Wednesday, April 08, 2009

As the Gitmo Defense Shop Turns - Kuebler Reinstated

Or we could call it, "The Young and the Soon to be Jobless." What ever you call it, as reported by the Toronto Star here, LCDR Bill Kuebler was reinstated late yesterday as counsel in the Omar Khadr commission case. According to the report, Army Col. Patrick Parrish ruled that only the military judge in a commissions case may authorize removal of counsel, without reaching the merits of Chief Gitmo Defense Counsel (Air Force) Col. Peter Maciola's decision. For even more on this soap opera see the Ottawa Citizen report here and Canadian National Post Story here.

Masciola is quoted as saying he will appeal the decision, though my brief review of Commission rules says that Col. Parrish is right and only if an express conflict with the counsel's state bar licensing rules exist can the Commission CDC remove a defense counsel. See Rule 109(b)(3)(C). Otherwise, it appears Rules 109(b)(2) and 502(f) give the power to remove counsel from a case to the military judge. But that was based on a word search review so don't count that as authoritative.


Anonymous said...

What are the job functions of people still assigned to the commissions? Khadr will, in all likelihood, be sent to Canada and the rest will be transferred, released or charged in federal court per the the President's order.

That's not a sassy question, I'm seriously curious as to what they're doing on a daily basis while the commissions are "suspended."

Anonymous said...

LCDR Kuebler was told he couldn't use the office phone because he was no longer a member of the defense team? That is petty & unprofessional.

Canada; Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Khadr Defense Team."

Anonymous said...

I would caution against making the assumption that the Senior Defense Counsel told LCDR Kuebler he couldn't use the pone. that is information reported by a source who must have been in the office at the time. That is either the SDC or LCDR Kuebler.

As far as what the defense counsel do in the future...good question but I haven't seen anything that says the detainees will be tried in federal court.

Anonymous said...

At Sec 4(c)(1)-(4).

It's not secret - transfer/release is the preferred option, the next question is whether they may be charged (specifically with reference to Article III courts), and other dispositions are only reached when those two fail.

Anonymous said...

To say that there were raised eyebrows when Air National Guard Col. Peter Maciola was appointed Chief DC, is an understatement.

His webpage:

lists his areas of "practice" as,
Birth Trauma
Catastrophic Injury
Cerebral Palsy
Federal Tort Claims Act Cases
Medical Malpractice

Be that as it may, there is obviously much more to this story than what's getting leaked to the public.

Any readers with ties to the MilComs have any specifics?

Also, has the idea of referring the GTMO cases to GCM's been abandoned, or is that part of the on-going debate?

Anonymous said...

As complicated and arguably convoluted as the commissions have become, I really hope public has been able to see the independence and integrity of the military trial judiciary.

Anonymous said...

Well, that is a preferred method but that decision has not been made and I submit that if it was the course of action the President was going to take he would have taken it by now. Why go through a "review" and not just send them right to Art. III courts? Maybe it's not as easy to do as all of the pundits claim.

Anonymous said...

Miranda is the major impediment to these cases being sent to Art. III courts or courts martial. There is a full review going on at this time. Transferring the detainees is not as easy as some suggest. See for example the Uighars. The U.S. is not going to transfer detainees to China, knowing that they will be tortured and killed. And it is not that palatable to allow a detainee to become a U.S. citizen. What then?

Anonymous said...

I don't see a problem with sending the detainees to china. The US sent people to the Soviets for a year after WWII, knowing they were being executed out of hand.

In fact, the democratic president then did it with pride.

Obama has at least as much pride.

Justin said...

That's an interesting point about previous transfers of prisoners to the Soviets, which purports to justify modern-day transfers to China.

If such an idea is not "a problem," perhaps our former tolerance of forced servitude validates making the Uighurs unpaid field hands for the rest of their lives.

Now that I think about it, using strict, acontextual historical precedent allows almost limitless possibilities. Thanks, Anon.

Anonymous said...

Also if Article Three applies so does Article 118:

Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities.