Retired chief justice for third circuit says Rumsfeld shows 'disregard' for military law
April 24, 2006
John J. Gibbons, a former Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals appointed by President Richard Nixon and a former officer in the U.S. Navy, joined the chorus of critics attacking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Monday, RAW STORY has learned.
"As many distinguished experts have concluded, Donald Rumsfeld has failed in his job as Secretary of Defense," Gibbons said in a statement released to RAW STORY. "I believe our security, our military and our rule of law have all suffered under his leadership.
"The recent disclosure of testimony from the Army Inspector General's 391-page report from December 2005 indicates that Secretary Rumsfeld had far more knowledge of and responsibility for degrading and abusive treatment of my client than he previously acknowledged. The Army's own reports reveal a Defense Secretary showing a disturbing disregard for military law.
"As a retired judge, a lawyer and a veteran, I have the utmost respect for our country's laws and our commitment to civilian control of the military. Those obligations are consistent with an honest public debate about our country's leadership and U.S. policy."
More from his release:
"Judge Gibbons is co-counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights for Mohammed Al Qhatami, and he argued the case before the Supreme Court that established the rights of Guantánamo detainees to challenge their detention in U.S. court (Rasul v. Bush).
"Gibbons served on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals from 1970 to 1990, including serving as Chief Judge for three years, authoring about 800 published opinions. He formerly taught Constitutional Law and at Seton Hall University Law School.
"He is a Past President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an Emeritus Director of the American Arbitration Association, a Trustee Emeritus of the Practicing Law Institute, a Trustee Emeritus of Holy Cross College and a Trustee of The Fund for New Jersey. Judge Gibbons served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1943 to1946 and attained the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade as a Naval Reserve Officer.
"The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) currently oversees 450 pro-bono attorneys representing the detainees. CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights demonstrators in the South, CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change."