So much for “speedy” justice Gitmo is back
So much for “speedy” justice
Gitmo is back.
Truly, this is a travesty. The defendants are horrible and should have been tried and convicted long ago. Yet, USA doesn’t have its act together and the wheels of justice got clogged by politics.
Obama stopped the trial, though GW Bush should have had the business done with long before Obama showed up.
Apparently, Obama stopped the process under pressure by the international community protesting the nastiness of the process and questions raised about fairness. With a plate filled, I don’t blame Obama for calling time out to study the situation.
There is no excuse for the Justice Department and Defense Department not coordinating to produce a viable solution long ago.
“Khalid Sheik Mohammed to face death penalty trial
By Peter Finn, Wednesday, April 4, 12:29 PM
A senior Pentagon official Wednesday approved the death penalty trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants who are accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a step that restarts the most momentous terror trial likely to be held at the military base.
A military commission trial of the five men began under the Bush administration but it was stopped by the Obama administration as part of its failed effort to close the detention center at Guantanamo.
The five defendants were first charged in 2008, and the case was suspended after Obama came into office. Those charges were formally withdrawn in early 2010 as part of an administration plan to move the men to New York for trial in federal court.
Military charges against the five men were re-sworn in June and on Wednesday Ret. Vice Admiral Bruce MacDonald, the official who oversees commissions and is known as the Convening Authority, sent the case for trial after reviewing and approving those charges.
The five men face multiple charges, including murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, hijacking aircraft and terrorism
Charged along with Mohammed are Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, a Pakistani who is Mohammed’s nephew; Ramzi Binalshibh and Walid bin Attash, both Yemenis; and Mustafa al-Hawsawi, a Saudi. All are accused of playing key organizational or financial roles in the attacks on New York and Washington, a plot that Mohammed has said he masterminded.
In the previous case, Mohammed, Ali and Attash won the right to represent themselves with advisory military and civilian counsel. A military judge was still considering if Binalshibh and Hawsawi were competent to make that choice when the case was suspended.
An arraignment will be held at Guantanamo next month, and all of the pretrial issues that surfaced in the earlier case will have to be litigated again, including the issue of self-representation and the mental health and capacity of Binalshibh and Hawsawi.
Each of the defendants is entitled to a military attorney and “learned counsel,” a lawyerwith experience in death penalty cases.
At one point in the last case the defendants said they were interested in pleading guilty to capital charges because they wanted to be executed and die as martyrs. Next month’s arraignment should make clear whether Mohammed wants to fight the charges or is still interested in pleading guilty.
The other defendants have tended to follow Mohammed’s lead.
All five men were held in secret CIA custody at prisons overseas before they were transferred to Guantanamo in September 2006. Their treatment at the hands of the CIA, including the extensive waterboarding of Mohammed, is likely to be an issue at trial.
Under the reformed system of military commissions, prosecutors cannot use as evidence any statement that resulted from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. But attorneys for the accused are nonetheless likely to make it a central plank on any defense against the death penalty."