Pentagon appeals Guantanamo ruling

Judges asked to reconsider decision to throw out the cases against two detainees.

    Salim Amed Hamdan, left, is alleged to have
    been Osama Bin Laden's driver [AFP]
    "The department has made a decision to file a motion for reconsideration to the the military commission," Bryan Whitman, Pentagon spokesman, said on Friday.

    "We believe that there is no material difference in the term 'enemy combatant' used in the CSRT (combatant status review tribunal) process and the term 'unlawful enemy combatant'.

    "We believe military commission trials should proceed as Congress intended them to."

    Broad definition

    In making his decision on Monday, Navy Captain Keith Allred, one of the judges, had said that the Pentagon's definition of an enemy combatant was broad enough to include captives who supported the Taliban or al-Qaeda without actually engaging in combat.

    "We believe that there is
    no material difference in the term 'enemy combatant' ...
    and the term 'unlawful enemy combatant.'"

    Bryan Whitman, Pentagon spokesman

    Hamdan, who successfully challenged the legality of the military commissions before the supreme court in 2006, faced charges of conspiracy and support for terrorism.
    Khadr is accused of killing a US soldier in a hand grenade attack. He faced charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, material support for terrorism, and spying.

    The rulings were the latest blow to the government's efforts to try detainees by special military commissions at Guantanamo.

    The Bush administration and Congress were forced to rewrite the rules last year on trying the Guantanamo captives after the US supreme court deemed the old tribunals illegal.

    Only three of the estimated 385 detainees at Guantanamo Bay have been referred to trial by the military commissions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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