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Posts Tagged ‘Detainees’

“Bush administration warned 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply”: Leftard’s Go Over The Edge Again

Posted by Larry Barnes on March 18, 2010

“Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to a document recently obtained by the ACLU.”
Moral Outrage @ Word Press
http://moraloutrage.wordpress.com/

When some people attempt to make history they some how come to the conclusion that repeating forgotten history will do just fine. As History Commons proves the Internet will reveal their folly. Unfortunately the only people who care about this old story don’t care about the most pervasive aspect of the story. That is, the recent release of years old documents can generate a story in the leftard press by the simple act of being tight lipped on the details and meaning of the story.

I am sure the people who want to argue my point are unaware of the ability of the Internet to search for items of interest. This being the case I have transcribed the details of the story here and provided links that may be followed to prove I actually researched this subject

http://www.historycommons.org/

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=alate03commissionsuspectstreatment

Summer 2003: 9/11 Commission Unhappy with Information Coming from Detainees

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=asummer03commissiondetainees#asummer03commissiondetainees

The 9/11 Commission becomes unhappy with the quality of information being provided by the CIA, FBI, and Pentagon about detainees in US custody who are being interrogated, because “the government’s investigators [are] not asking the detainees the kinds of questions [it wants] answered” – they
are asking about future threats rather than the history of the 9/11 plot. The Commission is receiving detainee evidence “third-hand – passed from the detainee, to the interrogator, to the person who writes up the interrogation report, and finally to [its] staff in the form of reports, not even transcripts.” It can take up to six weeks for a report on an interrogation to be produced. Due to the absence of any interaction between Commission staff and detainees, they also have “no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information.” [Kean and Hamilton, 2006, pp. 119-123] In at least one case, it seem possible that the 9/11 Commission was not given all the information from CIA interrogations that it needed.

Counterterrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna will later independently view some interrogation transcripts, and from them he will claim that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) confessed to attending a pivotal al-Qaeda summit in Malaysia where the 9/11 plot was discussed (see January 5-8, 2000). The CIA was in charge of monitoring this meeting, so their failure to notice the presence of KSM, a photographed and well-known terrorist mastermind with a $2 million bounty on his head at the time, would have been nearly inexplicable (see July 9, 2003). The Commission subsequently requests direct access to the detainees, but this request is not granted (see November 5, 2003-January 2004).

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=alate03commissionsuspectstreatment#a110504commissiondetaineeaccess

November 5, 2003-January 2004: 9/11 Commission’s Attempt to Get Access to Detainees Fails

After the 9/11 Commission becomes unhappy with the information it is getting from detainees in US custody who may know something about the 9/11 plot (see Summer 2003), it asks CIA Director George Tenet to let it either talk to the detainees itself, or at least view interrogations through a one-way mirror. [Kean and Hamilton, 2006, pp. 119-126]
Reasoning – Dieter Snell, the head of the Commission’s plot team and a former prosecutor, is extremely keen that the detainees, such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, be interviewed. According to author Philip Shenon, he is aware that “testimony from key witnesses like the al-Qaeda detainees would have value only if they were questioned in person, with investigators given the chance to test their credibility with follow-up questions. The face-to-face interrogations would be especially important in situations in which the al-Qaeda members were giving conflicting testimony.” [Shenon, 2008, pp. 182]
Request Denied – However, Tenet denies the request because he does not want the Commission to know where the detainees are, and he claims questioning by a Commission staffer could apparently damage the “relationship” between interrogator and detainee and “upset the flow of questioning.” In addition, Tenet is worried that if the Commission has access to the detainees, Zacarias Moussaoui might also be able to compel them to testify in court, so he rejects compromise proposals.
Pushback – The Commission decides “to push the issue” and drafts a letter outlining why they should have direct access. Although the draft is seen by Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, it is never officially sent. At a White House meeting attended by Rumsfeld and commissioners Lee Hamilton and Fred Fielding, Tenet and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales repeat the arguments Tenet made previously, but Tenet says the Commission can submit written questions, and a CIA “project manager” will try to get them answered. After the administration “plead[s]” with the Commission not to use public pressure to get access to detainees, the Commission decides to drop the matter. Relatives and Media Blamed – Hamilton and Commission Chairman Thomas Kean will later partially blame the victims’ relatives and media for this failure: “Interestingly, there was no pressure from some of the usual sources for us to push for access. For instance, the 9/11 families never pressed us to seek access to detainees, and the media was never engaged on this issue.” Kean and Hamilton will later say that the “project manager” arrangement works “to a degree.”
Report Includes Disclaimer – However, a disclaimer will be inserted into the 9/11 Commission Report in the first of two chapters that draw heavily on detainees’ alleged statements (see After January 2004). It will say that the Commission could not fully judge the credibility of detainee information, so, according to Kean and Hamilton, “it [is] left to the reader to consider the credibility of the source—we had no opportunity to do so.” [Kean and Hamilton, 2006, pp. 119-126]
Criticism from Staffer – Commission staffer Ernest May will later criticize the Commission’s “reluctance ever to challenge the CIA’s walling off al-Qaeda detainees.” May will also say: “We never had full confidence in the interrogation reports as historical sources. Often we found more reliable the testimony that had been given in open court by those prosecuted for the East African embassy bombings and other crimes.” [New
Republic, 5/23/2005] CIA videotapes and transcripts of interrogations are not provided to the Commission (see Summer 2003-January 2004).

“Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission”

Authors: Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton

Book Review From Publishers Weekly:

A re-creation of the inner workings of a government commission threatens to be a dry bureaucratic procedural, but the 9/11 Commission was so politically fraught that its story is compelling in its own right. Chairman Kean and vice-chair Hamilton detail the commission’s fight with Congress for more money and time; its wranglings with the Bush administration to win access to witnesses and classified documents; its delicate relations with victims’ families, who were its harshest critics and staunchest champions; its strategic use of public censure to wring concessions from recalcitrant officials; and the forging of a bipartisan consensus among fractious Republican and Democratic commissioners. Their tone is evenhanded and diplomatic, but some adversaries—NORAD, the FAA, House Republicans—get singled out as stumbling blocks to the investigation. The authors cogently defend the compromises they made and swat conspiracy theories about coverups, but critics unhappy with the commission’s refusal to “point fingers” or its lukewarm resistance to White House claims of executive privilege may not be satisfied. The issues the commission wrestled with—official incapacity to prevent disaster, the government’s use and misuse of intelligence, presidential accountability—are still in the headlines, which makes this lucid, absorbing account of its work very timely.

The commission report was written by the people who wrote the above book and were the recipients of the memo in question. Below is their statement at the close of the commission.

“(W)e believe we have fulfilled our mandate.”

A considerable difference as opposed to “warned against probing too deep”.

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Pentagon to Release Photos From Detainee Custody Investigations

Posted by Larry Barnes on April 24, 2009

Pentagon to Release Photos From Detainee Custody Investigations
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2009 – The Defense Department soon will release a substantial number of photos associated with concluded past investigations of alleged abuse of detainees, a senior official said here today.

The photos were used as part of internal military investigations conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan, not including the photos used during allegations of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

The pending late-May release of the photos comes from an agreement reached between the American Civil Liberties Union, the Justice Department and the Defense Department, Whitman said. The ACLU had sued the U.S. government for release of the photos.

A Justice Department letter filed yesterday in a New York District Court stated that the Defense Department would furnish 21 photographs ordered for release by the court and 23 other images involved in the lawsuit.

Additionally, the Justice Department letter stated, the Defense Department also will release “a substantial number of other images” contained in Army Criminal Investigation Division reports that have been closed. The Defense Department is to furnish all cited images by May 28, the letter said.

A number of the images being released in May were part of more than 60 investigations conducted by the U.S. military between 2003 and January 2006, Whitman said.

Since 2003, more than 400 military members charged with detainee abuse were found to be guilty of some form of misconduct, Whitman said. Punishment, he noted, ranged from imprisonment to bad-conduct discharges, reduction in rank and other types of punitive actions.

Defense Department policy always has advocated humane treatment of detainees, Whitman pointed out.

“We have, obviously, over time, found instances where performance has not matched policy,” Whitman said. “And when the performance hasn’t matched the policy, we’ve held people accountable for their actions.”

“There are a number of [lawsuits] that we’re dealing with for detainee photographs and so on,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said to reporters yesterday during his visit to Camp Lejeune, N.C. “There’s a certain inevitability, I believe, that much of this will eventually come out; much has already come out.”

Posted in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Military, Obama, Pentagon, Photos, Terror, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Guantanamo Complies With Geneva Conventions

Posted by Larry Barnes on February 23, 2009

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2009 – The detention facilities at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, meet all standards of humane treatment and are in compliance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the vice chief of naval operations said today.

lrs_090223-d-9880w-046a
Navy Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, vice chief of naval operations, briefs Pentagon reporters on Feb. 23, 2009, about his findings concerning the compliance of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the stipulations contained in the Geneva Conventions. DoD photo by R.D. Ward

Navy Adm. Patrick M. Walsh was chosen by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to head a team to review and report on the facilities at Guantanamo as part of an executive order President Barack Obama issued Jan. 22.

The review team conducted more than 100 interviews with Joint Task Force Guantanamo personnel over 13 days of investigation in Cuba . The team conducted multiple announced and unannounced inspections of all camps, reviewed paperwork and observed many aspects of daily operations, Walsh said.

“Collectively, we talked to a number of detainees and observed daily activities, including [use of feeding tubes] and interrogations,” Walsh said during a Pentagon news conference.

The team looked at shelter, clothing, food and water, practice of religion, recreation, the detainee discipline system, protections against violence, sensory deprivation and humiliation, human-to-human contact, health care, interrogation and access to attorneys and outside entities. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention prohibits violence to life and person, taking of hostages, outrages upon personal dignity and passing of sentences without judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court.

“From our review, it was apparent that the chain of command responsible for the detention mission at Guantanamo consistently seeks to go beyond the minimum standard in complying with Common Article 3,” he said. “We found that the chain of command endeavors to enhance conditions in a manner as humane as possible, consistent with security concerns.”

The team also recommended ways to improve conditions at the detention facilities. While Obama wants the facility closed by next year, until it does close, conditions must meet all humane standards, Walsh said.

“We do not intend to suggest that these recommendations are items that the department must pursue to satisfy Common Article 3,” he said. “Rather, they are items that we view as consistent with the approach of the chain of command to continually enhance conditions of detention.”

Socialization, or interaction among detainees, is important for the detainees because of the length of time they have been detained, he said. In certain camps, more socialization is needed. The team called for more “human-to-human contact, recreation opportunities with several detainees together, intellectual stimulation and group prayer,” the admiral said.

The review team recommended better health care, and the task force leaders appreciate the role health care plays at the facility, Walsh said.

Finally, as long as the facility remains open, it must have the requisite resources, the admiral told reporters.

“The most significant activity in this regard involves the continued support for camp improvement projects currently under way that affect the ability to provide socialization opportunities,” he said. “Of significant concern is that the department continued to properly resource Guantanamo until every detainee departs.”

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Military Commissions Must Obey President’s Directive

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 29, 2009

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2009 – The military commissions system created in 2006 to try accused terrorists held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, must comply with President Barack Obama’s directive to suspend all legal proceedings there, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said at a news conference today.

A reporter asked for Morrell’s reaction concerning news reports that say a military judge at Guantanamo today ordered that legal proceedings be continued against accused al-Qaida terrorist Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Nashiri is charged with planning the Oct. 12, 2000, bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole that was berthed in Aden, Yemen. Seventeen U.S. sailors died as a result of the attack.

All legal proceedings at Guantanamo are “on hold,” Morrell said. A series of assessments and reviews of detainee operations at Guantanamo are now being conducted as part of Obama’s Jan. 22 executive order to shut down the detention facility within the year.

Obama instructed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Jan. 20 to cease referring any new cases through the military-commissions process at Guantanamo Bay and to request 120-day continuances on all ongoing active cases there. Two days later, the president issued three executive orders, one of which directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay within the year.

Resolving the issue concerning Nashiri’s legal proceedings at Guantanamo, Morrell said, is a matter for the military commissions convening authority.

“But the bottom line is, we all work for the president of the United States in this chain of command, and he has signed an executive order which has made it abundantly clear that until these reviews are done all [legal activity at Guantanamo] is on hiatus,” Morrell said.

Obama signed three executive orders Jan. 22, one of which directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay within the year. Another order signed by the president directs the stand up of a special interagency task force that will study the future disposition of present Guantanamo detainees who cannot be transferred to other countries and who pose a serious danger to the United States.

The third executive order signed by the president that day directs the U.S. military and other U.S. agencies to follow the Army Field Manual, which bans torture when interrogating detainees “to promote the safe, lawful and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody.”

“This department will be in full compliance with the president’s executive order,” Morrell said at the news conference.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 established procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses that can be tried by military commission, according to a military commissions fact sheet.

The detention center at Guantanamo Bay has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of the global war on terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

About 250 people are being held at Guantanamo today, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Posted in GITMO, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Military, New, Obama, Pentagon, US Forces, War Crimes | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

President Directs Suspension of Guantanamo Bay Commissions

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009 – Responding to a presidential directive, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday ordered a suspension of active military commission proceedings at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a senior Pentagon official said here today.

President Barack Obama, who had called for the Guantanamo facility’s closure during his campaign, directed Gates to pause legal proceedings involving alleged terrorists being held and tried there, pending further guidance from the White House, spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters.

The president directed the secretary, who then directed the Office of Military Commissions, to cease referring any new cases through the military-commissions process at Guantanamo and to request 120-day continuances on all ongoing active cases there, Whitman said.

Whitman said he anticipates that further White House guidance regarding Guantanamo Bay will follow.

“The president has clearly made his intentions well known” regarding activities at the detention center, Whitman said.

Gates has recommended shutting down the Guantanamo detention center since he was appointed defense secretary more than two years ago. In December, Gates requested a proposal for closing the facility.

Gates has stated that requirements for closing Guantanamo include constructing legislation that provides statutory framework for housing detainees outside the confines of Guantanamo Bay, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters during a Dec. 18 news conference.

The defense secretary “has asked his team for a proposal on how to shut it down [and] what would be required specifically to close it and move the detainees from that facility, while at the same time ensuring that we protect the American people from some very dangerous characters,” Morrell said.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 established procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses that can be tried by military commission, according to a military-commissions fact sheet.

The detention center at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of the global war on terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

About 250 people are being held at Guantanamo today, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

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A Year?

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

Obama Calls For Gitmo To Close Within Year
President Barack Obama circulates an executive order draft calling for the
detention center at Guantanamo Bay to close within a year.

If it is so bad, why not today?

Posted in Bush, Comedy, Detainees, GITMO, Obama, Pentagon, Stupid People | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bush: 8 Years in 8 Minutes. Olbermann 1/19/09

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

http://www.truthout.org/011… Friday 16 Janu…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

UBERHACK, eight minutes of BDS and lies.

Tripe and lies couched as news. Mindless drivel passing as substance, worse than reducing substance to a sound bite. It is sound bites compiled to simulate substance. I am ashamed that i allowed my self to be lured in by the biggest lie, it was over eight minutes.

The word is petty UBERHACK, it’s in the dictionary. Look it up.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, Gaza, GITMO, Hamas, Harry Reid, Iraq, Israel, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Palistine, Pelosi, Pentagon, Sons OF Iraq, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GITMO Part Four; Defense Officials Address Detainee Concerns

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2009 – As the Defense Department prepares plans to close the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, defense officials acknowledge the possibility that released detainees could return to the battlefield.

“It’s something that we’re cognizant of. It’s obviously something that we try to assess at the time of transfer when we are looking at these individuals,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters today.

President Barack Obama yesterday signed an executive order that directs the closure of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo within a year.

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The detention center has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of the global war on terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. About 250 detainees are being held at Guantanamo, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Of the more than 500 detainees who have been transferred from Defense Department custody, 18 allegedly have resumed terrorist activities and another 43 former detainees are suspected of having resumed their former lives, Whitman said.

Whitman addressed a query from a reporter citing news reports that a former Guantanamo detainee had apparently become an associate leader for al-Qaida in Yemen.

Guantanamo inmates’ cases are reviewed annually, Whitman said, to ascertain whether or not they qualify for release. However, he said, there’s no guarantee released individuals won’t return to terrorism.

“You can’t have absolute certainly,” Whitman acknowledged.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday acknowledged there are challenges inherent with shuttering the center.

“Clearly, the challenge that faces us, and that I’ve acknowledged before, is figuring out how do we close Guantanamo and at the same time safeguard the security of the American people,” he said.

There “are answers to those questions,” Gates said, noting there is “a lot of work to do.”

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GITMO Part Three

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

    Guantanamo Pair Defiant In Court

Correspondents said the pre-trial hearing was chaotic at times, as two of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks on the US made unrepentant court appearances at pre-trial hearings at Guantanamo Bay.

Ramzi Binalshibh said he was proud of the attacks while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said he did not fear death and was working “for the cause of God”. These two were among five men appearing at a chaotic hearing at the naval base.

US President-elect Barack Obama is expected to issue an order to close the camp within days of taking office. The day’s hearings were intended to determine whether Mr Binalshibh was mentally competent to represent himself. He and his co-defendants have all said they do not want to be represented by US military lawyers.

“We did what we did and we are proud of this. We are proud of 9/11,” Mr Binalshibh told the courtroom in Arabic as guards removed his shackles.

Earlier Mr Mohammed, who claims to have been tortured while in the camp and is the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, had requested the dismissal of all US lawyers on his bench.

“The people who tortured me received their salaries from the American government and the lawyers do too,” he said.

He later told the court he and his co-defendants were not afraid of receiving the death penalty because they were “doing jihad for the cause of God”.

When warned by the judge to stop interrupting the proceedings, he told them: ”This is terrorism, not court, you don’t give us an opportunity to talk.”

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Both defence and prosecution lawyers had asked the military judges to delay proceedings until after Mr Obama’s inauguration, but their request was refused.

The Pentagon last month withdrew and refiled charges in about 20 cases, saying this was merely a procedural step. This has added to the air of uncertainty surrounding the trials, correspondents say.

A Canadian national, Omar Khadr, faces a separate hearing, accused of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan. His lawyers are also arguing for certain statements to be suppressed, saying they were obtained through torture and coercion.

The US military says these were the result of “conversational and non-coercive interviews”.

Mr Khadr, who was 15 years old at the time, is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. Mr Khadr’s trial is scheduled to begin on 26 January but his lawyer, Navy Lt Cdr Bill Kuebler, says he believes it is unlikely that the military tribunals will go ahead once Mr Obama is in office. “It is simply unimaginable to think that these proceedings would continue when you have an administration that is on the record saying that so clearly,” he said. “What’s very clear… is that they want to take a different course of action on Guantanamo.”

Barack Obama pictured on 12 December during a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon
Mr Obama has said he knows closing the camp will be challenging. Last week, senior advisers confirmed that Mr Obama would issue an executive order within days of entering the White House to close the detention center.

But shutting Guantanamo, where some 245 inmates remain, will not be immediate and Mr Obama himself has signaled that it will be a challenge.

His choice for attorney-general, Eric Holder, told his Senate confirmation hearing that he considered the interrogation technique of water boarding to be torture.

The CIA has admitted using the technique on at least three terrorism suspects, including Mr Mohammed.

The Bush administration set up the Guantanamo Bay camp in 2002 to hold foreign terror suspects captured during the war against the Taleban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The camp once held some 750 inmates, believed to be mostly foreigners detained in Afghanistan on suspicion of being Islamist fighters.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, Gaza, GITMO, Guantanamo, Harry Reid, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Pelosi, Pentagon, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GITMO Part Two

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 17, 2009

A judge has suspended for 120 days the Guantanamo Bay trials of five men accused over the 9/11 attacks, as requested by US President Barack Obama.

Among the five is alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who had opposed the suspension saying he wanted to confess to his role in the attacks.

The new administration also circulated a draft order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year. Mr Obama had earlier asked for a four-month halt to all tribunals there. The request was one of his first acts as president.

Before the military judge’s ruling in the 9/11 case, four men including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said they opposed halting the trials. Lawyers for a fifth man supported the proposed suspension.

Earlier a judge in a separate case – that of Omar Khadr, a Canadian man accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2002 – suspended that trial. Lt Cmdr William Kuebler, a lawyer for Omar Khadr, said the practical effect of the ruling was “to pronounce this system dead”.

“There will certainly be no more military commissions in Guantanamo Bay,” he said.

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The Obama administration is circulating a draft executive order calling for the closure of the detention centre.

“The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order,” the draft read.

It calls for a review of all pending cases, and provides for some prisoners to be released and others to be transferred. It is not known when Mr Obama will issue the order. Mr Obama has repeatedly promised to close the camp, where some 250 inmates accused of having links to terrorism remain and 21 cases are pending.

In his inaugural address on Tuesday, he emphasized the idea of respect for justice and the rights of the individual, rejecting “as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”.

A two-page document issued late the same day and ordered jointly by Mr Obama and the US Department of Defense, sought a 120-day suspension of trials. The delay would “permit the newly inaugurated president and his administration time to review the military commission process”, the document said.

The legal process has been widely criticised because the US military acts as jailer, judge and jury, the BBC’s Jonathan Beale reports from Guantanamo. Closing Guantanamo Bay will not be easy. Questions remain over where those charged will be tried and where those freed can be safely sent.

Our correspondent reports that the written ruling to suspend the 9/11 cases brought anger and frustration among representatives from five families of victims of the attacks, with one accusing Mr Obama of political posturing.

But there was a sense of relief among defense lawyers, who had criticized the cases as “show trials”.

Michele Cercone, a spokesman for the EU Justice and Home Affairs Commission, said the Commission was “very pleased that one of the first actions of Mr Obama has been to turn the page on this sad episode of Guantanamo”.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, GITMO, Guantanamo, Harry Reid, Iraq, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Pelosi, Pentagon, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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