First Guantanamo Trial to Begin Monday

Bump and Update: The ACLU weighs in:

"Hamdan's trial, like those of other Guantánamo detainees accused of war crimes, should take place in an ordinary federal court or in a traditional military court. The Guantánamo military commissions allow the government to rely on evidence that the defendant never sees, on hearsay, and on evidence obtained through torture. The commissions are completely inconsistent with the Constitution and should be shut down."

A U.S. District Court judge today denied a continuance request for Salim Hamdan, former driver to Osama bin Laden.

His trial, the first military tribunal trial of a Guantanamo detainee, will begin as scheduled Monday. The judge in that proceeding also has rejected continuance requests.[More...]

U.S. District Judge James Robertson rejected an effort by Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan, to postpone his trial. Hamdan argued he would suffer irreparable harm if his was tried before he could challenge the legality of the process.

Robertson's ruling Thursday is a victory for the Bush administration, which suffered a setback last month when the Supreme Court ruled that detainees can challenge their detention in federal court. Hamdan's attorneys hoped to use that ruling to delay his trial.

Via How Appealing, here are the military judge's July 14 ruling (pdf)denying a motion to dismiss on ex post facto grounds and July 15 ruling (pdf)denying a motion to dismiss on equal protection grounds.

The military judge holds that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Boumediene v. Bush does not mandate application of the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause to Guantanamo proceedings.

Human Rights First has background on Hamdan's case and is on site at Guantanmo blogging the proceedings.

This Defense Department webpage contains the pleadings and exhibits.

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  • Display: Sort:
    interesting points jim. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 07:49:07 PM EST
    The guy isn't a US citizen. His crime happened outside the US....

    Now tell me what our Constitution has to do with this???

    which leads to the even more obvious question: why would him being tried, in a US venue, for crimes committed outside the US, somehow be approrpiate?

    shouldn't he be tried in the country where the crimes actually occurred?

    Since (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:09:48 AM EST
    his crime is against us, I think kit reasonable that we try him at a time and place we like.

    Perhaps you would prefer to just let him go.


    Captured by US forces (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Che's Lounge on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 09:32:33 PM EST
    Brought to US territory (per treaty). Held in a US built prison. Charged with violations of US statutes. Therefore should be afforded the rights that apply to individuals subjected to US judicial proceedings. Citizenship is irrelevant, save for the convenience of those who are not interested in the rights of others, which is typical of antisocial personality disorders.

    Che's Logic Isn't (1.00 / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 09:16:07 AM EST
    Captured by ..... brought to.... held in...

    None of that shows that he somehow magically has the rights of a US citizen. All you have done is make an assertion. And of course, since you believe in open borders, you also believe citizenship is irrelevant.

    Now if he had came to the US, been allowed in by us, committed crimes will in the US... then yes.

    Alas for the killers of the world, such as Che of Cuba.... that is not the case.


    Which US statute? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:16:33 AM EST

    Which US statute?

    Let me see (3.50 / 2) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 07:11:53 PM EST
    The guy isn't a US citizen. His crime happened outside the US....

    Now tell me what our Constitution has to do with this???

    George II, of course, agrees with you. (none / 0) (#6)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 08:03:22 PM EST
    He sees the issue as beyond the purview of the US Constitution... and beyond the purview of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He displays what Hannah Arendt once called the banality of evil and I would add the arrogance of evil. Some at Talk Left have suggested sending him to The Hague. Perhaps a wiser thing to do would be to send him and his company (Cheney, Rice, and the rest) to Iraq to stand trial for crimes against humanity, crimes against the Iraqi people, murder, and so on.

    Sorry for the confusion. (none / 0) (#7)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 08:06:42 PM EST
    I was referring to George Bush, not Salim Hamdan.

    That is quite a ruling. No application of (none / 0) (#1)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:42:56 PM EST
    equal protection under the law?  Not that there was no violation on the facts of this case, but that it does not apply at all to this class of cases?


    it does kind of take your (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:55:59 PM EST
    breath away. i expect the word has come down from on high: get this thing going, before we lose another case!

    it's going to take years to undo the damage caused by the bush administration, almost like reconstruction after the civil war (ok, that didn't go so well!), or the marshall plan after wwII.

    So much for the Bush's sourpussed (none / 0) (#3)
    by litigatormom on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:04:26 PM EST
    and begrudging statement that the administration would comply with Boumedienne.  Not that I really believed him.

    The most lawless administration in history. Makes me nostalgic for Richard Nixon.