GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — The Pentagon plunged forward Wednesday with pretrial hearings against eight detainees in its beleaguered war court system with challenges to both the ongoing terror prosecutions and their remote state-of-the-art technology.
''Hopefully, this is going to get better,'' Navy Cmdr. Dirk Padgett said as court staff complained they couldn't hear him introduce himself as a prosecutor in the case of Ibrahim Qosi inside the $12 million expeditionary legal compound.
Qosi, 49, allegedly served as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard and sometime driver, as well as on an al Qaeda mortar crew in Afghanistan. Military prosecutors sought to delay the case while the Obama administration reviews how to proceed.
The Sudanese captive's military lawyers struck a contrarian's note by arguing for a speedy trial in the case, invoking a ''justice-delayed, justice-denied'' argument on the grounds Qosi was among the first men taken to the prison camps when they opened in January 2002. Obama has ordered the prison camps emptied by Jan. 22.
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''He was one of the guys who was kept in the dog cages. Talk about oppressive confinement,'' argued Navy Lt. Cmdr. Travis Owens, Qosi's Pentagon-paid defense lawyer.
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