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.

 

Latest in Military Commissions

Documents

Military Commissions Judge Rules Against Government Privilege Claim in Nashiri Case

A new military commissions judge in the Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri case has dismissed a series of government motions seeking to not turn over classified materials to Nashiri's defense team. In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit threw out more than three years of orders issued by the case's former, Col. Vance Spath. The government had requested "reconsideration" of 30 of Spath's now-vacated orders about classified evidence.

Military Commissions

Federal Judge Dismisses Military Commissions Defendant's 8th Amendment Claim

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed claims from a military commissions defendant alleging that he has been denied satisfactory medical care at Guantanamo Bay. The defendant, known as Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, had filed a motion to dismiss the case on multiple grounds, including alleged 8th amendment violations.

Military Commissions

Update From the Military Commissions: A Big September in the 9/11 Case

Last month, the military commission for the matter of United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad et al. (i.e., the 9/11 trial) held a marathon three weeks of nearly back-to-back hearings. After being held up by delays in the publication and release of relevant transcripts, this post summarizes these proceedings and identifies several areas of potential interest, including testimony from two FBI special agents regarding their interviews with the defendants and their prior knowledge of alleged torture by the CIA.

September 9

Military Commissions

Update on the Military Commissions: Continued Health Issues, Recusal Motion and a New Cell in 'al-Iraqi'

The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened Aug. 21-28. You can find previous Lawfare coverage here and here.

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: 9/11 Commission Debates Who Gets to Determine When Hostilities Began

The military commission in United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, et al. (i.e., the 9/11 military commission) reconvened from April 29 to May 2. The parties discussed conflict of interest concerns, the disclosure of classified documents, and how to approach the determination of whether or not there is an armed conflict, among other issues. Before recessing until the next session in mid-June, presiding military judge, Col.

Military Commissions

Summary: D.C. Circuit Vacates Military Judge’s Rulings in Al-Nashiri

On April 16, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted Guantanamo detainee and alleged USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed al-Nashiri’s petition for a writ of mandamus and vacated all orders issued by former military judge Col. Vance Spath during a 28-month period on account of Spath’s failure to disqualify himself due to an apparent conflict of interest.

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