How We Are Defending The Detainees

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Washington Post
June 11, 2008
Pg. 18

Regarding the June 7 editorial "The Guantanamo Court": The Post was absolutely correct to opine that "the trials of Sept. 11 suspects are a discredit to U.S. justice," but I must take issue with one comment in this editorial. It stated, "When defense lawyers and the judge wear the military uniform of the United States, legitimate questions arise about their impartiality." As a defense lawyer wearing the military uniform of the United States, I beg to differ.
This comment suggests that defense counsels may feel some divided loyalty or some pressure that might cause us to give less than our fullest effort. No one with even the slightest bit of familiarity with the work of the military defense counsels before the military commissions could raise any questions about the zealousness with which we are pursuing the defense of the detainees.
The comment also exhibited an incomplete comprehension of the functioning of the adversarial system. Judges are required to be impartial, defense counsels are not. We are partial to the interests of our clients. As numerous articles from The Post itself attest, we are seeking fairness and justice for our clients with every fiber of our beings.
DAVID J.R. FRAKT, Major, U.S. Air Force, Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions, Washington