The International Herald Tribune reports:
Six years ago, the first prisoners from the war against terrorism arrived at the U.S. military detention center at Guantánamo Bay. The Bush administration refused to grant prisoner-of-war status to inmates there and denied them the protections of the Geneva Conventions, and has brought criminal charges against only three of them. In this ignoble chapter in the history of U.S. justice, the American military’s own uniformed lawyers have stood out for their attempts to uphold the rule of law.
That may not be true for long. To clip the wings of the Judge Advocate General corps, the administration recently proposed to give politically appointed lawyers in the Defense Department a veto over JAG officers’ promotions. When military lawyers objected to this gambit, the administration backed off. But it is still looking for a way to expand its authority over military lawyers.
The administration’s gambit came after JAG officers testified last year against the administration’s proposal, enacted by Congress, for kangaroo-court tribunal procedures for Guantánamo inmates charged with crimes. JAG
lawyers called for trying the prisoners either under military rules or in federal courts.
We shall be having political appointees in every corner of the government. Even in the military?