By way of full disclosure, I'm a card carrying, dues paying member of the ACLU. It's best to get that out of the way upfront, so that people who
are so inclined can skip the rest of the post and begin to vituperate and imprecate to their heart's content. All in good fun.
That said, I'm kind of impressed with the level of sophistry the Washington Times demonstrated in dragging the ACLU into what is essentially an
internecine dispute between the CIA (always a super-reliable source of information), Justice, and the military. The article tries to bury this, but
it's there if you read:
Details of the review could not be learned. However, the CIA team came away from the review, conducted the week of March 14, "very concerned"
that agency personnel have been put in danger by military rules allowing interaction between the five inmates and defense attorneys, according to an
intelligence source close to the review.
Two fun things. First, if you want to smear and can't even get anyone to go on deep background for you, then your option (if you're an unethical
journalist working for an unethical news outlet) is to just say "Details could not be learned" and then quote, not an individual, but a general mood
of being "very concerned." Slimy.
Second, in the quoted passage, we learn that it was the military's decision to follow their own rules and allow the interaction between the five
inmates and their defense attorneys. Yes, the ACLU backed this decision, and used whatever (very limited) influence they have within the military to
support it. But it was ultimately a decision made by the military.
Given that it was the decision of military brass to allow for some limited form of due process for the inmates, then the people you would be charging
with "treason and sedition" would be bird colonels and higher. Doesn't sound much like "supporting our troops" to me.
Look, one of the things that's a huge mess about Gitmo is that, on top of everything else, it's turned into a territorial pissing match between the
military, DOJ, the CIA, private contractors and any other agency who can carve out a little slice of heaven for themselves. None of these (with the
exception of DOJ) are circles in which the ACLU has any real juice at all. The only, and I mean only, reason to bring up the "ACLU backing" is to
capitalize on that visceral, kneejerk derangement syndrome too many people feel as soon as they see those initials.