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A military judge has rejected a White House request to suspend a Guantanamo hearing for the alleged mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole bombing...Obama signed an executive order directing Defence Secretary Robert Gates to ensure that 'all proceedings of such military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgement has been rendered ... are halted.'...But Pohl wrote in his ruling that 'on its face, the request to delay the arraignment is not reasonable.'
Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that there were 'no ifs, ands or buts' about adhering to the president's executive order and that there would be: 'No proceedings continuing down at Gitmo with military commissions.
'The bottom line is, we all work for the president of the United States in this chain of command, and he has signed an executive order which has made abundantly clear that until these reviews are done all of this is on hiatus.'
Pohl pointed out that the rules for military commissions adopted by Congress in 2006 gave the military judges "sole authority" to grant delays once charges had been referred for trial.
"Technically, it's within the judge's discretion to treat this as a request or a motion on the part of the prosecutors and the government," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. "We like to think that even military judges are independent, to some extent, of the commander in chief.