Friday, July 28, 2006

Kangaroo courts 

It's pretty clear what is going on still with the Guantanamo prosecutions.
For hundreds and hundreds of the people imprisoned at Gitmo, the Bush administration has no evidence of wrongdoing and never did.
I'm not saying they have no "admissable" evidence, as in evidence which under usual rules of courtroom procedure and legal precedent can be admitted into court. I'm saying they haven't got "any" evidence, as in no evidence at all -- just some story, perhaps, that some anonymous neighbour told some soldier years ago and thousands of miles away. Or a personal rival to a tribal chief. Or someone who was driving past a checkpoint at the wrong time. Or trying to hide from a firefight in their front yard.
The thing is, the Bush administration KNOWS this. They KNOW they have locked up hundreds of innocent people. They just cannot admit it to the world -- bad for morale, you know, plus think of how embarassing it would be for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. Can't have that, can we?
So in defiance of what the Supreme Court has been ruling for the last three years, the Bush administration continues to be bound and determined to keep the Gitmo detainees far far away from any actual US judge -- who would take one glance at the story the prosecutors are trying to sell, and would throw it out as a ridiculous tissue of lies and delusion.
Once again we're seeing the Bushies trying to gin up some kind of kangaroo court:
A copy of the draft, obtained this week by The Washington Post and others, explains how the government would create commissions of U.S. military personnel who could impose a penalty of life imprisonment or death based on evidence never disclosed to the accused. Military judges could also exclude defendants from their trials whenever 'necessary to protect the national security.' . . . The draft states that using the federal courts or existing military court-martial procedures to try suspects in the war on terrorism -- described formally as "alien enemy combatants" -- is "impracticable" because they are committed to destroying the country and abusing its legal processes. Routine trial procedures would not work, it states, because suspects cannot be given access to classified information or tried speedily. Service members involved in collecting evidence cannot be diverted from the battlefield to attend trials, and hearsay evidence from "fellow terrorists" is often needed to establish guilt.

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