Judge rejects Obama bid to stall Gitmo trial
PUERTO RICO: A military judge at Guantanamo on Thursday rejected a
White House request to suspend a hearing for the alleged mastermind of
the USS Cole bombing, creating an unexpected challenge for the
administration as it reviews how America puts suspected terrorists on
The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, said his decision was difficult but
necessary to protect "the public interest in a speedy trial."
The ruling came in the case against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The
bombing of the Navy destroyer in 2000 in the harbor of Aden, Yemen,
killed 17 U.S. sailors.
It seemed to take the Pentagon and White House by surprise.
"We just learned of the ruling ... and we are consulting with the
Pentagon and the Department of Justice to explore our options in the
case," said White Press secretary Robert Gibbs, adding that he doubted
the decision would hamper the administration's ability to decide how to
move forward from Guantanamo.
The Department of Defense is reviewing Judge Pohl's ruling, said Navy
Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.
Geoff Morrell, another Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that there
were "no ifs, ands or buts" about adhering to the president's executive
order and that there would "be no proceedings continuing down at Gitmo
with military commissions."
SAN JUAN, Friday, AP