This post is not about an abstract topic, but rather a link to an actual story of a Navy LCDR that was involuntarily reassigned from his job as a defense counsel in a military commission case. See NY Times article here. While we don’t usually cover commissions, the involuntary termination of a defense counsel that had formed an attorney client relationship, without consulting the client, raises enough MilJus issues that the action merits coverage. According to the NYT,
[LCDR] William C. Kuebler, who was appointed by the Pentagon to represent Omar Khadr, was reassigned on Friday after an internal inquiry into his conduct, said Michael Berrigan, the deputy chief defense counsel at the Navy base in Guantanamo.
According to other reports,
[Commissions’ Chief Defense Counsel Col. Peter Masciola,] ordered Kuebler’s removal Friday in order to pursue “client-centred representation,” according to a statement from his office. . . . “The team representing Omar Khadr had become dysfunctional,” Masciola said. He said he could not elaborate because of privacy concerns and attorney-client privilege. A source who asked not to be named said yesterday Masciola had concluded that Kuebler was “a divisive figure on the military team and failed to act in best interests of Khadr.”
See Edmonton Sun report here. According to the story, “Kuebler insisted his reassignment was sparked by his criticism that [Col.] Masciola was too cosy with prosecutors.” If anyone has any more information on the events or the rationale for the firing, please let us know in comments or via email.
BTW: (1) h/t to Anon for the story; and (2) for those military DCs out there that previously felt squeamish about going to the press about your case (though some deny there are any of you, see our discussion here), what say you about this move? Is this the exception that proves the rule that you can go to the press about your case or the case study that makes TDC reluctant to go to the press?