Development the first: the defense’s objection to the upcoming August 8, 2012 hearing has cleared security review. You can read the defense’s arguments as to why that hearing must be postponed – it falls in the middle of Ramadan – and why no court proceedings should be held on Fridays generally, here.
Up second is yesterday’s statement from James Connell III, a lawyer for 9/11 defendant Ammar al-Baluchi (aka Ali Abdul Aziz Ali). Connell describes the defense’s effort (among other things) to ensure that classified court papers are released to the public in redacted form. The complete statement is below the fold:
Today, attorneys for the 9/11 defendants asked the military commission to publicly release redacted versions of classified motions and exhibits filed in the case. “The government has no legitimate interest in keeping unclassified information secret,” said James Connell, attorney for accused logistical co-conspirator Ammar al Baluchi. “The public has a right to know what is happening in the military commissions.”
Military commissions regulations provide a procedure for a Pentagon task force to redact classified filings for public release, but so far no redacted classified filings have been released in the 9/11 case. For example, in May, the government, the defense, the ACLU, and a coalition of 14 news organizations all clashed over the secrecy requirements at Guantanamo Bay. The classified defense brief (AE013G) has never been released in redacted form.
The motion is just one of several challenging military commissions secrecy that may be heard at the scheduled August 8 hearing. Other motions include the argument over “presumptive classification”—the process by which every statement of Guantanamo prisoners is considered classified—and the defense objections to off-the-record hearings known as 802 conferences.