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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:44 AM
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Obama may revive Guantanamo military courts

Obama may revive Guantanamo military courts
By William Glaberson
New York Times
May 2, 2009

The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting Guantnamo detainees, which was a target of critics during the Bush administration, including Mr. Obama himself.

Officials said the first public moves could come as soon as next week, perhaps in filings to military judges at the United States naval base at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, outlining an administration plan to amend the Bush administrations system to provide more legal protections for terrorism suspects.

Officials who work on the Guantnamo issue say administration lawyers have become concerned that they would face significant obstacles to trying some terrorism suspects in federal courts. Judges might make it difficult to prosecute detainees who were subjected to brutal treatment or for prosecutors to use hearsay evidence gathered by intelligence agencies.

The Bush administrations commission system was criticized in part because it permitted evidence that would often be barred in federal court, like evidence obtained through coercive interrogations and hearsay.

The administration is likely to make it more difficult for prosecutors to admit hearsay, while not excluding it entirely, the lawyers said. The hearsay issue is central to many Guantnamo cases because they are based on intelligence reports and detainees may never be permitted to cross-examine the sources of those reports.

Please read the complete article at:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30531510
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:49 AM
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I don't understand your comment

Do you support the continuation of military courts or do you think alleged "terrorists" should be given a fair trial in legitimate federal courts?

I think that at least 90% of DU'ers, including me, favor real trials in the federal court system.

How about you .... are you with us?
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rustydog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:43 PM
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3. There is an enormous difference between Bush's tribunals
Where "secret evidence" was used. The "accused" had no access to attorneys or ability to review any evidence against them and could not cross-examine witnesses.
That is IF they were ever charged with anything, remember, Bush believed he could hold anyone he deemed "bad" indefinitely without charges.

If Obama reinstates tribunals that follow the rule of law, it will be a million times greater than the circus Bush was ringleader of.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. We don't know what the new rules for a military tribunal will be, however,
why are you opposed to giving these alleged "terrorists" and "enemy combatants" a fair trial in an open federal court where the rules are clear and the defendents would have full legal protections and constitutional rights?

That would be ten million times better than having a military tribunal determine their fate.

Don't you agree?
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wmbrew0206 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. No, it would not work.
While a trial in federal court for HVT like KSM, etc needs to happen, it does not need to happen for the majority of the Gitmo detainees.

The majority of the Gitmo detainees were picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan. The soldiers who captured them on the battlefield did not stop to collect evidence or take statements from the people around them at the time. There is very little "evidence" against them because the people who captured them did not go through the procedures that produce evidence used in court. A federal court is not meant to handle a case where the defendant was captured on the battlefield.

This would also set a bad precedent for the military in regards to capturing the enemy on the battlefield in a irregular war. Having to capture and handle prisoners on a battlefield in a way that will allow them to be prosecuted in a a federal court will just encourage the military to ensure that they don't take as many prisoners.
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