Margulies: Habeas Schmabeas

This American Life (Habeas Schmabeas)
First Broadcast March 10, 2006

Produced by Chicago Public Radio
Distributed by Public Radio International

GLASS: So here’s how a lawyer meets with his client, when his client is a prisoner at Guantanamo. There’s a little hut, with a metal table. MARGULIES: He’s brought out of the box, and shackled to an I-bolt in the floor, uh, with his back to the door. He is forbidden to face the natural light. GLASS: Joe Margulies of the University of Chicago represents a few detainees at Guantanamo and he says that to understand that thing about the natural light, you have to understand that the detention facilities at Guantanamo were designed to be the perfect interrogation chambers. And so anything the prisoner wants, including sunlight, he’s only going to get with the permission of his interrogators, as a reward for cooperating. And anything can be used that way (Chicago Public Radio 2006). unspecified/legal

(HS2) MARGULIES: Uh, mail. Another lawyer discovered when he first got there that his client, a middle-aged gentleman with five children who is a London businessman, was picked up in the Gambia, and he wasn’t getting any mail from his family. And he couldn’t understand it because he felt abandoned and alone from his five children. And the lawyer had the presence of mind to ask what was the matter was and he discovered that 16 letters were in the military’s possession (that) they had refused to deliver. And when they did finally deliver them, someone had actually taken the time to redact out the words from the children: “We miss you, Daddy. We love you, Daddy. We’re thinking of you.” That is apparently not right, because it disrupts the sense of isolation and despair that they are trying to cultivate (Chicago Public Radio 2006).

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