John Brennan’s Kangaroo Court

Congratulations to Barack Obama, whose invisible hand censor has made Gitmo even more of a kangaroo court than it was under Bush.

As Jim laid out, over the last two days of Gitmo hearings, we saw (thanks to livetweeters like Carol Rosenberg, Jason Leopold, and Daphne Eviatar) someone improperly cut the feed from the court room to the journalists for 3 minutes, just as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s lawyer, David Nevin, started to read from his unclassified motion to preserve the black sites. After it happened, Judge James Pohl was rather angry about what he saw as an improper use of the censorship system. Today, it became clear that the OCA–the original classification authority–pressed the censor button, via some AV means that Judge Pohl either didn’t fully understand or want to discuss.

In other words, CIA has ultimate control over his court room.

For the last day, I’ve been predicting that Moral Rectitude Transparency and Assassination Czar John Brennan was responsible for the improper censorship. It was almost certainly some CIA minion Brennan will manage not long after his February 7 confirmation hearing rather than Brennan himself. Though remember–the legal record indicates that the National Security Council, and not CIA, asked to have torture made into a Special Access Program in the first place, though before most of the 9/11 detainees being tried were tortured (the exception, I think, is Ramzi bin al-Shibh). So either John Brennan in his guise as Obama’s NSC counterterrorism advisor or his rising CIA Director–ultimately, it was his portfolio censorsing unclassified information in the trial.

But it’s worth noting that this is the second time in a week that CIA has managed to dictate our legal process. Last Friday, John Kiriakou was sentenced for indirectly revealing to these same defense lawyers the identity of two of their client’s interrogators (one who actually engaged in the torture itself). DOJ originally decided that knowledge, by itself, did not merit charges. But CIA appealed to … John Brennan, and Patrick Fitzgerald was brought in and ultimately Kiriakou was delivered up as an example to cow others who might expose details of the torture program.

And then yesterday, you had a lawfully cleared defense motion being discussed in court, and CIA overruled the determination the trial judge had made, and ensured that journalists could not hear even that unclassified motion. Judge Pohl has deferred the discussion about preserving the black sites as evidence until next month, and it’s not clear whether the defendants or the journalists will be permitted to attend that hearing.

We shall see, next month, whether the CIA has taken over this judicial determination, as they did the judgement on the John Adams Project.

Twitter22Reddit0Facebook5Google+3Email

10 Responses to John Brennan’s Kangaroo Court

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @walterwkatz @emptywheel There is simply a ton of criminal law in there actually. Kind of hard to get across, but it is in there. I tried!
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Yes, here it is, a Storify recap of "Emptywheel's Parallel Prosecution Primer" http://t.co/VAqHz7OEVf Just what you wanted for Easter!
17mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @bmaz Yes, here it is, a Storify recap of "Emptywheel's Parallel Prosecution Primer" http://t.co/gdn7Eb6QYx
18mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @HanniFakhoury Well, actually, I kinda been hoping @Atrios would get a Supertrain built between Phoenix+Tucson. #WantSupertrain
42mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bmaz FFS bmaz, haven't you ever heard of driving 2 hours before? @HanniFakhoury
51mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @PatrickCToomey Don't forget they're not telling ANYONE (except Moalin, who may not have been 215 but instead 12333) dragnet involved.
52mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @kevinjonheller Ah, you thought you had gotten rid of me, eh matey? Soon it will be glorious Packers season again!
53mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @KagroX So, you ARE old! #GetOffaMyLawnersUnite!
55mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @HanniFakhoury Wait, you are speaking with Judge Frank Zappa? Not that close, but my wife just bought gas miser Prius, Maybe I'll come down.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @charlie_savage Wait, people still blog? Who are those guys? https://t.co/qIqdwWoed4
59mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz And that is a wrap on today's parallel construction lesson. http://t.co/dUqzgH0Jkd
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz And that, my friends, is why this post is so important. http://t.co/lI7Xs9vZ3i Shine it on at your own peril and/or stupidity.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2013
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031