The Pentagon Is Begging This Judge To Drop His Case Against Former General
The Pentagon has completely backed off an order which would have forced judges to drop everything and move to Guantanamo Bay to speed up the pace of the trials, focusing instead on begging judge Vance Spath to drop the case.
Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work initially signed off on the order in January in what he says was an effort to forward the objectives of the Obama administration by moving the trials along. (RELATED: In Aftermath Of Paris Attack, DOD Forces Judges To Move To Guantanamo)
After Gitmo judge Air Force Col. Vance Spath struck back against the order by demanding that emails be produced to ensure that no “unlawful command influence” occurred in the decision-making process, the Pentagon soon realized that backlash would slow down the trials considerably—the exact opposite of the order’s intended effect. (RELATED: DOD Slammed For Unlawful Influence In Guantanamo Proceedings)
Now, the Pentagon has decided to withdraw the order as of Thursday and is asking Spath to proceed with the pretrial hearings against 50-year-old Abd al Rahim al Nashiri over the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, the Miami Herald reports.
Nashiri is a high-value detainee and has been locked away in Guantanamo Bay since 2006. Documents from the Joint Task Force Guantanamo reveal that Nashiri is “one of al-Qaida’s most skilled, capable, and prolific operational coordinators.”
Spath isn’t listening, since as far as he is concerned, he’s found “some evidence of unlawful influence” and is waiting to see if prosecutors can refute the claim.
Deputy Defense Secretary Work issued a statement on Friday, saying that the point of the order withdrawal is to “support the Military Commissions in carrying out their mission to resolve their cases in a manner consistent with the interests of justice.”
Work stressed the importance of an independent commission, which may prove dangerous to the Pentagon if prosecutors are unable to come up with a convincing response to the alleged evidence of unlawful influence.
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