|UND to celebrate Constitution Day with speaker on Guantanamo Bay detainees|
In celebration of Constitution Day at the University of North Dakota, Wednesday, Sept. 17, the School of Law will host a speaker on military tribunals and the Guantanamo Bay detainees. Colonel Ward Johnson, an alumnus of both the University of North Dakota and the School of Law, will give a public lecture at 12:15 p.m. in the School of Law’s Baker Courtroom. The lecture is free and open to everyone.
From 2004 to 2007, Col. Johnson served on active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After graduating from the Army War College, he was appointed by the Secretary of the Navy to be the Senior Army Member, Intelligence Officer and Presiding Officer of the Military Tribunals and Administrative Review Boards in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO). He was then appointed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon England, to serve as the Branch Chief for the Office for the Administrative Review for the Detention of Enemy Combatants (OARDEC) at the Pentagon. While at OARDEC, Col. Johnson’s cases included many of the 9/11 planners as well as other international terrorists involved with the Cole bombing and the Bali nightclub bombing. These terrorists are now detained at GTMO.
Col. Johnson recently was assigned as the Senior Military Representative to NATO for the Kosovo peacekeeping mission, beginning in Fall 2009. He also will return to federal active duty in GTMO to work in the Military Tribunals and Administrative Review Boards. In June 2008, the U.S. Senate confirmed Col. Johnson for promotion to Brigadier General.
In his civilian life, Johnson is a partner at the Pearson, Christensen and Clapp Law Firm, where he handles military justice cases, defense contracting, criminal law, and civil litigation.
Constitution Day encourages Americans to remember the significance of the Constitution in establishing our system of government, securing our individual civil rights and liberties, and providing the means to keep government accountable to the people in times of war and peace. This Constitution Day celebration is sponsored by the UND School of Law in conjunction with the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and the office of the vice president for academic affairs.
-- Rob Carolin, Director of Alumni & Public Relations, Law School, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-2856