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Obama Considering Reviving Military Tribunals

I hope reinstating the military tribunals at Guantanamo is an idea the Obama Administration quickly discards, but I'm not optimistic:

The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting Guantánamo detainees...Officials said the first public moves could come as soon as next week, perhaps in filings to military judges at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, outlining an administration plan to amend the Bush administration’s system to provide more legal protections for terrorism suspects.

According to the article, Obama may revise and reinstate them for the top terror detainees.

Memo to President Obama: [More...]

There's no fixing those military tribunals. If your team can't come up with a solution other than one that reverts to one of the worst policies of Bush Adminstration, it's time to get a new team in place.

Suggestion: Start with the lawyers representing the Guantanamo detainees. They know exactly what's necessary for a fair trial. Suggestion two: Try them in federal court like you said you would. Show some backbone and stick to your campaign promises.

As a last resort, consider trials under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But leave those military commission trials dead and buried where they belong.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Oh, don't worry. DOJ may try (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat May 02, 2009 at 01:39:51 PM EST
    detainees at Gitmo, but only in cases where DOJ isn't confident it will obtain a conviction in federal district court.  Comforting, no?

    Just a way to increase choice for venue shopping-- (none / 0) (#14)
    by jawbone on Sun May 03, 2009 at 01:07:17 PM EST
    What's not to like? </snark>

    The NYTimes article indicates the people talking about this are mainly concerned that some of the "bad guys" (no alleged or purported for them) cannot be tried in a US court due to bad evidence, bad techniques used to get evidence, etc., so there needs to be a court of last resort for the government, one where the usual rules of evidence don't apply.

    And since we don't have Star Chambers....

    What kind of Constitutional law did Obama teach, anyway?

    Parent

    i don't see on what basis (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sat May 02, 2009 at 02:33:16 PM EST
    they should be tried under the UCMJ either. they aren't members of our military, and at this point it isn't even clear what crimes they've been accused of committing. oh wait, that's right, they haven't actually been formally accused of committing any crimes!

    silly me, what was i thinking?

    This is very disappointing, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Anne on Sat May 02, 2009 at 03:48:31 PM EST
    but then, it feels like it has been one disappointment after another, and in such a short period of time.

    What's changed?  Did he never really believe in the things he said before he was elected, or has he allowed his advisors to change his mind?

    Sad that I find myself asking that question about a number of issues.

    This is too depressing; time to escape for a little while and watch Kentucky Derby coverage...

    Mostly, rule of thumb (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Sat May 02, 2009 at 04:30:00 PM EST
    for the last fifty years has been what the Pentagon vehemently insists upon, goes.

    Dont ask, dont tell and all that.

    Or, do you all want to handcuff our brave fighting men and armed forces (sworn to protect this great nation), further? (sic)

    Parent

    I'd Like To Know (none / 0) (#10)
    by CDN Ctzn on Sat May 02, 2009 at 08:33:09 PM EST
    just what report card the media has been looking at when they say the First 100 Days has been a huge success for Progressives?

    Parent
    Derby winner had 50-1 odds--maybe there's HOPE (none / 0) (#15)
    by jawbone on Sun May 03, 2009 at 01:12:00 PM EST
    yet that Obama will do some realy progressive things....

    Weak tea, thin gruel, but grasp any straw....

    Parent

    Cool! (none / 0) (#2)
    by JamesTX on Sat May 02, 2009 at 02:27:10 PM EST
    More "change"!

    Will they use torture evidence? (none / 0) (#4)
    by herb the verb on Sat May 02, 2009 at 02:56:27 PM EST
    Or evidence derived from other evidence acquired under torture?

    Will that be one of those state secrets we are too delicate to know?

    Seems to be the point per the link. (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sat May 02, 2009 at 08:00:59 PM EST
    Maybe you were all right about Geneva Convention.. (none / 0) (#11)
    by diogenes on Sat May 02, 2009 at 08:55:29 PM EST
    If Bush had declared these people to be POW's under the Geneva Convention, then the US Government could detain them indefinitely with no trials at all until the end of the war.  The Taliban war isn't ending anytime soon.

    Promises (none / 0) (#12)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat May 02, 2009 at 09:08:55 PM EST
    Show some backbone and stick to your campaign promises.

    Now that you have voted, that promise has no further utility.  Therefore, its under the bus time.

    i reiterate: (none / 0) (#13)
    by cpinva on Sun May 03, 2009 at 04:32:34 AM EST
    on what basis would trial under the UCMJ be applicable? acts of terrorism are civilian criminal charges, having nothing to do with the military. the individuals in question are not members of our military, so it doesn't qualify there either.

    per the geneva conventions, a competent tribunal should be established, to first ascertain exactly what these people's status is. the last time i checked, bush's unilateral declaration notwithstanding, we are still signatories to the conventions. follow those rules, to determine if they are "unlawful combatants".

    of course, there's also the minor detail of our congress not actually having declared war on anyone, the (again) unilaterally declared "war on terror" notwithstanding.

    basically, the bush administration, through either fiendish design or (more likely) tragic ineptitude, created a situation that it was ill-prepared (absent the complete ignoring of the constitution, which, to its credit(?), it tried!) to deal with.

    either try these people in federal court, under the established rules of evidence, or ship them home, with our apologies, a new suit and $100 folding money.