Patterico's Pontifications


Talk Like a Pirate Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:15 pm

I forgot it was Talk Like a Pirate day.

Uhhhhh . . . avast. Ye scalawags. And stuff.


Treacher on Coercive Interrogation — Now That Really *Is* Torture!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:12 pm

Jim Treacher has ugly details about abusive American interrogation practices. It’s worse than you ever thought possible . . . especially the “Chomsky.”

Taranto on Life Inside Guantánamo Bay

Filed under: General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:45 am

Here’s another view of life inside our facility at Guantánamo Bay: an interview by James Taranto of Rear Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of Joint Task Force Guantánamo.

If we’re going to make good judgments about how to structure military tribunals for detainees at Guantánamo, we need to have good information about what’s going on there. Pieces like the recent New York Times Magazine article and Taranto’s piece provide valuable insights into the reality of Guantánamo. (For what it’s worth, I’m currently working on a project that I hope will contribute in some small way to the public’s understanding of Guantánamo. Stay tuned over the next few days.)

I’m interested in this bit from Taranto’s piece:

When the Supreme Court extended habeas rights to the detainees, it created a loophole in camp security. Guards screen and censor mail to and from the detainees, but communications with their lawyers are privileged and confidential. “We don’t look at the envelope, or in the envelope, at all,” Adm. Harris says. “I believe that the detainees could have abused that privilege and used it as an informal mail system” by passing notes to other detainees in envelopes from lawyers. Adm. Harris is careful to note that he does not believe the lawyers are complicit in any abuse, and that he has no ability to confirm his suspicions: “If it’s written correspondence, and it’s in the habeas envelope, then we cannot get to it.”

Does this concern anyone else? What, if anything, can be done about it? I am not sure that we have an answer to that.

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