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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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RE: Trials? Juries?
By ritualm on 4/12/2013 4:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
War has a separate set of rules for good reason. you should educate yourself on them.

None of the 9/11 hijackers were instrumental in chipping away at the freedoms and privacy of the American people. All of that work was done by Washington DC.

Whoever that orchestrated the attack that day lost 20 men at most. We lost a lot more than that over 12 years and counting, and we even have our own government spying on us.

RE: Trials? Juries?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2013 4:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yup just like those "innocent" detainees Obama released, only for them to go right back over there and commit terrorist attacks.

Do you think high-priced defense lawyers and a jury of idiot "peers" are more capable of deciding guilt or innocence than military tribunal? OJ Simpson trial anyone?

RE: Trials? Juries?
By ritualm on 4/12/2013 4:45:12 PM , Rating: 2
Right, because in order to send these supposed monsters to their untimely deaths, we must become monsters ourselves.

Your hypocrisy and ignorance are terrifying.

RE: Trials? Juries?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2013 4:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
And your idiocy is equally alarming.

One of those "innocent" people set off a bomb in Yemen at a public cafe. Over 20 men, women, and children lost their lives. As well as many more injured.

And you speak about the untimely deaths of the detainees and us becoming the monsters?

RE: Trials? Juries?
By ritualm on 4/12/2013 5:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
One of those "innocent" people set off a bomb in Yemen at a public cafe. Over 20 men, women, and children lost their lives. As well as many more injured.

And you speak about the untimely deaths of the detainees and us becoming the monsters?

You want idiocy, here's a good one.

The very country that actively promotes freedom of speech, democracy and human rights abroad is busy curtailing all three on its home soil.

Two decades ago I can still buy home science kits off the shelf. If I do that today I get a nasty visit by the FBI because they assume I'm going to make IEDs with it.

Immigration and customs screening procedures were less bothersome and invasive 15 years ago than today.

Tell me, who enabled all of these unacceptable intrusions and violations? None of the prisoners at Gitmo had the political clout to push the Patriot Act through a sheepish Congress and a slumbering Senate. They couldn't stage a military coup against the Obama Administration even if Iran backed their efforts.

You're making an insecure fool out of yourself.

RE: Trials? Juries?
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2013 6:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
You realize that just because I support the imprisonment of people who are trying to kill us, doesn't mean I HAVE to also support the Patriot Act and all those other things too right?

I really hate when people argue from a false premise...

None of the prisoners at Gitmo had the political clout to push the Patriot Act

True, but so what? Does this, in your mind, legitimize them or excuse away their actions?

Your talking points seem to be solely based on moral relativism, well, like most Libs.

RE: Trials? Juries?
By BRB29 on 4/15/2013 8:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
Those prisoners/terrorists didn't make the Patriot Acts. The Patriot Act was made to protect you from those terorrists. What's so bad about answering a few questions when the flip side is the chance of you you showing up to work to have the whole building explode? Is is a privacy intrusion? yes, but it shouldn't affect your life at all besides being a little annoying.

If you ordered basic kits, then you will not get flagged. I'm pretty sure you were buying something more than that. They only flag certain materials that are commonly bought for making explosive and are found in recent terrorist activities. The FBI does not have the resources or people to show up at everyone's house when they buy a basic science kit. Be real people.
If you were a real scientist, then you can purchase it from work and I promise you no one will show up to question you.

RE: Trials? Juries?
By Skywalker123 on 4/15/2013 4:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
Since your not a member of Homeland Security,FBI, or ANY law enforcement agency your promises are totally worthless

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