Saturday, July 08, 2006


More Gitmo Fantasy About Plots

Sometimes it’s impossible not to go “Oh Sweet Jesus, what is this crap!” —Especially when the FBI-Defense Dept-(in)Justice Dept come up with something as patently transparent as this about the 3 Guantanamo suicides as being part of a major plot by detainees what? Make the US out to be reckless and feckless? That’s not difficult at all. The US doesn’t need any help at all, when it comes to that.

So NCIS, famed in story, song, and TV-fantasy-land, decides it should be able to break the client-attorney privilege, in order to prevent even more suicides, and that there may be a plot between clients and their lawyers that needs investigation...Oh, give us all a break!

But, I will say that what really disturbs me is that people will hear about this and go, oh yeah, they're sneaky, those ay-rabs and lawyers, we oughtta deep six all of them!

Saturday, July 8, 2006 - 12:00 AM

Bigger plot seen among 3 suicides at Guantánamo
By Josh White
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Three suicides at the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, may have been part of a broader plot by detainees who were using confidential lawyer-client papers and envelopes to pass handwritten notes their guards could not intercept, according to documents government lawyers filed Friday in federal court.

Detainees could apparently hide documents in their cells — including instructions on how to tie knots — by keeping the materials in envelopes labeled as lawyer-client communications.

Notes investigators found after the June 10 suicides apparently were written on the back of notepaper stamped "Attorney Client Privilege," which allowed detainees to communicate secretly without interference, government officials said.

The alleged discoveries led military commanders to forbid detainees from having paper provided by defense lawyers.

Government lawyers also asked a federal judge in the District of Columbia to allow them to assemble "filter teams" to scour more than 1,100 pounds of documents seized by investigators, some of which is protected by lawyer-client privilege and would usually be off-limits to authorities.

Defense lawyers for Guantánamo detainees said their clients are closely monitored and should have no way to pass such notes, and that the filing Friday is designed to complicate their efforts.

In an affidavit filed with the court, Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr., the facility's commander, said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has information that suggests the suicides "may have been part of a larger plan or pact for more suicides that day or in the immediate future."

He also said that on June 22, he asked the NCIS to investigate whether the suicides were "otherwise encouraged, ordered, or assisted by other detainees or third persons" — implying the inquiry could extend to lawyers for the men — and whether their private communications could have included improper materials.

Barbara Olshansky of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents most of the Guantánamo detainees, said the implication that lawyers could have played a role in the suicides is "patently offensive" and "outrageous."

The court papers filed Friday say investigators found suicide notes written in Arabic on the bodies of the detainees and that they found notes hidden in the wire mesh of their cells and neighboring cells.

The discovery of the papers "indicated the passing of materials and messages between detainees and that some level of planning or coordination of the suicides had taken place" because two of the men had never been visited by attorneys, Friday's filing says. The three detainees used torn bedsheets and clothing to hang themselves, military officials have said.

Defense lawyers have called the suicides acts of desperation by detainees who saw no hope of being released or of having a fair trial.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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