David B. Woods

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David Woods
David B. Woods.jpg
Service/branch United States Navy
RankRear Admiral (lower half)
Commands heldVAQ-132
Joint Task Force Guantanamo
Strike Force Training Pacific
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit (two awards)
  • Bronze Star

Rear Admiral (lower half) David B. Woods is an officer in the United States Navy.[1] When Woods was a junior officer he served as a fighter pilot. When he became more senior he specialized in signals intelligence.

Woods tried to impose new, restrictive, monitoring on the privileged attorney-client communication between lawyers defending Guantanamo captives and their clients.[2][3]

In June 2013 documents were made public which had been filed by lawyers for those facing charges before the Guantanamo Military Commissions that challenged Woods's authority to control the clothing their clients wore to court.[4][5] Woods had claimed the clothing he prohibited was, alternately (1) "unsafe"; (2) "culturally inappropriate" or (3) "disruptive".

They had previously challenged his authority to order subordinates to read the privileged attorney-client correspondence.[4]

According to Josh Gerstein, in Politico, Woods had ″clashes″ with officers serving as defense attorneys, including Jeffrey Colwell, with the Office of Military Commissions, which led to Woods early replacement.[6] Woods served close to a year at JTF and left in 2012, and then was assigned Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Rear Adm. David B. Woods: Commander, Strike Force Training Pacific". United States Navy. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16.
  2. ^ Jane Sutton (2012-01-17). "Guantanamo commander summoned to testify in court". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. The judge, an Army colonel, cannot compel the prison camp commander, a Navy admiral, to change the mail policy. But he could halt the prosecution of an alleged al Qaeda bomber accused of murdering 17 U.S. sailors if he believes the policy violates prisoners' rights to a fair trial or puts defense lawyers in an ethical bind.
  3. ^ Benjamin Wittes; Ritika Singh (2012-01-18). "Al-Nashiri #8: You've Got Mail–And I'm Going to Read It!". Lawfare. Retrieved 2013-07-10. Judge Pohl says there has been a habeas order on this issue in place since 2008 which has been dealing with the exact same subject matter and which habeas counsel has been complying with.
  4. ^ a b Carol Rosenberg (2012-06-13). "What not to wear — Guantánamo edition". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2019-10-08. Now, lawyers for the five men who face a death-penalty trial are appealing to the chief military commissions judge to stop the camps commander, Rear Adm. David B. Woods, from interfering with their clients’ court wardrobe.
  5. ^ "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed seeks to wear military-style clothing at Guantanamo trial". CBS News. San Juan, Puerto Rico. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2019-10-08. The detention center commander, Rear Adm. David B. Woods says in an affidavit accompanying the motion that he forbids "excessive clothing" for security reasons because it could allow prisoners to hide contraband more easily or make it harder for the guards to gain control if necessary. Woods also says the prison forbids 'clothing that is inconsistent with the decorum and dignity of a court proceeding whether in the United States or the Middle East, and which could undermine good order and discipline.'
  6. ^ Josh Gerstein (2012-02-14). "Navy moving Guantanamo commander out". Politico. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. The Navy officer whose management of the Guantanamo Bay prison has led to clashes with defense attorneys will soon be transferred out of his post, the Navy announced Tuesday.

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