The Champion

December 2011 , Page 59 

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Obama’s First Capital Case at Guantánamo

By Mason C. Clutter

Editor’s Note: NACDL is one of the non-governmental organizations authorized to observe military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. National Security Counsel Mason C. Clutter traveled to Cuba to serve as NACDL’s representative. 

Nearly seven months after the Obama administration’s announcement that military commissions proceedings would resume in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the first detainee to be tried in the revised system was arraigned on Nov. 9, 2011. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is accused of plotting the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, which resulted in the death of 17 American sailors. Al-Nashiri’s case is the first trial of a so-called “high value” detainee and will likely set the stage for other “high value” trials, including the trial of the five alleged 9/11 co-conspirators.

Two years into the “revised” military commissions, one would expect most of the previous kinks in the system to have been worked out by now. However, this third iteration of the commissions remains plagu

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