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Former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias has been appointed as a JAG prosecutor for the Gitmo cases. Iglesias, a Native American and 24-year Navy veteran with the rank of captain, rose to national prominence with the U.S. attorney’s scandal. His appointment marks a distinct upgrade to the quality and caliber of the prosecution effort, which recently has been beset with controversy concerning its independence. Six Gitmo prosecutors have resigned or requested reassignment, many noting that political officials of the Bush Administration improperly interfered with their management of the cases or suggested the existence of vital evidence which was being withheld from the defense.
Significantly, Iglesias was dismissed as U.S. attorney when he refused to bend to improper political pressure to politicize cases he was handling. His conduct was vindicated by an internal probe of the Justice Department, the conclusions of which led former Attorney General Mukasey to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal charges against Bush Administration officials involved in his firing. Iglesias launched his career in Guantánamo in connection with a case that provided the material for Aaron Sorkin’s play “A Few Good Men,” later a motion picture. This appointment therefore marks a return to a place he knows well.
Read my interview with Iglesias for more background on the U.S. attorney’s scandal.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Number of mine-detecting monkeys erroneously reported to have been given to the United States by Morocco in March:
The Pacific trade winds are weakening as a result of global warming.
In the United States, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act was advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee after 18 hours of deliberation, during which time the Republican members of Congress passed around candy.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."