Sunday, March 04, 2007

Off The Case

Cross-posted to The Debate Link

The folks handling our oh-so-fair military commissions appear to be going for another Swift-Boating. From the International Law blog Opinio Juris:
I have written before about the Bush Administration's war on attorneys who defend individuals accused of terrorism. (See here and here.) A new front has now been opened in that war, with the chief U.S. military prosecutor accusing Major Michael Mori, who is representing David Hicks -- the Australian scheduled to be the first GITMO detainee tried by military commission -- of violating the Orwellian article 88 of the UCMJ, which prohibits the use of "contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession."

This "charge" could force Major Mori off the case, not only indefinitely delaying the trial, but depriving Mr. Hicks of an attorney he knows and trusts. As Major Mori notes, the mere threat of legal prosecution creates a conflict of interest that may prevent him from providing the most effective representation possible.

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