Monday, March 15, 2010

What Would John Adams Do About the ACLU?

The Washington Times has a story today about an escalating conflict between the CIA and the Justice Department that was brought on by Justice's toleration of certain practices by legal supporters of Gitmo detainees. See Justice, CIA clash over probe of interrogator IDs.

The CIA and Justice Department are fighting over a secret investigation into a controversial program by legal supporters of Islamist terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay that involved photographing CIA interrogators and showing the pictures to prisoners, an effort CIA officials say threatens the officers' lives.

-- snip --

According to U.S. officials familiar with the issue, the current [CIA versus Justice Department] dispute involves Justice Department officials who support an effort led by the American Civil Liberties Union to provide legal aid to military lawyers for the Guantanamo inmates. CIA counterintelligence officials oppose the effort and say giving terrorists photographs of interrogators has exposed CIA personnel and their families to possible terrorist attacks.

This is the part I found most interesting:

The officials said the photographs of the CIA officers found recently at Guantanamo were obtained by a joint program of the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers called the John Adams Project.

The project, according to a Washington Post report in August, hired contractors to photograph CIA officers who were thought to have carried out terrorist interrogations. Those photographs were then to be provided to defense lawyers representing some of the Guantanamo detainees as part of an effort to identify the interrogators, for possible use as witnesses in military or civilian trials.

Joshua Dratel, a lawyer representing the John Adams Project, declined to comment directly on whether his group hired investigators to photograph CIA officers and supply them to military defense lawyers.

However, Mr. Dratel said in an interview that "none of the John Adams Project lawyers have done anything inappropriate or contrary to the protective order or any other rules that apply" to the prisoners.

ACLU spokesman John Kennedy also declined to comment on whether the project obtained photographs of CIA officers. However, he said none of the John Adams Project lawyers disclosed the identities of CIA officers to detainees held at Guantanamo.

The John Adams Project of the ACLU is so named because future President John Adams provided legal representation to British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre. Presumably, the Gitmo Bar thinks that is analogous to what they're doing. But, after reading today's Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Gitmo's Indefensible Lawyers, I'd say the ACLU is lucky they don't have to answer to the President Adams who signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. That guy would have put the Gitmo Bar away for a loooong time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is horrific. I will admit, it took me reading through this a few times for me to really understand what is going on, and it's horrific.