Guantanamo detainees say they're being denied legal tools

Miami HeraldJuly 11, 2008 

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Reputed al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheik Mohammed complained Thursday that he couldn't get a pad of paper to prepare for his capital-crimes court appearance.

His nephew, Ammar al Baluchi, asked a day earlier for access to a law library. The alleged 9/11 co-conspirator, a computer engineer, complained to his military judge that he prepared a motion but his jailers wouldn't give it to the court. For 10 days.

Congress may have given war-on-terrorism captives the right to act as their own lawyers in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, but based on pretrial hearings this week for the men accused of killing nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001, the Pentagon and the prison camps haven't provided the "worst of the worst" with the tools to defend themselves.

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