U.S. Asks to Monitor Talks
Between Detainees, Lawyers
The Justice Department asked a federal judge yesterday to allow the government to monitor discussions between a dozen Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and their attorneys, citing a heightened security risk.
The hearing before U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly was aimed at spelling out the conditions in which the lawyers may advise the "enemy combatants" after the Supreme Court ruled the prisoners had a right to challenge their captivity in federal court.
The wider fight over whether the detainees are being properly held is yet to come. Yesterday's hearing addressed only defense lawyers' complaints over what they say are unacceptable limitations.
Brian D. Boyle, a lawyer for the Justice Department, said allowing the conversations to go unmonitored would pose a national security risk if the lawyers intentionally or inadvertently disclosed classified information. He said military intelligence indicated that the detainees might seek to use their attorneys to pass along dangerous information to family members.
The detainees' attorneys "don't have the intelligence training or the background to identify what type of information might be dangerous," Boyle said.
Thomas B. Wilner, who represents the 12 Kuwaitis, said he and other lawyers would abide by reasonable conditions to avoid the leak of classified information. Government monitoring through tape recording, however, would be too invasive, he said.
"Our goal simply is that we want to provide these people with effective representation, and in a way that does not compromise national security," Wilner said.
Ex-CIA Chiefs Say Spy Czar
Needs Power Over Budgets
Former spymasters told senators that creating a new national intelligence director would be worthless without giving that person authority over the budgets of the nation's spy agencies.
"The intelligence community does not need a feckless czar, with fine surroundings and little authority," said William H. Webster, who has headed both the CIA and the FBI.
And the power of the purse will help the new director make the nation's 15 intelligence agencies cooperate, as well as listen to what he or she has to say, former CIA director R. James Woolsey told the Governmental Affairs and intelligence committees. "Whoever has the gold makes the rules," he said.
Rep. Lipinski to Retire,
Backs Son to Replace Him
Rep. William O. Lipinski (D-Ill.) announced last week that he plans to retire at the end of his term, after what will have been 22 years in office. In the meantime, Lipinski, 66, is backing his son's plan to replace him on the November ballot.
Illinois held its primary in March. But local Democratic Party leaders, including the congressman, plan to meet today to formally choose his replacement. They are expected to pick his son, Daniel, who was a political science professor at the University of Tennessee.
-- From News Services and Staff Reports