Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Making Promises He Can't Keep

U. S. Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff promises that the Guantanamo prisoners charged in connection with the 9/11 bombings will receive fair trials and full due process. That's nice. It brought to mind Bush saying that Saddam Hussein would be given a fair trial and then hanged, but there was something else here that struck me as just plain wrong: these people will be tried by military tribunal. The U.S. military reports to the President through the Secretary of Defense not the Secretary of Homeland Security. So, Chertoff, who has no authority in the matter, has no right to promise anything in connection with it. He is, in fact, just advancing Bush Administration propaganda which is meant to take the edge off the arguments against this new surge to murder.

Anyone who has become even lightly acquainted with U.S. military justice through experience or study knows that there is little to no fairness in it and little to no justice. Military courts are more susceptible than any other U.S. court to producing the results desired by those in power.

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