When in the course of human events…

At some point, we begin to go back to that (literally) revolutionary document attributed to Philadelphia, 4 July 1776, and ask ourselves… wtf?
In part, the reason that the goings-on at that little slice of America at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are so important, is because of just how at odds those goings-on are with the winning side of the American Revolution (though quite consistent with the then behavior of the monarchy on the losing side). And this is an area where, notwithstanding the Supreme Court about to issue a third major opinion in four years, the courts by and large have given great deference to the executive branch to conduct affairs as it sees fit. And it sees fit to behave in a way that many totalitarian states would find comfortable… though one would hope Americans would not.
And so, we consider that GTMO interrogators were told– in a manual— to destroy their notes of interrogation (lest they be “accountable” in some way); digby notes the strange events that include KSM being permitted to confer with other detainees for the purpose of sacking their own counsel and asking to be “martyred”.
Candace, as usual, has been diligently following all the events down GTMO way, including the sacking of a judge that the Bush Administration deemed might be too fair, or career retaliation against the former GTMO prosecutor who objected to the use of evidence obtained by torture (which led to the exclusion of a general in charge of prosecutions from at least one of the commissions).
While I tend to believe there will be too much systemic “pushback” to permit the kangaroo kourts down GTMO way to conclude that men who clearly appear to have been tortured for over six years by our government (and then, the evidence of that torture has been destroyed per a deliberate policy) can credibly or competently waive counsel so that they may enter guilty pleas to charges carrying the death penalty… I’m sure very few Soviet judges would have any problem with it.
I’m reasonably sure that many American judges will have a problem with it, and, I’m afraid, those executions may not come in time to help out Sen. McCain and his “I’m tough enough to be commander in chief” pitch for November. Some of us feel we owe it to the victims of 9-11 that we bring the perpetrators of their murder to justice, and not merely to some expedient political revenge scenario that leaves us squirming uncomfortably. I’m betting that enough of them are in a position of authority in our military and in our courts.
I do realize that, on some things, I’m an optimist.