Court Reaches Back to 1818 to Justify Military Commissions
The review court for military commission trials issued an en banc opinion yesterday upholding the conviction of Osama bin Laden's driver, Salim Hamdan.
In justifying trial by military commission, it reached back to 1818.
In that case, U.S. forces under Gen. Andrew Jackson invaded Spanish Florida in 1818 to stop black slaves from fleeing through a porous border. Troops captured two British traders, whom the general ordered face a military commission on charges they aided the enemy by helping the Seminoles and escaped black slaves.
The tribunal convicted the men and sentenced them to a whipping. Jackson, a slave owner, declared the punishment too soft and had them executed.
The opinion is here.
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