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Colonel locks up Brigadier General – legal showdown at Gitmo

This account may be confusing to those without a legal background – we admittedly had to read it through a couple times to get the story more or less straight.

The U.S. Navy’s base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has been the site of a confinement facility for detainees captured since the Global War on Terror was launched during the first George W. Bush administration. It is also the site of the “military commissions,” or special military-run courts that decide the fate of those accused of crimes of terrorism.

The recent controversy occured between Air Force Colonel Vance Spath, a military judge, and Marine Corps Brigadier General John Baker. Despite Baker having the higher rank, in the courtroom nobody outranks a judge, and all are subject to his orders.

The details are murky (and some are classified), but Baker apparently released a few civilian lawyers that had been assigned to a detainee’s case, and these lawyers were said to have been involved in a severe breech of sensitive information (again, details are few because the military will not comment on what exactly was compromised).

Spath directed Baker to rescind his order dismissing the attorneys, which he refused to do. Spath finally sent Baker to 21 days of confinement for disobedience.

The story from the Miami Herald linked below offers a full account of the legal battle.

Baker is the chief defense counsel for military commissions, and the second highest-ranking lawyer in the Marine Corps. He had excused … Nashiri is accused of orchestrating al Qaida’s Oct. 12, 2000 suicide bombing of the U.S. warship off YemenRead more at source…

image courtesy of miamiherald.com

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