THE Obama administration wants to show that federal courts can handle trials of Guantánamo Bay detainees, and had therefore placed high hopes in the prosecution of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, accused in the 1998 bombings of American embassies in East Africa. On Wednesday a federal judge, Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court in Manhattan, made the government’s case much harder when he excluded the testimony of the government’s central witness because the government learned about the witness through interrogating Mr. Ghailani at a secret overseas prison run by the C.I.A.
Umm, no, the government learned about the witness by torturing Mr. Ghailani. An important difference to some of us.
Some, mostly liberals and civil libertarians, applauded the ruling,
Those pinko liberal bastards! Upholding the rule of law, why, we\’ll get them!
Sadly, it just doesn\’t get any better at all. The conclusion?
The government’s reliance on detention as a backstop to trials shows that it is the foundation for incapacitating high-level terrorists in this war. The administration would save money and time, avoid political headaches and better preserve intelligence sources and methods if it simply dropped its attempts to prosecute high-level terrorists and relied exclusively on military detention instead.
Yup, he\’s really saying that. The only method we have of determining whether someone is in fact guilty of being a terrorist is to try them in a court of law. The verdict defines whether they are in fact a terrorist who should have his liberty curtailed or whether he\’s not a terrorist and does not get his liberty curtailed.
We simply don\’t have any other method of making this distinction: having the CIA tell us all that he is and that thus we all accept that he is just isn\’t one of those things that is compatible with being a free or just society.
The writer seems entirely incapable of understand the whole point about trials, evidence, the rule of law. They\’re not there to protect dodgy Arab bastards from the righteous justice of the wronged, they\’re there to protect us, the citizenry, from the unrighteous justice of the government.
Jack Goldsmith, a former assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, is a professor at Harvard Law School and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on National Security and Law.
What the fuck is it that they\’re teaching at Harvard these days?