Tag: 9-11 defendants

Guantanamo Judge Orders End to Secret Censoring of Hearing Testimony

An unnamed government agency has been secretly monitoring court proceedings in the pre-trial hearings of the 9/11 defendants at Guantanamo and pushing the censor button. The judge today ordered it to stop.

Army Col James Pohl ordered an unnamed government agency to remove censorship equipment, as a second round of pretrial hearings finished on Thursday....The judge said in his ruling that he had sole authority to decide when to close a hearing or stop spectators - including journalists and relatives of the victims - from listening to testimony.

From the transcript [Unofficial/Unauthenticated Transcript of the KSM et al. (2) Hearing Dated 1/31/2013 from 9:01 AM to 9:22 AM, accessible here.) [More...]

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Diminished Media Presence at Gitmo for Tomorrow's Hearings

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 defendants have hearings this week, beginning tomorrow at Guantanamo's court for military commissions -- their first hearings since May.

Reporters who are there tonight say on Twitter the number of reporters seems to have decreased by 50%. Some estimate only 25 reporters are there, and several of them are there for the first time, representing organizations such as Jesuit Weekly and the Bergen Record.

The defense lawyers complained today that the office space they were given is infested with rats, rat feces and mold and making them ill. They filed a Motion called "Mr. Mohammad's Emergency Motion to Delay the October 2012 Hearing due to Defense Offices Being Deemed Unsafe by the US Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay due to the Presence of Hazardous Mold, Rodents, and Rodent Feces." While (naturally) the motion and responses are sealed, the Court's one sentence order denying the motion is available on the docket (choose the active case for KSM from the dropdown list and then the link for all documents at the bottom or the docket link.) [More...]

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Chaotic Court Proceedings at Guantanamo

Here is the New York Times account of today's proceedings at Guantanamo (mobile version with some more details here.) Carol Rosenberg via Twitter has the play by play and an article at the Miami Herald with a full recap.

The Judge did offer to let the defendants plead not guilty, but they deferred. Ramzi Binalshibh wanted to talk about the conditions of confinement at Gitmo, the judge said it wasn't the proper time. Binlashibh yelled out:

“Maybe you are not going to see me again. Maybe they are going to kill us and say that we have committed suicide...The right time is now, not tomorrow." [More...]

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AG Holder on Arizona and Guantanamo

Attorney General Eric Holder was at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week, where he was interviewed by CBS's Bob Schieffer for a segment of CBS Face the Nation that aired today.

There's not much new in his interviews. Basically, he said that the Arizona lawsuit is based on the pre-emption argument -- that the state law violates the Constitution's Supremacy Clause. The racial profiling argument was weaker because there's no evidence of it yet. He said down the road, should evidence develop that the law is resulting in racial profiling, the Government will have the tools to make the challenge. [More...]

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Report: Deal for 9/11 Military Commission Trials Just About Done

There's a really unfortunate report in the Wall St. Journal saying the ink is almost dry on a deal to try the 9/11 suspects in military commission trials rather than federal criminal courts.

Under the deal, spurred by (of course) Lindsey Graham and Rahm Emanuel, and White House counsel Robert Bauer, 48 Guantanamo detainees would be held indefinitely without charges. And,

Mr. Graham wants civilian courts to be reserved for low-level Al Qaeda operatives and terrorist financiers, a far smaller group than previously considered.

White House and Democratic aides in the Senate said what they called an opening "proffer" from Sen. Graham won't be the final outcome. But the broad framework of a deal is done. "We're now at the 'getting serious' stage," said one senior Democratic Senate aide.


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ACLU to Obama: No More of the Same, Please

The ACLU has an ad in today's New York Times, asking President Obama, "What will it be, change or more of the same?". You can view it here.

Shorter version: Keep your promises, Mr. President. Try the 9/11 suspects in federal criminal court.

Remind the world that American stands for due process, justice and the rule of law.

There's still time to weigh in. You can send the President a message here. Obama needs to listen. For many of us, this could be his "pink slip" moment.

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Diane Dimond: How Could Any Lawyer Represent the 9/11 Terrorists?

I like Diane, but this is just a silly question. The short answer to her question, how could any lawyer represent one of the 9/11 defendants, as I repeatedly stated during my representation of Timothy McVeigh, is simple: "With pride and dedication." Even the TL kid, a high school senior at the time, worked on the McVeigh defense team for its leader Stephen Jones.

It was a great introduction to the criminal defense lawyer way of thinking, and I'm sure contributed in large part (along with his having interned at Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld's Innocent Project) to the development of his passion for helping the underdog, the person accused of a serious federal crime, and led him to become a criminal defense attorney in his own right last year.

One of my biggest accomplishments as a parent was to teach this lesson and others like them to my child, who now has them embedded within him. It's not an act. They have become his values too.

I feel the same way today. Were I called upon to represent one of the 9/11 detainees (unlikely since I'm in Denver and they will be in Illinois or New York), I'd jump at the opportunity.

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Getting Acquainted With the 9/11 Defendants

Today, many of us are only familiar with Khalid Sheik Mohammed or Ramzi Binashibh, who have garnered the most press. Months from now, those of us who follow these cases will know the histories of all five 9/11 defendants like the back of our hands. Here's a helpful primer of links for those who want to get a head start.

Short Profiles of the Soon to Be 9/11 Defendants:

Individually, With Lots of Links


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