The Court Martial of Lieutenant Commander Matthew Diaz

19 May

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, an ex Navy lawyer in Guantanamo Bay, who was on court martial trial on Monday, 14th May, for mailing the names of 550 Guantanamo Bay detainees to human rights lawyer, Barbara Olshansky with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), faces six months imprisonment and dismissal from service according to the BBC.

Diaz apologised during his sentencing for having acted “irrationally” though he earlier defended his action as necessary because he felt the prisoners’ rights under the Geneva Convention had been violated. According to an AP report, Diaz had printed detainees names, their nationalities, the interrogators assigned to them, “intelligence sources and methods”, from a classified computer by logging onto the classified network before cutting the printed information into 39 sheets. He then mailed the letter, disguised as a Valentine’s day Card on Jan. 15, 2005, his last day of duty at the base.

An commentary by Scott Horton in Harper’s Magazine on this case opined that, “

The persecution of Commander Diaz is of a piece with the cashiering of Commander Swift and Major Mori, the absurd accusations brought against Gitmo defense counsel… … .

All of this conduct is disgraceful and embarrassing. It reflects the values of a totalitarian state and not a democracy that values justice. It brings shame on the military and the nation. And it reminds us how our current crisis in the administration of justice does not stop with Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department. “


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