The Obama Administrati0n conceded to a federal judge on Monday that it is cutting back on the legal rights of Guantanamo detainees who have had one chance to challenge their imprisonment, but said it would consider relaxing the limits on a case-by-case basis — at the government’s discretion, not by court order. The 52-page filing spells out in full for the first time the changes that military and civilian officials have worked out to govern access to detainees by their volunteer lawyers. A federal District judge is weighing whether to allow the changes.Read the rest here.
Since the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Boumediene v. Bush, guaranteeing Guantanamo prisoners a right to go to court to test their detention, the issue of lawyers’ access has been within the control of federal District judges in Washington. Under the new regime that began to be unveiled this summer, the Administration intends to shift that process entirely to the military and government intelligence agencies. The commander of the Naval base at Guantanamo is to gain full veto power, beyond review, over the access question, and the intelligence agencies would have the final veto power over access to classified information — even if that information comes from the detainees themselves.