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Category Archives: Event Coverage: Military Commissions

11/18 Session #2: Now or Later, Part Two

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 3:11 PM

The prosecutor, Lt. Col. David Long, finishes his arguments regarding whether to push back argument on motion AE21, Al Hadi’s challenge to physical touching by female Guantanamo guards.   Long says no. But Al Hadi’s attorney, Lt. Col. Tom Jasper, says yes.  He rises and underscores the breaking-news aspect of the facts, as revealed during Long’s earlier . . .
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11/18 Session #1: Now or Later, Part One

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Judge Waits ascends the bench and the hearing once more comes to order.  It seems Al-Hadi is here, along with attorneys for both sides. Housekeeping: The military judge explains that yesterday and this morning, Rule 802 conferences were held (two with both parties and Judge Waits; one with only the government and Judge Waits), regarding . . .
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11/17 Session #4: Discovery, Both Bergdahl-Related and Not

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM

In AE18, Lt. Col. Tom Jasper seeks, on behalf of Al-Hadi, to compel discovery into certain communications—those between the Convening Authority and Defense Department brass, regarding the release of Private Bowe Bergdahl. The lawyer recites the facts: the charges against Jasper’s client were first sworn in February of 2013, and forwarded to the Convening Authority some . . .
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11/17 Session #3: Common Allegations, Part Two

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

We return from recess, and Clayton resumes his argument in opposition to AE19—a motion to strike common allegations from the charge sheet against Al-Hadi. Clayton refers to Stirk’s suggestion that the law requires prosecutors to make spare or few allegations in a conspiracy case; he says he knows of no authority to that effect. And . . .
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11/17 Session #2: Common Allegations, Part One

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 10:43 AM

In motion AE19, the defense asks the court to strike certain common allegations from the charge sheet. One of Al-Hadi’s lawyers, Maj. Ben Stirk, explains why. The incorporation of “common allegations” into the charge sheet is essentially an end-run by prosecutors——one meant to permit the members to see the government’s entire case, at trial, before . . .
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11/17 Session #1: Article 5?

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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

The military judge, Capt. Keith Waits, calls our session to order.  All parties are present, including the accused.  That means a quick colloquy about Al-Hadi’s right to be present, the consequences of knowingly and intelligently waiving that right, and so on.  Does he understand the right to be here, and the risks of deciding not . . .
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ICYMI: Coverage of Last Week’s Hearing in Al-Nashiri

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:44 AM

ICYMI, GTMO policy folks: Matt Danzer’s final round of digests on last week’s hearing in United States v. Al-Nashiri can be found below, and in our “Events Coverage” section.  (Earlier coverage of the hearing is here, too.) Enjoy. 11/5 Session #4: Statements, Transcripts, and Questionnaires 11/6 Session: Fighting Over MRIs and Hearsay

11/6 Session: Fighting Over MRIs & Hearsay

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Thursday’s session opens with an update on AE 284, the defense motion seeking Skype calls for Al-Nashiri, from prosecution attorney Col. Robert Moscati. The prosecution has learned that the Guantanamo administrators expects to be able to provide direct interactive communication between high-value detainees and their family members by the end of the year. The parties . . .
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11/5 Session #4: Statements, Transcripts, and Questionnaires

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM

The final session for the day begins with AE 314C, a defense motion to compel testimony at the hearing on a defense motion to suppress statements made by Al-Nashiri. Capt. Daphne Jackson explains that in order for the defense to prove the underlying motion—seeking suppression of some of Al-Nashiri’s statements due to the length of his detention . . .
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11/5 Session #3: On the Necessity of the Death Penalty

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Friday, November 7, 2014 at 6:32 PM

The parties return for the afternoon session and Judge Spath begins by laying out his thinking on the previous motion seeking supervised telephone and Skype calls between Al-Nashiri and his family. In the interest of moving this issue forward, the judge would like to understand why a supervised and delayed-transmission telephone or Skype conversation between Al-Nashiri and his family is unacceptable . . .
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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: Nov. 5 Session

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Hey GTMO fans: the estimable Matt Danzer’s digests of yesterday’s hearing in this capital Guantanamo military commissions case can be found below, and in our “Events Coverage” section. Keep an eye on this space; we will update this post with more digests throughout the day. 11/5 Session #1: Arguing to Reargue 11/5 Session #2: Skyping with HVDs . . .
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11/5 Session #2: Skyping With HVDs

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The commission returns from recess and prepares to consider AE 284 and 284L, a defense motion and supplement seeking to allow Al-Nashiri to hold supervised Skype calls with his elderly parents. Before that, however, defense attorney Richard Kammen informs Judge Spath that Al-Nashiri has an upset stomach due to his transportation and would like a corpsman to bring some dissolvable . . .
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11/5 Session #1: Arguing to Reargue

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Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Military judge Vance Spath opens Wednesday’s motions proceedings with AE 181G, a defense request to reargue the underlying defense motion to remove the possibility of the death penalty for Al-Nashiri if he is not given access to classified information presented against him. Judge Spath notes that after the parties argued the underlying motion in February, . . .
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This Week’s Hearing in Al-Nashiri

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 9:03 AM

A little programming note here, y’all: today marks the first of a two-day, pre-trial hearing in the military commission case of United States v. Al-Nashiri.  But Lawfare unfortunately won’t be in the house, so to speak—which is to say that your correspondent will not be able to schlep out to Fort Meade, to watch and report back on . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in Al-Nashiri

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 6:13 AM

Brig. Gen. Mark Martins’ remarks on the two-day pre-trial session, which commences today, can be found here.  (Note that the hearing will proceed, despite the pendency of the United States’ appeal of the dismissal of charges relating to Al-Nashiri’s alleged role in an attack on the M/V Limburg.) From the statement: Between pre-trial sessions, significant work . . .
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8/15 Session: Hashing Out a Protective Order

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Military judge J. Kirk Waits begins Monday’s session in the military commission case against Hadi with some housekeeping matters: the detailing of a new member of the defense team, Lt. Col. Thomas Jasper, and the release of an outgoing member, Lt. Col. Chris Callen. The commission explains that it will not release Callen until his orders expire at the end of . . .
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World War II-Era Herbert Weschler Memo on Conspiracy as War Crime

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Monday, September 8, 2014 at 4:20 PM

This is a pretty interesting document: A 1944 memo from Herbert Weschler, then assistant attorney general, outlining the U.S. government’s developing view of conspiracy as a war crime. The interesting thing is how similar the internal discussion of the subject in 1944 is to the one going on now in the Bahlul case—and how similar . . .
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8/14 Session #2: On Severing Al-Hawsawi

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 7:49 PM

With no more conflict motions for today, the Special Review Team swaps out and the normal prosecutors come back. The court begins with AE 299, a motion by Mustafa al-Hawsawi’s defense team seeking to sever his case from the rest of the accused so that his case can proceed while the others deal with the many conflict issues. CDR . . .
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8/14 Session #1: Conflicts, Conflicts Everywhere

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM

After agreeing Wednesday to reconsider the severance of Ramzi Binalshibh from the other four accused in the 9/11 case, Judge Pohl reconvenes the commission on Thursday with a full house—all five accused, their defense teams, and the Special Review Team on behalf of the government. The usual prosecution team is recused from the morning’s proceedings so the . . .
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8/13 Session: Severance, Re-Reconsidered

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Army Col. James Pohl starts Wednesday’s brief session begins with a summary of where things stand in the case of United States v. Binalshibh: On Monday, the prosecution presented argument on its motion for reconsideration of the court-ordered severance of Binalshibh from the other four accused in the 9/11 case, with an oral response from the defense before filing its opposition. Today, the defense . . .
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