The Lawfare Podcast: Michel Paradis on Majid Khan

Jen Patja Howell, Benjamin Wittes, Michel Paradis
Friday, November 12, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Majid Khan pled guilty in a military commission at Guantanamo eight years ago, but he has been back in the news of late. At a sentencing hearing at Guantanamo recently, he gave graphic testimony about his torture and treatment at the hands of the CIA and the military. He also took responsibility and showed remorse for his own conduct. His speech in the military commission was sufficiently moving that several members of the jury wrote a letter to the convening authority asking for clemency for Majid Khan.

To talk about the dramatic events, the history of the case, and the CIA program’s treatment of Majid Khan, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Michel Paradis, an appellate lawyer for the Office of Military Commissions Defense Counsel. They talked about what Majid Khan did, his history in al-Qaeda after a childhood in Baltimore, what was done to him, and whether with all this water under the bridge, something like justice could ever come from a trial.

Jen Patja Howell is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Michel Paradis is a senior attorney in the U.S. Dept. of Defense, Military Commissions Defense Organization. He is also a lecturer at Columbia Law School and a fellow at the Center on National Security. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect the position of the U.S. government or any agency or instrumentality thereof.

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