Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Lessons from Gitmo

Meghan J. Ryan, Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law


I recently returned from a trip to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, where I spent a week at Camp Justice — the site of the Military Commissions proceedings for the alleged terrorists and war criminals who have been held on the base since the “War on Terror” began after 9/11. I was observing military commission proceedings in the case of high-value detainee Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi, who was allegedly “one of Osama bin Laden’s closest advisors.” He has been charged with “Denying Quarter, Attacking Protected Property, Using Treachery or Perfidy, and Attempted Use of Treachery or Perfidy in a series of attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan between about 2003 and 2004, and Conspiracy to commit law of war offenses.” I was tasked with observing the proceedings to ascertain whether they comply with human rights principles and relevant rules of law. During the course of this weeklong adventure, I learned a number of Guantanamo lessons, which I detail in this brief essay.


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