A group of military justice, human rights, civil liberties and criminal defense advocates is pressing the Department of Defense to go public with its proposed revisions of the rules and procedures that will govern military commissions.

The 2010 Manual on Military Commissions, which the group believes is now in the final stages of approval within the department, will spell out how military trials will unfold under the Military Commission Act of 2009. Once approved by the secretary of Defense, the manual will go to Congress for that body’s review and it will be too late for the usual notice and public comment procedures followed by agencies engaged in rulemaking, according to the group.

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