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An early draft of the rules on how the Department of Defense will conduct military commissions for some of the detainees held at Guant�namo Bay have been finished, but so far the Pentagon and the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel are keeping the draft tightly under wraps as they try to hammer out revisions. That’s drawn the ire of the American Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association, and the National Institute for Military Justice, who say the Pentagon should publish the draft rules for public comment before submitting them to Congress next year. “There’s been this great push to get this done fast, but the more important thing is to get it done right,” says Michael Mernin, chairman of the New York City Bar’s Committee on Military Affairs and Justice. Public comment “would clearly delay the process,” says John Altenburg Jr., who headed the Pentagon’s Office of Military Commissions until last month. Altenburg, who returned to Greenberg Traurig after nearly three years at the Office of Military Commissions, says he initially planned to stay with the Pentagon for 16 months, but agreed to extend his tenure three times after the Supreme Court and Congress altered the course of the Guant�namo tribunals.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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