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Much concern has been raised, for good reason, about President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Haspel allegedly was involved in reckless, illegal torture under the agency’s “rendition,…
Gina Haspel, a veteran CIA clandestine officer picked by U.S. President Donald Trump to head the Central Intelligence Agency, is shown in this handout photograph released on March 13, 2018. © 2018 CIA handout
News
In any normal case, in any ordinary court, judges hold preliminary hearings to narrow the issues and move the case closer to trial. But there is nothing ordinary about the prosecution of the five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. And the…
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If the Taliban prisoners released could have been prosecuted, they should have been

Though questions have been raised about whether the Obama administration should have exchanged five Guantanamo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, one thing is clear: The decision shouldn’t impede U.S. efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.…
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The sight of a man, free, who used to be in chains, is breathtaking. And so I gasped as Salim Hamdan walked into the lobby of my hotel in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, one evening in January. Now in his mid-40s, he looked heavier and happier than I remembered…
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Terrorists face real consequences in US civilian courts

The American public has had a pretty good demonstration over the last couple of weeks in how a US federal court handles a big terrorism case. The New York City trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, on charges of conspiring to kill…
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You know something is wrong when defense lawyers have to hike to Starbucks to find Internet access they feel they can—relatively, anyway—trust. But that’s exactly what lawyers for the five men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 attacks felt they…
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With Congress back in session, Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester will soon consider whether to adopt new provisions in a defense-spending bill allowing Guantanamo Bay detainees to be transferred to the U.S. for trial by federal courts. …
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The family of a Gitmo detainee twice cleared for transfer remains pessimistic, despite Obama's speech vowing reform

Muhammad al-Baidhani, an 11-year-old Yemeni boy with a mop of brown curls, only knows his father from photos and a one-hour video conference every two months. Before Muhammad was born, his father was captured and sent to the U.S. military prison at…
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Why Obama doesn’t need Congress to start to make good on his promise.

President Barack Obama finally broke his long silence on Tuesday on the need to close Guantanamo. Echoing comments he made four years ago -- when, on his second day in office he promised to close the facility within a year -- he said "Guantanamo is not…
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Zero Dark Thirty, the movie drama of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, has spawned a wide array of commentary. None is as misleading or morally disturbing, however, as the one from former CIA counterterrorism chief Jose Rodriguez, who seized on the film as an…
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Late last year, Congress passed and the president signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2012. The NDAA codified, for the first time since a never-used McCarthy era law, indefinite detention without charge or trial…
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New York Times Room for Debate: Time to End Military Tribunals?

The Guantánamo experiment has failed. Following the 9/11 attacks, the United States imprisoned hundreds without trial at Guantánamo and created a new military-commission system there to try terrorism suspects. The system lacked fundamental…
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“Do I have authority to do that, counsel?” military judge U.S. Army Col. James Pohl asked frequently while presiding over the 9/11 case at Guantanamo Bay earlier this month. “I get a lot of cites to authority all over the board. One day it is DC Circuit,…
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On his second full day in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning the use of torture and closing the CIA “black sites” that were the locus of so much abuse. Standing behind him as he signed the order were retired admirals and…
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As the world was gripped this week by the storming of U.S. diplomatic compounds in the Middle East, another troubling event that coincided with the September 11 anniversary unfolded largely unnoticed at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. …
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The Obama administration has done much to clean up the legal mess in Guantánamo. But as the ongoing trial of a top al Qaeda suspects makes clear, it has not done nearly enough. GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — I had not planned on paying a visit to Camp…
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"The soldiers would say, 'Tell me about this sugarcane.' If we do not say something good, they beat us. They have truncheons, guns, and stun devices. They come every day." These are the words of a Mursi man, an indigenous pastoralist in southern Ethiopia…