The military commissions have once again cancelled two weeks' worth of hearings scheduled in the case of the five alleged plotters of the September 11 attacks. Although the attacks themselves took place nearly 14 years ago, the five men accused of masterminding the deadliest terror attack to ever take place on U.S. soil are still nowhere near trial.
It's time for the U.S. government to put an end to this fiasco. The legitimacy of such important terrorism cases as the September 11 attacks is not something to be disregarded, nor is the impact on the victims' families, who have yet to see justice done. All the military commission cases could be reliably tried in the seasoned and successful U.S. federal court system.
Accused terrorists are tried all the time in U.S. federal courts with little extra burden on security officers and without incident. Only in the case of the five alleged perpetrators of the September 11 attacks did the plan cause such an uproar that their case was moved to another country.
When Col. John Bogdan took the witness stand at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he'd been called to testify about the strict limits he's imposed on defense attorneys' visits with their death penalty clients. The attorneys representing the defendants accused of masterminding the 9/11 terrorist attacks claim his rules make their jobs unreasonably onerous.
Under questioning from defense lawyer James Connell on the second day of a pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo, Elkins said conversations
Testimony from the special 9/11 courtroom at Guantanamo Bay this morning confirmed what defense lawyers have been complaining about for weeks now: The microphones in the courtroom are sensitive enough to pick up lawyers' conversations with their clients.
Proceedings at Guantanamo are streamed on a 40-second delay to a room with a view of the courtroom, to Guantanamo's media
By Jane Sutton Pohl is the chief judge overseeing the war crimes tribunals established by the United States to try foreign
There have been no hearings in the case since then. A hearing tentatively set for June was delayed because one of Mohammed's
Today marks 11 years since terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It was the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil, and it changed completely the way the U.S. government responds to terrorist threats. In some ways, that's a good thing. After all, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies were so disjointed and poorly managed that they missed clear warnings that could have prevented the deaths of more than 3,000 people. It was important to fix that. But fixing the real problem isn't how things happen in politics. Much of that response to the 9/11 attacks wasn't only unnecessary, it was downright destructive. Spending trillions on secret wars, secret trials, offshore prisons and forever prisoners? There's no future in that.
No matter how honorable each of those U.S. servicemembers are, the fact remains: the deck is, or at least appears to be, stacked high against the defendants. And that affects the legitimacy of not only the ultimate outcome of the case, but of every judicial ruling before and during the trial.
The U.S. cannot un-torture Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It cannot redo the detention of these men in a way that is humane and just. There is, however, the chance to ensure that the court in which they are judged is not a further perversion of the values Americans claim to hold dear.
While Judge Hellerstein has looked after the financial interest of the victims' families it's not always about the money. I believe he dreads sifting through these documents and being held accountable for his ruling.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee today urged AG Eric Holder to stick to his initial determination that the alleged 9/11 plotters should be tried in civilian court, and not bow to partisan politics on what should be a legal determination.