Professor Edwards, Chuck Dunlap, '96, Discuss Guantanamo Bay Cases with Lee Hamilton


Professor George Edwards and Chuck Dunlap, ’96, visited with retired Congressman Lee Hamilton on June 3 to discuss the Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP).

Dunlap, Executive Director of the Indiana Bar Foundation, and Professor Edwards, Executive Director of the Program in International Human Rights Law (PIHRL), visited with Hamilton at his office in Bloomington, where he is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

Professor Edwards, Lee Hamilton, Chuch Dunlap(In the photo from left are Professor Edwards, former Congressman Hamilton, and Dunlap.)

“We had a lively, one-hour discussion about many topics, including the 9-11 Commission Report, national security law, international human rights law, military commissions versus trials in U.S. federal courts, and other topics,” Professor Edwards said.

Hamilton founded the Center after he retired from Congress in 1999. He also served as President and Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., from 1999-2010. He is a leading figure on foreign policy, intelligence, and national security. Hamilton served as Vice Chairman of the 9/11 Commission and Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. He gave the second annual Birch Bayh Lecture at IU McKinney in November 2013.

Dunlap traveled to Fort Meade the week of June 2 for hearings about the attack on the USS Cole, only to find that the hearings he was going to observe had been cancelled. He wrote about that experience on the MCOP’s blog. Dunlap will travel to Fort Meade again the week of June 16 for more hearings in the USS Cole case. Professor Edwards plans to travel to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for those same hearings.

Professor Edwards has learned that charges have been levied against another detainee at Guantanamo Bay, meaning there will be more hearings in the next 30 days. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff of IU McKinney who are interested in observing such hearings can learn more on the PIHRL website.

It’s an exciting time to take part in the hearings. James Zender, ’12, was at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when a U.S. Military plane arrived to take the five detainees who were being released in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl was being held by the Taliban and was released in Afghanistan.

“The Guantanamo Bay airfield is pretty small,” Professor Edwards explained, “and it’s not easy to hide a C-17 military aircraft.”

Professor Edwards is the Carl M. Gray Professor of Law, and a John S. Grimes Fellow. He is also Special Assistant to the Dean for Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations.

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