We arrived at GTMO on Monday, but hearings did not begin until Wednesday. So had some time today (Tuesday) to get some logistical tasks done and have some tours. We began by having breakfast at the base commissary. All you can eat buffet for $2.55, not bad. We then all came back to get our credentials that will get us access to the courtroom for the hearings. Obviously there is a high level of security but the credentialing process was very smooth. The level of security in the area really ramps up on days of hearings when the defendant is brought to this side of the base from the detention facility located several miles away.
Boat tour of Guantanamo Bay
Once we completed the credentialing process, we went to one of the docks to get a boat for a tour of the Bay. We were divided on to 2 different pontoon boats with some military personnel who took us around to various parts of the bay. It certainly wasn’t a difficult assignment for any of us as the pictures will
Dinner; It’s a small military base
After returning from the boat trip and getting cleaned up we went to dinner as a group at the Irish Pub on the island. To further demonstrate what a small place this is, the Chief Prosecutor General Mark Martins and his team were also having dinner there at the same restaurant, and sate at the table next to us. This can actually be a challenging issue (especially for the judge) since many stakeholders, including the victims’ families, fly down to GTMO together, use the same gym and facilities and restaurants, which can lead to potential issues of ex parte communication, among others.
Call it a day
After dinner we all went back to our tents to retire and get ready for the first day of hearings the next day which I will report on and post tomorrow.