Ming Quang Pham

Has the Government Left Minh Quang Pham “Languishing Forever”?

Screen shot 2013-02-13 at 3.55.43 PMJohn Brennan made two interesting comments about FBI interrogation at his hearing last week. First, in response to a Martin Heinrich question, he suggested that the Army Field Manual shouldn’t be the interrogation standard for the entire government because the FBI “has its own processes and procedures.”

HEINRICH: Thank you. Do you believe that all agencies of the United States government should be held to the interrogation standards that are laid out in the Army Field Manual as it — as currently required by Executive Order 13491? And do you support efforts to codify those requirements into law?

BRENNAN: The Army Field Manual certainly should govern the U.S. military’s detention and interrogation of individuals.

The FBI has its own processes and procedures and laws that govern its activities. So what I wanted to do is to make sure that, you know, appropriate sort of attention is paid to FBI as opposed to the military.

Then, when Brennan was very patiently explaining to Marco Rubio that his ideas about detention and interrogation are erroneous and stupid (my words), he said this about FBI interrogations.

BRENNAN: No. Again, it’s tailored to the circumstances. Sometimes an individual will be Mirandized. Sometimes they will not be Mirandized right away. Mirandizing an individual means only that the information that they give before then cannot be used in Article III court.

But, in fact, the FBI do a great job as far as eliciting information after they’re Mirandizing them, and so they can get information as part of that type of negotiation with them, let them know they can in fact languish forever, or we can in fact have a dialogue about it intelligently.

“They can languish forever”? I didn’t think the Sixth Amendment had a “languish forever” exception.

But Brennan’s apparent belief there is one got me thinking about Minh Quang Pham, whom I wrote about here.

Pham is a Vietnamese immigrant to the UK who traveled to Yemen in December 2010 and went on to help Samir Khan produce Inspire magazine. He was arrested to great fanfare last June, when his May 24 indictment was purportedly unsealed. Though his docket shows no sign of that unsealing; rather, it says the indictment was unsealed two months later. He returned to the UK in December 2011, where he was held in immigration detention. It’s unclear whether he’s still there — the Brits can hold someone in detention indefinitely and extradition to the US has been taking a lot of time of late — or whether he was moved here either in June when DOJ had a big dog and pony show over his arrest or in August when the docket says his previously unsealed indictment was unsealed. That’s the last thing that appears in Pham’s docket. I’ve asked SDNY for a status report but have not yet gotten an answer.

In any case, one of the last people with ties to the UK or US to spend time with Anwar al-Awlaki and, especially, Samir Khan is languishing … somewhere.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @LisaBloom Yeah, I don't know about this one. Prosecution guidelines+policies+determination not to deal fairly, is reap prob, black or white
26mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @michaelbkiefer @LaurieRoberts @azcentral Cannot find it at all. Oh well, looks like just an initial order with real opinion to follow.
48mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @KellyFlood3 Yet that is what it appears!! Just crazy. Also, I sure wish @azcentral would have professionalism to link the subject court doc
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LaurieRoberts @azcentral @michaelbkiefer Is there a link to the actual Court of Appeals decision? It is not on their site yet.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @ioerror: This cable tapping map by @lifewinning is fantastic: http://t.co/RknYo0JTcw
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RosenzweigP No idea. There has been so much in that case done behind closed doors, and the judge seals minute entries too. Unreal.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Thankfully the Court of Appeals reversed Judge Sherry Stephens and one of dumbest rulings I've ever seen. http://t.co/7jUXRsHfUt
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz This is insane, trial judge ruled Jodi Arias could testify secretly in own death penalty phase. Non-sensical ruling http://t.co/7jUXRsHfUt
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ScottGreenfield Means never been in a courtroom.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JesselynRadack The last one that went anywhere I recall is Danziger Bridge incident in New Orleans Katrina aftermath.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jeff_kaye Congrats for your work meriting this response.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
November 2014
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30