Inside of America’s War Court docket: Garments and Tradition at Guantánamo Bay


Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who dress in standard Muslim attire and accessorize in methods that convey political messages.

And most controversially there are the females on the lawful defense groups who come to courtroom in modest, culturally sensitive attire — component of an exertion, they say, to build trusting, respectful associations with the defendants, adult males whom the C.I.A. tortured before they were being brought to Guantánamo Bay for their dying penalty trials. What they use offends kinfolk of some of the 2,976 victims of the Sept. eleven assaults.

No photography is permitted of proceedings at the court, exactly where jury range in the scenario is scheduled to get started in January 2021. So The New York Times introduced an illustrator to Guantánamo to demonstrate how what started off as an unmistakably military services proceeding when the defendants were arraigned in 2012 has evolved, not the very least in alternatives of outfits.

Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins, rises in his Military costume blues to discuss.arraignments 7 years back in loose white clothes, skullcaps and canvas slippers, all issued by the prison. Now the 5 adult males accused of conspiring with the hijackers come to courtroom in tunics and trousers or robes topped by vests. They address their heads in caps, hoods and scarves.judge wears a black gown. American flags are to his proper and a witness stand to his left, near the jury box.40-2nd delay, prolonged ample for a security officer to mute the feed if anyone states a little something labeled.have been killed attempting to rescue individuals at the World Trade Center.

She identified as their attire “disrespectful,” and observed that when she traveled to Guantánamo this summer months on the exact same aircraft as the legal professionals, none of them were masking their hair.

“They really do not put on it around the aircraft,” Ms. Vigiano reported. “They never have on it all around the foundation. Enterprise apparel is company apparel.”

Women on Mr. Mohammed’s staff largely put on extended skirts and other loosefitting apparel topped by a wide range of colorful scarves, shawls, head coverings and, in at minimum a person occasion, a a single-piece, pull-on hijab.

Walid bin Attash, led by Ms. Bormann, favors the austere black abaya of their client’s native Saudi Arabia.

It represents “the lifestyle he will come from,” Ms. Bormann explained. “It’s the factor that helps make him most cozy. When you’re acquiring a dialogue with anyone, you want them to be comfortable.”

All through a information meeting at Guantánamo in 2017, a single spouse and children member, Jean Winter season, pointedly referred to as the preference of apparel by females on the protection team “hurtful” and “an insult to all American gals.”

Carl E. Molinaro, a firefighter, who was killed at the World Trade Center, and her spouse, Richard, a New York Metropolis Law enforcement inspector, who died in 2008 of the poisonous fumes he inhaled at the web page. She termed it “embarrassing to see other completed American women of all ages garbed in ancient, archaic, demeaning, humiliating don.”

On the defendants’ facet of the room, the only women of all ages who exhibit their hair are the lawyers and paralegals from the armed service services who, like their male counterparts, use uniforms to court docket. The army regulates specifically what they wear, and they typically change up in court with their hair twisted into a tight bun.

Darlissa M. Leatherwood, a paralegal, commenced off on a defense group in 2015 as a Maritime Corps sergeant and arrived to court docket in uniform with her hair uncovered.

She transitioned to a civilian situation, and came again to court docket a thirty day period or two later on with a scarf flawlessly fixed in area. “For me, it was about hoping to relate and make them relaxed,” she claimed. “I’ve by no means felt force to be a single way or the other.”

She grew to become so proficient with the scarf, she stated, that she can put it on in five minutes, the exact same quantity of time it would consider her “to pull my hair again in a bun” though in uniform.

“You find out how to do factors really speedily in the Marine Corps,” she reported.

In loss of life penalty scenarios in specific, the defense attorneys say, they have a responsibility to locate popular floor by respecting their clients’ traditions.

Ms. Bormann acquired the new abaya, the one particular with the duct-taped hem, to replace a simple black one particular that grew to become caked in mold in her place of work at the war court docket compound atop an idle, obsolete Navy airstrip.

Offered the cracked tarmac, occasional mud puddles and tricky 4-step climb to a latrine at the courtroom, Ms. Bormann gave up sporting her Christian Louboutin heels at Guantánamo a long time back. Still, her new abaya is adorned with rhinestones, a splash of model she selected to a short while ago spruce up with some knockoff Valentino sneakers.

Ms. Bormann said she has worn the robe every time she has been in the corporation of Mr. bin Attash and has no programs to change the exercise the moment the jury is picked out.

“I would unquestionably hope that no person who is sworn to uphold justice,” she reported, “is likely to keep it towards me for the reason that I put on a black gown and scarf.”