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Millitary Commissions: Hamden Trial at Gitmo

 
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:36 am
Hamden was found guilty of providing material support to Osama Bin Laden. He was found innocent of conspiracy of terrorism.

He faces up to a lifetime sentence. Even if he had been acquitted, the White House wold have held him indefinitely they said until "the war was over."

I expect supreme court appeals. I don't necessarily disagree with the ruling, but I absolutely abhor the trial proceedings. I am unsure as whether or not the material support ruling will stick come appeals time.

The trial was a horrible production. The supreme court ruled 3 times already that the operations at Gitmo were unconstitutional. Even if the material support verdict was a good one, the methods used in the court may ultimately invalidate the ruling.

Still watching.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 967 • Replies: 17
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:39 am
It's pretty clear that the trials are complete shams, with no real basis in law.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  0  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:54 am
I'll keep posting updates later.

T
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0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 12:41 am
Sentencing complete... kind of...

Quote:

Bin Laden driver given 66 months

Osama Bin Laden's former driver has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison at the first US military trial in Guantanamo Bay.

Salim Hamdan was convicted on Wednesday of supporting terrorism, but acquitted of conspiracy to murder.

Prosecutors had demanded a sentence of not less than 30 years.

On time served Hamdan could be released in five months but the Pentagon has said he will still be retained as an "enemy combatant".

The US has always argued it can detain such people indefinitely, as long as its so-called war on terror continues.

The Pentagon said Hamdan would serve his sentence and then be eligible for review.

Regret

The BBC's Kim Ghattas at the trial says the sentence is a dramatic snub to the Bush administration and came after just one-and-a-half hours of deliberation.

The jury of six US military officers, not the judge, imposed the sentence under the tribunal rules.

"It is my duty as president [of the jury] to inform you that this military commission sentences you to be confined for 66 months," a juror told Hamdan.

Our correspondent says Hamdan looked nervous as he walked in for sentencing but after hearing it, he told jurors: "I would like to apologise one more time to all the members and I would like to thank you for what you have done for me."

The judge, Navy Capt Keith Allred, told Hamdan: "I hope the day comes when you return to your wife and your daughters and your country."

Hamdan, who is aged about 40, smiled as he left court and said thank you to those in the room.

After the sentencing, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said: "He will serve out the rest of his sentence. At that time he will still be considered an enemy combatant.

"But he will be eligible for review by an Administrative Review Board."

The boards decide annually on the threat posed by detainees and the possibility of their transfer or release.

The White House had earlier said the trial was "fair".

The defence is still likely to go ahead with the appeal it announced on Wednesday.

Rights groups have condemned the tribunal system. Amnesty International said it was "fundamentally flawed" and should be abandoned.

'Worked for wages'

In his earlier plea for leniency to the jury, Hamdan said in a prepared statement: "It's true there are work opportunities in Yemen, but not at the level I needed after I got married and not to the level of ambitions that I had in my future."

He said he regretted the loss of "innocent lives".

Hamdan had admitted working for Bin Laden in Afghanistan from 1997 to 2001 for $200 (£99) a month, but said he worked for wages, not to wage war on the US.

About 270 suspects remain in detention in Guantanamo Bay.

Among the dozens of other inmates due to be tried there in the coming months are men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.


source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7547261.stm

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0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 04:28 am
So, Diest,
What's your opinion of the sentence? He could be out in 5 months. If you equate terrorism to a criminal act then my take is it was eminently fair. Getaway drivers of bank robbers get about the same. Certainly will NOT make sense for him to take it beyond this court.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 08:43 am
But, he won't be released, even after his sentence is over.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:05 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
It's pretty clear that the trials are complete shams, with no real basis in law.

Cycloptichorn


He received a sentence of 66 months. Does your opinion remain the same?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:06 am
Ticomaya wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
It's pretty clear that the trials are complete shams, with no real basis in law.

Cycloptichorn


He received a sentence of 66 months. Does your opinion remain the same?


Yes, of course it does. There was no legal basis underpinning these trials, trials in which the defense is not even allowed to see the evidence against their client, where the charges themselves can be kept secret. There's no justice involved whatsoever.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 10:53 am
Re: Millitary Commissions: Hamden Trial at Gitmo
Diest TKO wrote:
Hamden was found guilty of providing material support to Osama Bin Laden. He was found innocent of conspiracy of terrorism.


The judge lied about the laws of war regarding those conspiracy charges when he gave the jury instructions.

I don't know if he would still have been found innocent of the conspiracy charges had the judge told the truth, but the judge should be fired and replaced with someone willing to uphold the law.



Diest TKO wrote:
The trial was a horrible production.


Not really. Aside from the judge's lies I mentioned above, it was a pretty straightforward hearing of the evidence.



Diest TKO wrote:
The supreme court ruled 3 times already that the operations at Gitmo were unconstitutional.


No they didn't. Not in the way you are implying anyway. They did rule that it was unconstitutional for Bush to change the law by decree when he set up the tribunals. But that was about Bush trying to change the law by decree, not about the tribunals themselves. The current tribunals have been authorized by Congress, not by a decree from Bush, and so do not run afoul of the court's ruling.



Diest TKO wrote:
Even if the material support verdict was a good one, the methods used in the court may ultimately invalidate the ruling.


What methods did they use that you think could invalidate their ruling?
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 10:57 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
It's pretty clear that the trials are complete shams, with no real basis in law.

Cycloptichorn


Not really. They were authorized by the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Their basis in law is pretty soundly established.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:00 am
oralloy wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
It's pretty clear that the trials are complete shams, with no real basis in law.

Cycloptichorn


Not really. They were authorized by the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Their basis in law is pretty soundly established.


No, it is not. The Congress may have authorized the trials to go forward, but that does not mean the trials themselves have any real basis in law.

Quote:

The judge lied about the laws of war regarding those conspiracy charges when he gave the jury instructions.


I'm pretty sure that the jury, made up of military officials, were well aware of the laws of war and what they mean.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:00 am
slkshock7 wrote:
So, Diest,
What's your opinion of the sentence? He could be out in 5 months. If you equate terrorism to a criminal act then my take is it was eminently fair. Getaway drivers of bank robbers get about the same. Certainly will NOT make sense for him to take it beyond this court.


I'm conflicted a lot. On one hand, I feel the end product was correct, but somehow unjust.

The Verdict:
I agree with the acquittal of the conspiracy charges.
I agree that the services he offered OBL translate to material support.

The Sentence:
I think time served is just in this case. So in 5 months, I think his time should be up.
I am confused as to how he is still considered an enemy combatant. It seems that charge that would label him that didn't stick.
I think whoever becomes president needs to revoke his status as a enemy combatant.

The Trial:
What worries me the most is that the verdict gives the illusion of justice. I feel like even the right end product does not equate to justice if you can't get a fair trial. We want convictions to stick, so the standard for due process must be very high. This trial was a "trial run" if you will to test out the system.

The problem is going to come when they start trying to convict the real threats. They've illustrated the problems with the military commission, and in the end, it may mean that the Gitmo court looses their authority.

I've never had a problem with the idea of trial for these people, but I think that it should have played out under our constitutional federal courts or in a court that is governed by international law. Creating a third system (which ultimately reports to the US) that abides by neither is an embarrassment to our country.

My grandfather worked for the US military during WWII as an interpreter/translator. In fact, he was General Tojo's translator. I can tell you how radically different those trials are from these productions.

I feel like the US was content to use whatever evidence it could of Hamdan's crimes while concealing the evidence of their own crimes.

The old prosecutor resigned because he felt administrative pressure to simply produce results. He felt it was more of a political show than a trial. My hat goes off to him for stepping down and voicing his ethical concerns with the trial. That's the American sense of justice I believe in; that we deserve our trial to be fair.

That a fair trial will produce justice.
K
O
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:10 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Ticomaya wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
It's pretty clear that the trials are complete shams, with no real basis in law.

Cycloptichorn


He received a sentence of 66 months. Does your opinion remain the same?


Yes, of course it does. There was no legal basis underpinning these trials,


No legal basis other than the federal statute that authorizes them.



Cycloptichorn wrote:
trials in which the defense is not even allowed to see the evidence against their client, where the charges themselves can be kept secret.


Neither of those allegations are true of the Guantanamo tribunals.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:11 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
But, he won't be released, even after his sentence is over.

Cycloptichorn


That depends whether he is deemed an enemy fighter or not. Enemy fighters can be detained until the end of the war.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:16 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
It's pretty clear that the trials are complete shams, with no real basis in law.

Cycloptichorn


Not really. They were authorized by the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Their basis in law is pretty soundly established.


No, it is not. The Congress may have authorized the trials to go forward, but that does not mean the trials themselves have any real basis in law.


When a federal statute authorizes a tribunal, that tribunal has a basis in law.



Cycloptichorn wrote:
oralloy wrote:
The judge lied about the laws of war regarding those conspiracy charges when he gave the jury instructions.


I'm pretty sure that the jury, made up of military officials, were well aware of the laws of war and what they mean.

Cycloptichorn


They would likely have followed the jury instructions, even if some of them knew that the judge was lying about the law in his instructions.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:17 am
oralloy wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
But, he won't be released, even after his sentence is over.

Cycloptichorn


That depends whether he is deemed an enemy fighter or not. Enemy fighters can be detained until the end of the war.


How can he be? He was cleared of charges to that effect BEFORE they trumped up the 'material support' charges to pin SOMETHING on the guy.

From Horton:

Quote:


http://harpers.org/archive/2008/08/hbc-90003374

The whole thing has been a sham from day one. It has been revealed that no sentence other then 'guilty' is an acceptable one to those who organized and are running these trials. Just look how pissed you are that the judge didn't convict on the other count; you are calling for his removal, and saying he was a liar. That's not justice; that's a pre-determined outcome.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:34 am
Diest TKO wrote:
I am confused as to how he is still considered an enemy combatant. It seems that charge that would label him that didn't stick.
I think whoever becomes president needs to revoke his status as a enemy combatant.


His status as an enemy combatant was not decided by his conviction or acquittal on the criminal conspiracy charge.

His status as an enemy combatant would be based on whether or not he fought against US troops. It is possible that the habeas proceedings will decide that he was never an enemy combatant to begin with, but if he was fighting against our soldiers, his status as an enemy combatant would remain until the end of the war.



Diest TKO wrote:
The Trial:
What worries me the most is that the verdict gives the illusion of justice. I feel like even the right end product does not equate to justice if you can't get a fair trial. We want convictions to stick, so the standard for due process must be very high. This trial was a "trial run" if you will to test out the system.

The problem is going to come when they start trying to convict the real threats. They've illustrated the problems with the military commission, and in the end, it may mean that the Gitmo court looses their authority.


What problems were illustrated by this trial run of the tribunals?



Diest TKO wrote:
I've never had a problem with the idea of trial for these people, but I think that it should have played out under our constitutional federal courts or in a court that is governed by international law. Creating a third system (which ultimately reports to the US) that abides by neither is an embarrassment to our country.


Captured soldiers have always been tried by military tribunals. This is hardly a new way of doing things.



Diest TKO wrote:
My grandfather worked for the US military during WWII as an interpreter/translator. In fact, he was General Tojo's translator. I can tell you how radically different those trials are from these productions.


So what are some concrete differences between the two?



Diest TKO wrote:
I feel like the US was content to use whatever evidence it could of Hamdan's crimes while concealing the evidence of their own crimes.


Since the US was not on trial, alleged evidence of alleged US crimes would not have been very relevant.



Diest TKO wrote:
The old prosecutor resigned because he felt administrative pressure to simply produce results. He felt it was more of a political show than a trial. My hat goes off to him for stepping down and voicing his ethical concerns with the trial. That's the American sense of justice I believe in; that we deserve our trial to be fair.


He was being pressed to get going with the prosecutions ASAP. If he didn't think he could get going in a timely manner, then it was good for him to resign and be replaced with someone who could get the job done.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 12:02 pm
Cycloptichorn wrote:
oralloy wrote:
Cycloptichorn wrote:
But, he won't be released, even after his sentence is over.

Cycloptichorn


That depends whether he is deemed an enemy fighter or not. Enemy fighters can be detained until the end of the war.


How can he be? He was cleared of charges to that effect BEFORE they trumped up the 'material support' charges to pin SOMETHING on the guy.


Being an enemy combatant is not a "charge" exactly since it is not a crime. It is more a class of people who can be detained until the end of the war.

He has never been cleared of being an enemy combatant. The habeas courts may decide that he isn't an enemy combatant later this year when his lawyers bring his case before them. I have no idea how they will rule on this.



Cycloptichorn wrote:


The Nuremberg tribunals did the same when they had to codify crimes that were not previously codified. Were they a sham also?



Cycloptichorn wrote:
The whole thing has been a sham from day one.


I've seen nothing to indicate that so far, unless the Nuremberg tribunals were also a sham.



Cycloptichorn wrote:
It has been revealed that no sentence other then 'guilty' is an acceptable one to those who organized and are running these trials.


It has? How was this revealed?



Cycloptichorn wrote:
Just look how pissed you are that the judge didn't convict on the other count; you are calling for his removal, and saying he was a liar. That's not justice; that's a pre-determined outcome.


I'm not pissed at the verdict. I'm pissed that he lied in the jury instructions.

I haven't followed this closely enough to form an opinion as to whether he was guilty or not. It is perfectly plausible to me that he might have been acquitted even had the judge given reasonable jury instructions. But those tainted jury instructions do make his acquittal suspicious to me now.
0 Replies
 
 

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