Friday, December 11, 2009

Robust Legal Systems Have Reasons For Existing

A McClatchy report once again points up the reason the US built a legal system with such robust protections for the accused.
A day after the emir of Kuwait sent his royal jet to fetch a citizen from Guantanamo, the Pentagon has dropped war crimes charges against the Kuwaiti Airways executive who has long claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity.

Susan Crawford, a Pentagon appointee, who has overseen military commissions since the Bush administration, on Thursday dismissed the terror charges against Fouad Rabia, 50, "without prejudice."

"Without prejudice" means charges could be refiled. I have no idea if the man did or did not do what he was held for. What I do know is that he has been held for years without coming to trial for what is a criminal matter.

What the authoritarians forget is that the reason the US system requires the government to jump through so many hoops is this - the accused faces the full might and capabilities of the most powerful entity in the world. The deck is scarcely tilted in a defendant's favor. The idea that Americans' concept of justice can be served by removing protections is ludicrous. The same whiny diaper wetters that scream about 'terrism' also make pronouncements about limited government - is there a disconnect? Isn't there always one?

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