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Category Archives: Guantanamo

Referred for Prosecution But Never Tried: The (Latest) Guantánamo Math Problem

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Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:47 AM

Everyone should read Bobby’s post from last night on the potential approach of an endgame for the 122 detainees still in custody at Guantánamo. As Bobby points out, even if the government (miraculously) is able to transfer the 57 detainees cleared for transfer, that still leaves two categories of detainees in need of a solution: those the government . . .
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Is the GTMO Endgame Approaching?

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 8:21 PM

The Washington Post has the latest here. Key points: 1. Lightning Round for Transfers Anticipating NDAA language leveraging the power of the purse to further constrain the ability of the government to transfer GTMO detainees to third countries, “the Pentagon is racing” to complete the transfer 57 detainees who already have been approved for that . . .
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Indictment of US Citizen Who Trained with al Nusrah and Returned to Attack

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Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 5:42 PM

A grand jury in Ohio has indicted Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a recently-naturalized US citizen and resident of Columbus, with two material support counts (and one false statement count) based on allegations that he traveled to Syria to fight, that he received military-style training from al Nusrah, and that he came back to the United States . . .
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What Might Congress Do To Stop the Obama Administration From Disregarding Congressional Transfer Restrictions In the Course of Closing GTMO?

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Friday, April 10, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Last week I explained how the Obama administration might extend it constitutional arguments for disregarding statutory detainee transfer restrictions in the Bergdahl context to the restrictions on transferring GTMO detainees to the United States.  (Earlier today I elaborated on these arguments.) Some people questioned this passage in my post last week: As far as I . . .
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More on the Legal Basis for the Administration’s Disregard of Congressional Restrictions on Detainee Transfers in the Bergdahl Context, and on the Implications for Closing GTMO

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Friday, April 10, 2015 at 7:13 AM

Last summer I wrote of the administration’s constitutional arguments for disregarding congressional transfer restrictions in swapping the Taliban 5 for Bowe Bergdahl: To say that the President disregarded a federal statute because he interpreted it in the emergency context before him to impinge upon Article II is not at all to say that the President . . .
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The Bergdahl Roadmap to Unilateral Presidential Closure of GTMO

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 11:15 AM

We have not paid enough attention to the significance of the administration’s legal argument in support of the Bergdahl trade for President Obama’s goal of closing GTMO.  The Article II logic in the administration’s disregard of the congressional notice requirement in swapping the Taliban five for Bergdahl could be the basis for transferring the remaining . . .
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Bowe Bergdahl Charged with Desertion

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 3:04 PM

That’s the news from the Washington Post this hour. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who lived in Taliban captivity for five years and was ultimately released in exchange for five Taliban militants held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been charged with desertion (Art. 85, UCMJ) and misbehavior before the enemy (Art. 99, UCMJ). Army officials will hold a . . .
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The Lawfare Podcast: General Michael Lehnert on Closing GITMO

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Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 1:55 PM

This week, we invited Major General Michael Lehnert (Ret.), the first commander of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to chat on the show. In January 2002, General Lehnert deployed to Guantanamo Bay as Commander of Joint Task Force 160 with the mission to construct and operate the detention facilities for Taliban and Al Qaeda . . .
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New GITMO Recidivism Report Released by ODNI

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Friday, March 6, 2015 at 2:10 PM

The latest ODNI recidivism report is available here. The last report, which was released in September, is here. Since the release of the September 2014 report, an additional nine former detainees have returned to hostilities. Of those detainees released after January 2009, the report shows no additional detainees  have returned to the fight, and the the . . .
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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: March 3 Session

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Litigation resumes in one of Guantanamo’s two capital military commission cases today at 0900; likewise the CCTV broadcast of the pre-trial session, which we’ll follow from our little perch here at Fort Meade, and post about throughout the day. You’ll find updates on the prosecution of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in the “Events Coverage” section, and . . .
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Yesterday’s Abatement Order in the 9/11 Case

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Yesterday, after determining Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s requirement that military commission judges live at Guantanamo Bay may improperly interfered with the case, Col. James Pohl halted pretrial proceedings in the trial of five Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. You can find Col. Pohl’s abatement order below:

Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in the al Nashiri Case

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Monday, February 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Per our usual practice, Lawfare will be posting digests of the Al Nashiri military commission proceedings—which resume today at noon—throughout the week. First up is the statement by Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, which you can find below:

Statement of GTMO Special Envoy at Yesterday’s HASC hearing on Guantanamo Bay

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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations received an “Update on Detainee Transfers from GTMO.” You can read the testimony of the Department of Defense’s Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure, Paul M. Lewis, here. The testimony of the Department of State’s Acting Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure, Charles Trumbull, . . .
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Jack Goldsmith and Jane Harman on Closing Guantanamo

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Jack Goldsmith and Jane Harman had a piece in the Washington Post a few days ago on the Guantanamo closure question: Guantanamo should be closed but not until the president presents a realistic plan and makes his case to Congress and the nation. Any blueprint must address very real issues related to the island facility’s 122 remaining . . .
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Argument Recap: The Critical Difference in How al-Nashiri Loses

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 2:03 PM

If one thing was clear from Tuesday morning’s 61-minute argument before the D.C. Circuit in In re al-Nashiri, in which a Guantánamo military commission defendant seeks to challenge on constitutional grounds the composition of the intermediate Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) assigned to hear the government’s interlocutory appeal in his case (which I previewed here), it was that . . .
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Why We Shouldn’t Import Guantánamo: A Holistic Perspective

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 11:40 AM

It is with great reluctance that I wade into Gabor and Steve’s debate about how to close the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay. I’ve made no secret of my distaste for what I’ve described (okay, okay, flippantly described) as “the atmospheric punditry some have come to expect from this blog.” (Although, I must confess that, . . .
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The Administration’s Guantanamo Testimony Yesterday

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Friday, February 6, 2015 at 1:31 PM

Here it is, given by Brian McKeon, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, before the Senate Armed Services Committee. And here’s the video of yesterday’s hearing:

The Bush Administration Wanted to Close GTMO Because (in Part) of its Propaganda Value to Jihadists

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 8:31 PM

Senator Tom Cotton, whom I like, doesn’t support the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.  As the SASC hearing today he said of the Guantanamo detainees, “every last one of them can rot in hell, but since they don’t do that, they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.”   Senator Cotton served in the U.S. Army . . .
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The Meaningful Legal Differences Between Stateside and Guantánamo Detention

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Gabor’s post from this morning, which is styled as a response to Ben’s thoughtful analysis of what it will take to close Guantánamo (while ignoring some of the other responses), concludes that the only meaningful way to “close” Guantánamo is for President Obama “to either release all detainees or try them in our time-tested federal courts,” at least largely . . .
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Happening Now: SASC Hearing on GITMO

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 9:53 AM

The Senate Armed Services Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled “Guantanamo Detention Facility and the Future of US Detention Policy. Brian P. McKeon, Nicholas J. Rasmussen, and Rear Admiral Ross A. Myers are set to testify. You can watch the hearing live here at the SASC website.