Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, November 5, 2009 8:28 pm

Finally, Justice Dept. makes the right call

Via McClatchyDC:

The Justice Department’s decision not to challenge a federal district judge’s order that a Kuwaiti Airlines engineer held at Guantanamo for seven years must be released is a major embarassment to the Pentagon’s military commission system.

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd confirmed in an e-mail that there will be no appeal of U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s September order absolving Fouad al Rabia of being a key aide to Osama bin Laden. Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling was highly critical of the government for holding Rabiah for so long. She noted that not even his interrogators believed his confession, which she noted he made after an interrogator told him it was the only way he’d be released. He was fat, had washed out of required military training in Kuwait, and had an easily verified history of going to countries like Afghanistan to do humanitarian work — which is what he said he was doing when he was turned over to U.S. forces. …

Why the Pentagon insisted on moving forward with a military commission trial against him when it was pretty clear to even his interrogators he was the wrong guy may never really be understood. There’s no will to hold anyone accountable in the military for such egregious error. The Pentagon hasn’t dropped the charges against Rabia and probably won’t until he has physically left Guantanamo.

Yup, we’re all of us just fine with depriving a guy of human rights for seven freakin’ years.

Well, OK, not quite all of us:

In the meantime, Rabia’s attorney, David J. Cynamon of the D.C. law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, has asked the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the co-chairs of the President’s Advisory Board on Intelligence to investigate what he calls Rabia’s “abuse and torture” at the hands of U.S. interrogators. “I’m not going away quietly on this one,” he said in an e-mail message to [Miami Herald reporter Carol] Rosenberg. You can read his requests here.

So how much hell can this lawyer raise? I’m guessing not much, but things’ll get real interesting real fast if I’m wrong.



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