17 January 2012 - In unprecedented war court testimony, the prison camps’ commander on Tuesday defended a three-tier system of classifying lawyers’ mail to alleged terrorists that sparked a defense lawyer’s boycott and is threatening to stall future war crimes trials.
It was the first time the camps’ top commander testified at a Guantánamo military commission. Rear Adm. David B. Woods said he had a team of Defense Department contractors examining confidential, privileged attorney-client mail for “safety, force protection and good order.”
At issue is whether the prison camps staff is complying with the chief military commissions judge’s November order to look at, but not read, defense lawyers documents for alleged USS Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al Nashiri that are marked “privileged.”
Woods testified that the contractors are assigned to discern whether lawyers mail is indeed privileged or more generic legal mail. The contractors include former government lawyers, law enforcement officials, linguists and Woods wants them looking at documents for things like diagrams that might threaten security inside the prison camps that hold some 171 foreign captives. read more>>>