More of same

And so it continues… the heroic Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld of the Army Reserve [seventh GTMO prosecutor to resign!] submitted an affidavit in federal court challenging proceedings against GTMO detainee Mohammed Jawad, in which Vandeveld asserts that the evidence against GTMO kangaroo court military commission defendants is in a state of complete chaos. Videotapes of confessions are missing, written confessions for illiterate men are written in languages the men don’t speak (let alone read!), and of course, many of the statements were made under coercion, or outright torture, often at the hands of the Afghans or others who turned them over.
The lead prosecutor Col. Lawrence Morris (the prior one, Col. Morris “Moe” Davis himself resigned over what he believed to be untoward political pressure to take legally untenable positions, such as relying on evidence obtained by torture), dismissed Vandeveld’s contentions as those of a disgruntled former employee. Vandeveld’s response is that anything Col. Morris says itself should be dismissed… which, thus far, is pretty close to what military judges have been doing.
It also appears that the Government may have “accidentally” withdrawn all pending charges against all defendants… in which case, all of the commission defendants (even KSM!) may have to be re-arraigned and all proceedings re-started from square one… this is pretty much a gift to President-elect Obama, who can basically rely on this as evidence that the commission system is more trouble than its worth, and, since, nothing will be pending, he may as well start over either in proper courts or courts-martial, and, as John McCain might say, “cut the bulls***.”
Just another day at the office… if the office is Guantanamo Bay, that is.
Update (1-14-09): The chief of GTMO prosecutions, “convening authority” Susan Crawford has given an interview in which she admits that detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani was tortured (which is why she didn’t refer his case– that of the so-called “20th highjacker”– for prosecution).
Yes, boys and girls, not abuse, not enhanced interrogation, but she used “the T word,” and said that “the buck stops in the Oval Office.” Strong words from a Cheney/Addington protege… covering herself, perhaps? And Mr. Rumsfeld himself was personally briefed on the ongoing progress of al-Qahtani’s tortures. Pardons to follow? Stay tuned…