Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP partner Paul Tauber is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) Task Force. On September 11, 2018, the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the Pacific Counsel’s GTMO Task Force released its second report, A Matter of Time, to renew the call for federal judges to preside over military trials at Guantánamo.
The report builds on recommendations made in 2016, several of which were adopted in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.
Following up to the GTMO Task Force’s 2016 report, Up to Speed, the task force now calls for equipping judges with expanded powers to enforce deadlines, levy consequences, and propel these cases toward fair and final conclusions.
In 2013, the Pacific Council was granted official NGO observer status at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) by the Office of Military Commissions, joining a group of organizations, including the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association, that have the privilege of sending a representative to observe proceedings at GTMO.
Paul traveled to GTMO in February 2015 and again in 2016 as a civilian observer on behalf of the Pacific Council to observe a week of hearings in the matter of US v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and stands trial along with four others.
Since 2013, 50 members of the nonpartisan Pacific Council have spent a collective 255 days at Camp Justice as observers of the Guantánamo proceedings.
Paul’s GTMO assignment follows the lead of the late William (Bill) Coblentz, who was also appointed as an observer by the American Bar Association in 1989 when he traveled to Singapore on behalf of the ABA to observe the trials of four Singaporean lawyers accused of conspiring to undermine the government.