More Indignities Heaped Upon the Constitution

Emails from two military prosecutors working at prosecuting Guantanamo Bay detainees indicate that the ‘military tribunals’ are “rigged.”

Let’s see. We declare the prisoners enemy combatants, imprison them incommunicado off-shore, deny them legal counsel, torture them; and, after the Supreme Court rules that the prisoners must be provided due process of the law, set up rigged trials. Sounds like something King George would have done.

Read the report by Australian TV news.

Major Robert Preston wrote to his supervisor:

“I consider the insistence on pressing ahead with cases that would be marginal even if properly prepared to be a severe threat to the reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American people,” Maj Preston wrote.

“Surely they don’t expect that this fairly half-arsed effort is all that we have been able to put together after all this time.”

Maj Preston says he cannot continue to work on a process he considers morally, ethically and professionally intolerable.

“I lie awake worrying about this every night,” he wrote.

“I find it almost impossible to focus on my part of mission.

“After all, writing a motion saying that the process will be full and fair when you don’t really believe it is kind of hard, particularly when you want to call yourself an officer and lawyer.”

Major Preston was transferred out of the Office of Military Commissions less than a month later.

Captain John Carr wrote:

“When I volunteered to assist with this process and was assigned to this office, I expected there would at least be a minimal effort to establish a fair process and diligently prepare cases against significant accused,” he wrote.

“Instead, I find a half-hearted and disorganised effort by a skeleton group of relatively inexperienced attorneys to prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that appears to be rigged.”

Capt Carr says that the prosecutors have been told by the chief prosecutor that the panel sitting in judgment on the cases would be handpicked to ensure convictions.

“You have repeatedly said to the office that the military panel will be handpicked and will not acquit these detainees and that we only needed to worry about building a record for the review panel,” he said.

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