An Incursion of Briefs at Guantanamo

(Courtesy Of Under Armour)
Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Undergarments from Under Armour, the sports apparel line, offer "all-day performance, delivered in a lightweight compression fit," at least according to the company' s promotional material. While "unprecedented" in its ability to deliver comfort, Under Armour underwear is not standard issue for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. So when two men in detention there were found to possess the contraband briefs, the Navy attorney contacted their attorneys. One of the detainees in question is Shaker Aamer, whose release the British government wrote to request from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in August. But before turning to the larger question of whether Aamer will stay or go, there's the question of what he's wearing. And as the recent exchange between the Navy lawyer and Aamer's attorney Clive Stafford Smith illustrates, in the legal wrangling over detention, even details on intimates can lead to contentious debate:

From: the Commander, JAGC, U.S. Navy,

Staff Judge Advocate

To: Mr. Clive Stafford-Smith,

attorney for Shaker Aamer

Date: Aug. 12, 2007

"Your client Shaker AAmer, detainee ISN 239, was recently discovered to be wearing Under Armor briefs and a Speedo bathing suit. Neither item was issued to the detainee by JTF-Guantanamo personnel, nor did they enter the camp through regular mail . . . We are investigating the matter to determine the origins of the above contraband and ensure that parties who may have been involved understand the seriousness of this transgression. As I am sure you understand, we cannot tolerate contraband being surreptitiously brought into the camp. Such activities threaten the safety of the JTF-Guantanamo staff, the detainees, and visiting counsel. . . . we would like to know whether the contraband material, or any portion thereof, was provided by you, anyone else on your legal team . . ."

From: Mr. Clive Stafford Smith,

attorney for Shaker Aamer

To: the Commander, JAGC, U.S. Navy,

Staff Judge Advocate

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