Video Produced By ACLU And Brave New Films Reveals Flaws In Guantánamo Military Commissions

December 8, 2008 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union is pleased to announce a new video available online today featuring three military officials who enumerate the egregious flaws in the Guantánamo military commissions. The video features Navy Lt. Commander Brian Mizer, who served as commission defense counsel for convicted Guantánamo detainee Salim Hamdan and has been serving as defense counsel for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, one of the Guantánamo detainees charged with crimes related to the 9/11 attacks who offered to plead guilty today before a military commission; Air Force Major David J.R. Frakt, who is the commission defense counsel for Mohammed Jawad; and Lt. Colonel Darrel John Vandeveld, who was a senior military commission prosecutor before resigning in protest.

"When I realized that I could not fulfill my ethical obligations as a prosecutor because of the state of chaos that reigned at the commissions prosecution office, I resigned. And I resigned out of conscience," says Vandeveld in the video. Vandeveld served as a senior prosecutor in the military commissions from May 2007 to September 2008.

The video is the second in a series of shorts about Guantánamo produced by the ACLU in partnership with Brave New Foundation, a leading producer of online videos about today's most pressing issues. It is part of an ACLU campaign calling on President-elect Obama to close the Guantánamo prison and end the military commissions on day one of his presidency. Among other things, the proceedings allow the admission of secret evidence, hearsay and evidence obtained through torture.

"The military commissions have been a legal farce from the beginning to the bitter end," said Anthony D. Romero, the Executive Director of the ACLU. "Any cases in the military commissions can and should be prosecuted in time-tested U.S. or military courts where the rule of law still applies. That is the only way justice can be served."

Today's video, along with a petition calling on Obama to shut down Guantánamo and the military commissions, is online at:

The ACLU is at Guantánamo this week for hearings in the 9/11-related military commission cases. The ACLU John Adams Project, a partnership with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, has sponsored expert civilian counsel who have been assisting the under-resourced military defense counsel for several Guantánamo detainees. More information is available online at:

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