Terror Law Truths: The Denbeauxs Deserve a Medal

The American people owe a new wave of gratitude these days--and maybe a medal or prize-- to the Denbeaux family, Mark and Joshua, father and son, professor and lawyer, who have consistently made historic contributions to our understanding of the Bush administration's approach to terror law in the wake of 9/11. Their dogged pursuit of hidden truths has illuminated for us vital, objective facts about how the legal war on terror detainees has really been waged.

Four years ago, the team's research of the US military's own detainee records destroyed the myth that Guantanamo held the "worst of the worst." Now, the duo is back, providing the impetus for Scott Horton's pointed and powerful report in Harper's Magazine last month about an alleged military coverup at Gitmo involving the reported "suicides" of three detainees.   

Horton's new piece cuts directly against the renewed push by Republican lawmakers to keep the detainee prison at Gitmo open until terror suspects like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are prosecuted there under tribunal rules. It directly subverts the argument that Gitmo guards and officials are as accountable as their civilian counterparts. It directly supports the Obama administration's declaration that Gitmo must be closed to end the nasty symbolism it represents to so many around the world.

In the world of law and academia, Mark and Josh Denbeaux have been roundly cited for their work. It's time the American people and their Congressional representatives tuned in, too. These are earnest, honest people whom history will favor for their brave work in untangling the many govenrment deceptions that have been thrown at the public since the Twin Towers fell.

Presented by

Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is a legal analyst for 60 Minutes and CBS Radio News, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, and Commentary Editor at The Marshall Project

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Photos of New York City, in Motion

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this flip-book tour of the Big Apple.

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in National

Just In