The Incredible Lightness of Gitmo Hearings
There are few light moments in the habeas corpus cases of Guantanamo detainees, given that most of these men have been holed away in cells or cages for years without charge or even a chance to see the evidence against them. Generally, not so funny.
Which makes this exchange captured by Adam Serwer at The American Prospect all the more precious. Serwer was at the court hearing Friday of Mohamed Jawad, accused of throwing a grenade at a U.S. military vehicle in Afghanistan when he was somewhere between 12 and 14 years old. After being imprisoned and tortured in an Afghan prison (according to a U.S. military judge), Jawad eventually landed at Guantanamo Bay, where he’s spent the last seven years — approximately one-third of his life.
The hearing itself, Serwer notes, was mostly about legal procedure and scheduling. But it did include this:
[T]here was an amusing exchange between the judge and a lawyer from the DoJ who tried to explain that she had a scheduling conflict with one of the dates the judge had set. “I’m going on vacation that week,” the lawyer explained. The judge paused and stared at the lawyer. “He’s been incarcerated for a very long time,” she said.
No word yet on whether the lawyer changed her vacation plans.