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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bmaz @JasonLeopold Also, you know, bagpipes fucking rock. But you knew that.
bmaz @JasonLeopold You have no I celebrated YOUR birthday. New machines are confusing but wonderful.
emptywheel Shorter Nerd: Good thing the Mott Foundation kicked in or my EM move would look REALLY expensive to voters.
emptywheel So when you say, "Hillary's flipflop is a betrayal of NAFTA," you sort of suggest you're missing key details.
emptywheel Hey all you people saying Hillary flipflopped on NAFTA? She definitely reversed but you understand TPP is protectionist treaty?
emptywheel So did Snyder say, "Sorry my EM gave children lead poisoning and never mind the money we'll spend switching back"? No?
emptywheel @jeff_kaye AKA, pushing implementation far enough in the future so President Carly can reverse.... @glynco @JasonLeopold
JimWhiteGNV Heh. McElwain is conflating shelf life with sustainability.
emptywheel @JayAckroyd More like, "How dare wonky Clinton betray the neoliberal policies I'm paid to pitch!" @ddayen @ezraklein
emptywheel State's decision to protect the kidnappers rather than @Sadiso continues to screw her over.
JimWhiteGNV RT @BenHCarrington: The start of the collapse? Citing concerns with campus carry, UT professor refuses to teach http…
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