The Corner

Hey, I’ve Got a Good Idea: Let’s Move All the Detainee Cases into the Civilian Courts!

After all, it’s what “our values” demand (even though it was never in history done before 2004) and, besides, we have lots of ways to make sure sensitive information doesn’t get exposed.

Right. From Josh Gerstein at Politico:

Judge: Gitmo prisoner can question KSM

A federal judge has ruled that the legal team for a Pakistani prisoner at Guantanamo can seek to challenge his detention by questioning an alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  Over strong government objections, Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled that the questioning should be permitted because information from KSM could help fellow Guantanamo prisoner Abdul Raheem Ghulam Rabbani, dispute claims that he was an Al Qaeda operative.

“The petitioner has clearly articulated why the discovery sought could produce exculpatory evidence. Many of the government’s allegations against the petitioner center on work allegedly performed for KSM,” Urbina wrote in a July 22 order which was released in a declassified and redacted form today. ”The government vehemently opposes petitioners request,” Urbina noted. However, the judge said he would permit Rabbani’s attorneys to draft “a list of narrowly-tailored interrogatories to be answered by KSM.” Urbina said the questions could not ask about KSM’s detention or interrogation, which reportedly involved 183 waterboarding sessions in a one-month period. The judge said the government would be allowed to delete from KSM’s answers “information implicating national security concerns.”

The last line is a laugher. What the judge means is that the government can suggest deletions but the judge –i.e. the guy in the equation who has no reponsibility or expertise in national-security matters — will decide with national security would be imperilled.

This is the world the Obama people wanted. Not so slowly but surely, capturing a prisoner in wartime — er, I mean, in overseas contingency operations – will lead to a full-blown civilian legal trial where the enemy enlists the compulsion of our courts to rifle through our intelligence files and question classified sources.  No wonder this administration never uses the word “victory” — it’s becoming less and less possible.

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