Stalking the CIA
Justice lawyers at daggers drawn with the intelligence community.
Although the Europeans listed Daskal’s colleague, John Sifton, as a “counterterrorism researcher,” he was really researching the CIA—not the terrorists. In The Guantánamo Lawyers, a collection of short, sentimental memoirs written by dozens of lawyers, who sanitized their clients’ histories and glorified their work on behalf of war on terror detainees, Sifton offered an intriguing account of how Human Rights Watch assisted in uncovering details of the CIA’s operations.
“Throughout the years after 2001, journalists, human rights investigators, and lawyers managed to obtain a surprising amount of information about U.S. detention and interrogation operations,” Sifton wrote. He elaborated (emphasis added):
Human Rights Watch published Sifton’s investigation of the CIA’s detention facilities in Afghanistan in a February 2007 report entitled “Ghost Prisoner.” The report draws on graphic descriptions offered by former detainees. That same report was “reviewed and edited” by Jennifer Daskal.
What’s particularly striking about Sifton’s description is the role played by the Gitmo habeas attorneys. These lawyers were supposed to be helping their clients file habeas petitions with federal courts. Instead, they went far beyond that legal representation, working to expose the CIA’s activities during a time of war. This involved violations of a 2004 protective order that prohibits detainee attorneys from discussing military operations, arrests, intelligence, or current events with their clients. Nor were they allowed to discuss information about other detainees who are not their own clients.
The cabal described by Sifton worked to uncover not only the location of the CIA’s secret sites, but also the identities of the CIA personnel charged with transporting (via special flights), detaining, and interrogating terrorists. In The Guantánamo Lawyers, Sifton explained how CIA personnel were identified:
It also proved possible for investigators to confirm that personnel were CIA: Public-records searches for CIA officers would typically reveal a set of overseas State Department or U.S. military base postings and post office-box addresses in Northern Virginia.
Some of the Gitmo lawyers have no problem with exposing the CIA’s secret detention facilities or stalking CIA operatives and then showing their pictures to top al Qaeda terrorists. It is all part of the investigation and potential prosecution of the CIA, which Jennifer Daskal has long advocated.
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