It was not enough of the trappings to convince the five detainees, however, who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the system. One of them even asked for a reading of the charges, a move which shocked many and which his lawyer explained amounted to “peaceful resistance to an unjust system.”
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The 9/11 military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay opened Saturday, with a long 13-hour arraignment hearing presaging what those on both sides say will be a long, difficult legal fight that could continue for several years.
The entire system around which the tribunal is based took years to be created, in the wake of political debate over whether to hold trials for detainees, or to simply summarily execute them. The current system was created as a compromise; well short of an proper trial, but with some of the trapping of one.
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