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Alsawam v. Obama

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 15, 2013

TARIQ MAHMOUD ALSAWAM, Petitioner,
v.
BARACK H. OBAMA, President of the United States, et al., Respondents

Decided April 12, 2013.

For TARIQ MAHMOUD ALSAWAM, Petitioner: Lara Gabrielle Quint, Mary Manning Petras, Tony Lenell Axam, LEAD ATTORNEYS, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR D.C., Washington, DC; Rosanna M. Taormina, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Washington, DC.

For DONALD RUMSFELD, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, Respondent: Hector G. Bladuell, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Scott Michael Marconda, LEAD ATTORNEY, Alexander Kenneth Haas, David Hugh White, James J. Schwartz, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC; Andrew I. Warden, Patrick D. Davis, Robert J. Prince, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; Jonathan S. Needle, Julia A. Berman, Kathryn Celia Davis, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC.

For JAY HOOD, Army Brigadier General, Commander, Joint Task Force-GTMO, Respondent: Hector G. Bladuell, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Jonathan S. Needle, LEAD ATTORNEY, Julia A. Berman, Kathryn Celia Davis, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; Scott Michael Marconda, LEAD ATTORNEY, Alexander Kenneth Haas, David Hugh White, James J. Schwartz, Olivia Hussey Scott, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC; Terry Marcus Henry, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIVIL DIVISION, Washington, DC; Andrew I. Warden, Patrick D. Davis, Robert J. Prince, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; James J. Gilligan, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIVIL DIVISION, FEDERAL PROGRAMS BRANCH, Washington, DC; Kristina Ann Wolfe, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Timothy Allen Bass, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC.

For MICHAEL I. BUMGARNER, Army Colonel, Commander, Joint Detention Operations Group-JTF-GTMO, DONALD RUMSFELD, Secretary, United States Department of Defense, Respondents: Hector G. Bladuell, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Jonathan S. Needle, LEAD ATTORNEY, Julia A. Berman, Kathryn Celia Davis, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; Scott Michael Marconda, LEAD ATTORNEY, Alexander Kenneth Haas, David Hugh White, James J. Schwartz, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC; Terry Marcus Henry, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIVIL DIVISION, Washington, DC; Andrew I. Warden, Patrick D. Davis, Robert J. Prince, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC; James J. Gilligan, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIVIL DIVISION, FEDERAL PROGRAMS BRANCH, Washington, DC; Kristina Ann Wolfe, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Timothy Allen Bass, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC.

For BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, II, President of the United States of America, Respondent: Hector G. Bladuell, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Jonathan S. Needle, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Federal Programs Branch, Washington, DC.

For ASSOCIATED PRESS, NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY, USA TODAY, Movants: Jeanette Melendez Bead, LEAD ATTORNEY, LEVINE SULLIVAN KOCH & SCHULZ, LLP, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 7

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, United States District Judge.

Before the Court is a [281] motion to compel discovery, filed by Petitioner Tariq Mahmoud Alsawah (ISN 535) (" Petitioner" ), a detainee at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Also before the Court is a request by Petitioner, asserted in his [288] opposition to a notice of filing by the United States (" Respondents" or the " Government" ) of an ex parte motion requesting an exception to disclosure of certain materials which Respondents assert are potentially responsive to a prior disclosure Order of the Court. Petitioner has objected to the Government's filing of its motion ex parte as improper, requesting that the Court decline to consider the motion, or alternatively, deny it. For the reasons set forth below, the Court shall DENY both of Petitioner's requests for relief.

I. BACKGROUND

On June 22, 2005, Petitioner, an Egyptian national detainee at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (" Guantanamo" ), filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with this Court. See Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, ECF No. [1]. The action was shortly thereafter stayed pending a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on whether this Court had jurisdiction to entertain the petition, see Order (Aug. 4, 2005), ECF No. [3], and has subsequently been delayed for various reasons, including, but not limited to, Respondents' contemplated prosecution of Petitioner before a military commission, Petitioner's own requests for multiple extensions of time to file his traverse, and

Page 8

most recently, the lodging of several extensive discovery related motions.

Over the years, Petitioner's focus in this litigation has undergone a marked shift. Earlier in the case, Petitioner's efforts were focused on obtaining information relating to his cooperation with the Government in order to demonstrate that he has served as a valuable source of intelligence. Indeed, yet another reason this action remained at a standstill for quite some time was due to the parties' efforts to reach an agreement resolving the issues surrounding Petitioner's detention. Unsurprisingly, when negotiations failed to yield an agreement, Petitioner's focus shifted, such that today, Petitioner's challenge to his continued detention is based largely (albeit not ...


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