What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 31, 2010


That's what the Tribune-Review called it: UN-AMERICAN (in all caps, no less).

Take a look:
The Obama administration has shelved its plans to prosecute Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. He's alleged to have coordinated the October 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. Seventeen U.S. soldiers were killed. Another 39 were injured.

"(N)o charges are either pending or contemplated with respect to al-Nashiri in the near future," the Justice Department said in a filing made in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. (That was news to the Defense Department, which insisted charges still are being developed against him.)

And a president has spat upon the dead and the injured and America itself.
And the reason given? "Politics," they write. And charge:
Welcome to the latest manifestation of Barack Obama's foreign policy deferentialism. What un-American injustice will this administration serve up next?
But when you look at the, you know, facts and stuff, you see a much MUCH different picture. After pointing out that al-Nashiri was to be tried in by a military commission, the Washington Post writes:
But critics of military commissions say the Nashiri case exemplifies the system's flaws, particularly the ability to introduce certain evidence such as hearsay statements that probably would not be admitted in federal court. The prosecution is expected to rely heavily on statements made to the FBI by two Yemenis who allegedly implicated Nashiri. Neither witness is expected at trial, but the FBI agents who interviewed them will testify, said Nashiri's military attorney, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen C. Reyes. "Unlike in federal court, you don't have the right to confront the witnesses against you," he said.

Such indirect testimony could be critical to a conviction because any incriminating statements Nashiri might have made are probably inadmissible under the 2009 Military Commissions Act, which bars the use of evidence obtained through torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Al-Nashiri was tortured.

This has been public knowledge for at least a year. The Washington Post from August 22, 2009:
CIA interrogators used a handgun and an electric drill to try to frighten a captured al-Qaeda commander into giving up information, according to a long-concealed agency report due to be made public next week, former and current U.S. officials who have read the document said Friday.

The tactics -- which one official described Friday as a threatened execution -- were used on Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, according to the CIA's inspector general's report on the agency's interrogation program. Nashiri, who was captured in November 2002 and held for four years in one of the CIA's "black site" prisons, ultimately became one of three al-Qaeda chieftains subjected to a form of simulated drowning known as waterboarding.
Not only that, but:
In one instance, an interrogator showed Nashiri a gun and sought to frighten the detainee into thinking he would be shot, the sources said. In a separate encounter, a power drill was held near Nashiri's body and repeatedly turned on and off, said the officials, who spoke about the report on the condition of anonymity because it remains classified.

The federal torture statute prohibits a U.S. national from threatening anyone in his or her custody with imminent death.
He was waterboarded. Waterboarding is torture. He was threatened with execution. That's considered torture, too.

Torture is illegal. The Obama Administration should be prosecuting the torture. They have a legal obligation to prosecute the torture.

But tell me again about "Un-American" justice. Tell me again about who's "spitting on America." And now tell me who's defending (or at least ignoring) the torture.


1 comment:

EdHeath said...

The funny (well, not really) thing is, is that the Obama administration is still carrying wiretapping of American citizens and has even ordered the assassination of an American citizen (Glenn Greenwald has details). Yet Obama is always going to be a socialist to conservatives, unless, perhaps, Obama and Biden both agreed to kill themselves in January of 2011, when John Boehner takes over as Speaker of the House. Then conservatives might approve of Obama.