"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Monday, August 01, 2005
Leaked emails from two former prosecutors claim the military commissions set up to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay are rigged, fraudulent, and thin on evidence against the accused.
Two emails, which have been obtained by the ABC, were sent to supervisors in the Office of Military Commissions in March of last year - three months before Australian detainee David Hicks was charged and five months before his trial began.
The first email is from prosecutor Major Robert Preston to his supervisor.
Maj Preston writes that the process is perpetrating a fraud on the American people, and that the cases being pursued are marginal.
"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."
Maj Preston was transferred out of the Office of Military Commissions less than a month later.
The second email is written by another prosecutor, Captain John Carr, who also ended up leaving the department.
Capt Carr says the commissions appear to be rigged.
Remember - they hate us for our freedom.
(Oops - forgot to tip my fedora to the inestimable Attaturk.)