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Defense lawyers in Guantanamo war tribunals are upset over third party monitoring, document disappearance

They're the men allegedly behind some of the worst terrorist attacks on the U.S.  As work at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility winds down, the Pentagon prepares to hold special war tribunals -- military trials -- for prisoners deemed too dangerous to release.

I. Defense Discovers Documents Delete, Smoke Alarms Were Really Mics

Those prisoners include five men responsible for helping plan the September 11 terrorist attacks.  They also include Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who masterminded an attack on the USS Cole during its deployment to Yemen, an attack that killed 17 U.S. sailors.

But the pretrial hearings, which were supposed to start this week in some cases may be delayed due to allegations of foul play, according to Reuters.

Smoke alarm
What appeared to be smoke alarms in client meeting rooms were really disguised microphones.
[Image Source: Adeoma]

Defense lawyers for several of the suspects, who face the death penalty say they have evidence that their emails and internet searches were monitored by third parties.  And they say documents involved with the case began to disappear from their assigned Pentagon computers in February.  


Navy Commander Walter Ruiz represents Mustafa al Hawsawi, who is alleged with funneling funding for the 9/11 attacks. Ruiz states, "three to four weeks' worth of work is gone, vanished."

Aside from deletions, there was also evidence that prosecutors ordered system administrators to grant them access to 500,000 files on defense lawyers machines, files which included confidential attorney-client communications.  The Guantanamo detention camp's legal advisor also revealed that device that appeared to be smoke alarms in rooms where defense attorneys met with their clients were really microphones; but don't worry -- he claimed no conversations between the lawyers and their clients were recorded.

II. Human Rights Watchers: Trial "is a Sham"

International human rights watchdog group Human Rights First blasted the latest developments as "absolutely outrageous".  Its expert on the current proceedings -- Daphne Eviatar comments, "This is just further evidence that the military commission system is a sham and that all terrorism trials should be held in real U.S. federal courts on U.S. soil, where the rules are clear, defendants' rights are respected and the verdicts will have credibility."

Guantanamo Bay
Human rights watchers have complained that the Guantanamo Bay proceedings are a sham.
[Image Source: Getty Images]

The issues have been so severe that Colonel Karen Mayberry has advised the defense lawyers to stop storing case documents on Pentagon machines.  James Connell, a defense attorney for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali (aka Ammar al-Baluchi) -- the other alleged 9/11 plot funding funneler -- comments "I'll be filing a handwritten motion very shortly to ask for an abatement of the proceedings."

Given the extraordinary and unusual circumstances Army Colonel James Pohl -- the presiding judge in the trials -- has already delayed the pre-trial hearings of al Nashiri till June and is considering pushing the death penalty trial for the 9/11 conspirators as well.

Until February the preliminary hearings were being broadcast to the public and media via a closed circuit.  But the judge in February ordered those feeds cut, around the same time the alleged harassment of defense lawyers began.

Source: Reuters



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Kill these guys already!!
By ROTFLCOPTER on 4/12/2013 4:17:08 PM , Rating: -1
I completely agree with those of you that are saying that a trial for these guys is ludicrous. Would they have ever considered giving someone they captured a "fair trial?" No, they freaking cut their heads off and film it for the rest of the world. Why can't we do in kind?




RE: Kill these guys already!!
By V900 on 4/12/2013 4:28:54 PM , Rating: 5
You don't even know if they're guilty. Some of those people are in Guantanmo simply because there was a reward out for "Arabs" in Afghanistan, and some locals turned them in for a couple of thousand dollars, even though they had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

There have been dozens of people through the years who have turned out to be I. Guantanamo just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. One of them was an Al Jazeera cameraman, should he also "have his head cut off".

Think before you post... Or educate yourself on the subject.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By ritualm on 4/12/2013 4:31:33 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I completely agree with those of you that are saying that a trial for these guys is ludicrous. Would they have ever considered giving someone they captured a "fair trial?" No, they freaking cut their heads off and film it for the rest of the world. Why can't we do in kind?

And be as grotesquely uncivilized and monstrous as the "monsters" we seek to exorcise?

We are rewriting the rules that served us so we can punish these insurgents. Is it worth the immeasurable losses of freedom and privacy?


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2013 4:45:32 PM , Rating: 3
For the record, no, I do not want to see their heads cut off.

However I would like you to clarrify this:

quote:
We are rewriting the rules that served us so we can punish these insurgents.


What rules? In a traditional war prisoners would be kept until such time as hostilities ceased or their superiors would negotiate for a release/transfer etc etc.

This is a completely unprecedented situation. These are NOT soldiers! Please get that through your heads. They have no clearly identified superiors who represent them. They don't have a country that officially recognizes them as combatants. We really have no option but to throw them in camps and try to figure out what to do with them.

And no, simply closing Guantanamo and letting them all free is NOT a sane option.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By ritualm on 4/12/2013 5:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What rules? In a traditional war prisoners would be kept until such time as hostilities ceased or their superiors would negotiate for a release/transfer etc etc.

This is a completely unprecedented situation. These are NOT soldiers! Please get that through your heads. They have no clearly identified superiors who represent them. They don't have a country that officially recognizes them as combatants. We really have no option but to throw them in camps and try to figure out what to do with them.

And no, simply closing Guantanamo and letting them all free is NOT a sane option.

Unprecedented rofl.

Warrantless wiretapping.
Patriot Act.
National Security Letters.
Waterboarding.
Spying boxes at major telco switching centers.

All of the above were direct results of our "rewriting the rules that served us so we can punish these insurgents."

The insurgents sent a few suicide bombers, brought down two office buildings and damaged a command center. The entire USA cowered in fear ever since.

The insurgents won the game since September 11, 2001. What you advocated here merely extends their winning streaks.

Your idiocy knows no bounds.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2013 5:24:33 PM , Rating: 1
Umm again, you keep widening the scope of this conversation to off-topic straw men arguments.

I'm totally with you that we've gone too far in some places. WAY too far. But again, that has nothing to do with those detainees or this article.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By ritualm on 4/12/2013 5:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
Those detainees are as human as you and me.

But when key members of the prosecution are intentionally sabotaging the defense side with these petty behavior, it means the government has some really big dirt it doesn't want the defense to know/find out because it would have toppled their carefully arranged deck of cards.

This is increasingly looking like the high hell that resulted in Aaron Swartz killing himself.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Ammohunt on 4/12/2013 9:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Those detainees are as human as you and me.


I have seen the videos of people like this cutting of the heads of their enemies trust me they are less than human.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2013 11:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
That's old hat. They've stooped to a new low with shooting that 14 year old girl in the head.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Spuke on 4/12/2013 5:36:47 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Your idiocy knows no bounds.
Your inability to stay on the subject knows none either.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By ghost49x on 4/13/2013 12:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
And just wondering what you would advocate? Though the governments have clearly not taken the best direction but at least it's a direction. How many dangerous individuals were stopped before they could make a reality of their mass murdering plans and conspiracies due to these questionable practices you've cited. If such methods could've been used to stop 9/11 can you honestly say that you wouldn't get your hands dirty to save almost 3000 lives?


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Aloonatic on 4/12/2013 7:20:01 PM , Rating: 5
You do realise that the reason why we in the west (not just the usa, before anyone thinks that I'm attacking Americans) feel that we can fly and sail over to wherever, blow their countries up, overthrow governments etc is because we say that we have high standards than the said peoples/regimes that we overthrow, so we're just trying to make the world a better place.

As we start lowering our own standards further and further, and do what they do, then we are no better than them, so our actions (whether you believe that's really why we do what we do anyway) are less and less legitimate in anyone's eyes.

Also, as you back these base actions up and calling for "prisoners" (many of whom are taken and transported illegally, or without due process/rights), then if you get blown up by a "terrorist" then you've frankly got what's coming to you as much as they have/had.

Oh, I'm too tired, I hope that you get the point.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By ghost49x on 4/13/2013 1:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care too much about other countries living conditions, if people really want change they can figure out a way to do it themselves or at least ask for help. However when these people plan mass murder (what ever the cause) I don't want my government to sit on their hands until it's too late to avert the carnage. Also note that most of these extremists are all too happy to die for their cause and often live, train and spread their mentality in other countries where the law enforcement is not capable of taking care of such cases or is so corrupt that they are receiving regular bribes from the extremists


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Aloonatic on 4/14/2013 2:52:23 AM , Rating: 3
You might want to look up why people plot mass murder against the west.

We've been interfering in their lives and killing a lot more of them, changing their governments, redrawing national borders, propping up tyrants (and corrupt police forces who do our bidding too), supplied the arms and training to many of the terrorists that, when they were doing our bidding were "freedom fighters" but when they don't, are terrorists, for a lot longer than terrorists have been plotting against the west.

What reason do we give for doing all this? It's usually with the excuse that we are spreading civilization, democracy, improving their living conditions etc etc etc..

I'm not condoning any terrorist acts of course.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Reclaimer77 on 4/14/2013 10:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You might want to look up why people plot mass murder against the west.


Not interested in this Liberal fantasy where terrorism is justified because people have been pissed off in the past. It's insulting to our intelligence.

And as usual you VASTLY overstate our impact and influence. If these regions weren't so dangerously unstable in the first place, it wouldn't have been POSSIBLE to do all these things anyway.

quote:
I'm not condoning any terrorist acts of course.


No you're just excusing it away by making it seem like a perfectly rational reaction to whatever made up injustices.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Aloonatic on 4/15/2013 5:22:25 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know if you're being serious or not.

You do know that just saying "liberal fantasy" isn't a retort at all, and just ignoring the reality of the situation.

Again I am not justifying terrorism, I'm explaining why people are pissed at us, and why we need to maintain higher standards as we use those to justify our actions in the regions where many of these terrorists comes from. If we just start killing "terrorists" without trials etc, we are no better than them.

Please get out of your "with us or against us" childish place, and debate on an adult level.

Are you categorically denying that the west (Britain, Germany, France in the past with America more recently) have had zero influence in who has been in charge of nations in the middle east and elsewhere (e.g. Libya) etc as mentioned in my post above as fantasy, or that the affect of any of these things that our nations have done are only really inor ikle things that you would not be bothered about happening in your nation?


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By BRB29 on 4/15/2013 7:48:42 AM , Rating: 2
That's the past and we live in the present. There's no with us or against us, there's no fantasy either. I suggest you get an intel job for the DIA, CIA, DoD, join the military, etc... so you can get a real idea of what's really happening. I also suggest you should visit these countries and I'm not talking about their resorts/tourists area.

Nobody cares that you are an armchair warrior because you're well within your rights to do so. You have this notion to think that you're right when you've never seen any of this with your own eyes.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Skywalker123 on 4/15/2013 12:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
You're the one who's clueless, I'm only surprised the people in other countries havent committed more violent acts against america after everything we've done to them. Vietnam, Iran, Guatamala, Nicarauga, ad nauseum


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By BRB29 on 4/15/2013 12:59:06 PM , Rating: 1
What? You don't even know your stories. I grew up in VietNam, I've been to Iraq and Afghan. I've spent 7.5 years in the USMC and now retired recently.
I can only tell you that the majority of VietNam is grateful for the US. In fact, millions would rather risk their life to escape to the US on a bamboo raft than staying there. Also, idk why people don't acknowledge that fact that the war was heavily influenced by the Chinese. VietNam is a very small country where the big and populated cities are in the South. Where do you think all those troops from the North come from? it's the freaking rurals, there's barely any population in VietNam during the 50s and 60s. Think of why you see so many Vietnamese in the US and they like to raise the old flag(yellow with 3 red stripes) vs the new flag. Hell even the Northern Vietnamese would do anything to escape to the US.

Most Iraqis are grateful for the US involvement also if you ever care to do anything besides being an keyboard warrior. The problem is the vast majority is fearful for their lives because their whole family gets tortured and executed by terrorists if they are caught helping the US. Same for Afghan.

I don't know much about Iran but I'm pretty sure same situation there. If any country uses religion for extreme means, close its borders and prevent its own people from moving in and out only means that people are trying to run away. Iran is no different than North Korea.

There's always haters when you're on top. You may disagree about things that our country have done but you really should not talk shit about your country before knowing the facts. The people in Iran and NK hates their government. They can't even go on a forum to whine because they'll probably get executed. Think of all the people that died so you can whine.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Skywalker123 on 4/15/2013 4:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
I lost friends and a brother in Vietnam chump, so don't try and tell me about the war we lost, We devastated that country with more bombs than was dropped in WWII and deforested most of their old growth forests. We prevented elections there because Ho chi Minh would have won.Iraq is destroyed and descending into sectarian civil war. Iran loves us for overthrowing their democratically elected goverment and installing our puppet, the Shah. and for shooting down their civilian airliner and assassinating their soldiers and scientists.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Aloonatic on 4/16/2013 2:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
You are missing the point and not looking beyond the end of your historical nose.

The things is, Iraq's may well be glad that US troops freed them from Saddam. The thing is, he was the same Saddam that America and the west supported for so long.. Iraq is a country that has been manipulated by the west, by the British, a long time before Sadam and the USA's involvement too.

The same with Vietnam, and I don't think that America fighting communism there was a bad thing (even though it was a messy affair) but the thing is, who had been meddling there before hand? Yep, the French, another western power interfering for it's own ends, weakening the country for it's own good, then abandoning it when the going got tough.

Iran, a country who's regime we in the west toppled in the past, only to find that it only made matters worse in the long run and (arguably) caused, or at least encourage/added to, the more extreme nature of the current regime.

We like to think that these countries have always been backwards places that needed our "civilising" by cruise missile, but until we came along and weakened regimes for our own ends (as well as to stop the spread of communism, so sometimes with the best of intentions) they were just countries that had a different religion. It wasn't until we came aiong and intefered that things became more polarised and extreme, as they had something to react against.

Many people also forget that one of the main things that Al Qaeda actually wanted was for the USA to close their bases in Saudi Arabia and stop interfering in the region, and not because they support the regimes in the region, because most didn't like Al Qaeda or their ilk either. It's not because they want Sharia law in your home town, as we're often led to believe, it started out that they just didn't want the west interfering any more in their home lands.

And please don't get me wrong. I don't think that everything that the west or the USA has ever done on the global stage is/was evil. The problem is, even when we interfere with the best of intentions, then there are often unexpected consequences and we rarely think about how it must feel to eb living in these countries.

And we do need to get involved sometimes. I'm not saying it's black and white. Always good to get involved, or always bad so we never should. But if we are going to keep on doing what we do and try to police the world, we need to be doing so by maintaining the highest standards, rather than stooping to the terrorists standards and just killing people we capture and say are terrorists without trial, as that will only make our enemies stronger, and put our soldiers at even greater risk too, as well as making use morally weaker too.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By BRB29 on 4/15/2013 1:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
lol i get voted down for the dumbest reason.

I'm sorry I've actually experience things instead of "knowing" everything from reading online articles.

conspirator: "US messed VietNam and they hate us"
me: "I'm vietnamese and I grew up there. Most people are very US friendly"
conspirator: "You don't know that. I'm right cause the article agrees with me"
me: "please explain why you see millions of vietnamese that risk their life trying to float thousands of miles in the ocean half way around the earth on a raft. All the Vietnamese in the US also only fly the old flag that was backed by the US"
conspirator: "You don't know what you're talking about"
me: "sure because I've lived in reality and you fantasizing."

believe it or not, I have had several conversations like this.


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Aloonatic on 4/16/2013 3:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
It must be great to have that time machine of yours, so that you can say that you actually experienced everything, not like those other idiots who just have to go by what they read and hear.

Are you omnipresent, omniscient? I know that people sometimes have a high opinion of themselves here, but you've taken it to a new level.

Kudos :)


RE: Kill these guys already!!
By Aloonatic on 4/16/2013 2:58:09 AM , Rating: 2
Armchair warrior? What are you talking about?

Your first few words are quite mind boggling too. The past should be ignored because we live in the present?

So please tell me, what is happening? Have you seen the whole world and history of it with your own eyes? Wow, conceited much?!?!

Please, go back and read all that I write here, not just the bits that you want too, as it doesn't appear that you have the slightest clue about what I'm actually saying, as if you had, you would see that I am saying that there's no fantasy either, so I don't know where you got that from in the first place.


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen














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