For Immediate Release
ACLU Calls on Secretary Gates to Halt Guantánamo Case
NEW YORK - Military commission judge Col. James Pohl today refused to suspend the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is charged with crimes related to the USS Cole bombing in 2000. The prosecution, at the direction of President Obama, had requested that the proceedings be stayed. The American Civil Liberties Union calls on Defense Secretary Gates to put a halt to these proceedings by withdrawing the charges so that this case can be tried in a legitimate court.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:
"Judge Pohl's decision to unabashedly move forward in the al-Nashiri military commission case shows how officials held over from the Bush administration are exploiting ambiguities in President Obama's executive order as a strategy to undercut the president's unequivocal promise to shut down Guantánamo and end the military commissions. Judge Pohl's decision to move forward despite a clear statement from the president also raises questions about Secretary of Defense Gates - is he the 'new Gates' or is he the same old Gates under a new president? Secretary Gates has the power to stop the military commissions and ought to follow his new boss' directives."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.