Two cases do not make a trend, but this news from Guantanamo is disturbing: the military judge presiding over the trial of detainee Mohammed Jawad has disqualified Air Force Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, the legal adviser to convening authority Susan Crawford, from any further participation in the case. Hartmann was also barred from participation in the Salim Hamdan case in an earlier ruling.
The presiding judge in the Jawad case, Army Colonel Steve Henley, found that Gen. Hartmann compromised his objectivity by aligning himself with the prosecution, and more specifically that he failed to communicate Jawad’s counsel’s analysis of “mitigating and extenuating circumstances” to Crawford. The judge remanded the case to the convening authority for consideration of those circumstances.
The hearing also saw testimony from Army Brigadier General Gregory Zanetti, who testified that Hartmann was “abusive, bullying and unprofessional” in promoting the tribunals, and the assertion of Article 31 rights by Army Lieutenant Colonel Diane M. Zierhoffer, a psychologist called to testify about interrogation techniques applied to Zawad in which she had apparently taken part.