Sunday, March 2, 2014

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under At Justinian


Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian


More delicious NSA revelations ... Getting off the no-fly list ... Guantánamo update ... Remaking the law of war ... Botched executions ... Wall Street's lack of conviction ... Roger Fitch files from Washington 
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Pirates on trialThe Guantánamo military commissions continue.
Ahmed Al-Darbi was charged with a peculiar offence - one also charged against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, whose hearings resumed in February - and one of the strangest "war crimes" implausibly alleged to affect the US.  
The Saudi is charged with the 2002 Gulf of Aden bombing of a French-flagged Malaysian-chartered oil tanker that killed a Bulgarian crewman (see post of February 2013).
There wasn't a war at the time, and the defendant was actually in US custody.  
There's no connection to the US at all, and it doesn't seem likely that either France or Malaysia was at "war" with al Qaida in 2002.
Of course, Al-Darbi could have been lawfully prosecuted for piracy - by someone - in a civilian court, but the Pentagon needs his testimony to grass-up the heavily-tortured al-Nashiri in a military commission. 
In the end, Al-Darbi, like David Hicks and Omar Khadr before him, decided to plead guilty to imaginary law of war violations just to get out of Guantánamo - one day. The Miami Heraldhas more.  
The Obama administration may be planning to try more pirates at Guantánamo, where the government always wins.  
Al-Darbi's isn't the only new commission. There's also one planned against Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, and, distaining the recent decision of the DC Circuit confirming that conspiracy is not a war crime, the Pentagon has provocatively added that very non-crime to a list of fake war crimes being charged against the Iraqi held at Guantánamo, even as the government appeals its conspiracy loss - the Al Bahlul case - in the courts.  
Steve Vladeck at Just Security has more.  
Read the whole article here.