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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.

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions, Feb. 26-Mar. 2: Judge in 9/11 Case Seeks Answers on Convening Authority Firing

The military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al. (the “9/11 case”) reconvened for pretrial proceedings last week, meeting in open session on Feb. 26 and March 1 in addition to several closed sessions through the remainder of the week. (A public transcript has only been released for Feb.

Military Commissions

Something is Rotten with the State of the Military Commissions

For readers who haven’t kept up with Lawfare’s regular coverage, the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay have just had one hell of a February. On Feb. 5, Defense Secretary James Mattis unceremoniously removed well-respected legal scholar Harvey Rishikof from his role as the military commissions’ convening authority, less than a year after putting him in charge.

Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Military Commissions Compared to Civilian Prosecution in Federal Court: A Revealing Snapshot

If you have paid any attention to the topic of military commissions over the past sixteen years, you do not need me to tell you of the troubles they’ve faced. Whatever their merits in theory (and I do think they have many), in practice they have been vexed beyond belief. Proceedings in cases of immense importance—above all, prosecution for mass murder on 9/11—threaten to rival Jarndyce and Jarndyce for their seemingly-intractable longevity. This is the opposite of what the founders of the system sought in fall 2001.

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