Latest in Military Commissions

Detention & Guantanamo

Who Broke Periodic Review at Guantanamo Bay?

The Periodic Review Board (PRB) appears to be broken. Since President Trump’s inauguration 21 months ago, the PRB—often described as a parole-like body established to determine whether an individual may be transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay—has become a one-way ratchet, only ratifying continued detention and never recommending release. This is not to say the PRB has recommended continued detention for all the detainees whose cases it has reviewed since February 2017.

Case Coverage: Al-Iraqi Case

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Proceedings Stymied by Defendant’s Medical Condition

The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened on Sept. 24 after a break in proceedings since April. A planned session in June was cancelled after Hadi underwent emergency spinal surgery in May, his fifth such operation since September 2017.

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: A New Judge and Testimony on Unlawful Influence

Last week, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. reconvened for pretrial proceedings, meeting in open session on Sept. 10, 11, and 12. The commission covered Col. Keith Parrella’s replacement of Col. James Pohl as the presiding military judge, began discovery motions, and interviewed witness Lieutenant Doug Newman.

Parrella’s Transition into the Role

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Undue Influence and Other Issues in the 9/11 Case

Last week, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad et al. reconvened for pretrial proceedings, meeting in open session on July 23 and 25, and in closed sessions on July 24 and 26. The commission covered a wide range of topics, including motions relating to unlawful influence by CIA director Gina Haspel, FBI influence in CIA interrogations, denial of a public trial, errors regarding classification determinations, and competing theories of "hostilities" under the law of war.

Military Commissions

Military Commissions Freeze Appeals in the 9/11 Case

On Wednesday, May 23, the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR), the intermediate military appellate court responsible for reviewing military commission proceedings, announced that it currently lacks a quorum to decide contested motions in United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, et al, commonly known as the “9/11 case.”

Military Commissions

Why Aren’t the Military Commissions Working? Look No Further Than Al-Nashiri

It’s hard to keep up with the numerous difficulties that the U.S. government has encountered in its effort to prosecute Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri—alleged, among other things, to be responsible for the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole—in a Guantanamo military commission. But the latest dispute in the case—over whether two of al-Nashiri’s (former) civilian lawyers should be allowed to intervene in an interlocutory government appeal to the Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR)—is a perfect microcosm for everything that is wrong with the commissions.

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