"We are ready, on any piece of evidence, to deal with any objection to it and argue those objections in open court," said Col. Larry Morris, the chief prosecutor. "We are confident that all of the evidence that we will present is obtained in a manner that is fully fair." In light of those concerns, the government sent teams of FBI agents to Guantanamo to reinterview many of the suspects. The so-called "clean teams" conducted interviews without using aggressive techniques, with an eye on obtaining evidence not tainted by coercion.
The government has moved quickly in recent months to bring more suspects to trial after years of setbacks and controversies. Twenty suspects now are headed toward trial, and the first of Osama bin Laden's driver is scheduled to take place in July.
It's been a long time in coming. The Bush administration began planning for special military commissions shortly after the attacks. On Nov. 13, 2001, Bush signed an order authorizing the use of military tribunals to try alleged terrorists.
The president authorized the tribunals "to protect the United States and its citizens, and for the effective conduct of military operations and prevention of terrorist attacks."
But the administration's plans were eventually derailed in 2005 by the Supreme Court, which said Bush lacked authority to move forward without approval from Congress.
The White House then went to Congress, which passed a law approving the commissions called the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The president signed the bill into law during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. He said, "These military commissions will provide a fair trial in which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney, and can hear all the evidence against them. These military commissions are lawful, they are fair, and they are necessary."
ABC News reporter Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report in Washington.