Case Coverage: Military Commissions

The Hearing Resumes--And Judge Pohl Rules on Recusal

By Benjamin Wittes, Wells Bennett
Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 10:48 AM

And we’re back, the return to proceedings marked by plenty of loud noises from Judge Pohl’s microphone--with which he is fiddling.

When he speaks, he is hard to understand, but he's clearly ruling on the recusal motion.

Judge Pohl evaluates the recusal arguments raised by the defense.  On Abu Ghraib, Judge Pohl says the defense has raised no real evidence of bias, just a New York Times piece, and another news article that included an out of context quotation that did not refer to him.  The court finds no basis in hypothetical personnel or compensation scenarios imagined by the defense, either.  Ditto the question of Judge Pohl’s detailing to the high-value detainee cases.  Yes, he can be removed from the case, but such transfers are not uncommon in court martial procedures. He’s applying an objective standard to the defense motion---and there’s no reason to question his objectivity.

Consequently the defense motion to recuse and to challenge for cause are denied.

The interpreter has a technical problem of some unknown kind--likely related to Judge Pohl's microphone issue.  Before we can discern what it is, Judge Pohl calls another recess pending the issue’s resolution.