The Department of Defense has no written policy on how detainees convicted in military commissions should be housed after they are sentenced despite a 2008 Pentagon directive to create a plan for such prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a military judge said Wednesday.
“This is troubling,” said Judge Nancy J. Paul, an Air Force Lt. Col., noting that two commissions are currently being held at Guantanamo Bay which could lead to the sentencing of two detainees this month. She said “no written plan, no written policy, or directive exists” about where to put convicted war criminals here.
The issue arose this week in the case of Ibrahim al-Qosi, a 50-year old Sudanese who cooked for al-Qaeda’s inner circle in Afghanistan, and who pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism…
Joint Task Force Guantanamo, which runs the detention facilities here, objected to the agreement reached by military prosecutors to keep Qosi in Camp 4. That part of the plea deal was also backed by an order from the judge.
The task force, whose officials were not made aware of the agreement before military prosecutors signed it, was unwilling to implement it because the commander and others here believe the Geneva Conventions and military regulations prevent the co-mingling of convicted prisoners and the general detainee population.
And didn’t our president swear – while campaigning and after assuming office – that our nation and his adminstration would live up to the Geneva Convention and the U.S. Military Code of Conduct?
Or so I thought I heard.
Jurors were not made aware of the fact that there is a plea bargain, and that their finding could be moot…
Military officials said Qosi’s actual sentence may not be revealed for several months. They — and defense counsel — refused to discuss the plea, or its terms.
“It’s a charade,” said Jennifer Turner, of the ACLU, who said the administration wanted the appearance of a harsh sentence while avoiding criticism that it sanctioned something much less.