Wednesday, August 6, 2008


In the very first Guantanamo trial (who says that our government doesn't prepare its cases carefully and with deliberation? It took them 7 years of hard work to get this one into court, finally!), Salim Ahmed Hamdan has just been convicted of the lesser charge -- material support to terrorists -- but acquitted of the conspiracy charge.
Likely that means life in prison for Mr. Hamdan. For being Osama Bin Laden's chauffeur. OBL's dry cleaner must be shaking in his sandals right now.
At first blush, it seems wonderful that our government is finally putting the Guantanamo contingent (many of whom have been detained for 7 years) on trial.
But it turns out that the trial, actually, would not have mattered much anyway.
Here's an excerpt of yesterday's press briefing by Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell:

MORRELL: Even if he were acquitted of the charges that are before him, he would still be considered an enemy combatant and therefore would continue to be subject to continued detention. Of course, that said, he would also have the opportunity to go before the administrative review board and they could determine whether he is a suitable candidate for release or transfer.

But in the near term, at least, we would consider him an enemy combatant and still a danger and would likely still be detained for some period of time thereafter.

In the meantime, the Bush administration keeps bashing China and multiple countries of the former Soviet Union for their human rights records.
Happy to see they care.

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