Many Detainees At Guantánamo Rebuff Lawyers
By William Glaberson
Many of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are no longer cooperating with their lawyers, adding a largely invisible struggle between the lawyers and their own clients to the legal battle over the Bush administration’s detention policies.
Some detainees refuse to see their lawyers, while others decline mail from their lawyers or refuse to provide them information on their cases, according to court documents, writings of some of the detainees and recent interviews.
The detainees’ resistance appears to have been fueled by frustration over their long detention and suspicion about whether their lawyers are working for the government, as well as anti-American sentiment, some of the documents and interviews show. “Your role is to polish Bush’s shoes and make the picture look good,” a Yemeni detainee, Adnan Farhan Abdullatif, 31, wrote his lawyer in February.
Some of the lawyers accuse Guantánamo officials of feeding the detainees’ suspicions of the lawyers, a charge Pentagon officials deny.
Lawyers said many of the relationships appeared to have deteriorated as the detainees’ legal cause suffered setbacks in Congress and the courts, and as Justice Department officials began efforts to limit lawyers’ access to detainees, raising new concerns among the detainees about their lawyers’ effectiveness.