Saturday, May 24, 2008
Roger Fitch Esq • May 17, 2008
Our Man in Washington
Guantánamo trials in crisis – legal adviser sacked for wanting torture evidence to be admitted and prosecutors quit in disgust over government meddling. Law of terror correspondent Roger Fitch reports
It looks likely that Salim Hamdan, the notorious bin Laden driver, will be the first to go on trial – if anyone does – before a Guantánamo military commission.
It was, of course, Hamdan’s earlier military commission that the Supreme Court struck down as an unconstitutional fantasy of George W. Bush.
Hamdan is charged with “conspiracy” and “material support for terrorism” for acts predating the war, and neither charge is an offence under the law of war.
In fact, in Hamdan’s own case, a plurality of the US Supreme Court confirmed that “conspiracy” is not a war crime. The “crimes” were in any case created in 2006, long after they were said to have occurred.
click on the title to read the rest....
That to Roger Fitch for bringing this to our attention:
In the most farcical "charges" yet sworn, the Pentagon yesterday charged Noor Uthman Muhammed with conspiracy (not a war crime) to murder (not a war crime) and sundry other acts (not war crimes) between August 1996 and March 2002.
Now, remember, the Supreme Court in the Hamdan case said nothing that didn't happen in a real theatre of war (eg Afghanistan) during a real war (ie, after September 11, 2001) could be a war crime, and the plurality specifically said that conspiracy is not a war crime.
Conspiracy with whom? Why, with Osama and Zawahari, apparently because he delivered a fax machine to them (in 1999).
What were the acts constituting the "crime" that occurred after September 11, 2001? Why here 'tis:
"On March 28, 2002, Muhammed, along with several other al Qaeda members, attempted to escape from a safehouse in Faisalabad, PAKISTAN, after a raid by local authorities, but was captured during his attempt." (emphases mine)
Got that? He was arrested in Pakistan (not a theatre of war), for acts occurring before, not during, a war, and the element of the "crime" which connects him to the period of war and thus to Al Qaida is that he was arrested, that's right, the act of attempting to escape being arrested!!!
Can anyone doubt that this goes beyond Lewis Carroll, Franz Kafka and George Orwell, to new, uncharted territories?