Guantanomo is the subject of a new hearing for the status of the inmates.
An American military lawyer and veteran of dozens of secret Guantanamo tribunals has made a devastating attack on the legal process for determining whether Guantanamo prisoners are “enemy combatants”.
The whistle blower, an army major inside the military court system which the United States has established at Guantanamo Bay, has described the detention of one prisoner, a hospital administrator from Sudan, as “unconscionable”.
His critique will be the centrepiece of a hearing on 5 December before the US Supreme Court when another attempt is made to shut the prison down. So nervous is the Bush administration of the latest attack – and another Supreme Court ruling against it – that it is preparing a whole new system of military courts to deal with those still imprisoned.
The whistle blower’s testimony is the most serious attack to date on the military panels, which were meant to give a fig- leaf of legitimacy to the interrogation and detention policies at Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. The major has taken part in 49 status review panels.
The army major has said that in the rare circumstances in which it was decided that the detainees were no longer enemy combatants, senior commanders ordered another panel to reverse the decision. The major also described “acrimony” during a “heated conference” call from Admiral McGarragh, who reports to the Secretary of the US Navy,
Two other military lawyers have also gone public. In June, Army Lt-Col Stephen Abraham, a 26-year veteran in US military intelligence, became the first insider to publicly fault the proceedings. In May last year, Lt-Com Matthew Diaz was sentenced to six months in prison and dismissed from the military after he sent the names of all 551 men at the prison to a human rights group.
Whistle blower’s in the Federal system put themselves in serious jeopardy when they go public and are named. The Protection Act has about 3-4% win rate in the special court for what looked to be serious allegations, the Guantanamo issue being a small part of the statistics.
I do not think BDS would be enough motivation to come forward, since you are sure to be punished in a bi-partisan manner eventually when the spotlight is turned off. Most do not write books, and end their careers in their departments. (Except for the celebrities of the genre).
Many are ‘swift boated’ through innuendo and the constant chatting of the likes of BillO’, and facts as we know often serve to reinforce impressions by association with the chatter.
Busting Myths Right and Left is more apropos.