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User:George Swan/Sandbox/Matthew Diaz

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Matthew Diaz (b. circa 1966) is a lawyer and officer in the United States Navy.[1][2][3]Lieutenant commander Diaz was charged in August 2006, and convicted in May of 2007, of 4 counts of improper disclosure of classified information to an individual unauthorized to receive it.

Early life

Diaz entered the Army in 1983 after dropping out of high school.[4] Diaz's father Robert Diaz was convicted of murder, when Diaz was a teenager.[1] His father received a death sentence in 1984, and is still on California's death row.

Military career

Diaz is reported to be approximately 40 years old, and to have spent most of his adult life in military service.[5][6][7] The Virginia Pilot reports that Diaz served eight years as an enlisted man in the United States Army, prior to being commissioned in the United States Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps. Diaz earned a high school equivalency, and earned enough University credits that he was able to earn a law degree from Washburn University School of Law in Kansas in 1991.[4] He was commissioned into the Navy in 1995, as a member of the Judge Advocate Corps.[4]


The charges Diaz faced included[7][8]:

  • violating a lawful order under Article 92, UCMJ, to wit: Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5510.36, Chapter 9, Paragraphs 9-3, 9-8, 9-9, and Chapter 10, Paragraph 10-3, Department of the Navy Information Security Program Regulation, by wrongfully failing to properly mail the JDIMS list, by wrongfully mailing the JDIMS list;
  • conduct unbecoming an officer under Art. 133, UCMJ, by wrongfully and dishonorably transmitting the JDIMS list to an unauthorized individual, Ms. Olshansky;
  • violating 18 U.S.C. § 793 by unlawfully making a print out of the JDIMS list, as well as by knowingly and willfully communicating the JDIMS list—which either LCDR Diaz was authorized to possess or which he was not (the Government has charged both)—to Ms. Olshansky, who was not authorized to receive it; and
  • violating 18 U.S.C. § 1924 by knowingly removing the JDIMS list without authority and with the intent to retain the JDIMS list in an unauthorized location, presumably the envelope in which it was mailed.

In August of 2006. Duaz was formally charged with spying, for the unauthorized distribution of classified information about detainees in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[2] Diaz was not directly involved in either the defense or prosecution of the ten detainees who faced charges before the Guantanamo military commissions. He served as a legal advisor to the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants, the body authorized to conduct Combatant Status Review Tribunals and Administrative Review Board hearings.

Initially the identity of the organization Diaz passed the document to was kept from the public, as was the contents of the classified document.[9]

According to documents filed on March 12, 2007 a thirty-nine page list of captives' names was sent to Barbara Olshansky of the Center for Constitutional Rights.[8] At the time Diaz sent the document to the Center the Department of Defense had not yet released the captives' identities. Two official lists of their identities were released on April 20, 2006]] and May 15, 2006.[10][11]

Conviction and sentence

Diaz was convicted on May 17, 2005.[12], and sentenced to six months imprisonment, and discharge from the Navy.[13] He will be allowed to continue to draw his full salary during his imprisonment.

Diaz's contact with the Center for Constitutional Rights

The Departmen of Defense reports that on October 13 2005 Diaz sent an email to multiple individuals, with a carbon copy to his official Navy email address, that included the email address of Gitanjali Gutierrez[8] The contact between Diaz and the Center was used as the justification to submit a National Security Letter, leading to the Center's mail, email and phone communication to be intercepted.[8] Gutierrez has asserted attorney-client privilege over her communication with Diaz, and the Center asserts that the DoD is in breach of Military Rule of Evidence 502(a), which protects the communication between a client and his or her lawyers.


In an interview on National Public Radio, following serving his sentence, Diaz said he was appealing his sentence.[14] Diaz said he was unable to practice law, because his liscense had been suspended. His interviewer told the audience Diaz was currently working as a substitute teacher.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brooks Egerton. 'Moral decision' jeopardizes Navy lawyer's: Officer says he leaked list of terror suspects in the name of justice; now convicted, he could face prison term, Dallas Morning News, Friday, May 18, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Officer charged over Guantanamo leak, Al Jazeera, Thursday, August 31, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  3. Joshua Pantesco. Navy lawyer charged with leaking secret Guantanamo Bay detainee names list, The Jurist, Wednesday, August 30, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kate Wiltrout. Naval officer sentenced to six months in prison, discharge, Virginia Pilot, May 18, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  5. Kate Wiltrout. Navy lawyer once posted at Cuba base is charged, Virginia Pilot, August 29, 2006.
  6. Ex-Guantanamo officer accused of passing secrets to be arraigned, International Herald Tribune, January 16, 2007]. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonja Barisic. Navy lawyer has ties to Topeka, Topeka Capital Journal, January 9, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-10.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 United States v. Matthew M. Diaz: Response to government motion requesting an article 39a session and defense motion to suppress evidence. U.S. Department of Justice (March 12, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  9. Jeannie Shawl. Jury selection begins in Guantanamo names court-martial, The Jurist, May 9, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  10. list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, April 20 2006
  11. list of prisoners (.pdf), U.S. Department of Defense, May 15 2006
  12. Michael Sung. Former Guantanamo military lawyer convicted of leaking detainee names, The Jurist, May 18, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  13. Michael Sung. Former Guantanamo military lawyer sentenced to 6 months for leaking names, The Jurist, May 19, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.
  14. Ex-Navy Lawyer explains Guantanamo leak, National Public Radio, April 10, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-04-14.