"In order to do that, it requires an incredible learning curve and a remarkable journey," he adds.
All officers swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which these servicemen say helps them put the effort forth to try to save men like Mohammed or al Hawsawi, who could be seen as among the victims of these circumstances.
"Not only are we trying to ensure there is a fair trial, and that the presumption of innocence remains inviolate, we're also trying to seek some measure of accountability for what happened to these men, for what our government did, to Mr. Mohammed in particular," says Wright. "To try to put on a mitigation case, to tell his life story, his life history that includes three and a half years of torture."
"It pains me as an American, before I was even asked to join the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel, it pains me that my government thought it was appropriate to torture for my freedoms," he says.
Everyone is entitled to have a defense, Wright adds.
"The remarkable thing is I wear this uniform, and I get to be as outspoken as I need to be on issues that affect our government, on issues that affect decision-making in this place," says Ruiz. "I think that's remarkable. I think that should be celebrated."
This makes it easier to become an advocate for his client in court, he says. Each component—defense, prosecution, or and judge—should work against one another to produce a better result, he says.
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