“Secret Surveillance and the Legacy of Torture Have Paralyzed the USS Cole Bombing Trial at Guantánamo”
Shilpa Jindia, The Intercept, March 5, 2018
Last month, a judge a Guantánamo Bay suspended indefinitely the trial of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, paralyzing one of the most high-profile cases to go before the island prison's military commissions system. The February 16 decision ended a monthslong standoff with defense lawyers who claimed that they could not do their work for fear of government surveillance. …
Nashiri's entire civilian defense team resigned last October, citing an irresolvable ethical conflict: They did not believe that they could meet with their client and work on the case without being spied on by U.S. government agencies. Because of the byzantine rules governing classified materials at Guantánamo, they lawyers still can't explain exactly why they believe this to be the case to the public or to their client.
The reason that the lawyers believe that they can't meet their client without being spied on is that in June they received a memo from the military supervisor of all of the Guantánamo detainees' legal teams, Brigadier General John Baker, saying that he could no longer assure them that they could meet their client anywhere inside the concentration camp without being miked, monitored, and recorded. The lawyers did some checking and confirmed Baker's suspicions, though they can't say how because it's classified.