9/11 Defendants Military Commission Proceedings Scheduled

The five detainees charged with participating in the 9/11 attacks will appear in court at Guantanamo within 30 days to schedule proceedings in their trial by military commission. They include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Waleed bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi

An arraignment will be held at Guantanamo next month, and all of the pretrial issues that surfaced in the earlier case will have to be litigated again, including the issue of self-representation and the mental health and capacity of Binalshibh and Hawsawi.

All of them were held in secret overseas prisons until 2006 when then President Bush ordered them moved to Guantanamo. All alleged being tortured. The death penalty is being sought for all of them.

The 123 page charge sheet is available at the Military Commission's website here (click on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed et al (2), and then use the arrow to go to "Docket." They will also be tried on the charges returned in January, 2012, available at the same link. [More...]

Each will be allowed a military attorney and "learned counsel" meaning an attorney with death penalty experience.

The ACLU says:

The Obama Administration is making a terrible mistake by prosecuting the most important terrorism trials of our time in a second-tier system of justice. Whatever verdict comes out of the Guantánamo military commissions will be tainted by an unfair process and the politics that wrongly pulled these cases from federal courts, which have safely and successfully handled hundreds of terrorism trials,” Romero said.

“The military commissions were set up to achieve easy convictions and hide the reality of torture, not to provide a fair trial. Although the rules have been improved, the military commissions continue to violate due process by allowing the use of hearsay and coerced or secret evidence. The American people have already waited far too long for justice for the 9/11 attacks, and the administration’s use of the military commissions means that justice will never truly be achieved, in the eyes of our nation or the rest of the world.”

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    Well said ACLU... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:59:18 AM EST
    I seriously hope the military commission isn't for our benefit, everybody knows its just for show.

    So I ask, why bother?  If they weren't gonna ever try these suspected criminals in criminal court they shoulda just made them disappear 10 years ago and saved us and them alotta torturous grief.  Strange as it sounds, it would have been more humane than this charade.

    Why bother? (none / 0) (#2)
    by sj on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 10:56:18 AM EST
    Doing some free association here, maybe to validate the use of military commissions for non-military crimes?  Sets a precedent and they get the easier convictions as well?

    Anyway I'm pretty sure humane/inhumane isn't a consideration in the decision.  Except maybe to prevent a public airing of the "inhumane" part.