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 So, let me explain a couple of things: Its not just that Lewinski is pitching bunk, though he certainly is that. It is also that courts 2/X
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bmaz Okay since there has been some rather ill informed pushback on fact that Bill Lewinski is a quack pushing junk science to shill for cops 1/X
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bmaz @carolrosenberg No, I can see Leopold spiriting albums out of there! He had his eyes on several at my house recently....
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bmaz @JoshuaHol @peterbakernyt Yes. Sadly.
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bmaz @rcjparry @mattapuzzo @walterwkatz Right back at you Mr. Hypocritical Cop Ass Kisser. #OnlyCopLivesMatterApparently
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bmaz @JimmySky And I am freshly missing a guitar pick....
17mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JoshuaHol @peterbakernyt Exactly. That is what NYT doesn't seem to get, they are doing democracy itself great disservice w/slanted coverage
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bmaz @JeffSchogol @carolrosenberg @MiamiHerald My question is how was @JasonLeopold kept away from this??
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bmaz @rcjparry @mattapuzzo @walterwkatz Witty repartee from the guy demanding I do something, i.e. disprove a lying shill.
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bmaz @rcjparry @mattapuzzo @walterwkatz Nice of you to put the cart before the horse again. Demand that from shill Lewinski.
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bmaz @rcjparry @radleybalko @PolicingWatch @CharlesMBlow Hilarious that you demand this out of others, but not of police shill Lewinski himself.
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