For Immediate Release
Video Produced By ACLU And Brave New Films Reveals Flaws In Guantánamo Military Commissions
Former Commission Lawyers Agree Sham Trial System Should Be Shut Down
available online today featuring three military officials who enumerate
the egregious flaws in the Guantánamo military commissions. The video
features Navy Lt. Commander Brian Mizer, who served as commission
defense counsel for convicted Guantánamo detainee Salim Hamdan and has
been serving as defense counsel for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, one of the
Guantánamo detainees charged with crimes related to the 9/11 attacks
who offered to plead guilty today before a military commission; Air
Force Major David J.R. Frakt, who is the commission defense counsel for
Omar Jawad; and Lt. Colonel Darrel John Vandeveld, who was a senior
military commission prosecutor before resigning in protest.
"When I realized that I could not
fulfill my ethical obligations as a prosecutor because of the state of
chaos that reigned at the commissions prosecution office, I resigned.
And I resigned out of conscience," says Vandeveld in the video.
Vandeveld served as a senior prosecutor in the military commissions
from May 2007 to September 2008.
The video is the second in a series
of shorts about Guantánamo produced by the ACLU in partnership with
Brave New Foundation, a leading producer of online videos about today's
most pressing issues. It is part of an ACLU campaign calling on
President-elect Obama to close the Guantánamo prison and end the
military commissions on day one of his presidency. Among other things,
the proceedings allow the admission of secret evidence, hearsay and
evidence obtained through torture.
"The military commissions have been
a legal farce from the beginning to the bitter end," said Anthony D.
Romero, the Executive Director of the ACLU. "Any cases in the military
commissions can and should be prosecuted in time-tested U.S. or
military courts where the rule of law still applies. That is the only
way justice can be served."
Today's video, along with a petition calling on Obama to shut down Guantánamo and the military commissions, is online at: closegitmo.com
The ACLU is at Guantánamo this week
for hearings in the 9/11-related military commission cases. The ACLU
John Adams Project, a partnership with the National Association of
Criminal Defense Lawyers, has sponsored expert civilian counsel who
have been assisting the under-resourced military defense counsel for
several Guantánamo detainees. More information is available online at: www.aclu.org/johnadams