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.

 

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Military Commissions

Document: Brig. Gen. John Baker Habeas Petition

Brig. Gen. John Baker, chief defense counsel of the military commisions, petitioned the federal district court in Washington for a writ of habeas corpus Thursday morning. Col. Vance Spath, the military judge presiding over the al-Nashiri military commission, held Baker in contempt Wednesday morning and sentenced the chief defense counsel to 21 days confinement. Baker asserts that Spath deprived him of due process when the military judge denied Baker the opportunity to be heard. 

Here is the petition for writ of habeas corpus and the request for expedited consideration: 

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