By Brian Beutler
Last week, a military judge named James Pohl, who was presiding over the case of Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, refused to comply with Barack Obama’s order to delay the proceedings of Guantanamo detainees while the military commissions undergo review. Al-Nashiri is alleged, among other things, to have masterminded the attacks on the USS Cole.
As I noted, though, in order to comply with section seven of the order, the Pentagon would have to do an end run around Pohl:
The Secretary of Defense shall immediately take steps sufficient to ensure that during the pendency of the Review described in section 4 of this order, no charges are sworn, or referred to a military commission under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Rules for Military Commissions, and that all proceedings of such military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgment has been rendered, and all proceedings pending in the United States Court of Military Commission Review, are halted.
And today Susan Crawford, the convening authority for the commissions, dropped the charges against him. This brings the proceedings against al-Nashiri into compliance with the order while reserving her the right to refile the case at a later date.