Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Judges Back Access to Evidence for Detainees

Two federal appeals court judges appeared to support giving detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, access to all the evidence against them when challenging their designation as enemy combatants.

The Bush administration proposes to limit detainees' lawyers to the evidence presented to the U.S. military tribunal that made the determination. That position drew intense questioning from Judges Douglas Ginsburg and Judith W. Rogers.

"Why shouldn't the court and the counsel see all of the evidence?" Rogers asked an administration lawyer. "Who knows what evidence was gathered?"

Ginsburg remarked: "I don't see how there can be any meaningful review if we don't know what we don't know."

Justice Department attorney Douglas Letter told the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that only a small amount of evidence would be withheld. "There isn't some massive body of information that the attorneys and this court is not going to see," he said.

Cheney Reports Assets Of at Least $21 Million

President Bush held assets worth $7.5 million to $20 million last year but was eclipsed by his vice president's wealth, according to financial records released yesterday.

Vice President Cheney reported assets valued at $21 million to around $100 million, with much of his wealth coming from his former role as head of oil service firm Halliburton. Cheney and his wife, Lynne, hold at least $10.5 million in bond funds and more than $5 million in equity funds.

Bush's 1,583-acre ranch in Crawford, Tex., was valued at $1 million to $5 million.

The vice president also topped his boss in receiving gifts. Bush reported gifts totaling $12,364 last year, including three separate sets of fishing equipment. Cheney's gifts totaled $21,674, including a $7,200 bronze sculpture of a Cheyenne warrior.

-- From News Services

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