Guest Blogger: Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL) On Investigating the John Adams Project

Rep. Jeff Miller /

During this past Wednesday’s mark-up of the Fiscal Year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act my fellow conservatives on the House Armed Services Committee stood strongly on the side of the American people, vociferously fighting for security, liberty, and freedom through our Defend America First platform.  One of the issues debated on Wednesday, which many of us have deemed most detrimental to our Republic, is the disgraceful actions apparently undertaken by the disloyal defense lawyers involved in the John Adams Project.  We have called for an immediate and thorough investigation of the actions of these individuals.

Last year the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) established the John Adams Project to “support military counsel at Guantanamo Bay.” The mission behind this treacherous enterprise was to identify intelligence officers involved in interrogating Guantanamo Bay detainees and then provide that information to military defense attorneys representing the detainees so that they could attempt to call intelligence personnel to testify.  Unfortunately, it appears that their efforts may have been successful, when last year photographs of intelligence personnel were found in the cells of detainees.  News reports indicate that American citizens hired private investigators to surreptitiously photograph intelligence personnel and provide them to enemies of this nation. If true, the disgraceful actions by the individuals involved in the John Adams Project have created a severe security risk for our intelligence community and, ultimately, the American people.  Any attempt to identify and expose to potential harm our Nation’s fine intelligence and military officers who serve as our first line of defense is deceitful, shameful, and illegal.

If true, these devious actions by the John Adams Project resulted in three things: One, it has created a significant security risk to intelligence and military personnel, as well as compromised our national security.  Two, it would mean that U.S. laws and Department of Defense (DoD) policies have been violated.  Third, it would have affected detainee operations at Guantanamo Bay.

It also appears that these pro-bono attorneys likely violated the law protecting classified information.  The release of these photos appears to violate 18 USC 798 which prohibits the disclosure of classified information.  Specifically, the release of the faces of these CIA officers to a foreign enemy is illegal.

An additional concern is that DoD policies were potentially broken.  Defense attorneys working for the DoD must abide by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and other directives which govern the representation of their clients.  This amendment will ensure that their actions are investigated and identify any policy violations.

Lastly, these actions may have negatively impacted detainee operations at Guantanamo Bay.  The facility holds the most dangerous terrorists and foreign fighters detained during the operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.  You are not sent to this facility unless you have directly harmed or conspired to harm American troops, our allies, or innocent civilians.  The possibility that lawyers for detainees may have provided information or illegal evidence to these detainees clearly disrupts the mission of the facility and the servicemembers tasked with guarding it.

The intelligence community deserves a complete and honest investigation to determine if our Nation’s laws were broken or if DoD’s policies were violated.  Members of Congress have been making these demands. And now, with the passage of this amendment we will be able to provide the American people answers to these questions which directly affect their freedom, liberty, and security.

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