Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins’s retirement was announced in a message to some of the families of the nearly 3,000 people that died in the 9/11 attacks.
This comes as a surprise as Martins obtained an extension to serve until January 2023. However, he will now be retiring on September 30th. No clear reason has been given for the change.
Karen Loftus, director of the prosecution team’s Victim Witness Assistance Program sent out the message.
NPR reported on the message, “Martins is stepping down “in the best interests of the ongoing cases.” It cited Martins’ lengthy military career and noted that military court proceedings will restart soon in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, after a pause of more than a year due to the pandemic, so “this is the time to transition to new leadership“…
His earlier-than-planned, abrupt departure is the latest in a lengthy string of setbacks in the effort to bring the 9/11 case to trial, including frequent turnover of judges. One military court judge quit last year after two weeks on the job.“
With the U.S. Military operations set to end on August 31st of this year and the transfer or release of most Guantanamo detainees, it may appear to some that the U.S. is looking to close the door on 9/11.
The case will still go on and Deputy chief prosecutor Michael O’Sullivan will become acting chief prosecutor once Martins retires in September.
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