem fairly solidly Labour.

              Otherwise, I can’t tell what’s happening yet. The swings are very different, region to region. I don’t think we’ll know until our morning what the shape of things will be.

              They’re better at staying up than I am, boy. I think the queen has the right idea: she has informed the party leaders that she won’t be prepared to talk to any of them until after lunch. Quite right. Me too.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I ordinarily prefer the Guardian, but am following it on the Beeb. Watching people enjoy wee dram after wee dram of Highlands’ elixir makes me homesick.

            • skdadl says:

              You don’t have to answer, eoh, but do you mind if I ask where home is? Over there, I mean?

              Dunfermline just heard from — people might be interested to know that Dunfermline is Andrew Carnegie’s hometown, a douce wee toun just across the Forth from Edinburgh and magnificently endowed by their favourite son when he did well in the colonies. The restoration of the cathedral is breathtaking. Labour took that back from the LibDems, which they seem also to have done in a seat in Glasgow. The Cons hardly figure in Scotland — Mrs Thatcher finished the Cons off in Scotland for generations.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I have nothing good to say about Cameron; his government would serve Oxbridge and the hereditary and wealth aristocracy even more than “new” Labour. If there’s a hung parliament, it will be very interesting to see if Brown can work with Clegg. Talk about strange bedfellows.

  11. WilliamOckham says:

    OT: If you don’t know much about offshore drilling and want a simple straightforward explanation of the BP blowout and its implications, see here. It’s written by Bill White, the Dem candidate for governor in Texas. I don’t agree with him on his views of offshore drilling, but he at least appears to inhabit the same universe that I do, unlike our current governor.

  12. Mary says:

    In a movie, the response would be for all the remaining reporters to report on the expulsion of the four reporters with the reason for the expulsion also prominent, i.e., to report that the four reporters were kicked out for reporting that “Interrogator #1 is Joshua Claus”

    In which event, Obama’s commissions could decide about kicking out all media.

    If you’re going to run a Star Chamber, you may as well run it right.

    • Hmmm says:

      I think USG anticipated that response and foreclosed it by saying that with any future violations, the reporters’ papers would lose access. That turns the reporters’ professionalism against the reporters themselves.

      Fuckers!

      • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

        That kicks the Spartacus strategy upstairs to the publications’ editors. I wonder if a group decision among all covering pubs to republish the news (re Sgt Claus’ interrogation) the four reporters have already revealed would force a DOD climbdown.

        Can’t have a show trial without an audience.

        Also, A mass DOD “wall out” guarantees media focus directly on DOD’s post-disclosure censorship.

        • skdadl says:

          Well, I would like to see the papers fight back for sure, and our strategy up here has to be to confront Steve — who pretends to sublime neutrality on Khadr’s case — with the now undeniable reality of the show trials.

          In a very real sense, it’s Harper’s fault that Khadr is still there. I think it’s possible that Obama/Holder/whoeverelse’s positions may have shifted over the last year (in the wrong direction), but if Harper had made a serious request for repatriation a year ago, backed up by a majority vote in the Commons (which he had, but didn’t want), I believe all this could have ended then.

          If people here aren’t on fire about this soon, I’m gonna despair of us.

          • emptywheel says:

            I would bet that they appeal and get let back in. But then you’ve achieved your desired result. So the press is prepared when they try KSM and whatnot. Can’t have anyone admit that Mitchell and Jessen testified, you know.

      • Mary says:

        Well, I wouldn’t say it “technically” forecloses it, since the letter has to do with the 4 reporters and is to their papers, while I was talking about the other reporters.

        @32 “I wonder if a group decision among all covering pubs to republish the news” that’s what I was getting at, along with the blowback from that for the Pentagon, which would be as you note, “Can’t have a show trial without an audience.”

  13. JasonLeopold says:

    Rosenberg’s story even attributes the identity of the Joshua Claus to “Canadian media” reports.

    Later this week, defense lawyers planned to call an interrogator who was court-martialed for detainee abuse, identified in Canadian media as former Army Sgt. Joshua Claus, for questioning about Khadr’s Aug. 12, 2002, interrogation — a witness identified as Interrogator No. 2 testified Tuesday that Khadr was sedated and lying on a stretcher during that interrogation, which was conducted just hours after Khadr had been transferred from the hospital to the prison.

  14. powwow says:

    What a fucking outrage.

    [Rachel Maddow, you’ve been following Spencer’s Guantanamo tweets – get the hell on this.]

  15. BearCountry says:

    I don’t understand why the rethugs and tea drinkers are so opposed to obamarahma. They are getting all that they would have wanted under a rethug president and congress, and MORE! Progressives or even centrists are getting NOTHING that they want! This treatment of the reporters is certainly indicative of what the WH thinks makes this country great.

    obamarahma is working hard on more goodies for the rethugs in trying to put SS money into the stock market. Given today’s action, it should be an easy sell for people to rush to put their lifesavings in the market. obamarahma could begin to put people into prison for opposing his plans for their money, and assign assassins to take out anyone that is too vocal about it. Of course, no one could report on it. I just didn’t realize that the prez had that much authority vested in him by the Constitution.

  16. emptywheel says:

    The ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer weighs in:

    That reporters are being punished for disclosing information that has been publicly available for years is nothing short of absurd – any gag order that covers this kind of information is not just overbroad but nonsensical. Plainly, no legitimate government interest is served by suppressing information that is already well known. We strongly urge the Defense Department to reconsider its rash, draconian and unconstitutional decision to bar these four reporters from future tribunals. If allowed to stand, this decision will discourage legitimate reporting and add yet another entry to the long list of reasons why the military commissions ought to be shut down for good.

    • MadDog says:

      I’m confident that the DOD “logic” goes something like this:

      “1st Amendment? This is Cuba! We don’t got no steenkin’ 1st Amendment!”

  17. orionATL says:

    hmm & ew @13 &14

    the proper appeal
    is political,

    and right now,

    and to prez obama directly,

    rapidly, and noisily.

    challenge the guy who’s responsible for this (while not forgetting to keep one’s eye on the trials themselves).

  18. Spencer Ackerman says:

    A prepared statement from the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer:

    “That reporters are being punished for disclosing information that has been publicly available for years is nothing short of absurd – any gag order that covers this kind of information is not just overbroad but nonsensical. Plainly, no legitimate government interest is served by suppressing information that is already well known. We strongly urge the Defense Department to reconsider its rash, draconian and unconstitutional decision to bar these four reporters from future tribunals. If allowed to stand, this decision will discourage legitimate reporting and add yet another entry to the long list of reasons why the military commissions ought to be shut down for good.”

  19. orionATL says:

    maddog @44

    lol.

    the ancieme regime in cuba,

    i.e., early, highly authoritarian, castro:

    jail ‘ em

    shoot ’em

    or

    deport ’em.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pity that the major news outlets haven’t the testicular fortitude to say,

    “They don’t come, we don’t come, and the story is you kicking out people for publishing information already in the public domain, which would seem to suggest the “trial” lacks fairness, too.”

  21. Mary says:

    “no legitimate government interest is served”

    But commissions aren’t a part of functioning government. Their purpose is and always has been to serve when government has broken to the point it can’t function.

    Ok – so maybe they are more applicable in an Obama administration than I had thought they would be …

  22. orionATL says:

    this seems likely only one part of a wide-ranging decision by the obama admin to completely shut-down critical public discussion of the u.s. gov’t’s ” national secutity” programs, put otherwise, a carefully calculated, white-house organized, effort to control all “national security” news by intimidating reporters and whistleblowers.

    this particular suppression of reporting, of the guantanamo terrorism trials,

    is one with the suits filed against the nsa whistleblower and the rejection of judge walker’s al-haramain decision.

    in short,

    the obama admin has decided to admit no wrong,

    to accept no implication of wrong done by the bush admin or themselves,

    and hide all wrongs not currently publicly known from the public (and the world).

  23. drational says:

    Betcha this is temporary and an officious litlle powerplay.
    Carol is a major thorn in their side, being a Real journalist, and she will be right back in the thick. I wonder if she snapped Col. Dave’s man tits with a towel.

  24. Mary says:

    Breaking –
    FOX News is horribly upset over this story of censorship!

    OK – that’s just for EW to add to her Judy Miller collection.

    It is pretty funny though, JM and Shep Smith getting upset over how a supposed democracy has it’s people having to find out what’s going on in their own countries from foreign press.

    JM: But there’s always been an understanding that when the information appears in the foreign press it’s fair game for the [US]Press.

    SS – Exactly

    JM: SO you know I think that [US citizens] are wondering what’s going on inside our own country that we’re not permitted to read this. … It has a free and a vibrant press.

    SS: Wrong.

  25. Mary says:

    BTW – the Kamm affair in Israel does go hand in hand with a lot of the other cases here, in the UK, in Germany, etc. of intel services and run amok Executives and what happens when they engage in assassinations in derogation of law.

    • Nell says:

      Kamm affair

      ? Could you provide a pointer, or advice on what to google? I’m assuming this isn’t about windbag Oliver Kamm, which is what comes up in a search of Kamm Israel…

      • Mary says:

        This takes things a bit OT, but it is kind of related. Annat Kamm is a young Israeli journalsit who is/was being held on a kind of house arrest pending trial for espionage.

        She is accused of leaking information that she obtained during her compulsory military service. That info was about the military targeting Palestinians in the West Bank for assassinations, despite what seems to be the highest court authority there that such actions would have been illegal.

        So the young woman, Annat Kamm, was put on a house arrest and all the press in Israel is/was gagged from talking about her case (or even about the gag) and what she is accused of, while the journalist that she is seemingly accused of leaking to, a Haaretz reporter named Blau, supposedly has fled Israel and is hiding out in Europe or Britain. The gag order was somewhat modified in mid April.

        OTOH, the case has gotten press elsewhere and even the infamous Judy Miller has suddenly decided to burnish her own creds by taking a break from planting CIA disinformation and writing about her polar opposite. The handling of the case has all been justified as being due to “national security” even though any Israeli with google can find out the info that the Israeli press is being censored from printing.

        If you google Anat Kamm (or Uri Blau) you’ll get more. Apparently Blau has just recently agreed from his secret location to return his copies of the murder documents.
        http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=174210

        And Jeff Stein has a recent piece up on how the DC Bar, disinterested as it is in lawyers who faciliate torture killings and conduct massive public pressers to try their cases against the uncharged held in military custody, etc. – about how the DC Bar is still spinning wheels, trying to issue a smack down for Radack.
        http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/05/dc_bar_still_pursuing_doj_leak.html

  26. Mary says:

    Ya gotta love McClatchey –
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20100507/wl_mcclatchy/3498000

    The Pentagon Thursday banned four reporters, including one from McClatchy Newspapers , from covering future military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba , charging that they’d violated ground rules by publishing the name of a former Army interrogator who was a witness at a hearing there this week.

    At issue were news articles earlier this week that identified a witness at a hearing for Canadian detainee Omar Khadr as former Army Sgt. Joshua Claus . The Pentagon had asked reporters to identify him as Interrogator No. 1.

    Claus has been the subject of news stories since 2005, when he was convicted by a U.S. military court martial of abusing detainees at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan in 2005, a conviction that earned him a five-month prison term.

    Since the Pentagon has made the banning the story, you have to explain why they were banned.

  27. skdadl says:

    Brief but strong institutional statements from the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star:

    The witness in question was identified and interviewed in the Star two years ago.

    “This is ridiculous and an unfair ban and the Toronto Star will object strongly to it. Absurd,’’ said Editor Michael Cooke.

    • Mary says:

      McClatchey is more in your face than that – they use the story of the banning to once again reference the name and the prior detainee abuse conviction.

  28. hatenomor says:

    Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss. Pete Townsend.
    It’s the Government, folks, not just a man, women, or party. It’s not Bush, Obama, the Democrats or the Republicans. They are but tools the Government uses to get over.

  29. orionATL says:

    again,

    hound the pentagon with questions,

    but believe, until solidly disproven,

    that the white house is conducting a “shut down public discussion of all forms of nat’l security malfeasance” campaign

    in order to eliminate one source of “confusion” or antipathy toward dems voting
    in nov, 2010.

  30. klynn says:

    Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg, Toronto Star’s Michelle Shepherd, Globe and Mail’s Paul Koring, and Canwest’s Steven Edwards

    That’s a boatload of Gitmo knowledge just banned. Which has me thinking this was a plan all along.

    FDL TV should have EW interview the four plus Spencer for FDL TV.

  31. emptywheel says:

    McClatchy also included a link to Shepherd’s interview with Claus.

    A few interesting bits from it:

    Khadr’s lawyers fought to get access to Claus at a Guantanamo hearing earlier this month after the prosecution had dropped him from a previous witness list.

    Navy Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler accused the prosecution of trying to hide Claus’ identity because he had been involved in the interrogation of an Afghan detainee who died in U.S. custody.

    [snip]

    Claus said yesterday he had not been contacted by the prosecution recently and did not know if he would be called to testify. He would also not comment on what he is doing now or disclose the location from where he was calling.

    The documents released last week note Claus was once offered immunity in order to testify about the Khadr case. He said yesterday he could not discuss the issue.

    • klynn says:

      I hope all four papers plaster Claus’ name and background all over their front pages and Sunday editions. Along with some great sidebars on the implications of the ban and indepth info about each reporter and what information on Gitmo they have had a role in uncovering.

  32. orionATL says:

    the white house is protecting a teetering torture house of cards thru hidden intimidation.

    whether claus (did he have to have a german surname?)

    or some other interrogator,

    this wall of silence for torture will break.

    and when it does, i would not want to have any political responsibility for having tortured or

    for having ordered torture hidden.

  33. reader says:

    Wow. Great reporting about great reporting, everyone! Thanks. I am just gobsmacked. Oh, and quite ready for a few wee drams, that’s for sure.

  34. hcgorman says:

    Unfortunately this is a story I know all to well.
    Last year I was barred from discussing public information about one of my Guantanamo clients. When I complained to the judge he carved out an exception to the first amendment that applied to only me: as a habeas attorney I could not discuss a certain event but as a private citizen I could.
    Yikes…you figure that one out.
    I took it to mean I could talk about what is in the link below at a cocktail party but not in a legal seminar (needless to say I attended many cocktail parties….)
    Now of course my client is a free man (sort of) and none of this can be barred any longer but this is the kind of bullshit that continues unchecked.

    http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2009/11/22/justice-department-pointlessly-gags-guantanamo-lawyer/

    • Garrett says:

      On a day when our respect for the journalists covering Guantanamo is very high, and we’ve gotten a very strong reminder why coverage is important, I’d also like to say:

      Our respect for all the various attorneys and staff involved in detainee defense work is also immense.

      The story on that Andy Worthington page is just appalling.

      Thanks. Thanks so much.

    • Hmmm says:

      I’m trying to figure out what possible purpose the USG’s direction to you (in your case) and to the GTMO journalists (today) can possibly serve, and coming up blank. In both cases the information they seek to prevent from being reported is circulating freely. WTF good does it do them to have your obedience?

    • Nell says:

      Ms. Gorman: Very moved by your radio interview of a few weeks ago. Thanks for all your work.

  35. orionATL says:

    hcgorman @72

    arbitrariness in the law is a premier sign of authoritarianism.

    how could this nation of ours, and

    this department of defense of ours, and

    this department of justice of ours, and

    this presidency of ours,

    allowed themselves to become co-conspiritors in the denial of access to our ordinary judicial system,

    and co-conspiritors to denying to both prisoner and attorney,

    long-honored rights and privileges.

  36. Stephen says:

    As very infamous president once said, ” your either with us or against us “. Barry and Company seems to have adopted this attitude and policy.

    • fatster says:

      Problem is, many people who voted for Obama were trying to repudiate BushCo. Only now they are learning that ain’t necessarily the case, particularly when it comes to some of the more odious practices of BushCo.

  37. mui1 says:

    What’s wrong with you people? Doesn’t anyone have any sympathy for torturers these days/s?
    That is a snark.

    • skdadl says:

      Another bizarre detail from yesterday, this time reported by Steven Edwards, who is the Canwest reporter who was banned.

      A “substantial number” of Omar Khadr’s torture allegations have been “conclusively corroborated” during hearings of the military commissions, the Canadian-born terror suspect’s chief U.S. lawyer said at their conclusion Thursday.

      The statement and other commentary on the case by Barry Coburn enraged the chief prosecutor, who said he is considering making a formal ethics complaint against the Washington attorney.

      “We’re not going to prejudice the rights of Omar Khadr,” Capt. John Murphy said at the U.S naval base here, citing professional ethics rules covering public discussion of the merits of a case under litigation.

      And then at article’s end, Coburn responds:

      Reacting to the prosecution’s accusation of ethics violations, Coburn signalled that he was baffled.

      “I have been researching the issue,” he said. “I have checked the military rules as well as the rules of the states where I am barred, and it does not appear that there is any prohibition relating to the comments I made.”

      Shorter prosecutor: I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll … I’ll … stamp my feet!

  38. skdadl says:

    Spencer says that these four are not the only reporters who have used Claus’s name, so that suggests some strategic targeting, I guess.

    I hope that McClatchy sets the standard too. I’m sure the reporters are brave (and witty) enough, but then there are always those nervous editors.

    Candace @ 72, I admire your calm and strength endlessly. I know you couldn’t get the work that matters done without superhuman restraint — well, certainly more restraint than this human is capable of. I don’t want to sound exploitative — obviously al-Ghizzawi’s welfare was your priority — but you and Andy have given the rest of us such valuable evidence and testimony to keep working from. Thanks very much.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think it may actually be timing. The govt said these four published AFTER the judge’s warning. Rosenberg, at least, had already filed the story in question, before the warning, though.

      So I’m wondering if they just set them up that way.

    • timbo says:

      Gosh. The lengths the DOD will go to to get the Canadian Embassador talking to the Whitehouse. Must be a great day for Foggy Bottom this evening.

  39. mui1 says:

    @79. Correction. If the man will testify on Khadr’s behalf, I do have sympathy. But I do tend to think every move made by Obama is made for the administration’s behalf and fear of lawsuits has crossed my mind once or twice. Which is not a good reason to hold innocent men indefinitely and persecute.

  40. klynn says:

    So I’m wondering if they just set them up that way.

    Meaning, they intended to set them up knowing those writers had written about him by name before?

      • klynn says:

        Would that not give the writers cover? The argument of timing?

        Giving the warning after they filed, they (Gov) probably had interception capabilities of the writer’s stories and just sat back like smiling cats?

        That puts a new spin on, “Gotcha journalism.”

        Are you able to get the time stamp on their filing of their stories and the timing of the warning? That would be quite a story. It would be intended censorship.

  41. orionATL says:

    perhaps some skilled web researchers can help me.

    i went looking thru the nytimes ( online edition) about midmorning today (5-7)

    for the story about the banning of the four reporters.

    using the times’ search feature and several different search phrases (rosenberg,arar,guantanamo,etc).

    i could not come up with this story.

    moving to google, i could find the story numerous places including wapoop,

    but not at nytimes.

    i was checking specifically because times reporter james risen has been called back for grand jury intimidation.

    can anyone find the nytimes story on the gitmo four, if there is one?

    • harpie says:

      faster beat me to it, and as noted, the NYT hasn’t yet written about it themselves…only linked to “Headlines Around the Web”, like TalkLeft and AP.

      Could someone please tell me how to do the nifty Links like faster did @93? Thanks.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        Above the response box is a group of buttons, the chain button enables you to do links. It’s right next to the spell check button.

        This button runs a script, so you have to allow scripts on the page. If you’re running vista, you’ll get a bar at the top of the browser window asking you if you want to allow. If you get this message, you have to allow, then click the link button again.

        Now you have a dialog box that wants your link. Just paste it in.

        Boxturtle (You’re welcome!)

      • fatster says:

        It took me forever to figure out how to use that linky thing, so I’ll try. I probably have a more labor-intensive approach to it than others do, so hopefully someone more facile at these things will chime in and let you know how to do it quicker/better.

        I do the linking by copying the web address, then highlighting wherever I want it to appear (usually, :LINK.”), then click on the chain-link symbol up above (in-between the quotes and ABC-checkmark (whatever that is) symbols),
        move my cursor over the “http:” that appears in the pop-up window and then click paste.

        I doubt my instructions are clear, but I do hope they will suffice. Short answer: use the chain-link symbol.

        • fatster says:

          As I said, “someone more facile at these things will chime in and let you know how to do it quicker/better.” And our good friend BoxTurtle was right on it!

        • harpie says:

          This is the link to Worthington’s article about Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi and his attorney H. Candace Gorman.
          Link

          • fatster says:

            Yay harpie! Oh, and tthanks for the link to the Worthington article. Very interesting.

            • harpie says:

              You’re welcome. The attorney herself, HC Gorman posted it @72 and after reading it, I thought it worthwhile to repost [while testing my linking skills]. Yes…very interesting…and infuriating.

  42. b2020 says:

    Question: when does reporting from a show trial begin to provide a false legitimacy to said show trial?

    Right off the bat?
    Whenever there is evidence that the court is not acting in good faith?
    Or when reporters are banned for inane, contrived or made-up cause?

    I am sure it is good business and copy to participate in “Git Mo’ Justice”, but participation it is. If you can’t call a Klaus a Klaus, maybe it is time to pack it in? A name is important, it is, after a fashion, an instrument of teaching. If there is nothing to be taught, why stay in the cave just to watch the shadows on the wall dance?

    • skdadl says:

      If there is nothing to be taught, why stay in the cave just to watch the shadows on the wall dance?

      Important question, b2020. Obviously I can’t speak for them, but I think the answer that organizations like the ACLU and Amnesty International would give you is that, when all else is failing, someone still has to witness.

      I can’t witness for Omar or anyone else at GTMO, so I’m glad that at least a few other people can. I’m sure that it bothers at least some of them that they are, as you say, participating and therefore kind of legitimizing. And those who stay probably have many reasons to stay.

      But as soon as you ask the question, why stay in the cave, are you not reminded? Omar is in the cave. Dozens of others are in the cave. At the very least, somebody has to do everything s/he can to enter the cave and bring back word.

        • Mary says:

          That’s a good piece – thanks for sharing it. It doesn’t even go into the issues, too, of all the important cases in the pipeline for which she would have strongly perceived and/or actual conflicts, making her either a non-vote or a tainted vote.

          @123 – When it comes to Obama, hope is just a four letter word. I don’t think he’d let this story get so far out there if he hadn’t made up his mind. He’d made up his mind awhile bac for that matter, just realized he had to give it all a bit more show. He’ll get a twofer – his incompetent pal in a lifetime slot and a second try at getting a more competent Solictor running the shop.

  43. harpie says:

    TY, BoxTurtle!
    testing…
    This is the link to Worthington‘s article about Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi and his attorney H. Candace Gorman.

    • skdadl says:

      harpie, you can also always do this:

      [a href=”paste in url”]your words here[/a]

      except where I’ve typed square brackets, you type angle brackets (look above the comma and the period).

      You have to type it exactly as I have. Don’t forget to insert the quotation marks before and after the URL.

      Some smarter people could show you how to do that perfectly, using the angle brackets, without its disappearing and turning into a link, but I’m not that far along in my lessons yet.

      • PJEvans says:

        left arrow should be ;&lt
        right arrow should be ;&gt
        (although I’m not getting them to work in preview)

      • harpie says:

        Thanks, skdadl! I’ll try that next time. I guess that can be used without the “chain” link…right? Useful at other sites?

        • skdadl says:

          I do believe that adepts (like PJE) call that HTML — except, you see? He’s reached several levels above me. Sometimes I try to learn more from this site, but I have low tolerance for squiggles and numbers, and in despair I just throw myself on the mercy of the tech geniuses. I write with a remarkably tolerant one.

          HTML only works where it is enabled. It doesn’t work, eg, on many discussion boards (PJE will explain why). But it does work on blogs.

  44. orionATL says:

    fatster and harpie

    thank you very much.

    i missed that reference.

    is the times just taking their time to get all their facts straight?

    we’ll have to wait a bit to find out.

    still i keep thinking of their clamorous defense of judy miller and reporters rights – but that was then.

    • harpie says:

      “is the times just taking their time to get all their facts straight?”

      The cynical part of me [about 93%] just thought “ha! ha! at that. Instead of “facts” maybe “story”?
      Judy was one of their own, so they did have a front row seat to that incident…like you said, we’ll have to wait and see.

    • Leen says:

      Yeah Judy “I was fucking right” Miller’s “rights” To fucking hell with the rights of Iraqi people to stay alive. Here in the states we are more concerned with the rights of a very dangerous and pathological liar like Judy Millers bloody rights as a horrible journalist. Pathetic

      And now we have commericials being run about how bad bad bad Iran is and the Diane Rehms Friday rouud up show filled with guest who spend an hour building the case for more aggressive actions towards Iran.

      Christ all mighty I know history repeats itself but this is simply insane.

      • Mary says:

        I was listening to Evan Thomas of Newsweek quipping away about his book but also talking about the Newsweek war mongering in the Iraq war. He kinda sorta was feeling bad about it in 2006, when he “thought” the war was being “lost” but now that “the surge worked” he thinks it was all ok, although the “4,000+ American lives lost” were kinda sorta a sad price to pay, but yippee yippee, DEMOCRACY in Iraq, so it’s all good now.

        • Leen says:

          The MSM keeps Americans in the bubble. No reports about the accumulative deaths in Iraq. Somehow we know how many Jews (forget the numbers of Poles, Gypsies etc (they don’t count) were slaughtered by the Hitler killing machine. But in 2010 somehow no one can come up with the numbers of dead and injured in Iraq due to our illegal and immoral invasion. We are one sick nation.

  45. harpie says:

    Thanks so much faster and BoxTurtle! With your help I’ve accomplished something today! :-) !!

  46. harpie says:

    Scott Horton: “Press Censorship at Guantanamo“; 5/7/10

    […] At this point the only way out for the Obama Administration is to arrange a plea bargain for Khadr. The case is now so thoroughly compromised that any other outcome will only be a further embarrassment.

      • Mary says:

        Fine – put up you best effort (if it involves the use of the word Zombie you get extra points), but keep in mind that I am completely biased in favor of Froomkin.

        Although I think Bob gets some kind of an award for Best Question About An Obama Sup Ct Nominee.

  47. bmaz says:

    But, but, but I axed that question in my Kagan Couldn’t Find A Courtroom With A Map, Compas, GPS and Native Guide post.

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