The Circus Comes to Guantanamo


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As you may have heard, the Al Qaeda-related trials that Congress wouldn’t allow to go through the normal judicial system have started up in Guantanamo.  Doug Elliot, an Irvine resident with an attorney past and Occupier tendencies, has started up a new blog and is giving us a review on how it’s going.  Summary: it’s not going well.  Here’s a taste and a link to his full piece, with internal links excluded here:  – Greg <>

Circus Clows

Welcome to Guantanamo -- enjoy the show trial!

As related by Terry McDermott in The Daily Beast:

A slow-motion circus rolled into courtroom 2 of the Expeditionary Legal Complex Saturday morning.

What had been planned as the straightforward arraignment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four codefendants on charges of conspiring to commit the Sept. 11 attacks disintegrated into dark comedy.

Judge James Pohl scolded attorneys for refusing to follow his carefully articulated script for the proceeding; lawyers argued they were not qualified to defend their clients; translators interrupted lawyers to insist they be quiet; defendants refused to answer any questions from the judge or even acknowledge they’d been asked; one interrupted the proceedings first to pray and again to shout out his fears of being attacked by members of the prosecution team; another who started the day shackled to his chair ended it by stripping to the waist to display scars he claims were inflicted by his Guantánamo guards.

Every circus needs its clowns, and Cheryl Bormann, attorney for Walid Bin Attash, apparently decided to be one of them.  As reported by Jan Crawford of CBS:
In the courtroom today, Bormann wore traditional Muslim attire — a black hijab and abaya. She urged the female military prosecutors, dressed in uniform with knee-length skirts, to consider more “appropriate” attire so the suspects won’t have “fear of committing a sin under their faith.”
Bormann’s transparent attempt to bootleg the dictates of Sharia law into a secular American military tribunal brings to mind a Facebook post I saw last week:  “Claiming that someone else’s marriage is against your religion is like being angry at someone for eating a doughnut because you’re on a diet.”  Bormann could have easily dealt with her client’s professed fear of sinning with a bit of attorney-client advice that would have been wise in any case:  Don’t look at the prosecutors’ legs.
For more on the legal hijinx, read the full story at Ticket to Ride.


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"Admin" is just editor Vern Nelson or associate editor Greg Diamond sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before 2010 "Admin" may have been former owner Art Pedroza.