From recent history, I’d say probably not. Tyler Cabot at Esquire:
Noor, as he prefers to be called, is not unique among the 166 men who remain at Guantánamo. He’s an illiterate peasant from Sudan who worked as a quartermaster and small arms trainer at a low-level, jihadist training camp in Afghanistan in the years before 9/11. He never plotted any terror attacks, never killed or hurt a single American. He was a minor figure, powerless. Or in the words of someone close to the team that prosecuted him, “one of life’s losers.” Many of the men at Guantánamo are like Noor: small men who somehow became the enemy of the most powerful nation of all time.
And yet Noor was also very different in 2011. Because his case was actually advancing through the tribunal system, he was seen by many as one of the lucky ones at Guantánamo. Unlike the dozens of others who remained uncharged, or had been cleared for repatriation to their home countries yet frozen in place by Congress, Noor was getting his day in court before a military judge and jury. And if convicted, he would serve his time and be able to go home to Sudan.
He was also different because my father was his lawyer. For years I’d watched from afar as my father, Howard Cabot, balanced his responsibilities as a corporate defense litigator with his constant trips to Guantánamo to represent Noor. I’d heard about the military transport planes he often flew, the jungle rats, the humidity so stifling that one lived in a constant stream of sweat. But also of the challenges of representing an accused terrorist so different from him, and my father’s fundamental belief in the need to do so, because every person of every belief deserved justice; that was the foundation of America’s legal system. And now I was with my dad on this vanished island outpost, observing from the press box at the back of the fortified courtroom.
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