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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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel One of greatest things abt Amazon's global logistics plan: Intel Community won't even have to leave IC server to get 1-stop 3rd party shop
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JasonLeopold Just be careful of the fire detectors. I hear CIA owns those.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JasonLeopold John Brennan did not like being reminded that he drafted but did not send an apology. Never seen him that angry.
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JasonLeopold You're causing hella trouble today, between that and the blowup in SSCI. You hiding at Gitmo, bro?
19mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ncweaver Someone should bring back production of Soviet era Trabants and Skodas.
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bmaz @MasaccioEW I do not do this for nothing. Come on, you know me better than that. I have a target.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @Cirincione: Clapper headline shouldn’t be NK restarted its reactor — that was in 2013 — its that they may soon stop it and pull out Pu …
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emptywheel Craziest thing about this is there are PLENTY of NFL players w/similar proud profile as Beyonce. But they have penis https://t.co/1sQcEvmegy
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel On #crypto, is it me or did someone say we can't have crypto because of car crashes?
59mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Told you all Beyonce being Beyonce was going to be more threatening than Janet's boob. https://t.co/1sQcEvmegy
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emptywheel Burr (and Comey) have JUST shown up it is a law enforcement issue, not an intel issue. So make it go through SJC, not SSCI.
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emptywheel Why are DAs going to Richard Burr on encryption? That's @ChuckGrassley's job, not Burr's.
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