Kangaroo trials at Guantanamo Bay now confirmed

June 23, 2007 | By | 2 Replies More

We suspected it.  Now we know it.   The Gitmo trials were cooked, according to this article from MyWay: 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – An Army officer with a key role in the U.S. military hearings at Guantanamo Bay says they relied on vague and incomplete intelligence and were pressured to declare detainees “enemy combatants,” often without any specific evidence.

His affidavit, released Friday, is the first criticism by a member of the military panels that determine whether detainees will continue to be held.

Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a 26-year veteran of military intelligence who is an Army reserve officer and a California lawyer, said military prosecutors were provided with only “generic” material that didn’t hold up to the most basic legal challenges.

So how did the process really work?

The military held Combatant Status Review Tribunals for 558 detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay in 2004 and 2005, with handcuffed detainees appearing before panels made up of three officers. Detainees had a military “personal representative” instead of a defense attorney, and all but 38 were determined to be “enemy combatants.”

Abraham was asked to serve on one of the panels, and he said its members felt strong pressure to find against the detainee, saying there was “intensive scrutiny” when they declared a prisoner not to be an enemy combatant. When his panel decided the detainee wasn’t an “enemy combatant,” they were ordered to reconvene to hear more evidence, he said.

Ultimately, his panel held its ground, and he was never asked to participate in another tribunal, he said.

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Category: Civil Rights, Iraq, Law, Military

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    …"they relied on vague and incomplete intelligence and were pressured to declare detainees “enemy combatants,” often without any specific evidence."

    This should not surprise us in the least, because it was the same process Bush used to push his misguided invasion of Iraq. Vague and incomplete intelligence was ginned up to make Saddam appear to be far more dangerous than he actually was, just as the detainees have been ginned up to make them appear far more dangerous than they actually are. This is why the Pentagon has been very quiet about both the detainees it has released and the ones (i.e., all the others) it has failed to convict of any crime. A drumhead trial mentality has infected virtually every national security decision that Bush has made.

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