Saturday, June 06, 2009

Just a little frightening. . .Obama to allow Gitmo executions without trials

From the New York Times:
The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.

The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom.

The proposal, in a draft of legislation that would be submitted to Congress, has not been publicly disclosed. It was circulated to officials under restrictions requiring secrecy. People who have read or been briefed on it said it had been presented to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates by an administration task force on detention.

Obama's already outlined his procedure of "indefinite preventative detention," a fascinating, scary way of saying "illegal imprisonment without trial or sufficient evidence." It's already too late for Obama to become the human rights President, and I suspect that our country is already on a path where a respect for the rule of law and the Bill of Rights is no longer considered an asset in political circles. Naturally, the terrorists won when we began to compromise our own ideals and values on a massive scale in the name of keeping America "safe." No good American should want this kind of "safety." It's largely imaginary in the first place and requires the destruction of nearly everything that makes our country great and unique.

The proposal would ease what has come to be recognized as the government’s difficult task of prosecuting men who have confessed to terrorism but whose cases present challenges. Much of the evidence against the men accused in the Sept. 11 case, as well as against other detainees, is believed to have come from confessions they gave during intense interrogations at secret C.I.A. prisons. In any proceeding, the reliability of those statements would be challenged, making trials difficult and drawing new political pressure over detainee treatment.
In a nutshell, President Obama wants to allow "evidence" obtained under illegal and unreliable torture methods to be considered statements of guilt worthy of execution (read note below), without any semblance of a lawful trial. Obama, having taken steps to begin closing Gitmo purely as a formality, has decided to turn it into an illegal execution factory.

NOTE: It seems that executions will not occur based solely on evidence obtained under torture, but a guilty plea on the part of the "defendant." This is still frightening as an inmate incarcerated for several months, often subject to inhumane or illegal torture and techniques for breaking them down, cannot be considered a reliable source for information. Allowing the government to execute based on a mere confession obtained through whatever methods they decide are legal is questionable at best, a prelude to totalitarianism at worst (and that's no exaggeration).

1 comment:

  1. Greenwald: "Obama movingly assured us that some of the Guantanamo detainees will be tried in a real court -- i.e., only those the DOJ is certain ahead of time they can convict. For those about whom there's uncertainty, he's going to create new military commissions to make it easier to obtain convictions, and then try some of the detainees there -- i.e., only those they are certain ahead of time they can convict there. For the rest -- meaning those about whom Obama can't be certain he'll get the outcome he wants in a judicial proceeding or military commission -- he'll just keep them locked up anyway. In other words, he'll indulge the charade that people he wants to keep in a cage are entitled to some process (a real court or military commissions) only where he knows in advance he will get what he wants; where he doesn't know that, he'll bypass those pretty processes and assert the unilateral right to keep them imprisoned anyway."


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