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Military Commissions

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

Perlette Michèle Jura | Posted 09.11.2014 | 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 08.13.2014 | 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 08.10.2014 | 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

HuffingtonPost.com | 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.

Syria Lurches From Bad to Worse

Allan Topol | Posted 03.11.2014 | World
Allan Topol

At this point, we have no ally in Syria with any strength or credibility. The U.S. has a choice of backing the Islamic Front, which it finds repugnant, or it can acquiesce to Assad's continued rule. Another bad choice. The January peace conference in Switzerland will be a farce if it even occurs.

9/11 Families Deserve a Real Trial, Too

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 03.09.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Accused terrorists are tried all the time in U.S. federal courts with little extra burden on security officers and without incident. Only in the case of the five alleged perpetrators of the September 11 attacks did the plan cause such an uproar that their case was moved to another country.

9/11 Case Stalls for Mental Competency Hearing

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.18.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

After Ramzi Bin al Shibh four times objected in court this week to the noisiness of his prison cell at night, the judge presiding over the September 11 military commission case on Thursday ordered he undergo a mental competency examination and stalled the case.

Guantanamo Prison Commander Previously Ran U.S. Detention in Somalia

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.17.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

When Col. John Bogdan took the witness stand at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he'd been called to testify about the strict limits he's imposed on defense attorneys' visits with their death penalty clients. The attorneys representing the defendants accused of masterminding the 9/11 terrorist attacks claim his rules make their jobs unreasonably onerous.

9/11 Defendant Ejected From Court (Twice) After Protesting Prison Conditions

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.16.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

The judge presiding over the 9/11 case at the Guantanamo military hearings had one of the five co-defendants forcibly removed from the courtroom after he objected that he was being deprived of his right to meaningfully participate in his case.

Guantánamo's Sham Trials, Now Unraveling

Vincent Warren | Posted 11.05.2013 | Politics
Vincent Warren

Guantánamo's military tribunals were not created to try crimes, but to hide them. This system was set up to ensure that the U.S. government's torture program would never face trial, and so far it has succeeded.

Dents in the 'Golden Shield': The CIA's Conflict of Interest in Classifying Medical Evidence of Torture

Katherine Hawkins | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Katherine Hawkins

Last week, military commission attorneys for the defendants in the September 11 trial asked President Obama to declassify evidence of their clients' torture in CIA custody.

"You Can't Gag Somebody and Then Want to Kill Them"

Katherine Hawkins | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Katherine Hawkins

Most of the civil suits challenging official secrecy about CIA torture have ended. But the issue will not go away so easily in the Guantanamo military commissions, because the U.S. government has two conflicting objectives.

Even al Qaeda Operatives Deserve Their Day in Court -- and Justice

Aki Peritz | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Aki Peritz

Intelligence gathering is certainly one important aspect of the counterterrorism business, but ultimately the U.S. needs to prosecute and incarcerate these individuals -- and our federal court system remains the most effective way to bring terrorists to justice.

Government Shuts Down But Dysfunctional Military Commissions Continue

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 12.02.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

A little government shut-down wasn't going to deter Army Colonel James Pohl. While most federal employees were furloughed, the judge presiding over the 9/11 case at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions on Tuesday insisted the pre-trial hearings continue apace.

Gitmo Logistics & DoD Computer Mess Likely to Delay 9/11 Case

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 11.20.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Witnesses provided more details of the Defense Department's computer mess-ups and confidentiality breaches in the 9/11 hearings on Friday, and defense lawyers renewed their request to delay the hearings until those problems could be resolved.

Testimony Reveals Shocking Level of Pentagon Computer Errors Affecting 9/11 Legal Defense

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 11.18.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Air Force Col. Karen Mayberry, testifying in full uniform, at times looked almost embarrassed responding to questions from defense lawyers that verified the problems they'd been complaining to the military commissions about for months.

Lawyers Say Gitmo Computer Problems Make Defending 9/11 Accused Impossible

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.23.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Files have been lost, computer searches monitored and e-mails "disappeared into the ether" at Guantanamo Bay since January, say lawyers for the five co-defendants in the 9/11 case.

Government Wants to Ban Material From 9/11 Defendants Central to Their Defense

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 08.22.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Twelve years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 9/11 military commission case against the five alleged masterminds of the attack is only in the pre-trial phase; the case may not get to trial until 2015.

Defense Lawyers in 9/11 Case Face Huge Hurdles

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.21.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Defense lawyers representing the five co-defendants in what may be the most important trial in U.S. history are subjected to unprecedented restrictions on the ability to communicate with their clients that would be unheard-of in a regular federal court.

9/11 Defense Lawyers Claim Judge's Order Conflicts With Convention Against Torture

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 10.19.2013 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Lawyers for defendants in the 9/11 case claim they cannot accept a military judge's order preventing their clients from speaking about their treatment in U.S. custody because it would violate their clients' rights under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.