The Gitmo Insider Who Leaked the Names of the Detainees

The New York Times reports in the Sunday Magazine on Lt. Commander Matthew Diaz, a Guantanamo Bay deputy legal advisor who leaked the names of the detainees to the Center for Constitutional Rights. After spending months alone in his office compiling the list, he reduced them to large index cards and stuck them inside a Valentine's Day card he bought at the base and put them in the mail.

It wasn't hard to track him once the F.B.I. picked up the card and contents from the Center, which it was ordered to do by a federal judge.

On March 15, 2005, a federal agent in a black overcoat flew to New York from Washington. He took a cab to the center’s offices in downtown Manhattan and kept it waiting while he went to retrieve the card and its contents. Once the F.B.I. began to investigate, it had little difficulty narrowing the list of possible suspects. Diaz had printed the document from his own computer, bought the valentine at the base exchange and left his fingerprints on the list.

This past May, Matthew Diaz became the only United States serviceman to be convicted and imprisoned for an act of insubordination directed at the Bush administration’s detention policies.

This is a seven page article, but well worth the read.

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    No sympathy (1.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 03:51:00 PM EST
    "I feel like I'm on the wrong side," he confided to a couple of the lawyers who were representing Guantánamo prisoners.

    At that point he should have resigned his commission.

    Instead he chose to break the law.

    What About Valerie Plame? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by john horse on Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 04:34:22 PM EST
    re: "Instead he chose to break the law."
    So if Lt Cmdr Diaz has to to jail time for releasing the names of Guatanamo detainees then shouldn't the White House officials who released the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame also have to do jail time?  They chose to break the law.

    He chose to break the law. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 04:09:44 PM EST
    As have Bush and Cheney.

    Though not nearly as seriously, or as often, and for much, much, much better reasons. Honorable reasons.

    At that point he should have been given the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, for his "outstanding contribution to to the security [and the] national interest of the United States"

    But instead a cheap and deceitful little killer of a man whose own deceptions, and possibly his own freedom, depends on stifling knowledge of what happens in Gitmo needs to brand him a criminal.

    Looking glass land...

    The government had a legal obligation (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 04:31:07 PM EST
    to disclose the names to the Red Cross--an obligation imposed by the Geneva Conventions, and followed by fifty years of military tradition. That obligation exists for simple reasons. Throughout human history, persons held in secret detention have been the victims of heinous abuse by their captors. They have been routinely tortured, abused and murdered . . . just as has in fact happened with detainees at Guantánamo, to our nation's lasting shame.

    Holding persons in secret detention constitutes a jus cogens crime under international law, but it is also classified as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions and under United States criminal law--the War Crimes Act of 1996. The Department of Defense, under the documented direction of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, decided to withhold the names of detainees seized in connection with the war on terror, including detainees seized in Iraq.

    Mary Ellen O'Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School and one of the nation's leading authorities on the law of war, has argued that Rumsfeld's actions were a criminal act for which he should be prosecuted. Indeed, that may well be a consensus view among rule of law scholars and it is probable that Rumsfeld will be prosecuted at some point, though not by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who may well have been complicit in the crime.

    The Associated Press responded to the Defense Department's decision to withhold information about the identity of the Guantánamo detainees by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) proceeding to compel their disclosure. The Pentagon mounted a number of increasingly absurd arguments in defending this suit, principally saying that it was entitled to withhold the names of the detainees because it would "invade their privacy" for this information to be disclosed. The federal court hearing the matter was not amused by these evasions, and ordered the disclosure of the data. Accordingly, under federal court order, the data was turned over to the AP and published.

    So the names of the detainees were required to be disclosed. Their non-disclosure was a criminal act. A federal court compelled their disclosure. And now a Guantánamo JAG is being prosecuted for disclosing the names, with a claim that his action was "with intent to benefit a foreign nation." What is the matter with this picture?

    Even on the growing list of absurd hyperventilations used by the Bush Administration in connection with the Guantánamo detainees, this case takes on a "now-top-this" quality. And this indeed helps to explain why in the earlier proceedings, the Government's own chief witness on national security classifications refused to appear and testify on the Government's behalf.

    America's military justice process was once something the country could be proud of.

    The Persecution of LtCmdr Matthew Diaz
    Scott Horton, May 14, 2007, Harper's

    The GC doesn't apply. (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 05:02:19 PM EST
    And this is not about Bush and Cheney, but a Naval Officer who broke his oath and broke the law.

    Had he done the honorable thing and resigned it is doubtful he would have received jail time. And he is lucky, very lucky, not to have received more.


    I didn't know (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Jen M on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 05:23:36 PM EST
    Officers swore to uphold unlawful orders. When did this change?  

    Yes, well... (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 05:25:02 PM EST
    Recognition of reality has never been your strong suit.

    And your continual pathetic attempts at cheering, supporting and excusing war crimes and blame shifting while you desperately seek salvation don't work, either.

    You don't really believe anyone, including yourself, is stupid enough to think they get you or Bush or Cheney off the hook you're wriggling on, or that you make any sense whatever?

    Do you?


    Did you really expect (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Al on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 06:14:32 PM EST
    to set up a gulag and that nobody would do anything about it?

    Site Violator! (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:33:14 AM EST
    He/she is not a very good advertisement for an essay-selling business, since he can't write, himself.  At least, not in English.