March 10th opens with a lengthy examination of an unnamed Senior Medical Officer (SMO), who was formerly responsible for caring for Nashiri from September 2016 through February 2017. The defense team have called the SMO to testify in support of motion AE359 to allow Nashiri to remain at the Expeditionary Legal Center (ELC) the night before his sessions. Transporting Nashiri back and forth from his holding cell and the ELC gives him motion sickness, the defense argues, and medication to treat the motion sickness makes him to drowsy to stay engaged in the hearings.
Latest in Case Coverage: Al Nashiri Case
Our usual crew returns to Nashiri where we left them on the 8th—debating a timeline for discovery.
Editor's Note: Our military commissions coverage will be out of order this week due to difficulties in accessing transcripts from the Office of Military Commissions website. As such, coverage for Wednesday, March 8th has been published before coverage for Tuesday, March 7th. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Lawfare would like to apologize for the delay in our military commissions coverage this week. As our readers know, we rely on transcripts provided by the Office of Military Commissions to provide our coverage. Unfortunately, the transcripts posted for this week’s hearings in the USS Cole case are only available for Monday and Wednesday, with the transcripts for Tuesday’s and Thursday’s hearings leading to 404 error pages.
This Week at the Military Commissions, 3/6 Session: Discovery Woes, Unauthorized Browsing, and “Captain X”
After three months away, pretrial hearings in the USS Cole case are set to resume, with military judge Air Force Colonel Vance Spath calling the session to order. The judge notes those who are present, including two new additions to the prosecution, Colonel John Wells and Major Michael Pierson. For the defense, Richard Kammen kicks things off by addressing his wardrobe for the occasion: “As the court knows, my luggage somehow did not get on the plane at Andrews … I apologize I have no tie.
Thursday’s morning session in the Nashiri proceedings begins a few minutes after 9am, with mlitary judge Air Force Colonel Vincent Spath calling the commission to order. The first witness of the day is Edward Sheeran, deputy chief of staff at the Office of the Convening Authority (OCA).
On Friday, December 16th, Military Commissions Chief Prosecutor Mark Martins issued the following statement on the pretrial hearings conducted in the USS Cole case over the last week. The statement is also available here.
This Week at the Military Commissions, 12/14 Session: We Actually Read Those Books About CIA Interrogations
This morning’s proceedings in the Nashiri case begin with standard procedural discussions, including noting that the accused waived his right to be present at that morning’s commission hearing. Military judge Air Force Colonel Vance Spath, allows the government to question the relevant Assistant Staff Judge Advocate to ensure that Nashiri was made aware of his right to attend the hearing and properly gave his informed consent to waive his presence.
Tuesday’s hearing begins with a motion by Richard Kammen, acting for the defense, to recall yesterday’s witness Colonel Edward Sheeran for further testimony. The defense discovered last night that, as of October 2016, Sheeran was the acting legal advisor in Nashiri, and may still be. Given this new information, Kammen has further questions for Sheeran that he’d like “fleshed out.”
After a week’s worth of pretrial hearings in the 9/11 case, the activity continues at Guantanamo with another round of hearings in the USS Cole case. Military judge Air Force Colonel Vincent Spath begins with a review of the government and defense counsel present for the hearing, including Mary Spears, a new addition for the defense. Judge Spath asks Abd al Rahim al Nashiri for his assent to Spears joining his defense, and Nashiri responds with a thumbs-up.