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It also appears that the Government may have "accidentally" withdrawn all pending charges against all defendants...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...
The right wing talk shows and commentators are racheting up their accusations of how many prisoners released from Guantanamo have "gone back to the battlefield and killed innocent people." Do you have any references on what the truth is?
Posted by Michael L at January 14, 2009 9:11 AM
This Pentagon will be gone in a week, or so; the right wing nuts will always have something to harp about. It's amazing that people who believe all progress should have stopped around 1855 still use 20th and 21st c. technology; kind of pisses me off.
Anyway, the apparent number (Candace, God bless her, did the research) is around "three"... coincidentally, the number of GTMO detainees released per court order, the number "tried" and convicted, and two less than five, the number who died at GTMO.
"Return" to the battlefield is a misnomer, of course, as my interview with Josh Denbeaux
demonstrates, the gov't's own data shows that no more than 12% of detainees had ever been ON a battlefield in the first place (and this is probably exaggerated high). And the Denbeauxs have a new report, debunking the Government's claims.
My preference is to flip the question: how do we know the Bush Administration can be trusted ON ANYTHING or knows what it is doing when it has had no transparent process at all, has told us these are the worst terrorist monsters in the history of the universe, and yet unilaterally released 2/3 of them, and now tells us that the people IT RELEASED "have returned to the battlefield". All this says to me is that the Bush Admin. has no idea who it is holding, never did, and can't be trusted to keep holding anyone, and that the wrong people are in prison. It shows that the methodsemployed-- torture-- really WERE absolutely useless at getting usable information.
That's my response; I simply refuse to accept the "return to the battlefield" premise-- coming as it does from a source with no credibility on the subject at all.
Posted by the talking dog at January 14, 2009 9:27 AM
Thanks for the cites. My response was the same as yours, but it's nice to have something to point at.
Posted by Michael L at January 14, 2009 10:09 AM
stooges and truck drivers turned in for ransom money/ reward money -return to the "battlefield " of regular life in their own country...that is fine with me.
They were never fighters in the first place as we all know
Posted by tones at January 14, 2009 3:54 PM
Torture always gets results. Didn't every witch confess and name friends and family as well? They all must have really been witches because they admitted to sexual congress with the Devil and everything.
Posted by bansidh at January 15, 2009 3:32 AM
More on "back to the battlefield" http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2009/01/return-to-terrorism.html
Posted by Michael L at January 15, 2009 9:16 AM
I'm surprised that the number of detainees who go back and engage in mayhem is so low. Knowing that many innocent people got picked up, brought over to Gitmo, and beaten to a pulp, you'd think that a lot of them would be mad as hell when they hit the streets (or the mountains) again.
Posted by JollyRoger at January 15, 2009 9:44 AM