Fox & Friends advanced false suggestion that DOJ is "stand[ing] idly by" in alleged "outing of" CIA operatives

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

While discussing the John Adams Project -- an ACLU initiative that allegedly took pictures of CIA interrogators and allowed defense lawyers for detainees at Guantánamo Bay to show them to detainees -- frequent Fox News guest and former CIA operative Wayne Simmons claimed that the Justice Department will "stand idly by and allow this illegal outing of potentially covert CIA operatives," to which Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade agreed that the "White House, the administration, should move against" the group. In fact, the Justice Department reportedly already opened an investigation into the allegations, which was not mentioned by any Fox & Friends host.

Kilmeade and Simmons claim Obama administration "should move against" John Adams Project

From the September 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): All right, so we saw in that video clip -- that was a producer for The O'Reilly Factor approaching somebody with the John Adams Project, basically saying, hey, why are you showing pictures of what could be covert, secret CIA faces to prisoners down at Guantánamo Bay? Why would somebody do that in your mind, Wayne?

SIMMONS: Well, look. O'Reilly's crew did a great job on this as they do on most things, but this just points out to the American people another example of not only has the White House -- this administration -- attacked the CIA. The Justice Department is, in my opinion, attacking the CIA. And now I suggest to you that they will stand idly by and allow this illegal outing of potentially covert CIA operatives, who are, as we all know, the number one single point of protection for the United States, Americans, and national security interests outside of the United States.

KILMEADE: Hey, Wayne, here's the thing. It's illegal. You can't do this. So the White House, the administration, should move against this John Adams Project, against the people in the ACLU doing this.

SIMMONS: Yeah, Brian. They should move on these people so fast -- anyone who's part of this, the John Adams Project, those that are -- that came up with this idea. They should dismantle the program, and they should put these people in jail. I mean, you've got to understand the ramifications that this is a real situation where they are actually taking this information about American agents and they are sitting down with the enemy -- with the enemy.

CARLSON: Yeah, but why would they do that, Wayne?

SIMMONS: And they are showing them who these people are.

But the Justice Department reportedly already has opened an investigation

New York Times: There is an investigation, and the detainees' lawyers have already been questioned. The New York Times reported on August 21 that "[t]he Justice Department is investigating whether three military defense lawyers for detainees at the Guantánamo prison illegally showed their clients photographs of C.I.A. interrogators" and that "[a]gents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation approached the three lawyers with the Judge Advocate General's Corps nearly two weeks ago." From the article:

The Justice Department is investigating whether three military defense lawyers for detainees at the Guantánamo prison illegally showed their clients photographs of C.I.A. interrogators, two leaders of civilian legal groups that are working with the defense lawyers said Thursday.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation approached the three lawyers with the Judge Advocate General's Corps nearly two weeks ago, said Anthony D. Romero, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is helping the military lawyers defend the detainees in military commissions.

The agents informed the uniformed lawyers of their right to remain silent, and then questioned them about whether they showed their clients pictures of Central Intelligence Agency officials -- possibly including covert agents -- that came from an "independent investigation" by the A.C.L.U. and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Mr. Romero said.

[...]

The A.C.L.U. is working with the defense lawyers' association in a joint effort to provide civilian lawyers and research assistance to the military defense lawyers. The lawyers are representing clients who have been charged with terrorism crimes related to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, before a military commission.

As part of that effort, called the John Adams Project, researchers have been trying to identify which C.I.A. officials participated in harsh interrogations of the detainees under the Bush administration's program of secret C.I.A. prisons. President George W. Bush ordered the Qaeda suspects transferred to the prison at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006.

Defense lawyers contend their clients were illegally tortured and are considering calling the C.I.A. officers to the witness stand if the military commission trials -- which President Obama halted shortly after he took office, but has since proposed reviving in a modified form -- are resumed. Several of the detainees could be executed if convicted.

Joshua Dratel, a lawyer with the John Adams Project and a former board member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, also confirmed that the group had learned about two weeks ago that the F.B.I. had questioned three military defense lawyers about photographs allegedly obtained by John Adams Project researchers and provided to the lawyers. [New York Times, 8/21/09]

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Justice & Civil Liberties
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FOX & Friends
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