Month: January 2017

Flying from Joint Base Andrews to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

The sun has not risen yet as I wait at the Joint Base Andrews air terminal to board a flight to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

My mission today is to attend, observe, analyze, critique, and report on U.S. military commission hearings for alleged war criminals. The hearings this week are against five Guantanamo detainees who are alleged to have masterminded the 11 September 2001 attacks on the Pentagon.

I am part of the Military Commission Observation Project of Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where I am a student.

Getting to Andrews
I arrived at Washington National Airport in Washington D.C. after midnight – around 12:30 a.m. – about 7 hours later than I was originally scheduled to arrive at Dulles Airport. I began my trip at Indianapolis airport and two of my flights were cancelled.

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Arriving at the gate in Washington D.C. at 12:30am on 23 January 2017

I had planned to arrive yesterday afternoon but was forced to reschedule flights, which delayed arrival. My flight from Indianapolis to Detroit was cancelled but the folks at Delta were able to put me on another flight to Detroit later in the day. I made it to Detroit in time to catch my connecting flight to Washington D.C. but that connecting flight was also cancelled. All flights from Detroit to D.C. were overbooked so it was not possible to make it on time flying standby. I showed my invitational travel order to the folks at Delta and they put me on the next flight out. Do not book a flight to Washington that arrives the afternoon before a morning flight out of Joint Base Andrews. I barely made it and Washington National Airport is less than a thirty-minute drive from Joint Base Andrews. I went straight from the airport to Joint Base Andrews.

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Floor mosaic and American flag at Washington National Airport

When I arrived at Andrews Visitor Control Center, a civilian escort picked me up and took me to Andrews air terminal, from where President Obama took his last flight on Air Force I 3 days ago — on Friday, 20 January 2017, after he left the Office of the Presidency.

At the terminal I met about a dozen other non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives who are also serving as Observers. I distributed copies of the Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manal: Excerpts, which was authored by Professor George Edwards and others at Indiana University McKinney School of Law. I have found the Excerpts to be a valuable tool to help me prepare for my mission, and I believe that other observers agree.
After distributing the manuals, the remaining manuals are left in the NGO Resource Center at GTMO.

Checking in at Andrews
Checking in at Joint Base Andrews is straight forward, similar to any commercial flights. Bags are labeled with green colored tags to identify the bags as belonging to NGO representatives. Next, I had to present my invitational travel order, APACS, and identification. Our identification functions as our boarding passes, although this is only because the printer is not working. Our military escort was kind enough to drive us all to the Starbucks on base, which opens at 5:30am.

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NGO representatives enjoy Starbucks and wait to board the flight at Joint Base Andrews

Waiting to Board
Our flight to Guantanamo Bay was originally scheduled to depart at 8:00am, and we were required to be at Andrews at 4:30am for the flight

We just learned that our flight time has been delayed to 10:30am.

Now we sit and wait patiently to be allowed to board the plane and depart for Guantanamo Bay!

Written on 23 January 2017

Posted 24 January 2017

By Ben Hicks
J.D. Student
Military Commission Observation Project
Program in International Human Rights Law
Indiana University McKinney School of Law

 

First Guantanamo hearings in Trump Era possibly derailed

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Cheryl Bormann, counsel to 9/11 case defendant Waleed bin Attash, did not travel to Guantanamo Bay reportedly due to a medical emergency. (Photo from Flickr)

The first Trump-Era Guantanamo Bay war crimes hearings are set to commence tomorrow, 25 January 2017, but they may be derailed. A death penalty lawyer for one of the accused is absent from Guantanamo this week due to a medical emergency, and it is unclear whether hearings can or will go forward in her absence. Her client, one of the 5 alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, is entitled to death penalty counsel. Ms. Bormann is the only death penalty lawyer who is representing him.

 

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Walid bin Attash, a 9/11 case defendant who faces the death penalty, is without his death penalty lawyer for this week’s hearings at Guantanamo

The military judge for the case ordered that the hearings go forward on Wednesday morning, 25 January 2017, despite objection by the defense. If hearings commence on Wednesday morning as scheduled, it is unclear whether they will continue for the full 2 scheduled weeks, or whether they will come to a hasty end Wednesday, Thursday or Friday if objections continue.

Hearing participants — travel to / from Guantanamo

The hearings are held at the remote Caribbean island U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, yet the only participants in the hearings who reside at Guantanamo Bay are the detainee defendants. Virtually everyone else involved lives in the mainland U.S., and must be shuttled down.  Typically a day or two before hearings commence, hundreds participant convene at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C. and board a military plane for Guantanamo. This includes the judge and his staff, the prosecution team, 5 sets of defense lawyers and their staff, interpreters and translators, media, independent observers / monitors, and victims and victims’ family members. If hearings last for two or more weeks, on the weekend in between planes shuttle to / from Guantanamo Bay swapping out media, observers / monitors, and victims and their family members, most of whom attend for one week at a time only.

A question remains as to whether a plane will depart Andrews as scheduled on Saturday, 28 January 2016, carrying observers / monitors, media and victims and their family members for hearings next week, or whether next week’s hearings will be cancelled.

Docketing Order

Earlier this month the court’s docketing order listed topics to be covered this week and next. Here is the docketing order:

George Edwards

Professor of Law

Indiana University McKinney School of Law

Founder, Military Commission Observation Project & GitmoObserver

Founder, Program in International Human Rights Law

One Day Until Departure for Guantanamo Bay

Selected for Travel

I am a student at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and have been involved with the Military Commission Observation Project for almost a year now through the McKinney Law Program in International Human Rights Law. Through our program, students, faculty, staff, graduates, and other school affiliates have the opportunity to travel to either Ft. Meade in Maryland or Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to attend, observe, analyze, critique, and report on hearings for alleged war criminals.

I was selected to travel to Guantanamo Bay for the 25-27 January 2017 hearings of the five remaining detainees who are defendants in this case. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with the other four defendants, is alleged to be involved in the 11 September 2001 attacks on the Pentagon, World Trade Center, and United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.

During the McKinney Law Fall Recess, I traveled to Ft. Meade, Maryland to attend, observe, analyze, critique, and report on one of the hearings for the five remaining defendants in the case, via live stream from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Details about the hearing that I attended in Maryland can be found in my 2 November 2016 blog post. I wanted to attend hearings on the 25-27 January 2017 because the case involves the 11 September 2001 attacks, which makes this a high a high profile case that is the subject of intense scrutiny.

Preparing for Departure

Departing for Guantanamo Bay requires a lot of preparation and staying on top of emails and paperwork for many institutions including the Pentagon, McKinney Law, and the Overseas Study Office, in addition to the logistical requirements for making the trip. The Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual has a “Know Before You Go” section that contains important information for those preparing for a mission to Guantanamo Bay. The manual is a compilation of resources and information to aid NGO representatives before, during, and after their missions to Guantanamo Bay or Ft. Meade. Also, when I arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, I will have excerpts from the Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual to distribute to the other NGO observers. This is part of the role for the McKinney Law Program in International Human Rights Law. The excerpts are from the full volumes I and II and the manual contains a plethora of information right down to the layout of the courtroom and who sits where. The manual also discusses the rights of stakeholders in the proceedings, and has charts to help evaluate stakeholders’ rights. It also gives the source of law for each right being evaluated. The manual is a result of collaboration from previous observers and is continually updated as observers travel to hearings.

Eagerly Waiting

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Khalid Shaik Mohammad, in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom. (Sketch by Janet Hamlin)

Despite intensive preparation, I know from previous experience that pre-trial hearings are sometimes delayed or cancelled, however I am hopeful that the pre-trial hearings will occur as scheduled. There are several other NGO observers scheduled to travel to Guantanamo Bay during the dates that I will be there. I look forward to working with these observers and receiving feedback and critique of the Fair Trial Manual.

 

By Ben Hicks

J.D. Student

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Obama Inauguration Flag to be Donated to Indiana National Guard After Flown at Guantanamo on 9/11 Anniversary

 

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With flag flown over Guantanamo’s Camp Justice on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 (September 11, 2016), and flown over the U.S. Capitol on Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day (January 20, 2009)

A U.S. flag flown over Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had also flown over the U.S. Capitol Building on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as U.S. President, 20 January 2009, exactly 8 years ago today.

Five alleged masterminds of the 9/11 attacks who are detained at Guantanamo face war crimes trials there by U.S. Military Commission. The courtroom is at Guantanamo’s Camp Justice, where the Obama inauguration flag was flown on 11 September 2016, the 15th anniversary of 9/11

This flag flown at the inauguration and on the 9/11 anniversary is being donated to the Indiana National Guard to hang in their Armory in Indianapolis.

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Indiana’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr speaks at a departure ceremony for 60 Hoosier Guardsmen with the 38th Infantry Division in Indianapolis, 20 November 2015. The Guardsmen were to “oversee safe, secure, humane, legal, and transparent care and custody of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lowry)

Why donate this flag to the @Indiana National Guard?

In September 2016, about 90 soldiers from the Indiana National Guard, 38th Infantry Division, the Cyclone Division were finishing a 9-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay (2015 – 2016), with another 90 of their soldiers commencing a 9-month deployment to the remote island naval base (2016 – 2017). The soldiers performed various functions across the base, from public affairs, to logistics, to law.

In September 2016, I hand-carried the Obama Inauguration flag to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and it was flown there on 11 September.

The Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where I have taught for many years, has a long history with Guantanamo Bay. My students and I became involved with Guantanamo in 2003—conducting research, providing research memos, consulting (and I was called as an expert witness on a Guantanamo case).

Our Indiana law school has also been sending students, faculty, staff and graduates to Gitmo for years as independent Observers / Monitors, and through our Military Commission Observation Project undertake to attend, observe, analyze, critique and report on Military Commission hearings. We have produced the Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual, which examines rights and interests of a range of Guantanamo stakeholders, including the defendants, the prosecution, defense counsel, victims and their familes, observers, witnesses, soldiers deployed to Guantanamo, media, and others.

Furthermore, we at the law school have produced Know Before Your Go to Guantanamo Bay, which is available for anyone who travels to Guantanamo Bay for any purpose, related to the Military Commissions or otherwise, as it provides information about the Commissions as well as about many non-Commission aspects of Guantanamo Bay.

A forthcoming book is The Guantanamo Bay Reader, which tells the story of the Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions from the mouths and perspectives of those who have shaped, are shaping, and will shape the Guantanamo Bay experience.

Many Indiana Guard members have been Indiana law students / graduates, and some of them have been deployed to Guantanamo Bay.

The Indiana Cyclones have sent troops to Guantanamo for years, and indeed have a long history of servicing the nation there and elsewhere, with multiple deployments to perform military duties in places such as Afghanistan and Kosovo in addition to Guantanamo.

Another flag with inauguration / 911 anniversary provenance

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Indiana McKinney law graduate at Camp Justice (Guantanamo) in front of the flagpole where the Inauguration flag was flown on 9/11 2016. The US flag is at half-mast for the death of former US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

I have another flag with identical provenance – flown above the US Capitol 8 years ago today, and flown at Camp Justice on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

I am donating this 2nd flag to the Indiana University McKinney School of Law to hang in our building – to help demonstrate the overlapping Guantanamo Bay connections of the Indiana National Guard and our students, faculty, staff and graduates, and to demonstrate our pride at the great service performed for the school, the city of Indianapolis the state of Indiana the U.S., and the international community.

Hanging next to these donated flags – at the Indiana National Guard Armory and at the law school — will be the framed President Obama Inauguration Certificate, the framed Gitmo Camp Justice Certificate, and a framed letter explaining all of the above.

George Edwards

At Joint Base Andrews Flying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

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Sunrise over the snowy Joint Base Andrews Airstrip.

[Posted on behalf of S. Willard]

This morning (Sunday the 8th of January) I am traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to serve as an observer / monitor of criminal hearings in a U.S. military commission case against Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, who is an alleged high ranking member of al Qaeda Iraq and liaison with the Taliban. The U.S. has charged with war crimes resulting in deaths.

I am an Indiana University McKinney School of Law student on mission representing the Indiana University Program on International Human Rights Law’s (PIHRL) Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP). As an observer / monitor, my role is to attend, observe, analyze, critique and report on the military commissions – both the substance and the process.

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My passport and Gitmo flight boarding pass.

I arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside of Washington, DC, at 5:00 a.m. for my flight to Cuba, which is supposed to depart at 8:00 a.m. I checked in for my flight, presenting my passport, my Military Orders, and my APACS (which I explain in an earlier blog). It looks like the flight is on schedule this morning.

I met my fellow NGO observers from different human rights groups (NGOs), and we are almost ready to board our plane to take off for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from Andrews Air Force Base (which is the home of Air Force 1). We were told that the travel will be about 3 hours and 15 minutes.

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My boarding pass for Gitmo, & my yellow Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual: Excerpts.

I have my boarding pass in hand (see the photo) and my yellow Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual: Excerpts copies of which I distributed to the other observers.

I took a few photos at Andrews this morning. I will post additional photos and substantive posts when I arrive at Guantanamo Bay. Because I am having trouble with wifi at Andrews, I am asking Professor Edwards (the Indiana program founding director) if he will post this Andrews Post for me.

Sheila Willard (J.D. Candidate, ’18)

NGO Monitor, U.S. Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP)

Program in International Human Rights Law

Indiana University McKinney School of Law

(Posted by G. Edwards on behalf of S. Willard)

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My Overnight in D.C. On My Way to Guantanamo bay

I am a 2L at Indiana University McKinney School of Law and am traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on mission representing the Indiana University Program on International Human Rights Law (PIHRL) Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP) at the hearings in the case against Abd al Hadi al Iraqi.  My Ft. Meade experience and my Guantanamo Bay pre-departure post may be found here.

Flight and Hotel Information

I had an uneventful 1.5-hour flight from Indianapolis, Indiana to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C. and have checked into my hotel. The Uber ride from the airport to the Quality Inn took around 30 minutes and cost a little less than a dollar per minute. A shared van or Uber could have been cheaper, but I preferred to quickly settle in to the hotel for the night. I am staying at the Quality Inn in Camp Springs, MD, which is just across the street from Joint Base Andrews. The hotel is humble and unassuming, and the rooms are large and very clean. There are three stories in the hotel building, and a room may be rented for as little as $81 per night.

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Quality Inn on Allentown Road in Camp Springs, MD

There are several restaurants advertised at the front desk that deliver lunch and dinner straight to your hotel room. I ordered dinner from Pizza Boli’s. They have a website you can order from, but I called their number to place the order. My combined lunch/dinner was here in less than half an hour and the food was hot and of good quality.

Arrival Requirement

I traveled to D.C. the night before my scheduled flight to Guantanamo Bay, because I am required to arrive at Andrews by 5:00AM tomorrow (Sunday) morning, and the Pentagon graciously arranged a pick-up for me from the hotel at 4:45AM. The flight to Guantanamo Bay is scheduled to depart from Andrews at 8:20AM.

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Hotel room at Quality Inn in Camp Springs, MD.

Preparing for Tomorrow

Tonight, I am preparing for departure from Andrews by re-reading an informative email I received from the Pentagon, and going over my Orders (sheila-willard_orders_redacted) and APACS (Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System) (sheila-willard_apacs_redacted). These documents were sent to me by my Pentagon contact.

I am excited to meet my fellow NGO observers tomorrow morning and pass out a copy of the Manual Excerpt, a comprehensive guide for preparing to observe Guantanamo Bay proceedings. Hopefully we will have time to introduce ourselves, our organizations, and share more about our missions and perhaps receive feedback for the MCOP’s Manual, a 500-page, 2-volume resource for all things Guantanamo drafted by Professor Edwards and the PIHRL at Indiana, the Manual Excerpts, a reduced version of the Manual with highlights, such as what a fair trial looks like, the roles and responsibilities of an NGO observer, and background info on Guantanamo military commissions, and Know Before You Go Guide, a 76-page guide that speaks directly to NGO observers and is helpful in preparing for a successful mission, and may also be found in both the Manual and Manual Excerpts.

Sheila Willard (J.D. Candidate, ’18)

NGO Monitor, U.S. Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP)

Program in International Human Rights Law

Indiana University McKinney School of Law

Preparing for my mission to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

I was nominated by the Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP) of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and confirmed by the Pentagon to travel to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to monitor military commission hearings in the case against Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, who has requested to be called Nashwan al Tamir, from 9 – 14 January 2017.  Hadi is an alleged senior member of al-Qaeda responsible for war crimes.

My earlier monitoring at Ft. Meade 

Last month I traveled to Ft. Meade, Maryland to monitor military commission hearings in the Guantanamo case against the 5 alleged masterminds of he 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The hearings were held at Guantanamo, but broadcast live into a secure facility at Ft. Meade.

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Standing at the entrance to the Visitor Center at Ft. Meade, MD after a long day of observation.

Experiencing the hearings first-hand through live feed at Ft. Meade was intriguing in the sense that it seemed surreal.  Watching the alleged 9/11 masterminds as one would any defendant on trial was incredibly interesting, considering that until then, the news was my only source of information regarding these men.  Seeing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s red beard, and hearing the defendants speak in their native language, followed directly by broken English tinged with what appeared to be annoyance made these larger than life figures come to life.

My Guantanamo Bay travel nomination

When I monitored at Ft. Meade, I was excited, and had an enlightening experience.

But when I was nominated to travel to Guantanamo Bay, I could not believe my eyes, or my fortune.  The nomination email came from the program on the night before my first final exam of the fall semester, and I couldn’t wait to finish finals so that I could focus on preparing for my mission.  Having had the experience at Ft. Meade and now gaining the experience of witnessing the hearings first-hand at Guantanamo Bay will enable me to contribute to Indiana’s project in a better, more informed way.

I was truly honored to represent Indiana at Ft. Meade, and am truly honored to represent Indiana at Guantanamo Bay.

My Background

My journey to this precise moment has been a long, eventful one.

My mother and father came to the United States in the late 1970’s to escape a military regime in Argentina.  They ended up in Texas, where I would be born.  When I was at the age of 3 months, my mother returned to Argentina with me in tow to finalize her Visa paperwork, and we were unable to return to the U.S. because the lawyer had not completed the paperwork properly.  I was raised for 3 years in Argentina, while my mother and father tried desperately to reunite.  Eventually, my mother and I were able to return to the U.S. and the family was reunited.

I moved from Texas to Indiana a couple of decades later to join my husband who is a native Hoosier.  Indiana has given me so many incredible opportunities that I never imagined!

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Indiana -> Andrews Air Force Base -> Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Paperwork

The nomination to travel to Guantanamo arrived in the middle of law school finals, but I was determined to see the requirements through.

The Pentagon sent me an e-mail containing 4 documents to complete and return in just a couple of days.  The documents required by the Pentagon are 1) Hold Harmless Agreement, 2) Invitational Travel Worksheet, 3) Navy Base Access Pass Registration, and 4) NGO Ground Rules, along with a biography and picture.

I completed the paperwork using templates provided by Professor Edwards, since lawyers and Administrators at Indiana University have specific requirements as to how Indiana University affiliates must complete the paperwork.

I submitted my completed draft paperwork to Professor Edwards who sent it back to me once for revisions.  I believe that he wanted to make certain that the completed paperwork met Indiana University requirements so that Indiana officials would endorse the paperwork, and he wanted to make certain that the paperwork met the Pentagon’s standards.  The Pentagon has rejected paperwork that was not completed properly, so a second pair of eyes was necessary to make certain I was sending accurate, completed paperwork.

Professor Edwards tracked the documents through the appropriate IU channels for approval.  Once I received the stamped endorsed documents from IU, I forwarded these to my Pentagon contact, who quickly approved them the same day. 

Preparation: The Game Plan

As I prepare for the holidays with my family visiting from Argentina and Texas, I am also preparing for my mission to Guantanamo. I am paying careful attention to a 76-page document titled “What Human Rights Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Observers and Others May Want to Know Before Traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba”. The guide may be downloaded by visiting this link (includes 76 pages, 2 Appendices).  This document, of which Professor George Edwards is the principal author, provides all of the information necessary to successfully prepare for and complete a mission to Guantanamo.  Without this guide, preparing for my mission would be near impossible.  I have communicated with previous IU McKinney observers Justin Jones and Aline Fagundes, but having a script to fill in the rest of the details that one may forget has been invaluable in my preparation.

[The Know Before You Go  guide (76 pages, 2 Appendices) may be found as a standalone document, or, it is included in the Excerpts (158 pages, Know Before You Go starts on page 75 of the Excerpts), which is a digest of the full and complete Manual (over 500 pages).]

I have also been reading other people’s accounts of travel to Cuba on the Gitmo Observer blog (Justin Jones’ and Aline Fagundes’ account of their mission to Guantanamo), and will continue reading where I left off from my trip to Fort Meade, Maryland in October, where I observed the hearings in the case against Khalid Shaik Mohammed.

I will also begin to prepare my travel arrangements to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where I will depart to Guantanamo Bay.

Sheila Willard (J.D. Candidate, ’18)

NGO Monitor, U.S. Military Commission Observation Project (MCOP)

Program in International Human Rights Law

Indiana University McKinney School of Law

Are you going to Guantanamo? New Manual Excerpts for NGO Observers & Others

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Click this link for the full Manual — over 500 pages. Below you can download the Manual Excerpts!

If you’re going to Guantanamo Bay in January 2017, you might be interested in our new Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual: Excerpts that offers insights into:

  • what the right to a fair trial is and how a fair trial should look
  • how to assess whether a fair trial is being afforded to all Guantanamo stakeholders
  • roles & responsibilities of independent Observers sent to monitor Guantanamo hearings
  • background info on Guantanamo the military commissions
  • a schematic of the courtroom (so you can know who is who)
  • and a 76 page “Know Before You Go To Guantanamo” insert that will tell you what to expect on your flight to Cuba, the ferry ride across Guantanamo Bay from the landing strip to your Quonset Hut accommodations, base security, food (which can be quite good!), beach, boating, and of course the courtroom, the hearings, and briefings by the prosecution and defense.

In the past, the Gitmo Observer (of Indiana University McKinney School of Law) distributed Manual Excerpts to Observers after we arrived at Andrews Air Force on the morning of our flight to Cuba (or distributed at Ft. Meade, Maryland, for Observers monitoring live by secure video-link from Cuba). Observers said they wish they had had it earlier.

So, we started to e-mail the Manual Excerpts to Observers as soon as we were sent e-mail addresses of Observers scheduled to travel, and we would receive those e-mails 3 – 6 days before the scheduled departure. Observers said that they wish they had it even earlier than that, that 3 – 6 days in advance wasn’t enough time.

So now we are posting the Manual Excerpts on this site, for access by anyone interested, whether or note traveling to Guantanamo Bay (or Ft. Meade or elsewhere), but especially for those traveling to Guantanamo Bay to monitor 3 weeks of January 2017 hearings. Ideally, about 40 independent observers would travel to Gitmo this month, to fill all the slots allocated to observers.

The Defense Department has stated that it favors strong and robust transparency. Having full complements of Observers for each hearing week would help promote transparency, human rights, and the rule of law for all military commission stakeholders (with stakeholders including the defense, the prosecution, victims and their families, witnesses, the media, observers, observer escorts / minders, the public, the U.S. soldiers and others who operate the detention facilities, the military commission court staff, and others).

Here are the Excerpts! Please let us know if you have any suggestions for improving our Excerpts, our full Guantanamo Bay Fair Trial Manual (over 500 pages in 2 volumes!) and our Know Before You Go To Guantanamo Guide (76 pages). Send to GitmoObserver@yahoo.com