Colonel Morris D. Davis (born July 31, 1958) is a United States Air Force officer and lawyer, was appointed to serve as the third Chief Prosecutor in the Guantanamo military commissions. He resigned from the position and retired from active duty in October 2008.
|1983-1988||Lieutenant/Captain||Eastern Space and Missile Center, Patrick Air Force Base|
|1989-1991||Captain/Major||Bolling Air Force Base|
|1991-1992||Major||student, The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, U.S. Army|
|1992-1995||Major||instructor, Air Force Judge Advocate General School|
|1995-1997||Lieutenant Colonel||Staff Judge Advocate, Columbus Air Force Base|
|1997-2000||Lieutenant Colonel||Staff Judge Advocate, Dyess Air Force Base|
|2000-2003||Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel||Deputy Commandant, Air Force Judge Advocate General School|
|2003-2005||Colonel||Director, Air Force Legal Information Services, Air Force Legal Services Agency|
| January 2005-|
|Colonel||Staff Judge Advocate F.E. Warren Air Force Base|
| September 2005-|
|Colonel||Chief Prosecutor, Guantanamo military commissions|
|1980||Bachelor of science in criminal justice, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina|
|1983||Juris doctorate, North Carolina Central University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina|
|1992||Master of laws in military law (concentration in government procurement law), The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, Virginia|
|1992||Master of laws in government procurement law, The National Law Center, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.|
Davis has received the following awards and recognition.
- Outstanding Judge Advocate for Headquarters Air Force in 1990.
- Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
- Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
- Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
- Southwest Asia Service Medal
A National Post article published January 10, 2006 contained extensive quotes from Davis's arguments before the commission, including at one in which Davis said: "Thanks to the American medics who stepped over their dead friend and tended to Mr. Khadr, he's alive today,"
SFC Christopher Speer, a Special Forces medic, was fatally wounded along with two coalition forces, and multiple U.S. forces were wounded and evacuated as a result of the firefight (U.S. v Omar Khadr, Nov 2005). Though medics did not specifically step over Speer's body to tend to Khadr's wounds, two other dead coalition forces were on the ground as Khadr was receiving treatment and evacuation. SFC Speer was also evacuated from the scene and died in a hospital ten days after the firefight.
Davis also asserted that Sergeant Layne Morris was wounded by the same grenade that mortally wounded Speer. But at least one detailed newspaper account described Morris being wounded prior to the aerial bombardment, four hours prior to Speer's wounding.
Comments on the character of the suspects and their attorneysEdit
Khadr's attorney, Muneer Ahmad of American University, accused Colonel Davis of ethical misconduct for referring to Khadr as a terrorist and a murderer during the January 10 press conference. Ahmad asked the Presiding Officer to sanction Colonel Davis for the comments, but the presiding officer found the comments were fair and balanced given repeated negative out of court statements Ahmad made for months prior to the hearing. When asked why the prosecution had finally broken its silence, Davis said:
"For a number of months we've sat on the sidelines. We've just kind of taken it. There comes a time when you don't take it anymore."
On February 28, 2006 Davis spoke out again regarding the commissions, saying:
"Remember if you dragged Dracula out into the sunlight he melted? Well, that's kind of the way it is trying to drag a detainee into the courtroom."
Davis has also challenged military counsel for Australian detainee David Matthew Hicks by threatening prosecution of Major Michael Mori, Hicks's detailed lawyer, for violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Mori responded "Are they trying to intimidate me?"
"The Guantánamo I Know"Edit
Supreme court to hear challenges to the Military Commissions ActEdit
In addition to authorizing military commissions similar to those the Supreme Court overturned the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was intended to close off all the remaining writs of habeas corpus. On June 29, 2007 the Supreme Court agreed to hear outstanding habeas corpus, opening up the possibility that they might overturn some or all of the Military Commissions Act.
Davis called the Supreme Court's intention to review the MCA "meddling": 
"This constant uncertainty and meddling certainly takes a toll on people, It would be nice to have some certainty for a change."
Resignation as Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo BayEdit
In October 2007 Colonel Davis resigned from his position as Chief Prosecutor and became the Head of the Air Force Judiciary stating that "The guy who said waterboarding is A-okay I was not going to take orders from. I quit", hours after he was informed that controversial General Counsel William Haynes would be his superior. He also charged that there was meddling from the Pentagon, and claimed this presented serious conflicts of interest:
Davis states that he was denied an end-of-tour medal for his two years at Guantanamo because he resigned and later spoke out about problems in the Pentagon's Office of Military Commissions. Davis stated about the medal denial, "I tell the truth, and I get labeled as having served dishonorably. I'm very concerned about the chilling effect . . . on the process".
Davis has frequently spoken out against the Commissions, since his resignation.
Davis was named the head of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division of the Congressional Research Service in December 2008; and was fired from this job in late November or early December 2009. This occurred because of an op-ed Davis wrote in the Wall Street Journal. Davis criticized a preliminary report from the inter-agency review team President Obama authorized for proposing looser judicial standards when the suspects faced more serious charges.
Davis wrote: "The administration must choose. Either federal courts or military commissions, but not both, for the detainees that deserve to be prosecuted and punished for their past conduct."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Canadian no innocent, U.S. prosecutor argues  Beth Gorham January 10, 2006
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Biography: Colonel Morris D. Davis" (PDF). Department of Defense. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan2006/d20060111Davis.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Davis' remarks resulted in legal actions against him for prosecutorial misconduct and bar complaints. After threatening to have defense counsel prosecuted, the accused in that matter was offered a deal to save Davis' career. The Guantánamo I Know  Morris D. Davis June 26, 2007
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Prosecutor says teen should be tried by military tribunal  January 10, 2006
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Prosecutor vows to proceed with war crimes trials  February 28, 2006[dead link]
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Terror Case Prosecutor Assails Defense Lawyer  The New York Times March 5, 2007
- ↑ All Is Not Well at Guantánamo (6 Letters)  June 27, 2007
- ↑ Guantánamo and U.S. justice 
- ↑ The Good Son  December 28, 2002
- ↑ U.S. tribunal rejects gag order in Khadr case  January 13, 2006
- ↑ Cully's Mentor MOE and His Six Point Plan  H. Candace Gorman March 5, 2007
- ↑ Is There a Larry Lurking in the Bushies?  H. Candace Gorman May 22, 2007
- ↑ US military commissions prosecutor slams Hicks military lawyer for alleged excesses  Bernard Hibbitts March 5, 2007
- ↑ Supreme Court to hear Guantanamo Bay detainee habeas cases  Jeannie Shawl June 29, 2007
- ↑ Court to hear Guantanamo prisoners appeals  James Vicini June 29, 2007[dead link]
- ↑ Melia, Michael. Toronto Star, "Ex-Gitmo prosecutor charges Pentagon interference", April 29, 2008
- ↑ Ex-Prosecutor Alleges Pentagon Plays Politics  Josh White October 20, 2007
- ↑ White, Josh, "Colonel Says Speaking Out Cost A Medal", Washington Post, May 29, 2008, pg 9.
- ↑ Fmr. Chief Guantanamo Prosecutor Says Military Commissions “Not Justice”  Amy Goodman 2008-07-16 mirror
- ↑ 
- ↑ Justice and Guantanamo Bay: It is a mistake to try some detainees in federal courts and others by military commissions  Morris Davis 2009-11-10
- Retired colonel fights Library of Congress over firing December 6, 2010
- Gitmo detainees were exploited for intelligence
- U.S. v Omar Khadr (.pdf), US Department of Defense, November 2005
- Official biography (.pdf), US Department of Defense
- "Military Commissions in the War on Terror [CWRU"]. The Jurist. March 9, 2006. http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/monitor/2006/03/military-commissions-in-war-on-terror.php. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- Unforgivable Behavior, Inadmissible Evidence  Morris Davis February 17, 2008
- Morris Davis interview from Democracy Now!, July 16, 2008