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Category Archives: Terrorism Trials: Military Commissions

The New (Old) Interim Convening Authority for Military Commissions

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

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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 . . .
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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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Al-Nashiri Motions Hearing: March 2 Session

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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 . . .
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Friday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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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 . . .
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Wednesday and Thursday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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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 . . .
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DoD Withdraws Order Requiring MiliComms Judges to Live at GTMO

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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 . . .
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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:

Monday and Tuesday at the Military Commissions: Al Nashiri

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

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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 . . .
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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:

CMCR Voids David Hicks’ Guilty Plea and Sentence

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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 . . .
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Thursday at the Military Commissions: The 9/11 Case

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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 . . .
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Yesterday at the Military Commissions: the 9/11 Case

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

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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 . . .
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9/11 Case Motions Hearing: February 9 Session

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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 . . .
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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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Chief Prosecutor Statement on the Conclusion of This Week’s Al-Hadi Hearings

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Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 8:55 AM

You’ll find it here. Thursday’s remarks by Chief Prosecutor Brig. Gen. Mark Martins open: Good afternoon. This week, the Military Commission convened to try the charges against Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi held its fourth series of pre-trial sessions without panel members present since he was arraigned. The charges against Abd al Hadi are only allegations. . . .
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Wednesday and Thursday at the Military Commissions: Al Hadi

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Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Editor’s Note: This post represents a modest adjustment in Lawfare‘s military commissions coverage, one made necessary in part because of the surge in criminal hearings at Guantanamo in the coming weeks and months. For a full explanation, please see the first post in this series. Wednesday The second day of the week-long hearing in United States v. . . .
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