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Oral history interview with Morris D. Davis [electronic resource], 2012.

Creator: Davis, Morris D., 1958-
Project: Rule of law oral history project
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Chief Prosecutor, Guantánamo Bay Military Commissions.

Scope and Contents

Born: July 31, 1958, Shelby, North Carolina; Education: B.S., Appalachian State University; J.D., North Carolina Central University School of Law; LL.M, U.S. Army JAG [Judge Advocate General]; Career: Lawyer, JAG corps; Deputy Commandant and Instructor, Air Force JAG school; Staff Judge Advocate, Columbus Air Force Base and Dyess Air Force Base; Director of Legal Information Services, U.S. Air Force Academy; Chief Prosecutor, Guantánamo Bay Military Commissions; Senior Specialist in National Security and Director of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade, Congressional Research Service [CRS]; Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills, Howard University. Reminiscences: early life and education in North Carolina; career as a JAG lawyer; personal experience on September 11; initial opinion of Guantánamo Bay detainees; recruitment as military commissions chief prosecutor; tension between Defense Department political appointees and uniformed officers; opposition to enhanced interrogation techniques; opposition to military commissions procedures; resignation as chief prosecutor, reassignment to Air Force Judiciary; cancelled military commissions segment on 60 Minutes; denial of Defense Meritorious Service Medal; termination of CRS position; support of President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign; Discussions: Failures of communication between military and media; military commissions cases; Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006); critique of “worst of the worst” distinction of detainees; transfer of high-value detainees from CIA black sites to Guantánamo; Military Commissions Act of 2006; Bush and Obama administrations' foreign policy; debate over prosecution of detainees in military commissions versus federal court system; applicability of Geneva Conventions and international law; fallacy of ticking time bomb scenario; need for a more international effort to combat global terrorism; drone warfare.


Access Conditions

Copyright by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2012. Permission required to cite, quote, and reproduce. Contact repository for information.

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