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An Incursion of Briefs at Guantanamo--WashPost 10/2/07

*An Incursion of Briefs at Guantanamo*

Tuesday, October 2, 2007; A17

/Undergarment/s/ from Under Armour
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Under+Armour+Inc.?tid=informline>,
the sports apparel line, offer "all-day performance, delivered in a
lightweight compression fit," at least according to the company/' s
/promotional material. While "unprecedented" in its ability to deliver
comfort, Under Armour underwear is not standard issue for detainees at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Guantanamo+Bay?tid=informline>.
So when two men in detention there were found to possess the contraband
briefs, the Navy attorney contacted their attorneys. One of the
detainees in question is Shaker Aamer, whose release the British
government wrote to request from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Condoleezza+Rice?tid=informline>
in August. But before turning to the larger question of whether Aamer
will stay or go, there's the question of what he's wearing. And as the
recent exchange between the Navy/ /lawyer and/ /Aamer's attorney Clive
Stafford Smith illustrates, in the legal wrangling over detention, even
details on intimates can lead to contentious debate:/

/From: the Commander, JAGC, U.S. Navy
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/U.S.+Navy?tid=informline>,/

/Staff Judge Advocate/

/To: Mr. Clive Stafford-Smith,/

/attorney for Shaker Aamer/

/Date: Aug. 12, 2007/

"Your client Shaker AAmer, detainee ISN 239, was recently discovered to
be wearing Under Armor briefs and a Speedo bathing suit. Neither item
was issued to the detainee by JTF-Guantanamo personnel, nor did they
enter the camp through regular mail . . . We are investigating the
matter to determine the origins of the above contraband and ensure that
parties who may have been involved understand the seriousness of this
transgression. As I am sure you understand, we cannot tolerate
contraband being surreptitiously brought into the camp. Such activities
threaten the safety of the JTF-Guantanamo staff, the detainees, and
visiting counsel. . . . we would like to know whether the contraband
material, or any portion thereof, was provided by you, anyone else on
your legal team . . ."

/From: Mr. Clive Stafford Smith,/

/attorney for Shaker Aamer/

/To: the Commander, JAGC, U.S. Navy,/

/Staff Judge Advocate/

/Date: Aug. 29, 2007/

"I will confess that I have never received such an extraordinary letter
in my entire career. Knowing you as I do, I hope you understand that I
do not attribute this allegation to your personally. Obviously, however,
I take accusations that I may have committed a criminal act very
seriously. . . . I also hope you understand my frustration at yet
another unfounded accusation against lawyers who are simply trying to do
their job -- a job that involves legal briefs, not the other sort.

. . . First, neither I, nor Mr. Katznelson [attorney for other detainee
found with briefs], nor anyone else associated with us has had anything
to do with smuggling 'unmentionables' into these men, nor would we ever
do so.

Second, the idea that we /could/ smuggle in underwear is farfetched. As
you know, anything we take in is searched and there is a camera in the
room when we visit the client. Does someone seriously suggest that Mr.
Katznelson or I have been stripping off to deliver underpants to our
clients? . . .

I had never heard of 'Under Armor briefs' until you mentioned them, and
my internet research has advanced my knowledge in two ways -- first,
/Under Armour/ apparently sports a 'U' in its name, which is significant
only because it helps with the research.

Second, and rather more important, this line of underpants are very
popular among the military. . . . It would be worth checking whether
this lingerie was purchased from the NEX [Navy Exchange store] there in
GTMO, since the internet again leads one to suspect that the NEX would
be purveyors of ////Under// /Armour// . . ./ perhaps you might check the
label to see whether these are 'tactical' underwear, as this is
apparently something Under Armour has created specially for the
military. . . . I don't mean to say that it is an open and shut case
proving that your military provided the underwear, as I understand that
other people use Under Armour. One group I noticed on the web were the
amateur weight lifters, who seem confused as to whether Under Armour
give them a competitive advantage.

However, in the grand scheme of things, I would think we can all agree
that the interrogators or military officers are more likely to have
access to Messrs. Aamer and el Gharani than the U.S. Amateur Power
Lifting Association.
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