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March 05, 2007

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Joan A. Conway

Please do put out the idea that I want to see our beloved G. W. shoot! Like who Shot J.R?

I rather like G. W. for some unknown reason. He is much alive and with all of his blunders, he demonstrates ACTION in the face of great controversy. His ACTION is necessary on many levels and unnecessary on as many levels as well. But for Japan, our ally, with North Korea threatening their lives with Atom bombs, the U.S. Government's ACTIONS under G. W. is GOD Sent. You have usurped by post, by coming on a minute later Frederick Hamilton. But I appreciate the connection to show support for G.W. in all of his warts.

Erasmussimo

Very well, Mr. Hamilton, for purposes of this discussion, we will use the term "conflict" to discuss the legal ramifications of our interaction with terrorists. I certainly do not criticize anybody using the term "war on terror" in a poetic sense, but for purposes of analyzing difficult legal issues, let's stick with the precision we get from the term "conflict".

Now, proceeding from there, you maintain that the importance of prevailing in our conflict with terrorism justifies replacement of traditional criminal process with harsher methods. Is this because criminal processes cannot be brought to bear in an overseas context, or because traditional criminal processes go too far (in your thinking) in the direction of protecting the innocent, or both? Can you list your objections to using our criminal law to address the conflict with terrorism?

Frederick Hamilton

Eras,
Happy to my friend. The conflict with the terrorists will not and cannot be solved by traditional criminal methods.

Certainly one of the reasons is the international nature of the fight. The terrorists themselves are spread throughout the world from Bali to Africa to the Middle East to Europe to Afghanistan. In many of those nations their ability to mount a criminal offensive even remotely close to what would be needed would be impossible. In fact in Afghanistan itself the Taliban ruling govt was a wholly owned division of al Qaeda. Even the U.S. didn't have a single law enforcement entity large enough to defeat the Taliban and put al Qaeda into the caves. To this day a military force from Nato is keeping al Qaeda in their caves and on the run. We will hunt down bin Laden some day. He is truly a dead man walking. But it won't be done with a police force. It will be done by an army.

No the criminal process doesn't go to far in protecting the innocent. I am all for protecting the innocent. Any person not in favor of protecting innocent human beings from harm is a sicko and a barbarian. The definition in today's enviornment of sicko and barbarian is the Islamic Muslim Jihadist. He or she (some women involved, few, occasional female suicide bomber. But most Islamic fundamentalists have disdain for women and women's rights) want to destroy the west and western culture and their goals are beyond control with criminal procedures and processes.

The same with federal judges trying help catch these perpetrators with conventional U.S. search and seizure rights. The terrorist is taught to exploit the civil rights of American citizens to their advantage. Claim discrimination. Claim racial profiling. Make the west's anti-Sharia civil rights laws work against them. Employ them to allow for their destruction. Make the Constitution to paraphrase a "suicide pact".

I am afraid Eras, defeating the terrorist with anything short of a military conflict status won't work. And military justice has long been seperated from criminal justice because even in a military enlightened as ours, the criminal justice model doesn't work. A captain gives an order, a sargent responds. In the civil arean with our structured criminal law, the sargent gets a lawyer. In the military the sargent gets court martialled and sent to Leavenworth for ten years, unless executed possibly on the field of conflict.

This terrorist conflict is not a police problem. It is not a criminal problem. It is an international armed conflict requiring measures a criminal system of justice couldn't handle.

Erasmussimo

So your primary argument against the use of criminal procedures is that the terrorist activities take place outside US jurisdiction, and therefore (I presume), the gathering of proper evidence is too difficult and the criminal justice system will be unable to gather enough evidence to convict the suspects.

The other arguments you offer strike me as irrelevant. The fact that terrorists are sickos and barbarians does not exclude them from the criminal justice system. The fact that they are prepared to exploit the weaknesses of the criminal justice system is also irrelevant -- lawyers for domestic criminals attempt the same thing all the time. And the maintenance of military discipline is irrelevant to the treatment of people not members of the US military.

So your only argument -- and it is a fair one -- is that we don't have the resources to conduct proper investigations of terrorist activities oversees. Here's the problem with your argument: you are admitting that we cannot obtain enough evidence to convict them of any crime. Therefore, you conclude that we should proceed to punish people based on whatever evidence we happen to come up with. Right?

Frederick Hamilton

Eras,
We punish the hell out of them based on their activity and evidence we collect on their planned activity. Just as the drone in Somalia killed an al Qaeda leader associated with the bombing of the USS Cole, and we bomb the home of al-Zarqawi, the head of al Qaeda in Iraq and the person who personally cut off the head of Nicholas Berg. Yes sir, we collect the evidence, and intelligence and once sure of both, we proceed to the sentencing phase.

As an interesting side bar on al-Zarqawi. In the bombing of his house a girl friend and child were killed. Is this murder by the U.S. military?

Hell Eras, it has nothing to do with criminal evidence. If we know the number 2 al Qaeda operative is somewhere in Egypt and the Egyptian govt has no desire to assist us in our attempt to capture him and render him to Guantanamo Bay or the federal courthouse in New York (per your criminal model) what do we do from a criminal perspective? In my opinion from a military perspective we send in the Delta Force and extract him from Egypt. Then we take Mr. Number 2 to an undisclosed location and interrorgate him. Possibly after he has provided all we need from him if it suits our plans we try him in a military tribunal or we simply execute him forthwith. How does that fit inside you criminal model?

The answer to your question is that military justice fits not just for those in our military, it is a nice fit for those we capture and fall within the MCA and military tribunals.

Eras, I am I suppose in your mind irrationally committed to fighting al Qaeda, and Islamic Muslism Jihadists within the context of military conflict (so tough not to use the word war). Crimianl justice and proceedings will never work. I guarantee you the FBI and CIA have been working on Beirut and Kohbar towers from a criminal perspective for years to no avail. Sorry, if you want to lose the conflict on terror try to do it within the context of crime.

Erasmussimo

OK. Mr. Hamilton, I'd like to inquire more closely into one of your statements. You wrote,

"we collect the evidence, and intelligence and once sure of both, we proceed to the sentencing phase."

How do you get to "sure"? Is "sure" a feeling in somebody's gut? Is "sure" a single statement from somebody under torture identifying Mr. X as a member of al-Qaeda? Is "sure" finding somebody with the same name (at least, it sounds like the same name) as somebody you know you're looking for?

Let me put it this way: can you be sure enough to execute somebody without hearing their side of the story?

Frederick Hamilton

Eras,
Yes indeed, you can be sure enough to execute a terrorist. Take al-Zarqawi for instance. Leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Video of him cutting Nicholas Berg's head off. Wasn't much to talk to him about. Military had been hunting him for a couple of years. Had good intel that he was at a certain house and they placed a laser guided bomb in his lap.

On the field of conflict or in the street of conflict, man pulls a gun out of his jacket. No need for chit chat, you kill him. If you don't he'll kill you.

How do you get to being sure? Being sure with facts regarding terrorists is the same exercise as a judge interpreting your criminal evidence. You look at the facts as presented by the intel, weigh whether it is enough data and validated correctly and by more than one reliable sourse. Then poof. Carry out the sentencing phase on the terrorists.

The terrorists do it a little differently on their side of the conflict. The pick a likely target, usually a market, or hotel, or WTC, or Pentagon, or Pizza Hut in Jerusalem, and try to make sure enough women and children are around and that it is a busy time of day and then set off a car bomb to kill, mutilate and terrorize innocent people. Also part of their conflict plan is to abduct innocent workers and journalists and cut their heads off. So this conflict has two distinct sides. Theirs and ours.

Our side tries to determine the facts surrounding terrorists and act accordingly. And definitely, our side must continue to capture, detain, execute if need be the terrorists without hearing their side of the story. I think we pretty much know their side of the story. Once captured we then will engage in interrorgation chit chat. If a non-combatant, send them home. If an alien enemy combatant then on to a military tribunal with a military lawyer for the accused and a military judge to hear the case. (Parenthetically isn't it ironic that such high prestige law schools like Chicago don't want their lawyers helping stock the military with the best and the brightest. Kinda makes you wonder).

That about sums up my thoughts on the difference between policing and law enforcement as opposed to the conflict on terror.

Is it possible we killed the wrong person in the desert of Somalia with our drone fired missle? Yes it is. Unlikely but possible. Did our intel professionals at NSA, DOD and CIA feel confident in their target? I am sure they did. But that is the difference between conflict and law enforcement. As someone has said conflict is hell. The rules of engagement in conflict are vastly different than the rules of engagement of policing on the streets of Chicago for instance.

Erasmussimo

OK, you have cited one case in which we have clear-cut evidence: the videotape of the murder. That's an easy one to agree on. But there are hundreds of other people being imprisoned without any videotapes. So allow me to rephrase my question: do you approve of keeping these guys in prison indefinitely without ever allowing them to present evidence in their own defense?

G. Green

Maybe I missed this in the discussion, but I wonder if there isn't another reason the MCA is unconstitutional: It applies not only to aliens but to U.S. citizens.

sec. 948a(1)(A)(ii):
The term `unlawful enemy combatant' means--
`(ii)a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense

"A Person" would seemingly include citizens. So, although the Boumediene case was brought on behalf of noncitizens, is it not the case that the MCA strips habeas corpus for citizens found to be "unlawful enemy combatant"? Can't Bush establish a tribunal that is generally malleable to his wishes, and then charge any of us with being UECs, thus denying us habeas rights?

Any thoughts?

Erasmussimo

The law on this is a little screwy. For example, the Fourth Amendment flatly says, "No person..." shall be denied due process, etc. It doesn't say "no citizen" or "no American" or "no good guy". It says "no person", and that means everybody. But the Supreme Court over the years has watered down "no person" to mean "not many persons".

Joan A. Conway

Presidential Privilege and Immunity is not absolute, but can stall matters in favor of the Executive Branch; however, this does not appear to be a matter of great public interest as much as it appears to be a matter of public safety!

The Political Decisions do not have 'justifiability.' And those political decisions lie in the lap of the President! Or they should!

Nothing like an popular war effort to free people and bring democracy into a war-torn area, such as the Middle East, to be exploited by our enemies, when we decide to call it a day. Granted I was originally questioning the Iraq war and all of its pretense with the weapons of mass destruction, but I have become more flexible knowing it is something that we started and something that we must finish to save face around the globe of our global dominance to protect us and all of our allies. We deny rights when we wish to crush opposition to our efforts, but less people are harmed in the process than the other way around, at least I think so at this point in time. Like I said, "I have become more flexible!"

Frederick Hamilton

No, the MCA is very specific and only applies to non-citizens. Alien enemy combatants.

No I don't think they should be kept indefinently. But that is just my feelings. There would be no legal reason not to hold the terrorists for the entire length of the conflict on terror if the commander in chief so wishes.

They won't be kept indefinently however as the military tribunals will be starting in the next month or so.

But their length of captivity was something they should have taken into account when they decided to kill Christian infidels and Jew pigs. The Muslim Islamic Jihadists want their war on us to last a long long time, and it might. The length of that conflict will determine how long the comabatants can be imprisoned. I.e, until the end of the conflict. I.e, a long long time. Their choice though. The price they pay for signing on to the conflict on terror. Except we will try them and then a determined length of imprisonment will be determined, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 25 yrs, Life, execution etc. The military tribunals will decided the punishment.

The law on this is not screwy. Read Eisentrager from the above posts. Read the MCA legislation. The law is quite clear. The six paramaters of Eisentrager nicely explain why alien enemy combatants held under the control of the U.S. outside the United States don't enjoy habeas status or any other rights of a person where the six points of Eisentrager would not apply. Or where the new MCA law would not apply. Not screwy at all.

G. Green

OK, let me revise my point/question. The MCA commissions procedures do only apply to aliens, so I was wrong there. But I do think that 948a. of the MCA says that "a person" (not 'an alien') can be designated an unlawful enemy combatant. What's unclear, then, is what this designation will mean for citizens.
But the MCA might be unconstitutional for another reason. An "alien" is any person not a US citizen. This includes lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the U.S. Immigration law states unequivocally that LPRs in the US have due process rights (see, e.g., Yamataya v. Fisher). The MCA procedures likely violate due process (no guarantee of access to evidence, confrontation of witnesses, limited appeals rights, impartiality etc.) Although what process is due UECs hasn't been hashed out yet, taking an LPR from US soil and detaining them in Guantanamo deprives them of their liberty, and military commissions can hand down death penalties. Is it really constitutional to say that just because the LPR is no longer on US soil (a debatable point in and of itself), due to the actions of the US government, he or she can no longer access the full panoply of rights undeniably afforded LPRs on US soil?

Also I don't think there is any need to make over the top statements about all Guantanamo detainees being killers. First, many of them have not ever been accused of killing any one. Second, hundreds of them have been released by the US, and I don't think that all of them were killers (else why release them?). Third, there is a category of detainees in Guantanmo called "no longer enemy combatants."
I don't think this helps your otherwise excellent arguments.

Frederick Hamilton

G. Green,
I'll start with your last point first. I have never said all Guantanamo detainees are killers. In fact I said there clearly would be a gradation of punishment based on their crimes. 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 25 yrs et al and of course execution of some (WTC planner, if guilty, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed surely will be executed). I am very sure all Guantanamo detainees are non-US citizens (alien) and that very very likely they are all alien enemy combatants and/or terrorists.

Hundreds have been released (parenthetically some of those released have been killed or captured again fighting against us). As to how many of the Guantanamo detainees are "no longer enemy combatants" I am totally unsure. I am also unsure how that catagorization is made and what it means. If you could provide more specifics on that catagorization and what it means, I would appreciate it.

I am sure the DOD will follow the law to the letter regarding the MCA. The MCA is only applicable to alien enemy combatants. If a lawful permanent resident of the United States engages in terrorist activity against the United States and becomes a captive, then I suspect any number of things will cascade from that. Firstly his legal status as a lawful permanent resident will be challanged and determined pretty quickly within the guidelines of US law. The Cleveland resident who was a Nazi concentration camp guard comes to mind. Secondly, the DOD and DOJ will determine how best to treat this LPR and will decide his new terrorist status and where that puts him. That person (LPR) I believe will have a number of legal avenues available to him within the federal courts as did the Cleveland fellow (can't remember his name). The current MCA law will not be allowed to trespass on rights of either citizens or lawfull permanent residents. Could be wrong, but very doubtfull the executive branch would risk the entire MCA legislation by trying to take one person you talk about (who doesn't exist to date) and let that legal permanent resident taint the process of military tribunals. My thinking anyway.

It remains to be seen whether the MCA is unconstitutional. The MCA was an endeavor between the legislative and the executive that was done at the request of the Supreme Court. Ergo, I am not so sure that the Supremes will strike it down unless there are profound issues or constitutionallity. Obviously the Supremes have already decided to have military tribunals are constitutional if done legislatively and not exclusively with executive decision making only.

So far nobody has posted here that the Supremes erred in Eisentrager regarding alien enemy combatants.

Erasmussimo

Mr. Hamilton, your arguments are circular. You declare that "they decided to kill Christian infidels and Jew pigs". You call them terrorists and combatants, and that this is the "price they pay for signing on to the conflict on terror", and that "very very likely they are all alien enemy combatants and/or terrorists".

You conclude from these statements that there is no point in giving them Constitutional protections -- and you're right. Once we know that somebody has committed a crime, then we should punish them. But you're assuming the result of the judicial process in order to deny its applicability.

This point has been made over and over again and you have ignored it. Numerous commentators have challenged you about your certainty of the guilt of those incarcerated at Guantanamo. And you have ignored every one of those challenges.

You refuse to address the central point of this discussion: how do we determine guilt or innocence? You simply assume guilt and spend all your time insisting on punishment of the guilty.

Until you address the central issue of all criminal law -- the proper determination of guilt or innocence -- your commentary is irrelevant and feckless.

golddog

If I, a citizen, were ever taken into custody and classified as an enemy combatant, what recourse would I have? If I did not habeas protections, how would I ever be able to present evidence that I was a citizen and deserved access to courts? I could claim to be a citizen, but who would I make this claim to if I never was allowed access to a judge?

What's to stop the government from claiming anyone is an enemy combatant? If the information were classified, then no one would know that I was even being detained.

For the government to deny anyone habeas protections is an invitation for government abuses of power.

O'Brien

Comrades,
If you like Habeas Corpus, then you'll love Ministry of Love!
Visit http://ministryoflove.wordpress.com to learn about our Orwellian protest of the Military Commissions Act.
Regards,
O'Brien

Frederick Hamilton

Eras,
I have no idea of the guilt or innocence of the detainees at Guantanamo. I have faith in the military justice system just as I have faith in the US justice system. Their guilt or innocence will be determined by law. Our laws. The MCA for instance. Supreme Court decision Eisentrager for instance. If you don't like it, do as Prof Stone suggests, change the law.

I am certain that there are no US citizens under arrest at Guantanamo.

golddog don't let your paranoia run wild. To answer your question, if you were taken into custody and were charged as an enemy combatant you would have all the rights of a US citizen. Habeas, federal courts, etc. Just take a look at Taliban Johnny Lind captured on the field of battle in Afganistan. As a US citizen he had his day in court. He on the battlefield caused the death of a CIA agent as I understand it. Some felt he should instead of capture should have been simply shot. He wasn't. He sits in a federal slammer for I think 25 years. Ergo, don't sign up with the terrorists or you may end up in deep do do.

Eras, if the MCA is irrelevant and feckless, then the majority of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the president are irrelevant and feckless. Also the Supreme Court with Eisentrager and Hamdan (requesting the legislative pass an MCA and a president to sign on to it) are irrelevant and feckless. Again, Prof Stone is correct. If you don't agree with American law, change it. Let the people decide. Called democracy.

Frederick Hamilton

O'Brien,
The Ministry of Love site was fun reading. Actually though, there is nothing Orwellian about the MCA. No govt doublespeak. On its face it was specific about habeas. It took it away from alien enemy combatants if anyone had a notion it existed for them before the MCA (those who couldn't read Eisentrager correctly). Pretty straight forward on the laws intent and impact. No subtrefuge on the govt's part there.

John

Fred,
You're full of nonsense at this point. "He on the battlefield caused the death of a CIA agent as I understand it." That's a lie, and you probably know it. He didn't cause the death of the CIA agent; he was in a prison at which prisoners started an uprising and a CIA agent was shot dead during that uprising. He was found bunkered, with a gunshot wound, and was eventually convicted of serving in the Taliban and carrying weapons.
You say you have faith in the government following the law. You've obviously never practiced law as a defense attorney. You have no clue as to the lengths your government will go through to obfuscate, deny access to evidence, even exculpatory evidence, unless absolutely forced to abide by the law by a vigorous defense attorney.

"Let the people decide. Called democracy." Fred, this is not a democracy. It's a constitutional republic. Until you understand that basic point, you have no place in this discussion.

Erasmussimo

Mr. Hamilton, you fail to understand what is plain in my text.

I wrote "Until you address the central issue of all criminal law -- the proper determination of guilt or innocence -- your commentary is irrelevant and feckless."

You respond:

"Eras, if the MCA is irrelevant and feckless, then the majority of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the president are irrelevant and feckless."

You have misunderstood the subject of my sentence ('your commentary') to mean 'the MCA'. I cannot understand how you could make so simple a mistake. If you cannot understand plain English, how can any reasonable person engage you in discourse?

Moreover, you contradict yourself most flagrantly. You write:

"I have no idea of the guilt or innocence of the detainees at Guantanamo."

yet you also write:

"they decided to kill Christian infidels and Jew pigs"

You declare that "I have faith in the military justice system", yet you refuse to declare faith in the explicit components of the MCA, specifically the denial of legal representation, the denial of the right to confront witnesses, and the denial of the right to present exculpatory evidence.

I am losing faith in your ability to conduct yourself with intellectual integrity. Please resolve these contradictions.

Frederick Hamilton

John,
Take a deep breath. Constitutional republic vs democracy. Man your getting your shorts in a knot over nothing. Sure, fine, we are a representational constitutional federation of states that most people (all politicians, plain folk, law professors, et al claim to be a democracy). Representational democracy if you will.

John, I have nothing against a vigorous defense of those charged with a crime by a capable defense attorney. Of course govt prosecutors can overreach. Nope, never practiced as a vigorous defense attorney. Hell, I am not even a lawyer. Probably not bright enough to rise to that level. Stopped short with a surgical career. Taliban Johnny was afforded his vigorous defense attorney and he got justice.

Those at Guantanamo will have their defense attorney's and will get justice. I suspect you feel the military lawyers are inferior as they weren't allowed to be recruited at places like Chicago because of bright law schools who didn't understand the First Amendment and the Solomon Amendment legislation very well, but those military lawyers on TV and Film look pretty tough and capable defenders, but that is only on Film and TV. In real life I am sure they are more ignorant of the law than you and maybe even me. Sad to say, per the law, that is the legal defense the perps at Guantanamo will get. Once determined to be real "alien enemy combtatants" by the corrupt military legal system.

Fortunately John my place in this discussion is not your call.

Eras, you are clever. I did not put "they decided to kill Christian infidels and Jew pigs" in either the same paragraph or even the same post of "I have no idea of the guilt or innocence of the detainees at Guantanamo". I was telling the truth. I have no idea as to guilt or innocence of current alien enemy terrorist combantants under US military control (either in Guantanamo or anywhere else the US military is holding prisoners..Iraq...Afghanistan, et al.

I declare my faith in military justice with all their components. Yes sir, and I reaffirm that statement again. You are dead wrong that the MCA denies aec's legal representation. That I know for sure after watching a briefing by the head of military justice as they brought forth the rules under which the military tribunals would be conducted. I am not sure but would doubt that MCA denies witness's or evidence to be produced. My understanding is after watching the presentation that some intelligence secret information would be given to the court and shared with defendant, judge, lawyers outside of public disclosure. The manual on the MCA military tribunals is public and was the work of a correlation with military and civilian lawyers and represents a pretty good effort at fairness for the accused.

I hope that resolves my intellectual integrity for you. Before you wondered about consistency. Again just so you can judge consistency and integrity. I favor the MCA and the militray tribunals as constructed. I believe Eisentrager to be a part of the law regarding aec's and habeas. I do believe that the Islamic Muslim Jihadists (read terrorists) do want to kill innocent Christian infidels and Jew pigs. Why? Because they tell us so. I consider the MCA legal. I consider the "conflict" on terror legal. I favor aggressive intel on the IMJ's (terrorists) such as NSA intercepts of international calls, data mining to find their funding (I believe to be legal), drone smart bombing of known terrorists (known to us to our satisfaction), the non-drone smart bombing of al Zarqawi, et al.

I believe the "conflict" on terror began years ago with Beirut and we came late to the conclusion we were in a "conflict" with the terrorists. 9/11 finally crystallized this nations determination to fight back. I fully support the fight. With everything this nation can bring to bear on the Islamic Muslim Jihadists. Military, financial, intelligence, et al. A fully armed attack on everything terrorist. I believe if we listen to those of you opposed to an aggressive approach to these terrorists we will only be appeasing this struggle and to our nations detriment. There you go my friend. Consistent and I think of intellectual integrity. Probably doesn't agree with your thinking but then that is the beauty of our dialogue. Hopefully we can disagree respectfully.

Frederick Hamilton

Man I finally figured it out. Why places like Chicago and lawyers in the main hate Bush. He ain't one of you. He isn't a bright lawyer. A Clinton. The meaning is is. I get it. Obama, fine, one of you. Huckabee, bad, a minister. Clinton, fine, one of you. Took awhile, but I am getting it. No place for us non-lawyers. Not bright enough. Can't figure the law out.

Erasmussimo

Mr. Hamilton, you are operating under misconceptions. You state that "You are dead wrong that the MCA denies aec's legal representation. " yet you do not even read the the blog entry that began this discussion, which says that "it relies on secret evidence, denies detainees the chance to present evidence in their favor, and prohibits the assistance of counsel."

I suggest that do a little research on the MCA. Here are some tidbits instantly available from Wikipedia:

"The role of the representative was not to serve as their advocate. Nothing told to him was confidential. He had no obligation to present their case in the best light. If the detainee was not present during their tribunal, the representative would present their case without their co-operation."

You call this 'legal representation'????

Here's another tidbit:

"The tribunals differed from proceedings under a criminal justice system in that:[citation needed]

* Detainees do not receive the presumption of innocence.
* Detainees do not get access to legal advice.
* Detainees are not entitled to access to the evidence against them, or in their favor.
* Hear-say evidence is allowed to be used against the detainees.
* The use of evidence acquired through coercive interrogation is allowed, there is no protection against self-incrimination.
* Evidence acquired through the torture of other suspects was allowed."

And another tidbit regarding the military commissions so far:

" * The government did not produce any witnesses in any hearing.
* The military denied all detainee requests to inspect the classified evidence against them.
* The military refused all requests for defense witnesses who were not detained at Guantanamo.
* In 74 percent of the cases, the government denied requests to call witnesses who were detained at the prison.
* In 91 percent of the hearings, the detainees did not present any evidence.
* In three cases, the panel found that the detainee was “no longer an enemy combatant,” but the military convened new tribunals that later found them to be enemy combatants."

Mr. Hamilton, you are making claims in complete contravention to the facts. I suggest that your faith in these commissions is based on your hatred of Muslims, not the facts.

Lastly, as to your hyperbolic rants about lawyers and non-lawyers, I advise you that I am not an attorney, either. The difference between us, sir, is my respect for the rule of law as opposed to your vicious desire to wreak injury upon random Muslims.

Frederick Hamilton

Eras,
Not random Muslims. Terrorist muslims. We disagree on MCA and counsel. I'll look up the military tribunal rules and regs to see if the accused are accorded defense counsel. I believe they are. I'll get back to you.

Military tribunals are indeed different than US criminal proceedings and protections afforded US citizens in US courts. That is by design. As I stated above, I agree with the design.

My faith in the tribunals is not based on my hate of Muslim. I don't hate Muslims. That canard won't fly. Muslims are fine in the main. It is those crazy terrorist Islamic Muslim Jihandists that I dislike. And really, hate isn't the right word. I don't really hate rabid dogs, but I do believe they should be put down. Same with the terrorists. Terrorism and the slaughter of innocent men, women and children has no place in the world today. The rabid terrorists are just like the rabid dogs.

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