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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: 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?


"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer














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