Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ahmed Ghailani, Gitmo detainee, acquitted of all but 1 charge in NY/ WaPo

Military tribunals (and places like Guantanama) for so-called terrorists transgress the 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th Amendments of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.   Goodbye to Habeas Corpus, Due Process and Geneva Convention protections, among others.  Olbermann provided amusing commentary

But we can't get convictions using real courts, real judges and real juries.  What a dilemma!  We must convict, after all, right?

From the Washington Post:
The failure to convict Ghailani, a native of Tanzania, on the most serious terrorism charges will bolster the arguments of those who say the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be kept open, both to host military commissions for some prisoners and to hold others indefinitely and without trial under the laws of war...
"One of 285 counts is not exactly a track record for a prosecution team to be proud of," said Kirk Lippold, former commander of the USS Cole, which was attacked by al-Qaeda in 2000. "I think the administration is now in a position where they have to get serious about using military commissions. This case sends a clear and unmistakable signal about using civilian courts: It didn't work." 
Excuse me?  What laws of war are these exactly?  Who precisely are we at war with?  Who aren't we at war with?  Didn't we illegally kidnap these people (our Guantanamo defendants) and secretly abduct them to Guantanamo, so they would not be subject to the laws of any nation?  What is this #$%^&* about the "laws of war"?  Stephen Rohde and Daphne Eviatar were even more upset about all this than I am, and documented the reasons much better than I could.

UPDATE:  Attorney Glenn Greenwald shines his laser spotlight on this case here.

IMHO, without the rule of law this country is nothing.  If you trash the Constitution, what is left that makes us in any way better than any other country, if not decidedly worse?

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