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Guantanamo/Detainees

ABA Prez Protests Mention in Gitmo Lawyer Offer

Posted Sep 28, 2007 7:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Fourteen terrorism suspects transferred to Guantanamo Bay from secret CIA prisons have been told they have the right to a lawyer and ABA assistance in locating one.

The offer would allow the “high-value” detainees their first contact with outsiders other than Red Cross representatives since they were captured, the Washington Post reports. At least four of the detainees are asking for legal representation.

The government has apparently changed its stance since last fall, when it argued that providing lawyers to the detainees could reveal details of their captivity and cause “grave damage” to national security. Among the 14 detainees is alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

"Legal Representation Request" forms given to the group said they may ask the ABA to help them "find a lawyer who will represent my best interests, without charge."

ABA President William H. Neukom protested use of the association name, saying the organization does not want to "lend support and credibility to such an inadequate review scheme," the Post said.

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