Feliz cumpleaños, Gitmo: Eight years ago Friday, then-president George W. Bush signed what we now refer to as Military Order No. 1, thus paving the way for the creation of the Guantanamo Bay prison and for the creative adaptations of international justice codes that supported it. —KA
On Nov. 13, 2001, President George W. Bush signed what has become known as Military Order No. 1 in what he termed a Global War on Terrorism. Without informing his national security adviser, his secretary of state, his chief of staff or his communications director, Bush approved what would appear three days later in the Federal Register as: “Military Order of November 13, 2001: Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism.”
The few people inside the former administration who knew about the order were instrumental in its creation, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, his lawyer David Addington, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Attorney General John Ashcroft and a young, and then unknown, lawyer inside the Justice Department named John Yoo.
The order created a separate track of justice for any foreign citizen picked up on a global battlefield with the Pentagon serving as jailer, prosecutor and judge.