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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials: Military Commissions

Confusing the Issues in al Bahlul

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:11 PM

For the two people still following the exchange between me and Peter Margulies over the bottom-side briefing in the al Bahlul D.C. Circuit military commission appeal, I wanted to offer a very quick (and hopefully final) word in response to Peter’s surreply from this afternoon, in an effort to crystallize the true points of departure between . . .
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Reply to Steve on al Bahlul, the “Law of War,” and Article III

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 11:30 AM

How much deference should Congress receive in determining when military commissions are necessary incidents of war?  That’s the real nub of the dispute between Steve and amici arguing to the D.C. Circuit that Article III did not bar the military commission conviction of Ali Hamza al Bahlul, whom the en banc court has already described . . .
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Why Article III Matters: A Reply to Peter Margulies on al Bahlul

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 10:23 PM

I must confess that I don’t fully understand Peter Margulies’ response to my post from earlier today. My post argued that the bottom-side briefing in the D.C. Circuit in al Bahlul offers a relatively weak (and, in my view, already debunked) explanation for why Congess can allow allow military commissions to try enemy belligerents for wholly domestic offenses without . . .
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Article III, the Framers, and al Bahlul: A Reply to Steve

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Steve’s post arguing that the military commission conviction of former bin Laden aide Ali Hamza al Bahlul for conspiracy to murder civilians violates Article III does not do justice to the Framers’ carefully considered view of the interaction between Article III and Congress’s war powers.  In critiquing both the government brief and the amicus brief . . .
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Article III and the Bottom-Side Briefing in al Bahlul

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Jane already flagged the merits brief filed by the U.S. government on September 17 in al Bahlul v. United States, the major challenge to the power of the Guantánamo military commissions to try non-international war crimes that was remanded by the en banc D.C. Circuit to the original three-judge panel back in July (and in which oral argument is . . .
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Al-Nashiri: USG Appeals Dismissal of French Oil Tanker Charges

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Friday, September 19, 2014 at 2:48 PM

The United States today appealed an adverse ruling in the capital military commission case against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The Guantanamo detainee stands accused, among other things, of orchestrating the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole—and in playing a role in another attack against the M/V Limburg, a French oil tanker. Only legally controversial counts regarding the latter are it issue for . . .
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Monday’s Hearing in al-Hadi

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:19 AM

This week’s hearing in the military commission case of United States v. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi turned out to be a quick one.  Monday afternoon was evidently sufficient time for court and counsel to debate the government’s motion for an order to protect national security information; the proceedings were recessed thereafter. You can read all about it over in . . .
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Al-Hadi Case: September 15 Session

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Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:45 PM

 A note to readers: business back at Brookings will keep your correspondent away from Fort Meade, and from observing, almost live and via CCTV broadcast,  a two-day pre-trial hearing in the military commission case of United States v. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi.  The session commences today at 1 p.m., and could continue through tomorrow.   Nearly-live . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in Al-Hadi

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Monday, September 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM

On the docket today and tomorrow at Guantanamo: argument on the government’s motion to protect national security information in United States v. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi. The Chief Prosecutor issued a statement in advance of the pre-trial hearing, which commences this afternoon at 1 p.m.  The statement opens: Good evening. Since we last met, there . . .
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Lawyer for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Resigns From Army

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Some recent military commissions news: On August 26th, Major Jason Wright, one of the attorneys representing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, resigned from the Army after he was ordered to leave the legal team representing Mr. Mohammed at Guantanamo Bay in order to complete a graduate school program required for his promotion from Captain to Major. Wright had . . .
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Article III and the al Bahlul Remand: The New, New NIMJ Amicus Brief

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Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:59 PM

On July 14, the en banc D.C. Circuit ruled in al Bahlul v. United States that “plain error” review applied to Bahlul’s ex post facto challenge to his military commission convictions for conspiracy, material support, and solicitation–and then upheld the first of those charges under such deferential review (while throwing out the latter two). One of the potentially unintended consequences of the Court . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: 8/14 Session

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Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Working off transripts, Lawfare’s Matt Danzer has a rundown of yesterday’s pre-trial proceedings in the 9/11 case.  We’ll post his dispatches in our “Events Coverage” section, while linking to them as they come in throughout the day.  Keep your eye on this space. 8/14 Motions Session #1: Conflicts, Conflicts Everywhere 8/14 Session #2: On Severing Al-Hawsawi . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: August 13 Session

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM

A reminder: Lawfare won’t be traveling to Fort Meade to take in, almost live and via CCTV broadcast, the rest of this week’s pretrial hearing in the 9/11 case.  We will thus resort to our backup coverage format, by posting digests of each prior day’s events in our “Events Coverage” section. We thus commence with Matt . . .
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Al-Nashiri Order Dismissing Charges Relating to French Oil Tanker

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:50 AM

We flagged news coverage of this important military commissions ruling earlier, when the item in question was not yet available.  You’ll now find the real thing here (and here). The military judge’s order seemingly came down to this: the prosecution had asserted—but ultimately did not submit proof of—facts that, in its view, supported military commission jurisdiction over charges regarding . . .
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This Afternoon’s Hearing in the 9/11 Case

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 1:54 PM

A reminder, and a little coverage note: this afternoon will see a pre-trial hearing in the case against Ramzi Binalshibh—one of five men charged with plotting the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately Lawfare won’t be able to take in those proceedings via Fort Meade’s Closed Circuit TV facility—but we will post a digest of the afternoon’s most significant events, once . . .
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Al-Nashiri Case: French Oil Tanker Charges Dismissed

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Monday, August 11, 2014 at 2:49 PM

That’s the word from the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg. I haven’t yet seen the ruling, but gather from the story that the dismissal had to do with the absence of certain evidence—rather than the boundaries of the commission’s jurisdiction.  (The fit—or the lack thereof—between the latter and the acts alleged has been an important and recurring feature of the . . .
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8/11 Session #1: Severance, Reconsidered

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Monday, August 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

The military judge, Army Col. James Pohl, takes the bench.  Only one accused is present: Ramzi Binalshibh, whose case the court recently separated out from that against the other four accused in the 9/11 case.  His lawyers are there too, including Jim Harrington and LCDR Bogucki. The court opens by summarizing the state of play, . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: August 11 Session

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Monday, August 11, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Today your correspondent will observe, via CCTV, pre-trial proceedings in the case of United States v. Ramzi Binalshibh.  That’s the prosecution against only one of the five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.  The military judge has severed Binalshibh’s case, for the moment, from that against the other four; today, military prosecutors will ask the . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on This Week’s Hearing in the 9/11 Case

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Monday, August 11, 2014 at 5:00 AM

You can find the whole thing here, and the opening paragraphs below. And that’s a good a reminder as any, that today Lawfare returns to Fort Meade, for almost-live-blog coverage of pre-trial proceedings in United States v. Mohammed et al.   From the statement: Good evening. On the eve of continuing pre-trial sessions this week, I wish to . . .
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Chief Prosecutor Statement on this Week’s Hearings in Al-Nashiri

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Here y’are.  Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo, opens his statement as follows: Good afternoon. This Friday will mark sixty-nine years since the signing of the London Agreement and Charter by representatives of the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and France, thus establishing the International Military Tribunal for the trial . . .
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