Monday, November 08, 2004

Guantanamo Bay Trials Illegal

The US District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled in Hamdam v. Rumsfield that current procedures for military commissions in Guantanamo Bay are illegal and void. To briefly sum up the 47 page ruling:
The order that accompanies this opinion provides: (1) that, unless and until a competent tribunal determines that Hamdan is not entitled to POW status, he may be tried for the offenses with which he is charged only by courtmartial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice; (2) that, unless and until the Military Commission’s rule permitting Hamdan’s exclusion from commission sessions and the withholding of evidence from him is amended so that it is consistent with and not contrary to UCMJ Article 39, Hamdan’s trial before the Military Commission would be unlawful; and (3) that Hamdan must be released from the pre-Commission detention wing of Camp Delta and returned to the general population of detainees, unless some reason other than the pending charges against him requires different treatment.

Nothing too shocking in the opinion. It does seem to validate my suspicion that O'Conner's willingness to have a more deferential standard to the government than the constitution might otherwise allow won't have any practical effect. But in all reality, this case dealt with some pretty narrow issues, the bigger battles are yet to be fought.

2 comments:

N.S.T said...

Schraub-- You have, I hate to say this, a naive an unquestioned faith in and acceptance of our judicial system and its judgement. It is a flaw that I see so many people exhibiting. No one accounts for(except in the case of the supreme court where everything seems to the media and the public to be a matter of a judge's personal opinion) the possibility that a judge would make up his mind and THEN come up with some twisted legal argument to justify himself ostensibly.

Randomscrub said...

Hey NST, lay off him. It's our judicial process that protects us from kangaroo courts. If we're going to put them on trial, we need to follow our own laws fro doing so. We can't waive judicial process just because we hate their guts. What happens when you become the hated one? You're gonna want those laws enforced.