Huffpost Politics

Gitmo Lawyer: Gates May Have Committed Perjury

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The announcement Dec. 1 that Barack Obama had retained Bush Defense Secretary Robert Gates was intended to demonstrate the President-elect's desire for a "big-tent" administration that transcended partisan politics. Gates had voiced his desire to close the Pentagon's notorious Guantánamo Bay prison almost as soon as he took over from Donald Rumsfeld in December 2006, and this and his subsequent stewardship of the Iraq War earned him a place as a trustworthy figure who might bridge the Bush and Obama divide.

However, a declaration the defense secretary made in a Washington, D.C. District Court filing Dec. 12 during the habeas review of Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed might make some rethink the trustworthy label. Mohamed's lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, says that unless Gates retracts his statement, he could find himself accused of perjury.

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