Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Lawyer for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Resigns From Army

By Cody M. Poplin
Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 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 sought to have the order deferred---as he had done with respect to an earlier identical order, successfully---but the request was denied.

NPR's Arun Rath spoke with Major Wright recently about his decision to resign, his concerns with Mr. Mohammed's trial, and what he sees as the U.S. government's "abhorrent leadership" in what he calls a "show trial." You can find the full story here.

The Army issued this statement in response to Major Wright's interview with NPR. Here's the most relevant portion:

Deferral requests are initially reviewed by JAG Corps career managers in consultation with the officer and the officer's supervising attorney. The decision to approve a deferral request is made on a case-by-case basis, balancing the need for the deferral and the need of the officer. In MAJ Wright's case, The Judge Advocate General denied the second deferral request because a suitable and competent military defense attorney replacement was available, MAJ Wright was not the lead or sole counsel, and it ensured MAJ Wright remained professionally competent and competitive for promotion.