Not so for the prisoners at Guantanamo and their lawyers, as well as their families. According to this LA Times article, Salim Gherebi was captured in Afghanistan in February 2002 and ended up in detention in Guantanamo. As the paper reports,
Gherebi's brother from San Diego hired Yagman in January 2003 to represent the detainee. But lawyer and client have yet to meet, and Yagman believes Gherebi probably doesn't even know he has a lawyer.The Supreme Court ruled in June that attorney-client meetings must be allowed. So, it seems like when faced with an order that even the most unwitting could not claim not to understand, the administration decided to try some high-class stonewalling. And they are so darn good at it, too.
Yagman's efforts to force Justice Department lawyers to justify Gherebi's continued imprisonment have provoked a blizzard of paperwork, court motions and foot-dragging. But there's been little progress toward a face-to-face lawyer-client meeting, let alone a hearing on the merits of his case.
Gherebi's case is hardly unique. Lawyers across the country trying to represent Guantanamo clients report that the government is, as one put it, "trying to neutralize the Supreme Court decision."
The article also says,
The Pentagon has let a few detainees meet with a lawyer as a goodwill gesture, providing the lawyer agrees to let officials listen in and promises not to ask about conditions of the client's confinement or if he has been abused. However, the government is contesting almost every motion and writ, tying up the cases as it continues to claim, incredibly, that the Guantanamo detainees have no constitutional right of access. At the same time, detainees are pressured to plead their cases before a military panel without the due process guarantees available in federal court, a move some are resisting.I wonder if they can say "inalienable right". That concept applies to the right of detainees to communicate with their attorneys. That right has been confirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States. This right is just there,- and it is not for the Pentagon to give or take away.