Two Messy Gitmo Trials Land at Supreme Court's Step

Both cases reveal U.S. prosecutors trying to be creative with the law.

Bad precedent.

Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

Two important Guantanamo military commission cases are hovering on the edge of review by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the bad news is, both involve claims of legal overreach by government prosecutors. One defendant says he can’t be tried for the USS Cole bombing in 2000, because the U.S. wasn’t at war with al-Qaeda until Sept. 11, 2001. The other says he can’t be convicted of a conspiracy that didn’t come to fruition because international law doesn’t recognize such a crime.

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