Marine Corps Brigadier General John Baker – chief of the Military Commissions Defense Organization – was ordered into confinement today by Air Force Military Judge Colonel Vance Spath, who found the General in contempt
for in connection with the release of three civilian defense counsel from the case of Abd al Rahim al Nashiri (who is accused of orchestrating the 2000 bombing of USS Cole).
Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald reports here that:
The USS Cole case judge Wednesday found the Marine general in charge of war court defense teams guilty of contempt for refusing to follow his orders and sentenced him to 21 days confinement and to pay a $1,000 fine.
. . .
In court Wednesday, Baker attempted to protest that the war court meant to try alleged foreign terrorists had no jurisdiction over him, a U.S. citizen. Spath refused to let him speak and ordered him to sit down.
“There are things I want to say, and you are not allowing me to say them,” Baker told the judge.
Spath replied, “This is not a pleasant decision,” calling the proceedings neither “fun” nor “lighthearted.”
. . .
The judge said in court that a senior official at the Pentagon, Convening Authority Harvey Rishikof, would review his contempt finding and sentence. Meantime, however, he ordered court bailiffs to arrange for the general to be confined to his quarters — a room in a trailer at Camp Justice, behind the courtroom — until Rishikof acted or found a different place.
Rishikof had approved the site provisionally, Spath said, and was permitting Baker to have internet and phone communications at his quarters.
Additional details about the release of the three civilian attorneys is available in this report (also from Miani Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg).