Rebecca Dick was a member of Dechert LLP, a premier Washington law firm, in 2007 when she represented Afghan national Gholam Ruhani when he was being detained at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Dick referred to Ruhani as a ‘simple shopkeeper’ who wanted to help Americans.
According to reporting by the Washington Free Beacon, Ruhani had been captured by U.S. and coalition forces along with a militia commander who was also a high-level drug trafficker.
Dick argued in court for Ruhani’s release and repatriation to Afghanistan. She also told the press that her client expressed no interest in harming the U.S. and was not an extremist.
The lawyer also argued that her Guantanamo clients, including Ruhani, supported the U.S. supported Karzai government or did not think about or want to discuss politics.
As it turns out, Ruhani resurfaced in Al Jazeera, reporting that showed him with his Taliban colleagues in the presidential palace in Kabul following the rapid collapse of the Afghan government after President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Ruhani was shown reciting from the Quran and talking of his time imprisoned at Guantanamo while holding a military rifle.
The Department of Defense reported in 2008 connected Ruhani to the Taliban’s intelligence operations and anticipated that he would rejoin terrorist activities if he were to be released from custody at Guantanamo.
Dick represented eight Guantanamo detainees in total and is now retired. She counseled Ruhani as he maintained his innocence in 2007 and said he made a living by working in his family’s electronics store.
She is just one of many corporate lawyers from prestigious law firms and schools that represented Guantanamo detainees during the Bush and Obama administrations.
Dick received a Beacon of Justice Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association in 2007, recognizing her work on behalf of the Guantanamo detainees. Dechert announced the award in a news statement at the time. The company is one of the top 50 globally in terms of earnings, and dick received the Samuel E. Klein Pro Bono Award from the company for providing free legal services to Ruhani and the other detainees.
As noted by University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds at his long-standing blog InstaPundit: “Lots of top-shelf firms represented accused terrorists because ‘everyone deserves a defense.’ On the other hand, firms representing Donald Trump were terrorized into dropping him by social media mobs.”