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Snowflakes in December – using video to deliver a message

US lawyer and technology writer Ari Kaplan has commenced a weekly web-based video documentary looking at the contentious legal issues assocated with the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Called Like Snowflakes in December it is intended to become a resource for individuals seeking to understand the Guantanamo litigation and learn from the individual insights of each lawyer involved. The plan is that each week the site will feature a new lawyer and a 15-minute interview – viewers can watch the 3-minute video segments that are newly updated each day (Monday through Friday). The Orange Rag is highlighting the site because we think it is a powerful use of technology – as distinct from the all too common legal world approach of using the lastest technology merely to promote some fatuous marketing message.

What is the origin of the name Like Snowflakes in December? In November 2001, the US military began dropping leaflets over Afghanistan offering bounties to individuals that assisted the military with the capture of suspected terrorists. Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld described the image of the leaflets falling from the sky as “like snowflakes in December in Chicago.”

Is this a political project? Ari Kaplan says “Despite the fact that this issue is inherently political, I am trying to provide a balanced vehicle for the lawyers involved to tell their stories and for other lawyers to perhaps find inspiration in their work. I hope to offer a point/counterpoint series that will provide an inside look at an issue with very few insiders.”

Who is sponsoring this project? Kaplan says: “I am fully funding the production and distribution of this project but am actively seeking apolitical commercial sponsors who would like to reach a broad spectrum of the legal community.”

Photos, Quotes, Music: The photos were all taken by active military personnel and are, therefore, in the public domain. The quoted comments were made in the media outlets indicated. The copyrighted background music is used with the permission of Brooklyn composer Brett Sroka.

You can find the site at