As I read Chuck Dunlap’s blog posts this week, I find myself looking more and more forward to my upcoming trip to Guantanamo for the next round of hearings (Nov. 17-19, 2014). Chuck is an Indiana University McKinney School of Law graduate who works at the Indiana Bar Foundation, and he is at Guantanamo Bay this week monitoring the hearings in the case of al Nashiri, who allegedly masterminded the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors off the coast of Yemen.
I will be monitoring a different case, that of Hadi al Iraqi, who was alleged to have run al Qaeda’s army in Afghanistan, was arraigned this past summer, and his pre-trial hearings are at an early stage.
Yesterday I received instructions from the Pentagon to help me prepare for my mission, including information about the logistics of eating, sleeping, and – most importantly – viewing the proceedings. Reading Chuck’s posts and seeing his photos makes it seem more real all the time!
And I have been especially fortunate this past week to have had short conversation with Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David about the Naval Station itself and his experiences there. Justice David, is his position as an Army Colonel, previously served as chief defense counsel. Of course, our conversation was quite limited due to the nature of the subject but it was nonetheless very helpful and exciting to meet with someone who has had his “boots on the ground” at Guantanamo.
Two Views of Cuba
Although I won’t be leaving for Cuba for another week, my good friend and co-worker Traci Cosby is leaving tomorrow for Havana. Traci will be part of a delegation from the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution spending several days in Havana meeting Cuban dignitaries and learning about the Cuban legal system.
How strange it is that two friends and close co-workers would end up – entirely independently – traveling to Cuba in the same month! Obviously, Traci’s and my experiences of Cuba will be very different. But I look forward to swapping stories with her when we both return.