The general officer tasked with prosecuting cases such as Mohammed's says there is an important distinction in the purpose of the detention facility.
Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the military commissions chief prosecutor, told an audience in London last September that the detention process for Guantanamo Bay should be addressed separately from the military commissions taking place there.
"It is of course possible to support both or to oppose both," he said during formal remarks in September to Chatham House, a London-based international affairs NGO. "But without recognizing the distinction, serious analytical errors can result, and I have encountered international colleagues on all sides of these separate questions."
Many of these detainees have been deemed "too dangerous to release," or their home country refuses to accept them back. The complications surrounding their trial largely stem from suspicions that the U.S. government tortured them.
"These prisoners cannot be tried because their cases present insurmountable proof problems based on the evidence collection methods," says Navy Cmdr. Walter Ruiz, who defends Mustafa al-Hawsaw, another co-defendant in that trial.
The Pentagon also points to the complication of finding a new home for some of these detainees.
"The question is: Can these nation-states who assert that they want these men, can they also make the verifiable - required by our own law - assurances that there will be no recidivism, that they will be monitored?" says spokesman Breasseale. "Or, if there are also these nations that can make these assurances, but simply don't want a Gitmo detainee within their borders?"
"It's really an interesting conundrum under which we are working that is not without risk, that requires real diligence, and we remain committed to working under the president's guidance and to fulfilling his goal to close Gitmo's detention facility."
"I understand that reaction [to create the Gitmo prison], but we're now over a decade out. We should be wiser. We should have more experience in how we prosecute terrorists."
"The United States Supreme Court would come to judge that there were significant errors in the legal framework introduced by our government in response to the 9/11 attacks," chief prosecutor Martins said in September.
"Although many detainees have now been established through the civilian judicial process of habeas to be lawfully held as members of al-Qaida or the Taliban who are engaged in armed conflict, many of the nearly 800 detainees brought at some point to Guantanamo were released as captured without sufficient grounds or as not posing a threat."
Defense counselor Ruiz points to inconsistencies from the Obama administration's commitment to this point, most notably through its decision to close a State Department office in January dedicated solely to examining how to shut down the Gitmo detention facility.
Daniel Fried, special envoy for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, resigned on Jan. 28, reported the New York Times. The administration appointed no replacement and closed the office.
"Our actions speak louder than words," Ruiz says of what he sees as political pressures that forced the president to reverse his decisions. "The problem remains what it has always been, that this case was hijacked a long time ago by the political process."