A letter drafted by the two attorneys on November 1st -- containing absolutely no information about interrogation techniques -- to six U.S. Senators was just cleared for release today by Justice Department and CIA officials. In it, Gutierrez and Dixon plea for a closed-door meeting with Pat Leahy (D-VT), Arlen Specter (R-PA), John McCain (R-AZ), Jim Webb (D-VA) and Khan's home-state senators, Democrats Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin. The letter -- which you can read here -- implores the Senators to meet with the attorneys and "consider our client's experiences in CIA secret detention while exercising your own constitutionally mandated oversight responsibilities."
Those responsibilities take on a new salience with Mukasey's nomination. While CCR isn't getting its hopes up that Senators will pencil in a last-minute meeting with Gutierrez -- who's still in Washington reviewing her notes at a secure facility in town -- it does want to make sure that lawmakers hear what's been done to Khan, even if they can't describe the interrogation regimen to their constituents. "We want to meet with them no matter what, but we do want to meet before the Mukasey vote, because it applies to that issue," says a CCR spokesperson. "But it also applies to issues of secret detentions and interrogations" that go beyond Mukasey.
Dixon will be in Washington tomorrow morning in preparation for a possible meeting.
Even by war-on-terrorism standards, Majid Khan's case is unique. As a teenager, Khan moved with his family from Pakistan to a Baltimore suburb in 1996, where the Khans operated a gas station. (He never became a U.S. citizen.) He returned to Pakistan to get married in 2002, but his family suddenly lost contact with him in March 2003, and didn't hear anything about him until September 2006. Only then did they learn, via a release by the Director of National Intelligence, that Majid Khan was believed to have ties through his Pakistani uncle and cousin to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Khan allegedly worked with KSM, as he's known, to plot a bombing of U.S. gas stations; moved money to al-Qaeda associates in southeast Asia; and allowed another al-Qaeda affiliate in the U.S. to use his identity.
Gutierrez, Dixon and CCR filed a habeas corpus petition on behalf of Khan in late 2006. In court filings and elsewhere, his relatives have stated that Khan told them he was tortured.
Update: This post has been modified for clarity.