9/11 Detainees Face Possible Re-Arraignment At Guantánamo

January 13, 2009

Clear Attempt By Bush Administration To Tie Obama's Hands, Says ACLU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – Today, a Guantánamo military commission judge requested counsel to comment Thursday regarding the possibility of re-arraigning the five detainees accused of perpetrating the 9/11 attacks. The re-arraignment would occur on January 19, the last day of the Bush administration and a day before President-elect Obama takes office.

In December, the Convening Authority of the Military Commissions Office "re-referred" the charges against the 9/11 detainees, paving the way for new arraignments.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

"Today's announcement is truly unbelievable. Just when it seems the Bush administration can't sink any lower, it finds a way to outdo itself. With news reports indicating that the incoming Obama administration plans to close Guantánamo and suspend the military commissions, the Bush administration is throwing a Hail Mary pass as the clock runs out. A last minute do-over of the arraignment would be a clear attempt to get coerced guilty pleas from the accused in order to tie the new president's hands and make it more difficult to shut down these sham commissions and to ensure that the evidence of torture never gets out. This is nothing but a desperate attempt to salvage the unsalvageable and cover up a reprehensible legacy of torture and abuse."

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