Terror tribunals moving forward slowly

The Obama administration is cautiously moving forward with military tribunals for terrorism subjects while hamstrung by political and legal disputes over procedural issues and the principles involved.

The tribunals were authorized by President George W. Bush in 2001 and were established to try non-U.S. citizens on terrorism charges outside of U.S. federal and military courts. Ten years and three major revisions later, the tribunals still remain mostly untested, according to Reuters.

"I think we've botched this so bad that we're past the point of redemption," retired Air Force Colonel Moe Davis, a former chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo bay tribunals and now one of their strongest critics, said, Reuters reports.

Davis said he retired because of what he believed to be consistent political meddling and pressure to use evidence obtained through what he believes to be the use of torture.

Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, arraigned last week for the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole off the Yemen coast, would be only the second prisoner to get a fully contested trial at a Guantanamo tribunal. His case is not expected to be ready for another year, however, and already his lawyers are questioning what precedents are relevant.

"One might say there are certain gaps that are not present in other more developed systems" Army Colonel James Pohl, the chief judge for the Guantanamo tribunals, said, Reuters reports.