Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Anals of Bush: 12-gallon hat justice

[Yes, I know. I meant to spell it like that.]

Here are two stories, side by side, in the WaPo today that really show you how out of control our government is. The first one involves a Gitmo detainee who was rescued from a Taliban prison by US troops and then sent to Gitmo based on a video-tape he was tortured into making by the Taliban.

Let me repeat this; 27-year old Abdul Rahim has been at Gitmo for five years based on video-taped evidence, which was tortured out of him by the Taliban. I've heard about the CIA rendering prisoners to other countries for torture, but this is ridiculous.

The WaPo: "Rahim's American lawyers filed the records in federal court in Washington this week, along with the results of their own investigation corroborating Rahim's claims of innocence, adding sworn statements from witnesses. They are asking a judge to order the military to admit that it made a mistake and release Rahim, who is being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. . . Rahim's account of being imprisoned and tortured by the Taliban is supported by newspaper accounts about Rahim and fellow prisoners whom the Taliban abandoned when U.S. forces began bombing Afghanistan in the fall of 2001. It is also supported by documents from impartial agencies that had contact with Rahim, notably the International Committee of the Red Cross." [The Red Cross? Who's going to believe them?]

But, I guess, Rahim shouldn't worry, though, because every detainee gets a military review to make sure he's really guiity, right? Surely he has the legal right to a Habeas Corpus petition? Nope, Congress took care of that little unnecessary hinderance to the WOT.

Just sit tight Rahim, at least you're getting three squares and a beating every night. That's more than can be said for Mohammad Munaf, an American citizen, who has been been left to the gentle mercies of an Iraqi court by his own government.

The WaPo:

"A U.S. citizen who allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists near Baghdad last year was sentenced to death in an Iraqi court Thursday, prompting his lawyers to ask a federal judge in Washington to block the U.S. military from transferring him to the Iraqi government. Mohammad Munaf, 53, has been in U.S. custody since May 23, 2005, when he was arrested during a military raid to rescue the Romanian journalists nearly two months after they were snatched."

It turns out there was little evidence that he was involved in the kidnappings and even the Romanian government wanted his case dropped . . . but not so quick; the Iraqi judge hearing his case in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq was apparently about to set Munaf free when an American genral arrived at the court. The general and the judge went into a room and -- low and behold -- 15 minutes later Munaf was sentenced to death without any evidence being presented against him and witout him being able to defend himself.

Now, that's justice Bush-style! I think this is some sort of dry run for what Rummy & Co. have in mind for dealing with the Gitmo problem. Why gum up the courts with frivious Habeas Corpus petitions and stays of execution, fair trais, evidence, a legal defense, all those pre-911 niceties that the terrorists would never go through for one of our guys. Just stand them up; sentence them; and kill them. No muss, no fuss.


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