Friday, February 13, 2009

Who is Lt Col Yvonne Bradley?

Binyam Mohamed's lawyer has attracted attention in recent days, as she visits the UK to make the case for Mohamed's' immediate release from Guantanamo.

Here are two articles on Lt Col Bradley - McClatchy and BBC. Some snippets from McClatchy:

"Bradley, 45, who calls herself 'a lawyer and a soldier' and a 'lifelong
Republican,' told McClatchy in an interview that she blames the Bush
administration for Mohamed's arrest and for his treatment in captivity. Asked if
she thinks her client is innocent, Bradley replied that he 'was in the wrong
place at the wrong time.'

'If 9/11 never happened, this whole series of events would never have
happened,' Bradley said. 'This was an experiment that failed. It is a shame and
a legacy that will follow (the United States) in its history.'


Her views have changed dramatically since she joined Mohamed's legal team
in 2005. She said that when she was assigned to his case, she was 'a true
believer' in America's campaign against terrorism.

Bradley recalled that after she got a call to defend Mohamed at
Guantanamo Bay in 2005, she was ready to shut down her law practice in suburban
Philadelphia. 'I knew these were war crimes,' she said of the charges against
her client.

Then she received orders that her assignment would last 90 days. 'That
should have been my first warning that something was wrong,' she said. 'I can't
try a small possession of marijuana (case) in 90 days, let alone a major war

When Bradley first visited Mohamed at Guantanamo Bay, she recalled, she
was 'scared,' although as a federal public defender she'd represented a serial
killer and other murderers on Death Row. 'I believed my government when they
told me he was a terrorist,' she said.

A review of Mohamed's charge sheet raised more questions. 'I was waiting
for the blood on his hands, the trigger finger, links to the dirty-bomb plot,'
she said. Instead, over time, she came to believe that 'his story was all spun
out by the CIA' after Mohamed was held in several countries, including
Afghanistan and Morocco — and, he alleges, tortured.

Bradley's defense of Mohamed has ruffled feathers and nearly landed her
in trouble."

Lt Col Bradley's dedication and ability is a testament to the potential of our legal system. Our refusal to try terrorist suspects in our existing criminal justice system discredits the work people like Lt Col Bradley do. And want to do.

We need more people like her - and we are not going to get them if we set up a separate criminal justice system for terrorist suspects, if we continue to invoke the state secrets privilege to completely dismiss cases that might reveal government corruption and criminal behavior.

We need to change course, drastically. Jerrold Nadler's legislation is a good step. The best step, of course - to investigate and prosecute Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld.

1 comment:

paul said...

Yvonne Bradley is Superwoman, that's who. This woman has the courage- while on active duty a a us army major- to tell the real truth about what everyone else in the military and the media are afraid to say: that there is no justice at Gitmo, and that the u.s. most definitely does torture. She did a great job for her client Binyam Mohamed, and she got him out of prison and back home