Military Commissions

Department of Defense / Ben Balter (background)

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration revived the long stagnant precedent of Ex Parte Quirin to establish military commission trials for individuals detained during the Global War on Terror. Ever since, the administration, Congress, and the courts have been working out the details of the system, litigating the details on statutory, constitutional, and policy grounds, and struggling to bring key terrorist figures to trial.  The Obama administration has been less than enthusiastic about pursuing charges using military commissions, though it has pursued some, and some of these trials have already dragged on for years.

 

Latest in Military Commissions

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Bug Sweeps, Defendants’ Sixth Amendment Confrontation Rights, Existence of Pre-9/11 Hostilities and More

In a session cut short by a stay from the Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR), the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, et al. (i.e., the 9/11 military commission) reconvened on March 25-27. See here for previous Lawfare coverage.

Military Commission

Court of Military Commissions Review Upholds Life Sentence for al-Bahlul

On March 21, the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review (CMCR) upheld Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul’s conviction and life sentence for conspiracy to commit war crimes. The court also dismissed Bahlul’s challenge that the military commission that convicted him lacked jurisdiction because the appointment of the convening authority (CA) for the military commissions was statutorily and constitutionally improper.

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Discovery Disputes and a Medical Recess in al-Iraqi

The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened on March 6, after a nearly two-month hiatus. This one-day session recapped party conferences since the last session and the defense counsel’s allegations that the government was inhibiting the discovery process.

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Defense Teams Assert Conflict in Session Cut Short by Medical Emergency

On Jan. 28 and 29, the military commission in United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, et al. (the 9/11 military commission) reconvened for pretrial proceedings, picking up from its November sitting. The session was scheduled to last for a week but was cut short on Tuesday due to a medical emergency on the part of the military judge, Col. Keith Parrella.

Military Commissions

Oral Argument Summary: In re: Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri

On Jan. 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in In re: Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri. Judges Judith Rogers, David Tatel and Thomas Griffith reviewed Abd Al Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri’s (“Al-Nashiri”) request for a writ of mandamus and prohibition directing the vacatur of the orders convening the military commission which tried him.

Military Commissions

Last Week at the Military Commissions: Medical Accommodations and Conspiracy Liability in al-Iraqi

The military commission trying alleged al-Qaeda commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi reconvened from Jan. 7-14, after a break in proceedings beginning in November 2018. The bulk of the session focused on Hadi’s medical status and accommodations being made to enable his participation in proceedings, and the commission heard testimony from Hadi’s neurosurgeon, the camp senior medical officer (SMO), and the commander of the Joint Detention Group (JDG).

Military Commissions

9/11 Military Commission Judge Rejects Unlawful Influence Claim

On Friday, the judge United States v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammad et al. (i.e., the 9/11 military commission), Col. Keith Parrella, rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case on the grounds of unlawful influence on the part of former defense secretary James Mattis and former Defense Department Acting General Counsel William Castle.

Subscribe to Lawfare

EmailRSSKindle