The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Ex-Chief Military Commissions Prosecutor Defends Slandered DOJ Attorneys

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 03/02/2010 08:28
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Sanah Connor

Via Ben Smith, Keep America Safe, the Cheneyite national-security revival tour, has a new video out insinuating that Justice Department attorneys who represented Guantanamo detainees are sympathetic to al-Qaeda, a brazen slander that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) put forward last week against such DOJ officials as Neal Katyal and Jennifer Daskal. Rushing to their defense is retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, the chief prosecutor of the Cheneys’ beloved military commissions, who told me the attacks are “outrageous.”

“Neal in particular was and is one of the sharpest and hardest-working attorneys I’ve known in the 27 years I’ve been practicing law,” said Davis, who supervised prosecutions at Guantanamo from 2005 to 2007. “It is absolutely outrageous for the Cheney-Grassley crowd to try to tar and feather Neal and Jennifer and insinuate they are al-Qaeda supporters. You don’t hear anyone refer to John Adams as a turncoat for representing the Brits in the Boston Massacre trial.” Davis, of course, opposed Katyal on the famous case of Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan’s habeas corpus rights — a case that Katyal won in the Supreme Court, striking down the first iteration of the military commissions. “He was the epitome of professionalism, and I can’t say that about a lot of the folks involved” in the commissions, Davis continued.

“If you zealously represent a client, there’s nothing shameful about that,” said the retired Air Force colonel. “That’s the American way.”

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