The Justice Department has questioned attorneys who represent Gitmo detainees about the practice of showing photographs of CIA personnel, including covert officers, to detainees charged with organizing the 9/11 attacks. The investigation reportedly pertains to three lawyers who are said to have shown their clients the photos in an effort to identify CIA officers and contractors who interrogated these terrorists.
The photos were taken by researchers hired by a joint project of the ACLU and the National Assocation of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In some cases, the photographers are said to have taken the pictures sureptitiously outside the homes of CIA officers.
Federal statutes prohibit the identification of covert CIA officers. Moreover, the rules governing military commissions prohibit the disclosure of classified information, including to the defendant. Some of the CIA personnel whose photographs were shown to the organizers of 9/11 are said to be covert officers — real ones, unlike socialite Valerie Plame.
According to the Washington Post, it is not clear whether the lawyers in question identified the CIA personnel by name or just asked whether the terrorists has seen the individual in the photograph. Whether this is a relevant distinction for legal purposes, I don’t know. It shouldn’t be.
The organizers of 9/11 and their fellow terrorists are committed to inflicting as much damage on the U.S. as possible. Those who remain at Gitmo are, for now, incapable of killing Americans. But they are still in position to inflict damage on America by raising false allegations of abuse against those in the CIA and other agencies who are charged with protecting our country from attack. I understand this practice was part of the training terrorists received.
The terrorists have been successful. Morale among those at agencies like the CIA who combat terrorism is said to be quite poor, as well it might be.
It was inevitable that the terrorists would have the help of lefty lawyers in their enterprise. These lawyers don’t share the goal of killing Americans, of course, but they share with the terrorists the desire to inflict damage on those arms of the government that are serious about preventing this result. Once judges empowered these lefty lawyers to do their thing, the kind of abuse now being investigated also became inevitable.
I’ll conclude with a prediction: whatever the results of the investigation into the conduct of the lawyers defending the terrorists, no meaningful action will be taken against these lawyers. Unfortunately, the lawyers now in charge at the Justice Department are ideologically indistinguishable from the lefty lawyers being investigated for violating the law and putting those who defend us from terrorism in harm’s way.
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