Sunday, February 1, 2009

Military Trial Going Forward

A U.S. Army judge, in effect, has told the administration, "Yes, We Can!"
A military judge threw a wrench [Thursday] into the Obama administration's plan to suspend legal proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, denying the government's request to delay the case of a detainee accused of planning the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.
To halt proceedings for 120 days -- as Obama wants in order to conduct a review -- the Pentagon may be forced to temporarily withdraw charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and possibly 20 other detainees facing trial in military commissions, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The administration, which expected military judges to agree to its motions seeking suspension, was taken aback by yesterday's decision. Judges in other cases, including one involving five Sept. 11 defendants, had quickly agreed to the government's request.
Col. James Pohl, the chief judge in Gitmo, said the administration's arguments to delay the scheduled arraignment of Nashiri were "unpersuasive," and would deny the public's interest in a speedy trial. Click here and here for the full story.