Gitmo Defense Lawyers See Case as a 'Privilege'

They take it pro bono to 'rein in' federal abuse
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2008 9:32 PM CDT
In this image reviewed by the U.S. Military, the recreational area of Camp 5 maximum security detention facility is shown at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, Tuesday, May 13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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(Newser) – Defending a Guantanamo Bay detainee isn't a normal pro bono case for Seattle corporate lawyers used to making $575 an hour, the Post-Intelligencer reports: But Harry Schneider and Joe McMillan say the "effort to rein in" what they see as President Bush's legal abuse is motivation enough. "Even a king can't do that," Schneider says of indignities forced upon Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's alleged driver.

“I count it as a privilege to work on a case that in my view will redeem the United States as a country,” said McMillan. But the lawyers aren’t as optimistic about their chances. “We are doing the best we can,” McMillan adds, “but it's a system designed to be less fair than what he would get in state or federal court.”