Inspector General report on post-9/11 detentions highlights result of denial of effective oversight
Without checks and balances, fairness is elusive
Washington, DC ( June 3, 2003) -- In response to yesterday’s release of a report on the treatment of post-9/11 detainees by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers president Lawrence Goldman issued the following statement:
“This is what happens when the checks and balances of a democratic system of justice-- the press, the courts, and lawyers for the accused--are excluded.
“Where normally scrutiny by the media, presentation of exculpatory information by defense counsel, and assessment of evidence by judges minimizes wrongful detentions, in this case the Justice Department fought all three oversight mechanisms tooth and nail. Instead, the DOJ asked the American people to trust it to do justice. Its own Inspector General’s report demonstrates that government in secret does not foster justice.
“The clear lesson is that the government, in its understandable and laudable resolve to protect our security, cannot be relied on to protect our basic rights and liberties. Public scrutiny and the protections of our court system are necessary to ensure elemental fairness.”
Click to view IG Report and DOJ press release.
Goldman is a criminal defense lawyer in New York City. He can be reached at (212)997-7499.