Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trying The 9/11 Suspects -- A U.S. Supreme Court Mess

Guantánamo Bay Courtroom

From U.S. News And World Report:

The charges filed last week against six men at the Guantánamo Bay detention center are the U.S. government's boldest move yet to show that after years of setbacks it can finally serve justice at the controversial island prison. But proving that these detainees were responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, promises to be a protracted and uncertain legal battle.

The new cases—which will be tried before a special military commission—are expected to reignite the long-simmering debate over the government's detention and interrogation policies for suspected terrorists. The prosecution's intent to seek the death penalty, considered a human-rights violation in much of Europe, will no doubt renew criticism abroad of a place that has held hundreds of men for years without charges or access to any meaningful judicial process. Indeed, the continuing controversies may taint whatever verdict is ultimately reached.

Read more ....

News From Other Sources:
Judge says Supreme Court ruling no reason to delay 1st Guantanamo trial -- International Herald Tribune
In Courts, Afghanistan Air Base May Become Next Guantanamo -- Washington Post
US to carry on military trials at Guantanamo despite ruling -- AFP

My Comment: This article was written in February, but much of it is still very relevant today.

It has been almost 2 weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that combatants on foreign soil have the same constitutional rights as American citizens. I am not a lawyer, but as a person who has been studying military and war history for the past 30 years ....this ruling will not be workable under the present circumstances.

The 9/11 suspects in custody are supported by millions of people and by institutions that have been around for a period of time that even predates the U.S. constitution. There is no paper trail. There are no witnesses. The only real evidence that the courts have are propaganda statements and fatwas that call for the defeat of the west.

The presumption of innocence for combatants wounded and captured on a foreign battlefield. The need to face your accuser (i.e. the soldier who caught you), to be provided legal representation, to have evidence presented to trial that may expose informants and their families ..... no ..... what they Supreme court ruled is not workable ..... and in the end will cost numerous American lives, wasted resources, and the possibility that intelligence that can prevent future attacks .... even WMD attacks, can be potentially lost.

In American history, the U.S. Supreme court has made rulings that tarnished and damaged the court's moral and ethical standing in the eyes of the American public, decisions that caused enormous hardship and suffering to millions of Americans. The Dred Scott v. Sandford ruling and the Plessy v. Ferguson are just two rulings that in the end caused enormous harm and suffering to millions. The Boumediene v. Bush ruling has the potential to be just as damaging.

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