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Daphne Eviatar
As Senior Counsel in Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program, Daphne Eviatar investigates and reports on U.S. national security policies and practices and their human rights implications.

Daphne is a lawyer and award-winning journalist who has written widely about law, human rights and economic development. A former legal correspondent for The Washington Independent, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, Politico and many others. She’s been interviewed widely on radio and television, including on The Rachel Maddow Show and public radio stations across the country.

Daphne was a 2005 Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow, a 2003 Pew International Journalism fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, and has taught law and journalism at New York Law School.

Daphne is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York University School of Law and Dartmouth College.

Entries by Daphne Eviatar

5 Truths About Counterterrorism Presidential Candidates Should Keep in Mind

(18) Comments | Posted November 14, 2015 | 4:06 PM

Within hours of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, CBS News announced it would re-focus Saturday's Democratic presidential debate on issues of terrorism, national security and foreign relations. Given the horrors we just witnessed, that's understandable. But before jumping on the "tough on terrorism" bandwagon, candidates should reflect...

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Defense Secretary's Criticism of Military Judge Order Could Derail 9/11 Case

(5) Comments | Posted October 30, 2015 | 3:43 PM

When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, called a military judge's order "outrageous" earlier this week, they probably didn't intend to throw a wrench into the pending 9/11 military commission case. The case is now in its...

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Judge in 9/11 Case Denies Accused's Request to Fire His Lawyer

(5) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 1:49 PM

An Army judge at Guantanamo Bay on Thursday refused to allow one of the five defendants charged with orchestrating the 9/11 attacks to dismiss his lead lawyer, ruling the accused hadn't shown the necessary "good cause" to do so.

Not even military commission prosecutors know why Walid bin Attash,...

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Confusing Commission Rules Continue to Hamper 9/11 Case

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 1:13 PM

After more than a week of confusion at the Guantanamo military commissions over the representation of Walid bin Attash, one of the five accused plotters of the September 11 attacks, the defendant clarified Wednesday morning that he doesn't want to represent himself, he just wants to fire one of the...

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9/11 Military Commission Stalls Again Over Defense Representation Rights

(5) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 1:00 PM

It was a typical Monday morning at the Guantanamo military commissions. Within the first 15 minutes, the judge had to adjourn the pre-trial hearing in the case of the five defendants accused of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, this time because one of the defendants had asked a question....

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Stalled 9/11 Case Is Another Reason to Close Guantanamo

(27) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 6:28 PM

The military commissions have once again cancelled two weeks' worth of hearings scheduled in the case of the five alleged plotters of the September 11 attacks. Although the attacks themselves took place nearly 14 years ago, the five men accused of masterminding the deadliest terror attack to ever take place...

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Remaining Brit at Gitmo Highlights the Contradictions of Independence Day

(3) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 4:13 PM

While Americans were celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks and beach vacations, some prominent Brits were noting a certain irony.

"[W]hile the US is celebrating its freedom, and its foundation under the rule of law, the continuing detention of men at Guantánamo -- largely without charge...

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Guantanamo Military Commissions Stall Again: Time to Move On

(3) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 3:27 PM

How long will it take for the government to admit that the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay just aren't working?

While closing arguments began Monday in the Boston Marathon bombing trial, moving toward some resolution for victims and their families, the trial of the September...

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Obama Says He Should Have Closed Guantanamo on Day 1 -- He Still Can

(21) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 2:44 PM

Asked by a seventh-grade student from the Citizens Leadership Academy in Cleveland yesterday what advice he would give himself if he could go back to his first day in office, President Obama responded, "I think I would have closed Guantanamo on the first day." That got a round...

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Judge Halts 9/11 Case as Defense Charges Unlawful Influence

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 3:33 PM

You almost have to feel sorry for anyone assigned to work on the Guantanamo military commissions these days. It's bad enough that they're handling death penalty cases for people who the U.S. government has admitted it tortured in secret CIA prisons for years. As U.S. military officers committed to upholding...

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9/11 Defendant Claims Ongoing Injuries From CIA Torture

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 2:37 PM

The one refreshing thing about the hearings in the 9/11 military commission case at Guantanamo this week is that defense lawyers are now allowed to say the word "torture" without the censor blacking out the audio feed. And the word "torture" came up a lot.

First thing Thursday morning,...

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9/11 Defendants Claim Military Commission Translator Assisted CIA Torture

(4) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 11:45 AM

It didn't take long for the Guantanamo military commission in the 9/11 case to stumble again -- this time when two of the accused co-conspirators said they recognized a translator in the courtroom from their time in a CIA black site.

This is the first time since August that...

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Carter Can Take Gitmo Closure Across the Finish Line

(19) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 3:12 PM

President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, can expect tough questions at his Wednesday confirmation hearing -- on issues ranging from the military campaign against ISIL and the legal authority (or lack thereof) for it to U.S. policy toward repressive regimes (Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia) where the U.S....

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Senators Question Federal Court Terror Trials While Effective Prosecutions Continue Apace in NYC

(8) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 4:32 PM

As Republicans questioned U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch at her confirmation hearing in Washington on Wednesday for supporting trials of suspected terrorists in federal court, the trial of alleged al-Qaeda leader Khalid al-Fawwaz proceeded apace in New York City, with an FBI informant providing critical evidence linking the defendant...

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Another Bin Laden Associate on Trial in New York

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 7:17 PM

It's become almost routine -- the prosecutions of alleged al Qaeda operatives and spokespeople, men picked up halfway across the world brought to downtown Manhattan, where they're tried for acts they're alleged to have committed years ago in cahoots with Osama bin Laden. After a complex but orderly federal trial,...

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US Needs to Explain Decision Not to Prosecute Torturers

(48) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 12:50 PM

The Senate torture report released on Tuesday has led to the inevitable calls for prosecution of the government officials who may have committed crimes. Although the Justice Department this week reaffirmed its earlier position that it would not be prosecuting anyone, that leaves a burning question open: why...

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Secret Order Cancels Guantanamo Hearing on FBI Spying -- Government 'Transparency' in Action

(4) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 3:52 PM

I really hope family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks weren't planning on attending the hearings scheduled at Guantanamo Bay this week. It's bad enough that observers who planned to travel to Cuba to watch federal prosecutors try to explain why the FBI was spying on U.S. military defense...

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Life Sentence for Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Is Hardly 'Soft' on Terrorism

(9) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 2:05 PM

On Tuesday morning, a federal district court judge in New York sentenced Osama bin Laden's son-in-law to life in a U.S. federal prison.

When Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was arrested abroad last year, conservative lawmakers were outraged. "He is an enemy combatant and should be held in military custody,"...

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FBI Infiltration Of 9/11 Defense Continues To Delay Guantanamo Trial

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 6:30 PM

Four months after defense lawyers first told a Guantanamo military commission that they'd learned the FBI was spying on their colleagues, it remains unclear who or what the FBI was investigating.

What is clear is that it will continue to delay progress in the case of the...

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Judge Puts 9/11 Case Back Together Again

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 4:58 PM

After unexpectedly deciding to split the 9/11 case into two trials last month, a military commission judge reversed himself and decided on Wednesday to put the severed case back together again. At least for now.

Government prosecutors in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom on Monday had argued vehemently that...

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