Friday, June 30, 2006

Oh Jeebus Mohammad Vishnu Buddha Christ!


Two years ago the US military invited Mr Mujahid, a former Afghan police commander accused of plotting against the United States, to prove his innocence before a special military tribunal. As was his right, Mr Mujahid called four witnesses from Afghanistan.

But months later the tribunal president returned with bad news: the witnesses could not be found. Mr Mujahid's hopes sank and he was returned to the wire-mesh cell where he remains today.

The Guardian searched for Mr Mujahid's witnesses and found them within three days. One was working for President Hamid Karzai. Another was teaching at a leading American college. The third was living in Kabul. The fourth, it turned out, was dead. Each witness said he had never been approached by the Americans to testify in Mr Mujahid's hearing.

The case illustrates the egregious flaws that have discredited Guantánamo-style justice and which led the US supreme court to declare such trials illegal on Thursday in a major rebuke to the Bush administration. Mr Mujahid is one of 380 Guantánamo detainees whose cases were reviewed at "combatant-status review tribunals" in 2004 and 2005. The tribunals were hastily set up following a court ruling that the prisoners, having been denied all normal legal rights, should be allowed to prove their innocence. Ten of the hearings proceeded to full trials, including that of Osama bin Laden's aide, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who brought the successful supreme court appeal.

But by the time the review tribunals ended last year the US government had located just a handful of the requested witnesses. None was brought from overseas to testify. The military lawyers simply said they were "non-contactable".

That was not entirely true.

You cannot trust one word regarding anything the government touches. How much do you want to bet they didn't even fucking try?

Thanks to Eschaton commentor s mcfeverish robot slave.


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