Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ex-Guantanamo Prosecutor Speaks Out

Awhile ago I noted that the Pentagon stated that lead Guantanamo prosecutor Davis' resignation would have no effect on the trials. It seems it will. The Pentagon will get to run the trials the way BushCo would like them run - screw a fair trial as long as they can make someone think they are. Davis didn't think that way.

"There was a big concern that the election of 2008 is coming up," Davis said. "People wanted to get the cases going. There was a rush to get high-interest cases into court at the expense of openness." quoted in WaPo.

Don't get the idea that Davis is a civil libertarian opposing the whole idea, he believes the military commissions could go forward as a legitimate method of trying the alleged terrorists. What he was not comfortable with was two fold, the commission chief Hartmann having free access to prosecutorial functions and the use of classified evidence - in secret would taint the trials.

Not surprisingly the Pentagon through spokesman J D Gordon takes a different view,

"We are working closely with our interagency counterparts to ensure that prosecutions by military commission result in fair and open trials while at the same time protecting sensitive information that, if revealed, could be damaging to U.S. and allied forces still conducting combat operations against al-Qaeda and their supporters."

The expression, "Oh sure," occurs to me. Apparently it occured Col. Davis as well,

Hartmann arrived as legal adviser to the convening authority last summer, and suddenly, Davis said during a lengthy interview, his office was inundated with what he called "nano-management," including requests to oversee cases that had previously been left solely to prosecutors.

Part of the new focus, Davis said, was to speed up cases that would show the public the system was working. Davis said he wanted to focus on cases that had declassified evidence, so the public could see the entire trial through news coverage. That would defuse possible allegations that the trials were stacked against defendants.

But Hartmann said he was satisfied with putting on cases that included closed sessions, because the law allows it.

"He said, the way we were going to validate the system was by getting convictions and good sentences," Davis said. "I felt I was being pressured to do something less than full, fair and open."
Maybe that's the money quote. Maybe you wouldn't find that an attractive court venue to be in. BushCo and justice in the same sentence is a contradiction in terms.

1 comment:

KISS said...