Stories like this really should surprise me, but they just don't anymore. I guess that's indicative of how bad things have gotten.
The dispute is the latest and perhaps the most significant clash over the role of lawyers for the detainees. “There is no right on the part of counsel to access to detained aliens on a secure military base in a foreign country,” the Justice Department filing argued.
Under the proposal, filed this month in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the government would limit lawyers to three visits with an existing client at Guantánamo; there is now no limit. It would permit only a single visit with a detainee to have him authorize a lawyer to handle his case. And it would permit a team of intelligence officers and military lawyers not involved in a detainee’s case to read mail sent to him by his lawyer.
The proposal would also reverse existing rules to permit government officials, on their own, to deny the lawyers access to secret evidence used by military panels to determine that their clients were enemy combatants.
Many of the lawyers say the restrictions would make it impossible to represent their clients, or even to convince wary detainees — in a single visit — that they were really lawyers, rather than interrogators.
Did you catch that? Not only do the detainees lack basic human rights now, but the people who would represent them lack the right to visit them to do their job. I assume the Justice Department thinks it's being cute with this proposal. If asked, they'd probably say that they're being quite generous in allowing any visits at all, based on the premise that "There is no right on the part of counsel to access to detained aliens on a secure military base in a foreign country."
It seems to me that there's a Supreme Court decision that's relevant to this, isn't there?