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Resignations from the Guantanamo military commission

Resignations from the Guantanamo military commission
• “In my view evidence we have an obligation as prosecutors and officers of the court has not been made available to the defense.” • “it seems plausible to me that Jawad may have been drugged before the alleged attack.” • “...there are no grounds for his ethical qualms.” • “All you have is somebody who is disappointed that his superiors did not agree with his recommendation in a case.” There were several resignations from the Guantanamo military commission, including those of Stuart Couch, Morris Davis, Fred Borch, Major Robert Preston, Captain John Carr, USAF Captain Carrie Wolf, and Darrel Vandeveld. They were among the military lawyers tasked to serve as prosecutors of the suspected terrorists imprisoned at the American Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. The military lawyers requested transfers to other assignments because they had concerns that the proceedings would be innately unjust. The BBC reports that the withheld evidence includes the confessions of two men who said they were the ones who actually made the attack.[4] Vandeveld’s resignation was filed within the Military Commission system.[1] The New York Times reported he had not commented publicly about his resignation. Carol Rosenberg, of the Miami Herald, quoted from Vandeveld’s four page resignation memo[2]: Frakt claimed that Vandeveld had recommended a plea bargain and an early release for Jawad, who was a youth when the event took place, and who had been subjected to coercive "enhanced interrogation techniques", including prolonged sleep deprivation in Guantanamo’s frequent flyer program.[1] Frakt commented that Vandeveld: “could no longer continue to serve ethically as a prosecutor.”[1] Chief Prosecutor Colonel Lawrence Morris asserted[1]: According to Josh Meyers, writing in the Los Angeles Times, Frakt planned to call Vandeveld as a witness, on September 25, 2008 or September 26, 2008.[3] Vandeveld was willing to testify. But his superiors planned to block his testimony. According to Meyers, Frakt planned to ask Henley, the Presiding Officer, to compel Vandeveld’s testimony.

Darrel J. Vandeveld
Darrel Vandeveld (1961 (age 47–48)) is an American lawyer and an officer in the United States Army Reserve.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Vandeveld is notable for asking to resign from his appointment as a Prosecutor before a Guantanamo military commission. [7] According to the New York Times, officials confirmed on September 24, 2008 that Lieutenant Colonel Vandeveld resigned over an ethical issue.[1] Vandeveld is the seventh Prosecutor to resign from serving as a Guantanamo prosecutor. Vandeveld was serving as a Prosecutor in the case of Mohammed Jawad, a Pakistani youth who was charged with participating in a grenade attack in a bazaar in Afghanistan where two American GIs and their interpreter were injured.[1] Colonel Stephen Henley had been growing impatient with the Prosecution, and had given them a deadline to share evidence they had withheld from Major David J. R. Frakt which he suspected could prove exculpatory.

Robert Preston
Major Robert Preston is a lawyer, and an officer in the United States Air Force.

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Together with Captain John Carr and USAF Captain Carrie Wolf, Preston was among the military lawyers tasked to serve as prosecutors of the suspected terrorists imprisoned at the American Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. All three military lawyers requested transfers to other assignments because they had concerns that the proceedings would be innately unjust. On August 1, 2005, the Australian newspaper, The Age published an article based on the leaked memos detailing their requests for transfer, and quoted Preston’s: I consider the insistence on pressing ahead with cases that would be marginal even if properly prepared to be a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people. Surely they don’t expect that this fairly half-arsed effort is all that we have been able to put together after all this time. ...After all, writing a motion saying that the process will be full and fair when you don’t really believe it is kind of hard, particularly when you want to call yourself an officer and lawyer.[8] The article quoted Brigadier General Thomas Hemingway, another military lawyer, who served as a legal advisor to the Office of Military Commissions, who tried to dismiss the memos as based on simple misunderstandings. There was an official investigation, following which the Chief Prosecutor to whom the memos were addressed, subsequently resigned from the military. In 2006, in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the United States Supreme Court found that the then-existing military commissions lacked "the power to proceed because its structures and procedures violate both the UCMJ and the four Geneva Conventions."

Resignations from the Guantanamo military commission
requested reassignments because they believed the proceedings were designed to ensure no acquittals. On August 1, 2005, the Australian newspaper, "The Age", published an article based on leaked memos. Quoted were comments from Carr’s memos:[1] When I volunteered to assist with this process and was assigned to this office, I expected there would at least be a minimal effort to establish a fair process and diligently prepare cases against significant accused. Instead, I find a half-hearted and disorganised effort by a skeleton group of relatively inexperienced attorneys to prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged. You have repeatedly said to the office that the military panel will be handpicked and will not acquit these detainees and that we only needed to worry about building a record for the review panel. Although Brigadier General Thomas Hemingway, a legal advisor to the Office of Military Commissions, tried to dismiss the memos as based on simple misunderstandings, an official investigation was conducted. The Chief Prosecutor to whom the memos were addressed, Colonel Fred Borch, subsequently resigned from the military.

Carrie Wolf
Captain Carrie Wolf is an officer and judge advocate in the United States Air Force.[9] Wolf, Major Robert Preston, and Captain John Carr were among the military lawyers assigned to prosecute the suspected terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[10][11] These three later requested reassignments because they had concerns that the proceeding were rigged to ensure no acquittals. On August 1, 2005, the Australian newspaper, "The Age", published an article based on the leaked memos from Preston and Carr.[10] On August 3, 2005 "The Age" published another article that said Wolf had shared the concerns of the other two officers, and had also requested a transfer.[9]

John Carr
Major John Carr is an officer and judge advocate in the United States Air Force. Then-Captain Carr and fellow Air Force judge advocates Major Robert Preston and Captain Carrie Wolf were among the military lawyers assigned to prosecute the suspected terrorists imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Carr, Preston and Wolf later

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Although Brigadier General Thomas Hemingway, the Legal Advisor to the Office of Military Commissions, tried to dismiss the memos as based on simple misunderstandings, an official investigation was conducted.[10] The Chief Prosecutor to whom the memos were addressed, Colonel Fred Borch, subsequently resigned from the military.

Resignations from the Guantanamo military commission
[7] Schor, Elan (2008), "War crimes charges dropped against five Guantanamo detailees", The Guardian (October 21), http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/ oct/21/guantanamo-usa, retrieved on 2008-10-21. [8] Leaked emails claim Guantanamo trials rigged. 01/08/2005. ABC News Online [9] ^ "Third Prosecutor critical of Guantanamo trials", The Age, http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/ 200508/s1426797.htm, retrieved on 2008-11-05. mirror [10] ^ Leigh Sales (2005-08-01), "Leaked emails claim Guantanamo trials rigged", The Age, http://www.abc.net.au/news/ newsitems/200508/s1426797.htm, retrieved on 2008-11-05. mirror [11] Dan Ephron (2008-05-26), "Gitmo Grievances", Newsweek magazine, http://www.newsweek.com/id/137627/ output/print, retrieved on 2008-05-22. mirror

See also
• Fred Borch • Stuart Couch • Morris Davis

References
[1] ^ William Glaberson (2009-09-24), "Guantánamo Prosecutor Is Quitting in Dispute Over a Case", New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/us/ 25gitmo.html?ref=us, retrieved on 2008-09-25. mirror [2] ^ Carol Rosenberg (2008-09-25), "Army prosecutor quits Gitmo war court case", Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/news/ nation/story/700445.html, retrieved on 2008-09-25. mirror [3] ^ Josh Meyers (2008-09-25), "Guantanamo prosecutor quits amid controversy", Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/ nationworld/nation/la-nagitmo25-2008sep25,0,1717874.story, retrieved on 2008-09-25. mirror [4] ^ "Guantanamo prosecutor steps down", BBC News, 2008-09-25, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/ 7635028.stm, retrieved on 2008-09-25. [5] Ed Palatella, Lisa Thompson (2008-09-27), "Millcreek man vs. the U.S. Unique connections between Guantanamo Bay and Erie", Erie TimesNews, http://www.goerie.com/apps/ pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080927/ NEWS02/309279927, retrieved on 2008-09-28. mirror [6] Josh Meyers (2008-10-12), "Guantanamo prosecutor who quit had ’grave misgivings’ about fairness", Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/ nationworld/world/la-nagitmo12-2008oct12,0,3310366,full.story, retrieved on 2008-10-12. mirror

External links
• After Terror, A Secret Rewriting of Military Law, The New York Times, October 24-25, 2004 • Leaked emails claim Guantanamo trials rigged, The Age, August 1, 2005 • Two Prosecutors Faulted Trials for Detainees, The New York Times, August 1, 2005 • Two Prosecutors At Guantanamo Quit in Protest, The Wall Street Journal, August 1, 2005 • Military Denies Rigging Guantanamo Tribunals, Washington Post, August 2, 2005 • Third prosecutor critical of Guantanamo trials, The Age, August 3, 2005 • Lawyers criticize Bush trials plan "UPI, July 13, 2006 • Lawyers fought to abide by war rules, "LA Times, June 30. 2006 • Challenging powers that be, "The Australian, June 5, 2007 • Dan Ephron (2008-05-26), "Gitmo Grievances", Newsweek magazine, http://www.newsweek.com/id/137627/ output/print, retrieved on 2008-05-22. mirror • Lawyers criticize Bush trials plan "UPI", July 13, 2006

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Resignations from the Guantanamo military commission

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