The Show Trial Must Go On

The military authorities have announced the first three contestants among the Gitmo “worst of the worst” for the first three military tribunals under the new “Congressionally approved” show trials military commissions… meaning these three must be “the worst of the worst of the worst”.
Fortunately for our readers, we happen to be familiar with all three of them, having, coincidentally, interviewed attorneys for all three. The lucky first of the worst are… David Hicks from Australia (Joshua Dratel is one of his attorneys); Omar Khadr from Canada (Rick Wilson is one of his attorneys); and the famous Supreme Court case winning Salim Hamdan of Yemen (Neal Katyal is one of his attorneys).
To recap, Hicks’ purported “war crime” was guarding a Taliban tank position in the Taliban’s war against the Northern Alliance; Khadr’s “war crime”, committed when he was 15 (yes, this does mean that the United States is violating customary international law simply by not treating him as a juvenile, as if details like the law mattered for any of this; all of those responsible are, thereby, themselves war criminals– for this alone… we won’t mention the actual physical and mental abuse Khadr has taken in our custody… quite apart from the general abuse the detainees receive) was throwing a hand grenade and killing an American soldier, in a combat situation, after American forces blew up the house that Khadr was in, killing everyone else in it; Hamdan’s crime, of course, was winning a Supreme Court case… he is also alleged to have been a member of OBL’s motor pool and occasional driver… remember how we tried Hitler’s valet and chauffeur at Nuremberg? You don’t? Me neither.
And so you get it: these don’t exactly seem like the hardened super-terrorists that justify holding 800 men for years, half of whom have now been released, some of the other remaining 395 may never be released (3 have committed suicide so far)… You get the picture: this is a cock up. Even if we accept that these men are somehow “war criminals”, assuming they committed anything vaguely resembling an actual war crime, which they did not… they are at best of the foot-soldier variety…
Yes, yes… the 14 “high value” terror suspects, including Ron Jeremy Khalid Sheik Mohammed, were brought to Gitmo… but interestingly, because they were “renditioned” and tortured… the government isn’t in such a hurry to make them the first case. Or the second. Or the third. Or quite possibly ever.
All part of the exit strategy known as “On January 21, 2009, this mess is someone else’s.” That seems to be the Bush Administration’s plan for a lot of things.