Friday, November 19, 2010

In support of civil trials for Gitmo prisoners

Morris Davis, a former Air Force colonel, who was the chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from 2005 to 2007, has written this sane and perfect commentary on the recent verdict in the Ahmed Ghailani case. I echo his conclusion:
President Obama is in a no-win situation when it comes to trying detainees — any forum he chooses will set off critics on one side of the debate or the other. I hope he pauses to reflect on what he said at the National Archives in May 2009: “Some have derided our federal courts as incapable of handling the trials of terrorists. They are wrong. Our courts and our juries, our citizens, are tough enough to convict terrorists.”

The Ghailani trial delivered justice. It did so safely and securely, while upholding the values that have defined America. Now Mr. Obama should stand up to the fear-mongers who want to take us back to the wrong side of history.

Update 11/19/10: In his commentary, Col. Davis describes why it's an error to assume that a military tribunal would have allowed testimony of the witness whose testimony was thrown out in the civilian criminal trial. Read it.

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