Guantanamo Hearings

Chief military tribunal judge challenges presidential authority to suspend Guantanamo trials


By Peter Duveen

PETER'S NEW YORK, January 30, 2009--A military judge has directly challenged President Barack Obama's order to suspend trials of alleged "terrorists" by military tribunals at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Associated Press says in an online article published early this morning.

AP journalists Mike Melia and Andrew Selky report that Army Col. James Pohl, chief judge for the tribunals, yesterday challenged President Obama's executive order of Jan. 21 to bring a halt to "all proceedings of such military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgment has been rendered."

Pohl insisted in a ruling yesterday that some of the proceedings must continue, arrogating to himself the power to challenge the president's order, and claiming that "on its face, the request to delay the arraignment is not reasonable," according to the AP report.

The significance of Pohl's ruling was in no wise lost upon at least some Pentagon officials. It is a direct challenge to the authority of the U.S. president, who is the commander-in-chief of the military under the U.S. constitution.

A Ticket to The Hague for Dick Cheney?

mainstream mention of Cheney's

A Ticket to The Hague for Dick Cheney?

By Scott Horton

Gene Burns is one of the nation's most popular talk radio hosts. For years he has dismissed accounts of torture; America, he has said, does not torture. But last night, after watching Torturing Democracy and realizing that he had not understood how important and serious an issue torture had become, Burns abruptly changed his tune.

Here's a transcript of his remarks:

"I now believe that some international human rights organization ought to open an investigation of the Bush Administration, I think focused on Vice President Dick Cheney, and attempt to bring charges against Cheney in the international court of justice at The Hague, for war crimes. Based on the manner in which we have treated prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, and the manner in which we have engaged in illegal rendition–that is, surreptitiously kidnapping prisoners and flying them to foreign countries where they could be tortured by foreign agents who do not follow the same civilized standards to which we subscribe.