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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bmaz @yvonnewingett Nope. As loathsome as Perry is, that indictment is legal rubbish.
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bmaz RT @Popehat: Man dies of gunshot wound to chest with his hands cuffed behind his back in police car. Coroner: that's a suicide. http://t.c…
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bmaz @ryanjreilly @mgsledge @WesleyLowery "Eyewitness testimony is unreliable" you know; this probably never really happened!
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bmaz @jayrosen_nyu Exactly.
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bmaz RT @jayrosen_nyu: @bmaz If you are going to introduce a new confusion you better be right, be clear about why you are doing it, and have im…
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bmaz @jayrosen_nyu Yes. Also, it is clearly coming straight out of the PD, whether direct or laundered. Just say so and explain clearly.
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bmaz @jayrosen_nyu Yep. And I have great respect for @Sulliview for laying that out. She is a treasure.
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bmaz @pmocek @PogoWasRight I don't think it will be a universal panacea, but, overall, think it would be a good thing.
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JimWhiteGNV My sister sent me pecans from her yard a few months ago. Finally putting my grandfather's cracker to use. http://t.co/lv6xibYVJx
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bmaz @pmocek Exactly. Or anytime cops report things.
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bmaz @mike_stark ...story, as they seem to here, it is pretty credible evidence. At least in my book anyway.
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bmaz @mike_stark Well, it is what it is, people see things differently. But when several independent eyewitnesses report pretty much the same...
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