Saturday, August 28, 2010

Compare & Contrast

UPDATE: below

1) Washington Post, November 14, 2009:
The administration also announced that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi accused of orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole when it was docked off the coast of Yemen in 2000, will be tried at a military commission. Holder said one factor in deciding to keep Nashiri's case within the military justice system was that the attack targeted a U.S. warship docked in foreign territory, rather than a civilian target on American soil. Seventeen sailors were killed in the bombing.
2) Washington Post, August 27, 2010:
The Obama administration has shelved the planned prosecution of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged coordinator of the Oct. 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, according to a court filing.

The decision at least temporarily scuttles what was supposed to be the signature trial of a major al-Qaeda figure under a reformed system of military commissions. . .

Military officials said a team of prosecutors in the Nashiri case has been ready go to trial for some time. And several months ago, military officials seemed confident that Nashiri would be arraigned this summer.

"It's politics at this point," said one military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policy. He said he thinks the administration does not want to proceed against a high-value detainee without some prospect of civilian trials for other major figures at Guantanamo Bay.

A White House official disputed that.
Conclusion: It didn't have to be this way. As I have shown, nothing compels civilian criminal trials for non-citizens captured for terrorism committed abroad. But, at least the Obama administration agreed that military commissions were appropriate to try attacks on our military outside the United States. Now, even that concession appears in jeopardy because, as Andy McCarthy says, "They want to treat the war like a crime and endow our enemies with all the rights and advantages of civilian courts." Meanwhile, the Pentagon is contemptuous of the voting rights of U.S. military personnel.

At his confirmation hearings, Attorney General Eric Holder vowed to "work to restore the credibility of a department badly shaken by allegations of improper political interference. Law enforcement decisions and personnel actions must be untainted by partisanship." Having (wrongly) excoriated the Bush administration for playing politics with the judicial system and outrageously delaying the prosecution of Guantanamo detainees, this new approach is, as Jennifer Rubin observes in Commentary:
Pretty unconscionable stuff. . . And a final decision on KSM has also been delayed, it is widely assumed, so that the administration need not disclose its intentions before the election. In an administration with plenty of both, this ranks near the top when it comes to hypocrisy and politicizing the administration of justice.
Still blaming Bush?


Remind me why America's always accused of war crimes when it's the terrorists that routinely commit them?:
Afghan militants in US uniforms storm 2 NATO bases

U.S. and Afghan troops repelled attackers wearing American uniforms and suicide vests in a pair of simultaneous assaults on NATO bases near the Pakistani border, including one where seven CIA employees died in a suicide attack last year.

The raids before dawn Saturday appear part of an insurgent strategy to step up attacks in widely scattered parts of the country as the U.S. focuses its resources on the battle around the Taliban's southern birthplace of Kandahar.
Compare 1949 Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Art. 4(2) (definition of protected prisoner of war).

(via Right Wing News)


suek said...


At least Roger Clemens is going to be brought to justice...

Carl said...


Agreed. Too bad "crimes against baseball" aren't punishable in a military commission!