August 10, 2008 |
Osama bin Laden's driver, who received only a 5 1/2 -year sentence, is not so different from the majority of the 265 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay: a low-level player without a proven record of terrorism. Only a small group of recent arrivals from CIA custody -- including five alleged Sept. 11 plotters -- seem to fit the profile of hard-core militants who threaten America's existence, men so dangerous that a special tribunal was needed to try them. The U.S. military officers who served as jurors in the first trial clearly weren't convinced that Bin Laden's chauffeur was as dangerous as the prosecution contended, acquitting Salim Ahmed Hamdan of charges that he conspired with Al Qaeda and convicting him mainly of driving a car. His startlingly light sentence Thursday makes him eligible for release by January.
August 1, 2008 |
Two U.S. Army Special Forces officers who encountered terrorism suspect Salim Ahmed Hamdan after his November 2001 arrest in Afghanistan testified in secret at his trial Thursday because the events they discussed are classified. Special Forces psychologist Col. Morgan Banks and Lt. Col. Guy John Taylor, a military lawyer assigned to a Special Forces unit in Afghanistan at the time, testified for the defense for more than an hour each.
August 7, 2008
The split verdict in the trial of Osama bin Laden's former driver redeems somewhat the military commission system created to deal with alleged enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay. But the trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan fell short of the highest traditions of American justice, and even if he files a successful appeal, he would not be set free. Hamdan, a Yemeni captured by Afghan warlords in 2001 and turned over to U.S.
July 23, 2008 |
Prosecution and defense lawyers painted broadly conflicting pictures of Salim Ahmed Hamdan on Tuesday, with the government vowing to prove that the former driver for Osama bin Laden remained a trusted aide and confidant through Al Qaeda's most heinous crimes.
November 16, 2005
A federal judge delayed the military commission trial of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detainee David Hicks of Australia, pending a Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the post-Sept. 11 panels created by President Bush. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly halted the case of Hicks, who the military says fought alongside Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime against U.S.
August 11, 2008
Re "Mixed verdict at terror tribunal," Aug. 7 Congratulations to The Times on its fine article describing the mixed verdict in the first Guantanamo military tribunal. The officers charged with acting as jurors were given a difficult job of participating in a seriously flawed system -- but their verdict, finding Osama bin Laden's driver guilty of "providing material support to terrorism," remains hard to accept. Essentially, they have found grade-school dropout Salim Ahmed Hamdan guilty of working as a chauffeur.