MAKING A CASE FOR THOSE WRONGLY DETAINED IN GUANTANAMO BAY

In the shadow of the horrific destruction of 9/11 came the first defendants who were accused, along with countless others, of somehow being involved in the dastardly and most destructive attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. Of the many hundreds of detainees were innocents, whom even the DOJ admitted were caught up in its dragnet. But in the wake of this destruction, the nation had no appetite for legal niceties. Few if any law or communications firms wanted to carry the load on this.  

PROBLEM 

Languishing in Guantanamo Bay were a dozen Kuwaiti citizens, all absent due process. Three rulings by the US Supreme Court demanded it, but the political climate of the time saw no execution of the High Court’s rulings. Enter leading law firms and LEVICK, willing to take the extraordinary criticism for defending Arab detainees, even though evidence pointed towards innocence for almost all of them. 

APPROACH 

The first aspect of the campaign was to change the conversation from guilt or innocence to due process. If they are guilty let them be tried and punished. If they are innocent let them either be charged or released. With no sympathetic American media, the campaign began in the UK and focused first on the father of one of the detainees, an Air Force pilot who was the only recipient of both Kuwait and US medals for heroism. Step by step, Kuwait’s long history of allegiance to US interests and its commitment against terrorism began to become part of the narrative along with America’s historic commitment to due process.

RESULTS 

Over time, editorials in favor of legal rights for the detainees appeared in 98 of the top 100 US newspapers and as pressure built, all but one were rendered and released.