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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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By FITCamaro on 4/14/2013 9:09:35 AM , Rating: -1
Not getting an ounce of sympathy from me. War criminals don't have rights.

By linkreincarnate on 4/14/2013 2:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
How do we know we got the right people if we don't give them a fair trial? If we just punish whoever we catch then the actual criminals go free. Also that that attitude what are you going to do when the government just starts declaring anyone who makes it squirm an enemy combatant? War criminals don't have rights, right?

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

By mike66 on 4/15/2013 7:17:46 AM , Rating: 2
Over the weekend there was a riot, it is now come to light threw the BBC news service that there are one hundred people who are still being held there who have been proven innocent ( by the USA Intelligence service ) of any wrong doing and still are not being released for various reasons ( retaliation and such ) and some can no longer be returned to their country of origin. So you are just ignorant of what really goes on there.

By Wulf145 on 4/15/2013 8:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
So, in your Opinion Calvin Gibbs and Jeremy Morlock and the rest of the "Kill Team" should have had no rights?

Or are you saying that the Afgan Government would be justified in detaining them in a Camp somwhere untill they deem it expedient to give them an Afgan military tribunal?

By maugrimtr on 4/15/2013 8:48:45 AM , Rating: 2
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I know a few old guys who might disagree with you. Then again, their definition of "men" might have varied.

You have to love the US. Best founding principles on the Planet. An example to everyone. Sadly populated in part by people without a sense of justice or proportion. Tell me, how were these people proven to all be War Criminals? It wasn't in a court of law. I guess we all should believe the folk with guns blindly then.

By Skywalker123 on 4/15/2013 11:51:09 AM , Rating: 2
cause your an ignorant redneck, they haven't been tried yet so they not "war criminals" many were turned in for the rewards offered for "terrorists"

By BRB29 on 4/15/2013 1:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
wow you're a duck penis

By Skywalker123 on 4/15/2013 4:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
and you sir, are a ignorant fool even more naive than fit, the american government appreciates for being "useful idiots" for believing their line

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