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Category Archives: Guantanamo: Litigation

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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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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How Not to Close Guantanamo: Bring It Here

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Ben asks “What Would it Take to Close Guantanamo?” and he provides a thoughtful response weighted toward the political landscape. But there’s another not-so-merely-philosophical question that underlies his question: what does it mean to “close Guantanamo?” For purposes of rapprochement with Cuba it may have to mean U.S. out of Guantanamo altogether. That’s not going . . .
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al-Nashiri Argument Preview: The CMCR’s Appointments Clause Problem

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 8:17 AM

Next Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit (Henderson, Rogers, & Pillard, JJ.) is set to hear oral argument in In re al-Nashiri, the latest in a long-line of pre-trial disputes arising out of the Guantánamo military commission proceedings against Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed al-Nashiri, who is accused of involvement in two terrorist attacks . . .
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What the Detention Policy Debate Really Is About

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Ben bemoans the state our nation’s current debate over Guantanamo as “terrible,” observing that “the arguments about Guantanamo are nearly all wrong, disingenuous, irrelevant, or just plain dumb.”  It’s true that Guantanamo—like most political issues—sometimes takes on a special kind of inside-the-beltway rhetorical flavor that can really annoy the wonks, who would much rather focus . . .
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Moral Obtuseness, Guantanamo, Boko Haram, and the Media

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 6:18 PM

This morning’s BBC’s NewsHour show opened with a news judgment reflecting a genuinely odd moral calculus. At the end of the show’s headlines section, announcer James Menendez says: “coming up later in the program today, our West Africa correspondent . . . is on the shores of Lake Chad, where survivors—many of them missing family members—have . . .
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Two Basic Problems With Abstention in Nashiri

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Wells already flagged yesterday’s D.D.C. decision by Judge Roberts, refusing to enjoin Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri’s impending trial by military commission, and abstaining from reaching the merits of his habeas petition until and unless he’s convicted and is unsuccessful in the direct post-conviction appeal provided by the Military Commissions Act. Interested (or, at least, hyper-attentive) readers may . . .
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Cliff Sloan Stepping Down as State Department GTMO Envoy

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Monday, December 22, 2014 at 9:58 PM

The New York Times reports: WASHINGTON — The State Department envoy who negotiates detainee transfers from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is resigning, dealing another blow to President Obama’s efforts to close a facility that top administration officials say is a blight on the country’s international standing. The resignation of Cliff Sloan, a close confidant . . .
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CIA Director Brennan Delivers a Statement on SSCI Report

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:28 PM

At approximately 1:40 p.m., John Brennan, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will make a statement on the SSCI’s detention and interrogation study.  Here’s the CSPAN video: Here is the text of Brennan’s remarks: It was 8:46 a.m. on the morning of September 11th, 2001, when the North Tower of the World Trade Center . . .
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Released: SSCI Detention and Interrogation Study, Along With Minority Views and the CIA’s Response

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Here is the long-awaited Executive Summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The latter includes in a single file a foreword authored by Senator Feinstein, as well as the Study’s findings and conclusions.  Additionally, the Committee also has published these materials: Senator Feinstein’s statement;  a history of key dates in in . . .
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The D.C. Circuit’s Mandamus Jurisdiction and the Legitimacy of the Military Commissions

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Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

It now appears that the next military commissions case in which the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument is that of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (“Nashiri”), with oral argument scheduled before an as-yet unnamed three-judge panel on Tuesday, February 10, 2015. And although the underlying “merits” issue in Nashiri is hyper-narrow (whether two of the three judges set to hear . . .
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D.C. Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 6:23 PM

The D.C. Circuit has just issued a per curiam order denying six Guantanamo detainees’ petition for rehearing en banc in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld. The detainees sought review of the D.C. Circuit’s June 10, 2014 decision affirming the ruling below on the grounds that the case raises two questions of exceptional importance: as to (1) whether detainees are “persons” under the Religious Freedom . . .
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U.S. Delegation Asserts Article 16 of Convention Against Torture Applies Outside U.S. Territority in Certain Circumstances, but Law of Armed Conflict “Takes Precedence” In Situations of Armed Conflict

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

As previewed by Charlie Savage in the New York Times this morning, the U.S. delegation appeared before the Committee Against Torture in Geneva today and announced a modest but important change in the U.S. Government position regarding extraterritorial application of Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture (which prohibits cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in . . .
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Court Denies Preliminary Injunction in GTMO Force-Feeding Case

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

On Friday, Judge Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied detainee Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s bid for a preliminary injunction against certain Guantanamo force-feeding procedures. The court’s memorandum opinion concludes as follows: For the reasons stated above, the Court concludes that the Petitioner’s Application for a Preliminary Injunction must be . . .
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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

D.C. Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing in Hatim v. Obama, Counsel-Access Case

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Friday, October 31, 2014 at 7:00 PM

The D.C. Circuit has just issued a per curiam order denying the detainees’ petition for an en banc rehearing in Hatim v. Obama. So ends—for the time being—Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim, Abdurrahman al-Shubati and Fadel Hentif’s bid to reinstate District Chief Judge Lamberth’s July 2013 ruling as to the unconstitutionality of the challenged Guantanamo security . . .
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Evidence of Absence: A Brief Reply to Peter Margulies on the al Bahlul Argument

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 9:55 AM

In light of both our prior exchange and my Just Security post from yesterday, I only have two new points to make in response to Peter Margulies’ post on yesterday’s D.C. Circuit oral argument in al Bahlul v. United States, which raises the question whether military commissions may constitutionally try offenses that are not recognized as international war crimes. As I . . .
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Government Files Response in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

The government has filed its response to six Guantanamo detainees’ August 25, 2014 petition for en banc rehearing in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld. The detainees argued that (1) the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014) established that they were entitled to freedom from substantial burdens on their . . .
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Government Files Response in Hatim v. Obama

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Today the government filed a short response to the detainees’ petition for an en banc rehearing in Hatim v. Obama, the Guantanamo counsel-access case. Recall that last month the D.C. Circuit ordered the United States to respond to a joint motion filed by Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim, Abdurrahman al-Shubati and Fadel Hentif. The detainees are seeking review of a . . .
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Petitioner Files Reply in Bahlul v. United States

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Petitioner Ali al-Bahlul filed his reply brief yesterday in Bahlul v. United States, the D.C. Circuit case that will decide whether a military commission may render a stand-alone conspiracy conviction. In the new filing, petitioner makes a point of rejecting the government’s claim for plain error review before elaborating on the four arguments put forth in his opening brief. The argument . . .
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