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.

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10 Responses to John Brennan’s Kangaroo Court

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @BradMossEsq And thank god he did, else this enlightenment would never had happened. Need a million more Snowdens!!
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bmaz @etuckerAP how many days has jury been out now? Seems like forever.
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bmaz @BradMossEsq @jasonleopold No evidence is contrary!
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JimWhiteGNV @PhilPerspective Not sure, but Foley stupidly extended him recently. @bmaz
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JimWhiteGNV @bmaz Wait. I thought you wanted us to hire Charlie Weis. Make up your mind.
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emptywheel RT @MikeScarcella: Obama-appointed judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers assigned to Twitter transparency suit http://t.co/vFj9PkdEL0 Earlier: http:…
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emptywheel @normative Yeah but I think that is NOT true of Bob Litt. & to some degree I think Comey's been sent out as last IC guy w/cred @mattblaze
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bmaz FISCR Used an Outdated Version of EO 12333 to Rule Protect America Act Legal https://t.co/RYRymlFhJo
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bmaz @JimWhiteGNV cause Gators can't hire Lane Kiffen until Bama season over!
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emptywheel @mattblaze Plus, who the hell is advising him he can too have Golden Keys to our front doors? Who's advising him? That non-tech Cyber guy?
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emptywheel @mattblaze I would normally say that but if he were getting good staff work they wouldn't have trotted him out w/easily debunked examples.
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emptywheel @mattblaze Also, Comey has to create something that will counterweigh real economic imperative to rebuild trust among cloud cos.
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January 2013
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