New Head of Guantánamo Prison Orders Guards to Begin Reading Mail from Lawyers

Thursday, November 03, 2011
Rear Admiral David Woods
Since taking command of Guantánamo Bay, Rear Admiral David Woods has ordered prison guards to read all mail for detainees, including correspondence from their lawyers which is supposed to be protected under attorney-client privilege.
Woods decided to change the long-standing policy to allow inspection of all communications deemed relevant to military commission cases.
Nine attorneys representing detainees wrote a letter to William Lietzau, deputy assistant secretary of defense for rule of law and detainee policy, to object to the opening of their mail to clients. They requested the Pentagon to order Woods to “cease and desist the seizure, opening, translating, reading and reviewing of attorney-client privileged communications.”
Previously, guards opened the mail in the presence of detainees to ensure there was no contraband in the envelopes, and then handed it to them without reading the contents.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

Guantánamo Military Lawyers Protest Harsh Limits Imposed by Pentagon (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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