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Tropical Storm Isaac Prompts Postponement Of 9/11 Hearings

Sailors pile sandbags against the walls of Naval Security Forces headquarters at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Aug. 22, 2012, in preparation for wind and rain from tropical storm Isaac.
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Above: Sailors pile sandbags against the walls of Naval Security Forces headquarters at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Aug. 22, 2012, in preparation for wind and rain from tropical storm Isaac.

Guantanamo Bay currently lies in the projected path of tropical storm Isaac, prompting a judge to postpone hearings for five 9/11 detainees that were scheduled to start today, according to the American Forces Press Service.

Military commissions judge Army Col. James L. Pohl did not set a future court date in the case of the United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi.

In addition, the base's commanding officer, Navy Capt. John R. Nettleton, recommended evacuation for all nonessential personnel, including reporters and attorneys:

“I recommended that all the lawyers and everybody [who is part of the Office of Military Commissions] leave and come back [at a later date] and restart. But it’s not my decision, it’s my recommendation."

The hearings that were scheduled to begin today were actually already postponed one day due to a coal-train derailment in Baltimore on August 21. That accident, which killed two 19-year-old college students, disrupted Internet traffic to and from Guantanamo Bay by damaging fiber-optic lines. The 9/11 detainees' defense team asked for a one-day postponement because of the Internet disruption.

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