iOS app Android app

Military Commissions

A Few Truths About the Slow Path of "Justice" at Guantánamo

Alka Pradhan | Posted 11.06.2015 | Politics
Alka Pradhan

The Guantánamo Bay military commission is a secretive court that uses secret evidence chosen by the prosecution and often denied to the defense, where secret agents spy on the defense without consequences.

Defense Secretary's Criticism of Military Judge Order Could Derail 9/11 Case

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.30.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, called a military judge's order "outrageous" earlier this week, they probably didn't intend to throw a wrench into the pending 9/11 military commission case.

Judge in 9/11 Case Denies Accused's Request to Fire His Lawyer

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.29.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

An Army judge at Guantanamo Bay on Thursday refused to allow one of the five defendants charged with orchestrating the 9/11 attacks to dismiss his lead lawyer, ruling the accused hadn't shown the necessary "good cause" to do so.

Confusing Commission Rules Continue to Hamper 9/11 Case

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.28.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

The hearing ensued in confusion, as the attorneys and judge argued over what the law is, who's required to explain it to the defendant and how bin Attash can inform the judge why he wants a new lawyer. Underlying the entire discussion was a sense that no one in the room knows all the relevant facts.

Guantanamo -- Washington's Expensive Mistake

Brian Dooley | Posted 10.21.2015 | Politics
Brian Dooley

We've all spent money on things we shouldn't have. As a teen, I blew my Saturday job earnings on a stud earring I thought would make me irresistible. A few weeks ago my brother-in-law impulse-bought a kilt. But the richer you are, the more spectacular the mistake you can make.

9/11 Military Commission Stalls Again Over Defense Representation Rights

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.19.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It was a typical Monday morning at the Guantanamo military commissions. Within the first 15 minutes, the judge had to adjourn the pre-trial hearing in the case of the five defendants accused of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, this time because one of the defendants had asked a question. And no one knew the answer.

Stalled 9/11 Case Is Another Reason to Close Guantanamo

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 08.14.2015 | Politics
Daphne Eviatar

The military commissions have once again cancelled two weeks' worth of hearings scheduled in the case of the five alleged plotters of the September 11 attacks. Although the attacks themselves took place nearly 14 years ago, the five men accused of masterminding the deadliest terror attack to ever take place on U.S. soil are still nowhere near trial.

Jessica Schulberg

U.S. Government Starting To Allow CIA Torture Victims To Discuss Their Own Memories | Jessica Schulberg | Posted 09.08.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- For years, Guantanamo Bay prisoners’ memories of their time in CIA custody have been considered classified state secrets. Abu Zubaydah...

Guantanamo Military Commissions Stall Again: Time to Move On

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 06.06.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It's time for the U.S. government to put an end to this fiasco. The legitimacy of such important terrorism cases as the September 11 attacks is not something to be disregarded, nor is the impact on the victims' families, who have yet to see justice done. All the military commission cases could be reliably tried in the seasoned and successful U.S. federal court system.

Obama Says He Should Have Closed Guantanamo on Day 1 -- He Still Can

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 05.19.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

While Obama has slowly stepped up transferring detainees already cleared by a multi-agency process for release from Guantanamo to other countries, his administration has dragged its feet on reviewing the 51 detainees who aren't yet cleared, out of the remaining 122.

Judge Halts 9/11 Case as Defense Charges Unlawful Influence

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 04.27.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

After the chief Guantanamo commission official convinced Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work to issue an order forcing military judges involved in the commissions to move to Guantanamo until their cases are over, defense attorneys objected. The order puts undue pressure on the judges to get their cases over with so they can get back home, they insisted.

9/11 Defendant Claims Ongoing Injuries From CIA Torture

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 04.14.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Walter Ruiz, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi's lawyer and a former Navy commander, told the court that Hawsawi's treatment needs stem from injuries he sustained under U.S.-sponsored torture. Ruiz wants to interview his client's doctors to learn more about the "ongoing bleeding" and "colorectal issues that stem from his time in captivity...."

9/11 Defendants Claim Military Commission Translator Assisted CIA Torture

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 04.11.2015 | Politics
Daphne Eviatar

It didn't take long for the Guantanamo military commission in the 9/11 case to stumble again -- this time when two of the accused co-conspirators said they recognized a translator in the courtroom from their time in a CIA black site.

Senators Question Federal Court Terror Trials While Effective Prosecutions Continue Apace in NYC

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 03.30.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It's hard to believe some senators are still complaining about these cases, claiming the government should instead send them to military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. Meanwhile, due in large part to those complaints, the five alleged September 11 co-conspirators remain stuck in lengthy pretrial hearings at Guantanamo.

Secret Order Cancels Guantanamo Hearing On FBI Spying -- Government 'Transparency' In Action

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 12.16.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

I really hope family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks weren't planning on attending the hearings scheduled at Guantanamo Bay this week. It would be completely demoralizing to someone who suffered personally from the heinous mass murders that took place 13 years ago to find that once again, all efforts to bring the five alleged perpetrators to justice had stalled, and once again, no one's allowed to know why.

Life Sentence for Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Is Hardly 'Soft' on Terrorism

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 11.23.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Critics have expressed legitimate concerns about U.S. conspiracy law, saying it's too easy to convict some people accused of low-level terrorist assistance and sentence them to hard time in highly restrictive prisons. But the claim that the U.S. prison system gives terrorists rights that ought to be reserved for U.S. citizens is simply impossible to support.

Thirteen Years After 9/11: Justice Eludes Us At Great Cost

Perlette Michèle Jura | Posted 11.11.2014 | Politics
Perlette Michèle Jura

After spending a week at Guantánamo Bay serving as an Observer for the latest 9/11 Military Commissions proceedings, my overarching impression is that we are wasting billions on a process that is failing everyone's goals and will likely result in further harm to the American people.

FBI Infiltration Of 9/11 Defense Continues To Delay Guantanamo Trial

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 08.14.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Four months after defense lawyers first told a Guantanamo military commission that they'd learned the FBI was spying on their colleagues, it remains unclear who or what the FBI was investigating. What is clear is that it will continue to delay progress in the case of the five men accused of masterminding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Judge Puts 9/11 Case Back Together Again

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.13.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

After unexpectedly deciding to split the 9/11 case into two trials last month, a military commission judge reversed himself and decided on Wednesday to put the severed case back together again. At least for now.

Exhibit A of the Guantanamo Failure Resumes This Week

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.10.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It remains to be seen how involved the U.S. will get in this latest war in Iraq, and the price tag that will come with it. But the uncertainties of costly new wars makes it even more important that we clean up the mess of the old one.

The FBI's Secret Investigation of the 9/11 Defense Teams: The Mystery Continues, and Could Compromise the Case

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 08.16.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

As James Harrington, lawyer for Ramzi bin al Shibh, told the court on Monday: "We now have to represent to our client that we had a spy within our team for a number of months. We don't know what activities that spy did." Will Harrington's client ever trust his defense team again? Should he? And if he can't, can he ever truly receive a fair defense?

Too Much Secrecy in Gitmo Trials

Jeremy Carp | Posted 08.11.2014 | Politics
Jeremy Carp

Though improved in some respects, the revived commissions are still characterized by a startling level of secrecy. In an effort to conceal details of defendants' torture while in CIA custody, the government has designed the commissions to prevent defense teams from obtaining or publicly discussing information about the torture program.

Ryan J. Reilly

Army Drives 9/11 Mastermind's Lawyer To Sacrifice His Military Career | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 04.23.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A military lawyer representing the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is resigning from the U.S. Army, which was trying to for...

Bin Laden Relative Could Be Held Responsible for Deaths of Thousands

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 05.21.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

There are lots of reasons one might be concerned about the severity of U.S. terrorism law. But I wouldn't expect criticism of this aspect of the American criminal justice system from those law-and-order lawmakers clamoring for the United States to be tougher on terrorism.

The Trial of Bin Laden's Son-in-Law and Why Not to Torture a Terrorist

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 05.14.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

To an American observer, that may sound astonishing. Why would he just confess? In fact, that happens all the time in these cases. The key, it seems, is in according the captive respect -- conveying an acknowledgement of his humanity and his right to humane treatment.