The Brennan Center recently filed an amicus brief on behalf of former intelligence professionals and scholars of evidence and criminal procedure, urging the Supreme Court to hear the case of Latif v. Obama.
Adnan Latif is a Yemeni citizen who was arrested by Pakistani police in late 2001 and has been held at Guantanamo for the past decade on the basis of a single questionable intelligence report. Latif sued the government to obtain his release from indefinite detention.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted his request for a writ of habeas corpus, but a split panel of the D.C. appeals court remanded the case. The appeals court majority held that the government’s intelligence report – an anonymous and heavily redacted “battlefield screening interview” created in the “fog of war” under “chaotic and stressful circumstances” – warranted a “presumption of regularity,” essentially a presumption of reliability and accuracy that is usually applied to materials like tax receipts and state court guilty pleas. The Brennan Center’s brief seeks to educate the Court about the process of creating and analyzing early-stage intelligence and the inappropriateness of applying the presumption of regularity to such materials.