Quote For The Day II

Sep 7 2012 @ 12:17pm

"The Government has already exercised this broad, unimpeded discretionary power [to restrict access of counsel]; it informed petitioners’ counsel that 'it anticipates limiting the number of attorneys who may have continued access to a detainee under the [Memorandum of Understanding] MOU to two and one translator… A document so one-sided that it gives one party the power to unilaterally modify its provisions renders any rights provided by such a document meaningless and illusory…

The Government wants to place itself as the sole arbiter of when a habeas petitioner is 'seeking' to challenge their own detention and when a habeas case is 'impending,' and thus when they can have access to counsel. But access to the Court means nothing without access to counsel.' The MOU actually gives the Government final, unreviewable power to delay, hinder, or prevent access to the courts. Moreover, the Government actions thus far demonstrate that it cannot be trusted with such power," – Judge Royce Lamberth, striking down the Obama administration’s scheme to restrict access to counsel for prisoners at Guantánamo through a "memorandum of understanding" which habeas lawyers were being coerced to sign, in a ruling yesterday. More here.

If someone had told me before November 2008 that almost four years' later the Obama administration was trying to restrict detainees' core habeas rights in Gitmo, I would have been shocked. Try to remain shocked. It's a betrayal of the core principles we elected Obama to sustain.