Skip to content

Category Archives: Terrorism Trials: Military Commissions

Omar Khadr Granted Bail in Canada

By
Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 10:22 AM

The American press has largely ignored the decision, but CBC News has the story: Convicted war criminal Omar Khadr, the Canadian transferred to an Alberta facility after serving time at Guantanamo Bay, has been granted bail. Shortly after the decision was announced, the federal government said it would appeal the decision made by an Alberta judge. . . .
Read more »

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

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Event with GTMO Chief Prosecutor Next Tuesday at Harvard Law

By
Friday, April 10, 2015 at 3:02 PM

Perhaps of interest to Lawfare readers in the Boston area: Next Tuesday, the Harvard National Security & Law Association (NSLA) will host Brigadier General Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor for military commissions and lead trial counsel in the prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused perpetrators of the attacks of September 11, 2001, for a . . .
Read more »

The New (Old) Interim Convening Authority for Military Commissions

By
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 4:33 PM

It seems Paul Oostburg Sanz, the Navy’s General Counsel, will serve for the time being as the Guantanamo military commissions’ Convening Authority—such temporary service being necessary in light of the resignation of retired Marine Major General Vaughn Ary.  (Readers will recall that the military judge presiding over the Al-Nashiri commission case recently disqualified Ary and some of . . .
Read more »

3/3 Session #1: Suppression, and SSCI Matters

By
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Air Force Col. Vance Spath, the military judge, resumes proceedings.  The question is what those proceedings will comprise, the docket having been winnowed greatly, both by yesterday’s unlawful influence ruling and by some still unresolved questions about classified material.  Could there be unclassified argument with respect to AE319F and AE333?  (It seems the issue of . . .
Read more »

Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: March 3 Session

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: March 2 Session

By
Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10:28 AM

We today resume with Lawfare’s  almost-live coverage of pretrial proceedings in the military commission case of United States v. Al-Nashiri. Our two-week hearing’s second week is set to commence today sometime after 10:30; around that time, we expect a ruling from the military judge, on a key defense filing regarding alleged unlawful influence. We’ll view the Guantanamo proceedings remotely . . .
Read more »

Friday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

By
Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 10:29 PM

Last Friday’s sessions in the Al Nashiri military commission case were quick. The first came quite early in the morning to resolve an outstanding issue from Thursday’s closed session: whether the defense can interview Navy TJAG Nanette DeRenzi for purposes of the defense’s pending unlawful influence motion. (The latter, recall, concerns a recent Defense Department . . .
Read more »

Wednesday and Thursday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

By
Friday, February 27, 2015 at 3:00 PM

At the outset of Wednesday’s session in the Al Nashiri military commission—the criminal proceeding against a Guantanamo detainee accused of plotting, among other things, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole—Judge Vance Spath added an extra wrinkle to the ongoing “unlawful influence” debate surrounding Change 1 to the Regulation for Trial by Military Commissions.  The latter requires that . . .
Read more »

DoD Withdraws Order Requiring MiliComms Judges to Live at GTMO

By
Friday, February 27, 2015 at 12:25 PM

That’s the word from the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg.  I reckon this will mean the 9/11 case will be swiftly unpaused.  From Rosenberg’s piece: In an abrupt retreat Friday, the Pentagon withdrew an order to war court judges to take up residence at this remote base, the Miami Herald has learned. The order has stirred controversy since . . .
Read more »

Yesterday’s Abatement Order in the 9/11 Case

By
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:

Monday and Tuesday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

By
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4:24 PM

The Al Nashiri military commission proceedings returned Monday for what is scheduled to be two weeks of pre-trial motion hearings. After an off-the-record session in the morning, the commission picked up in the afternoon session with AE 332, a defense motion to dismiss for unlawful influence and violation of due process for failure to provide an independent judiciary. Before beginning oral argument . . .
Read more »

Defense Counsel: 9/11 Case Halted, Pending Change in Judges’ Assignment Rule

By
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 3:14 PM

Wow.  This just in from J. Connell III, an attorney for 9/11 defendant Ammar al-Baluchi: WASHINGTON, DC-Today, a military commissions judge ordered a halt to the 9/11 case at Guantanamo Bay because Department of Defense officials tried to unlawfully influence the military commissions judiciary.  The order, known as “abatement,” means that no further proceedings will . . .
Read more »

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

By
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:

CMCR Voids David Hicks’ Guilty Plea and Sentence

By
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 2:23 PM

The Miami Herald (via the AP’s Ben Fox) has a piece on the Court of Military Commission Review’s (CMCR) ruling; Jess Bravin also has this report in the Wall Street Journal.  The decision can be found here, and opens as follows: SILLIMAN, DEPUTY CHIEF JUDGE: Appellant urges us to set aside his guilty plea to providing material support to terrorism, in violation . . .
Read more »

Thursday at the Military Commissions: The 9/11 Case

By
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8:00 AM

After the ups and downs of this week’s hearings in the military commissions case of United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al., Thursday provided a much more straightforward series of motions brought on behalf of one accused 9/11 plotter only, Mustafa Al-Hawsawi. I overview some of Thursday’s highlights, including courtroom discussion Hawsawi’s motions, below. Hawsawi’s Learned . . .
Read more »

Yesterday at the Military Commissions: the 9/11 Case

By
Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 2:28 PM

As readers likely know, earlier this week, pre-trial motions in Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. hit an unanticipated obstacle when one accused, Ramzi Binalshibh, indicated that he recognized one of his translators from a past role as an interpreter at a CIA black-site. Given the recent uproar over the revelation that the FBI had been questioning . . .
Read more »

Argument Recap: The Critical Difference in How al-Nashiri Loses

By
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 . . .
Read more »

2/9 Session #2: The Translator, Part Two

By
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Our session is once more called to order.  The defense and accused are here, but now the Special Review Team is not—its place having been taken by the ordinary prosecution team.  (The two groups, you’ll recall, maintain strict independence from one another, given the conflict allegations arising from the FBI’s approach to a member of . . .
Read more »

9/11 Case Motions Hearing: February 9 Session

By
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 8:50 AM

Your correspondent returns to Fort Meade’s Smallwood Hall—venue for closed circuit TV monitoring of courtroom proceedings down at Guantanamo.  At the base in Cuba, the military commission case against the five alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks will resume this morning at 9 a.m. We will follow along, and post dispatches throughout the day in . . .
Read more »