U.S. Builds War Room for Gitmo Trials

The U.S. is beginning preparations for trials of the 14 terror suspects flown from secret prisons abroad to Guantanamo. It has set up a secret war room in a suburb of Virginia.

The Bush administration has set up a secret war room in a Virginia suburb where it is assembling evidence to prosecute high-ranking detainees from Al Qaeda including the man accused of being the mastermind of the September 2001 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, government officials said this week.

What kind of room do the detainees' lawyers get? If you answered "none," I suspect you are correct.

Update: Check out this great editorial in the Washington Post today.

MOST AMERICANS understand that legal representation for the accused is one of the core principles of the American way. Not, it seems, Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs. In a repellent interview yesterday with Federal News Radio, Mr. Stimson brought up, unprompted, the number of major U.S. law firms that have helped represent detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

....Mr. Stimson proceeded to reel off the names of these firms, adding, "I think, quite honestly, when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms, and I think that is going to have major play in the next few weeks. And we want to watch that play out."

Stimson hinted at nefarious connections, rather than a desire to do pro bono work, as the firms' motives:

Asked who was paying the firms, Mr. Stimson hinted of dark doings. "It's not clear, is it?" he said. "Some will maintain that they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart, that they're doing it pro bono, and I suspect they are; others are receiving monies from who knows where, and I'd be curious to have them explain that."

The WaPo editorial rightfully calls Stimson's comments "crude" and "offensive." The point, is this:

But it's offensive -- shocking, to use his word -- that Mr. Stimson, a lawyer, would argue that law firms are doing anything other than upholding the highest ethical traditions of the bar by taking on the most unpopular of defendants. It's shocking that he would seemingly encourage the firms' corporate clients to pressure them to drop this work. And it's shocking -- though perhaps not surprising -- that this is the person the administration has chosen to oversee detainee policy at Guantanamo.

We need to all keep an eye on Cully Stimson.

Update: The New York Times Saturday has this editorial castigating Stimson.

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    probably in Falls Church (none / 0) (#1)
    by teacherken on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 09:21:36 AM EST
    where there is a JAG  building (which looks NOTHING like the building they used to show on he TV program of that name - it is a fairly non-descript office building), although the one of which I am thinking, and past which I regular drive, really does not look all that secure from the outside.

    i'm sure they'll make do just fine (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 09:22:30 AM EST
    with a tent. actually, i suspect there are plenty of hotel accomodations in the area, if it's near where i think it is.

    don't want to make it too comfy for them, now do we?

    they get (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jen M on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 12:16:00 PM EST

    Yes... (none / 0) (#4)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 12:32:40 PM EST
    for their "trial."

    Will the evidence that was tortured out of them be admissable?


    Yes, according to the MCA of 2006. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 12:51:43 PM EST
    what country (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jen M on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 01:04:40 PM EST
    do we live in again?

    Torture 'r' U.S. (of America) (none / 0) (#7)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 01:15:42 PM EST
    WaPo editorial (none / 0) (#8)
    by atlanta lawyer on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 03:00:27 PM EST
    John Adams, founding father,  2nd president, defense attorney for British soldiers accused in Boston massacre  and many other unpopular defendants, is rolling over in his grave.
    Cully Stimson is categorically unfit to be a lawyer, and especially a prosecutor in a republic of laws.

    14 terror suspects? (none / 0) (#9)
    by rothmatisseko on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 03:14:40 PM EST
    There are far more than 14 "terror suspects flown from secret prisons abroad to Guantanamo."  

    These are the big show trials they want to... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 03:21:38 PM EST
    ...pretend bush is doing a fabulous job in the war on terra, while the rest of the world will shake their heads and (sadly) say, "There goes those Americans AGAIN, making a mockery of justice doing what should have been done four years or more ago and WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF LAW AND DECENCY."

    As to the picture (none / 0) (#11)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 05:14:49 PM EST
    I once caught a fish THIS BIG!