Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Bumbling Along In Gitmo

Hi Again,

Here is a link to an update on the rank incompetence and bungling going on in the military tribunals in Guantanamo. LA Times Story.

The scariest exchange reported is:
"Earlier, questioning of the lone alternate member of the commission highlighted the limited legal backgrounds of panel members.
A defense attorney, Navy Cmdr. Charles Swift, asked the alternate if he understood the primary source of international law.
'Do you know what the Geneva Convention is, sir?' Swift asked.
'Not specifically. No, sir,' Lt. Col. Curt S. Cooper answered. "And that's being honest."
That incident and others led observers from nongovernmental organizations to call for an all-lawyer panel.
'We've asked five very able commission members, who have essentially no legal training, to decide complex questions of constitutional and international law,' said Deborah N. Pearlstein, an observer with Human Rights First.
'And they are struggling with the definition of 'jurisdiction,' of 'due process.' Those terms are so basic. It calls the credibility of the entire process into question when we don't even have a baseline to start.'"

This is the most important thing going on in our Country at this time and it is barely being discussed! Perhaps Law Talking Guy could revisit some of his analysis of the Supreme Court's ruling on Guantamo detainees' rights in the context of these tribunals? In particular, do the tribunals satisfy the procedures called for in the Supreme Court's ruling?

1 comment:

The Law Talking Guy said...

The Bush/Ashcroft reaction to the SC ruling that persons held on US bases have the right to due process has been this: (1) deny the accused legal representation; (2) compose a tribunal of military officers without legal training who will defer to their commanders (who say, of course, that the accused are guilty). This is contempt of court, plain and simple. The SC is sure to have to re-hear the case unless John Kerry is elected and re-instates the rule of law. Due process requires, at a minimum, the opportunity to have legal representation and have a fair hearing before a neutral tribunal. This is not radical left-wing stuff, it's what our forefathers fought for in 1776. George III wanted to seize Americans, haul them to Britain and (in Jefferson's words) "try them for pretended offences." This George is no better. For shame.