Navy Lawyer Admits Revealing Names Of Gitmo Detainees

Navy Lawyer Admits Revealing Names Of Gitmo Detainees
May 15th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Navy Lawyer Admits Revealing Names Of Gitmo Detainees

Navy Lawyer Admits Revealing Names Of Gitmo Detainees
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
May 15, 2007
By Kate Wiltrout, The Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK - Barbara Olshansky spent years trying to get the federal government to release the names of foreign suspects in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
She wrote letters to the secretary of defense, the secretary of the Navy and the Department of Justice. She helped file a lawsuit and did hundreds of media interviews.
Then, in early 2005, she got a list of all the names in the mail.
Now she's testifying against the man accused of sending her the information she sought.
Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, a Navy lawyer once stationed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, is charged with passing secret, national defense information to someone not authorized to receive it, as well as violating a general order and conduct unbecoming an officer.
The 41-year-old faces up to 24 years in prison if convicted. He is currently stationed in Jacksonville, Fla.
Prosecutors in Diaz's court-martial, which started Monday in Norfolk, contend Diaz knew the information could be used to harm the United States.
Olshansky was the first prosecution witness.
She was a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, the group that won a landmark 2004 Supreme Court case giving Guantanamo detainees a basic legal right to challenge the government.
In early 2005, she testified, she opened up a red envelope postmarked Jan. 15 in Guantanamo Bay. Inside lay an unsigned Valentine's Day card, as well as 39 sheets of paper containing a list of 550 names, identification numbers, nationalities and other bits of information.
The attorneys representing Diaz, whose six-month tour as deputy staff judge advocate at Guantanamo ended in January 2005, didn't deny that he sent the Valentine featuring a heart and a dog on the front.
"We don't expect the evidence will show Diaz made the right decision," Lt. Justin Henderson said in an opening statement. "We don't expect the evidence will show he made a wise decision. He made a decision that was less than forthright. But he did not make an unlawful decision."
Henderson told the seven-member jury of naval officers that information Diaz printed out from an office computer and sent to Olshansky was not marked classified.
Last year, in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by T he Associated Press, the Department of Defense released the names of the Guantanamo detainees, their ages and home countries.
Lt. James Hoffman, a prosecutor, said in his opening statement that Diaz printed out the list of names - along with various identification numbers, detainees' citizenship and the team that was interrogating them - shortly before his tour of duty ended.
Diaz mailed the card on Jan. 15, 2005, his last day in Cuba, cutting the pages "so that the nation's secrets fit inside the card," Hoffman said.
"This case deals with deliberate, intentional, conscious release of classified information," Hoffman told the jury.
He said the information in the database provided "the most comprehensive picture of the al-Qaida network that exists today."
Monday's testimony featured six government witnesses, beginning with Olshansky, who said she had never met or spoken to Diaz, or been to Guantanamo Bay.
Olshansky testified that she showed the card to colleagues, then quickly notified the federal judge overseeing the center's Guantanamo lawsuit.
The judge passed the matter to a court security officer in charge of safeguarding classified information, who sent a Department of Justice security specialist to New York to retrieve it.
A government analyst testified Monday that he examined the information and quickly determined it was classified. The documents were then turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI asked the civilian contractor who created the detainee database at Guantanamo to help determine when the information was accessed and whose computers were used, according to Robert Kates.
Kates, a General Dynamics employee, explained the technicalities of the Joint Detainee Information Management System and how he ultimately determined the list of names was accessed on Jan. 2 - from Diaz's computer - and printed out.
While his attorneys offered hints about Diaz's motive, their statements and questions were often objected to by the prosecution. Capt. Daniel O'Toole, the judge, sustained many of the objections.
Henderson began his opening statement by saying Diaz had faced a "moral dilemma" and "a crisis of conscience revolving around conflicting duties." The prosecution immediately objected to that statement as well as two others, and the jury was sent out of the courtroom three times during Henderson's remarks.
Patrick McLain, Diaz's civilian attorney, told reporters Diaz might take the stand in his own defense. The trial is expected to last up to a week.

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