If Pentagon officials disagree with the result of a hearing, they order a second one, or even a third, until they approve of the finding.Oddly, Paul Wolfowitz, famous for helping to plan the Iraq war and for the current World Bank scandal, was involved in this decision too.
Detainees’ lawyers say the issue of the repeated hearings offers the starkest proof that the Pentagon set up a system of military tribunals not to find the truth about the detainees but to ratify its own conclusion that the military had seized the right people.
Another aspect to the case in the appeals court that has caused public debate involves the government’s request that the court tighten restrictions on lawyers for the detainees. One proposal would have limited the number of visits the lawyers could make to Guantánamo, a request that the Justice Department withdrew Friday.
As set up by the Pentagon, the tribunals do not permit detainees to have lawyers at the hearings or to see much of the evidence against them.