The Gitmo Defense Attorney Who Refused to Toe the Line
Talented litigator Bill Kuebler was honored to be selected to represent Guantanamo detainees charged with war crimes. He succeeded wildly—and paid for it the rest of his career.
Photo courtesy the U.S. Naval Academy
On his first day teaching at the United States Naval Academy, Bill Kuebler leaned against a table at the front of the classroom as his students filed in and got settled in their seats. Kuebler — round-faced and bespectacled with shoulders slightly but irrevocably hunched, a kind of bookworm’s cauliflower ear — clicked his handheld mouse and, behind his head, a PowerPoint slide flashed on the board. He started, as is the Day One expectation, with a little background about himself. He ran down a list of his past jobs, the various places the Navy has sent him, though he’d never divulge even a clue as to what that journey entailed. He said nothing about his trips to Cuba to visit clients who would have rather seen him dead, as at least one told him, than arguing on their behalf. Nothing about his testimony before the Canadian parliament, or The New York Times stories, or the GQ profile. Nothing about his very own catch-22: caught between being an obedi…