The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;

Video Produced By ACLU And Brave New Films Reveals Flaws In Guantanamo Military Commissions

Former Commission Lawyers Agree Sham Trial System Should Be Shut Down


The American Civil Liberties Union is pleased to announce a new video
available online today featuring three military officials who enumerate
the egregious flaws in the Guantanamo military commissions. The video
features Navy Lt. Commander Brian Mizer, who served as commission
defense counsel for convicted Guantanamo detainee Salim Hamdan and has
been serving as defense counsel for Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, one of the
Guantanamo 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 Guantanamo 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 Guantanamo 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 Guantanamo and the military commissions, is online at:

The ACLU is at Guantanamo 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 Guantanamo detainees. More information is available online at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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