Marine Corps Brigadier General John Baker – chief of the Military Commissions Defense Organization – who yesterday was found in contempt by Air Force Military Judge Colonel Vance Spath and ordered confined to quarters, has filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and this request for emergency expedited consideration, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Update (1820 eastern):

The petition was heard this afternoon and PACER has the following entry:

11/02/2017 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Royce C. Lamberth: Miscellaneous Hearing held on 11/2/2017 in re PETITION for Writ of Habeas Corpus. Oral arguments heard and the matter has been submitted. Miscellaneous Hearing continued to 11/3/2017 at 02:00 PM in Courtroom 15 before Judge Royce C. Lamberth. (Court Reporter Janice Dickman) (nbn) (Entered: 11/02/2017)

14 Responses to “General Baker seeks habeas (UPDATED)”

  1. Charlie Gittins says:

    Bravo!  I feel an epic MJ smack down about to happen from an Article III judge who has a reputation of being pretty hard on the military.

  2. Bill Cassara says:

    The hearing is at 1700. Judge Lamberth is going to crucify someone IMO.

  3. Charlie Gittins says:

    Man, what I would give to be there! 

  4. Another Spectator Sport says:

    1700 today?

  5. Kavakat1 says:

    This is epic.

  6. OMC_alum says:

    What would happen if the General Baker just decided to leave his Cuzco and go for a jog? Is some MA going to tackle him and put the zip ties on? I’m pretty sure the MCA doesn’t have a punitive article for breaking restriction…This is literally one grown man putting another grown man in time out. 

  7. You Betta Belieb It says:

    What legal recourse does BG Baker have after this on the civil side against the MJ? 

  8. LT Weinberg says:


  9. k fischer says:

    If he is going to disobey the order to “go to his room,” then I would recommend that he goes spearfishing at Glass or Cable Beach and pop a nice Hognose Snapper.

  10. Bill Cassara says:

    Trying not to read too much into it, but if he thought BG Baker should be cut loose, he would have done so.

  11. Dew_Process says:

    Judge Lamberth has a LOT of experience with GTMO matters, particularly prisoners’ habeas corpus cases. His caution may very well be with the usual government arguments of “deference” to the military and “comity” with Article I courts. But, in the long run, it should be interesting.

  12. Allan says:

    On another tangent…  That brief is very well written.  Remind me to ask for these guys if I have to file a writ of habeas corpus.

  13. Dew_Process says:

    Barry Pollack, Esq., the lead habeas counsel for BGen Baker, is the immediate Past President of the Nat’l Ass’n of Criminal Defense Lawyers [NACDL]. He’s definitely in the “superstar” ranks.

  14. Dan Tay says:

    Well he should read the transcripts.  Gen Baker apparently spent his time on Tuesday saying in open court that he would not testify if called, would not take the oath or the stand.  Invited numerous times by Judge Spath to enter an appearance, or address the court in the traditional manner, i.e., testimony or motion, Baker declined.  Respectfully of course.  Brought the commissions GC with him, I guess to vouch for him and explain the law to Spath.  That went over well.  Apparently the only thing missing was Sister Wendy.  After declining to address the court, even to take the stand and assert privilege, Baker now asserts he was denied the opportunity to testify.  Of course, he refers only to the contempt proceeding, and conveniently makes no reference to the hearing that led to it.  That kind of misdirection doesn’t work well in front of Art III judges.  Once Judge Lamberth  reads the transcripts, Baker may not fare so well.  I would suggest a professional responsibility review, but good luck making that argument with the Corps.