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Defense lawyers say USS Cole attack mimicked US ruse from WWII: an explosive fishing vessel

Guantanamo Cole Attack-1.jpg

FILE -- This Sunday Oct. 15, 2000 file photo shows investigators in a speed boat examining the hull of the USS Cole at the Yemeni port of Aden, after a powerful explosion ripped a hole in the U.S Navy destroyer. Jurors should know how the government plans to execute the Guantanamo detainee accused of orchestrating the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole if he’s convicted of a capital offense, his lawyer argued at a pretrial hearing Tuesday at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. Prosecutors countered that any execution method specified before the trial of Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri could be changed during the lengthy appeals process that would follow his sentencing, so jurors don’t need to know. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis, File) (The Associated Press)

Lawyers for a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of orchestrating the deadly bombing of the USS Cole are asking a judge to dismiss six of the 11 counts because of what they call U.S. hypocrisy.

A military judge heard arguments Wednesday at a pretrial hearing in Cuba for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (ahbd al-ruh-HEEM' al-nuh-SHEE'-ree).

Defense lawyers say the ruse of disguising a bomb-laden boat as an innocent fishing friendly is an acceptable form of naval warfare. They showed a U.S. government video depicting plans for such a tactic during World War II.

Prosecutors counter that such an argument has been universally rejected as a criminal defense.

Seventeen U.S. sailors died in the 2000 attack in Yemen.

The hearing is being shown in a video feed at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

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