Detention: Law of: D.C. Circuit Development

Douglas Cox on Alsabri

By Benjamin Wittes
Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 7:15 AM

Over at the Document Exploitation blog, Douglas Cox of the CUNY Law School has this very interesting post on redactions in the Alsabri Guantanamo habeas case--which was decided at the District Court level about a year ago and is now pending at the D.C. Circuit. It opens:

A Guantanamo case currently awaiting an appellate decision from the D.C. Circuit, Alsabri v. Obama, illustrates the difficulty of using captured documents as evidence. Thus far public analysis of the captured documents angle in the case, however, has been lacking for a very good reason: heavy redactions.

The 92-page collection of captured documents referenced both in Judge Urbina's redacted February 2011 District Court opinion (denying Alsabri’s habeas petition) and in the parties’ redacted appellate briefs . . . is completely redacted in the government factual return publicly filed in 2009 (save for page numbers). However, in another striking example of inconsistent redactions in GTMO filings, an almost completely unredacted version of the full 92-page collection - AFGP-2002-800321 - was filed in a different case (compare the 92-page redacted and unredacted filings for yourself). This allows one to fill in many redacted holes in the opinion and briefs.