When something is irredeemably broken, the sensible course of action is to get rid of it. However, when it comes to military trials for terror suspects in the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” however broken the system is, government officials and lawmakers have repeatedly gathered round to put it back together again, and continue to do so, even though, in nearly ten years, the commissions have resulted in just two trials, and four other cases that have ended with plea deals.
The military commissions, which were last used on Nazi saboteurs in World War II, were brought back from the dead by Vice President Dick Cheney almost ten years ago — in an alarming military order dated November 13, 2001 — as a means of swiftly trying and executing terror suspects seized in the “war on terror” without the impediment of due process or a ban on evidence derived through the use of torture.
Ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June 2006, the commissions were then resuscitated by Congress, and although Barack Obama froze them temporarily when he took office, he soon thawed them out again, even though the wisest of his advisors recommended him not to, as the primary charges in the commissions — conspiracy and providing material support to terrorism, for example — were appropriate crimes to be tried in federal courts, but had only been invented as war crimes by Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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