Military Commissions

Department of Defense / Ben Balter (background)

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration revived the long stagnant precedent of Ex Parte Quirin to establish military commission trials for individuals detained during the Global War on Terror. Ever since, the administration, Congress, and the courts have been working out the details of the system, litigating the details on statutory, constitutional, and policy grounds, and struggling to bring key terrorist figures to trial.  The Obama administration has been less than enthusiastic about pursuing charges using military commissions, though it has pursued some, and some of these trials have already dragged on for years.


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Military Commissions

Document: Brown, Castle, Mattis and Rishikof Declarations on Firing of Guantanamo Convening Authority Rishikof

The following are declarations from Defense Secretary James Mattis, Acting Defense Department General Counsel William Castle, former Military Commissions Convening Authority Harvey Rishikof, and legal adviser Gary Brown on Rishikof and Brown’s firing. 

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