Army Col. James Pohl, the military judge presiding over the 9/11 military commissions trial at Guantanamo Bay, abruptly canceled this week's hearings on Friday, April 1st. (Insert obligatory no April Fools joke here).
According to Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg, Judge Pohl issued the cancelation order on Friday evening, just as attorneys and reporters were gathering in Washington, D.C. in order to board a flight bound for the detention facility. Attorneys for the five accused 9/11 plotters were unaware of the cancelation, and told Rosenberg that they too thought initially it was "an April Fool's joke." But the order was no prank, and Judge Pohl cited as justification for the cancelation a "secret 3:29 pm filing Friday by a Justice Department investigator, U.S. Attorney Fernando Campoamor-Sánchez." Campoamor-Sánchez is tasked with keeping the military commission "up to date on any FBI investigations of defense team activity in the national security case."
Military Commissions Spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross declined to provide further explanation, saying that he "must allow the order to speak for itself."
— Carol Rosenberg (@carolrosenberg) April 2, 2016
The next pretrial hearings are scheduled to run from May 30 to June 3. Lawfare will resume coverage once the trial begins again.