Salim Hamdan Guantanamo Trial Goes to Jury

The military commissions trial of Salim Hamdan, driver for Osama bin Laden, went to the jury today.

Hamdan never testified in his defense across two weeks of trial testimony. But unlike suspects on U.S. soil... Hamdan had no right to an attorney or right against self-incrimination during 18 months of military and civilian interrogations from Afghanistan to Guantánamo.

In closing arguments:

[T]he Pentagon cast bin Laden's driver as an al Qaeda insider and the defense called him a Sept. 11 scapegoat. "He's an al Qaeda warrior. He has wounded, and the people he has worked with have wounded the world," prosecutor John Murphy told the jury. "You are the conscience of the community."

Countered Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, on behalf of the $200-a-month driver: "We will capture or kill Osama bin Laden some day. You should not punish the general's driver today with the crimes of the general."

By the numbers: There were only 10 media members in attendance on the last day of testimony. It took a Pentagon airlift to get most of them there at all.

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    I cannot help wondering (none / 0) (#1)
    by weltec2 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 06:42:12 PM EST
    what bin Laden thinks as he sits in his comfortable home in Pakistan reading the paper about his tortured 200 dollar a month driver. He must think we are bewilderingly silly.

    Aw (none / 0) (#2)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 07:37:20 PM EST
    Can't I at least entertain the fantasy that he's sleeping on uncomfortable dirt in a cave somewhere?

    Oh yeah... (none / 0) (#3)
    by weltec2 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 07:42:39 PM EST
    Bush has got bin Laden all scared and hiding in a cave. That tale has always inspired mordant laughter.

    Bin Laden is thinking (none / 0) (#4)
    by VicfromOregon on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:42:14 PM EST
    his driver will get lots of virgins in heaven.

    For me,the real stories are 1) the defense defended.  Could that have happened 5 years ago?  Not. And, 2) the press could care less.  Once again, acting in unison like some great Jurassic beast, they respond only to what they can eat or what they fear might eat them.  Not what embarrasses them or the country. The general's driver is a pathetically sad, disgracefully and inhumanely tortured, broken individual who will likely get life imprisonment where he will tragically kill himself when the guards leave him the means to do so, once the last three remaining journalistic eyes are elsewhere and time has forgotten him.