Law professor/NY Times contributor Jeffrey Rosen was recently invited to visit Gitmo on a special VIP trip arranged by the Defense Department. As he writes in a recent New Republic cover story, his experience was curiously different than that of his brother-in-law, a pro-bono lawyer representing one of Gitmo’s most famous inmates. From the New Republic:
Last spring, my brother-in-law, Neal Katyal, represented Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, in his successful Supreme Court challenge to the constitutionality of the original Bush military tribunals. The case was challenging, logistically as well as legally. In order to see their clients at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, habeas lawyers like Neal have to endure a 30-hour travel ordeal. It involves getting up at 12:30 in the morning; driving to the Norfolk, Virginia, naval base; enduring three hours of military security; boarding a plane at 8 a.m. for Jacksonville, Florida; stopping to refuel for eight hours; flying to a U.S. landing strip in Cuba; and encountering another three-hour wait for a short security briefing with GIs before finally setting off for the naval base by bus and boat.
Neal’s trip came to mind a few weeks ago, as I reclined in a leather club chair on a mahogany-paneled Gulfstream C-37 military jet enjoying a fresh fruit plate. I, too, was on my way to the Cuban military prison, but my 14-hour round-trip adventure was shaping up to be a more convivial travel experience. I was traveling not as a habeas lawyer but as a guest of the general counsel of the Defense Department, William J. Haynes, who had invited a group of seven law professors, journalists, and Bush administration officials to tour the Guantanamo camp to reassure ourselves that it was no Abu Ghraib. MORE
The Good, The Bad, And The Queen. The band is the brainchild of Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz. The project was originally going to be a solo effort, but soon evolved into a group after he recruited the talents of Paul Simonon of The Clash, Simon Tong of The Verve and respected Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen.
School violence problems in Philadelphia. How can we make our schools safer for both students and teachers? Last week, the Philadelphia School District made it mandatory for all assaults to be directly reported to the police. The move takes away the discretion once held by principals. Will this and other measures the District has taken work? We’ll get two perspectives. TED KIRSCH is the President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and from LEN REISER (REE-sur) co-director of the Education Law Center in Philadelphia.