Monday, January 11

How Conservatives Ignore Bush 85% Failure Record on Military Tribunals and Torture

We've heard a whole lot of blather over the last few weeks about how the Fruit-of-the-Boom Attacker should've been dragged by Air Marshals off a U.S. Airplane in Detriot straight to Gitmo, Do not pass "Go" - do not collect your Miranda.

We've been told that we should do it the way Bush did it.

But the facts are that the Bush Administration had an 88% success rate prosecuting terrorists in civilian court while in military tribunals the FAILURE rate so far has been ... 85%.

Yeah, that's some FAIL we need more of.

Via the U.K. Guardian.

The Bush administration -- in which Liz Cheney's papa held a fairly high position, you might recall -- prosecuted, after 9-11, 828 people on terrorism charges in civilian courts. At the time of publication of this excellent report from the Center on Law and Security, NYU School of Law last year, trials were still pending against 235 of those folks. That leaves 593 resolved indictments, of which 523 were convicted of some crime, for a conviction rate of 88%.

With regard to military tribunals, the Bush administration inaugurated 20 such cases. So far just three convictions have been won. The highest-profile is the conviction of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's driver. The Hamdan legal saga, rehearsed here, doesn't exactly suggest that military tribunals provide swifter and surer and tougher justice. In the end, he was convicted all right, but sentenced -- not by a bunch of New York City Democrats, but by a military jury! -- to five and half years.

Then, the tribunal judge, a US Navy captain, gave Hamdan credit for time served, which was five years. So he served six months after conviction. Today he's back in -- guess where? -- Yemen.


Typical Conservative Opposite World Logic - rather than do what works, reaches justice and protects the nation 88% of time, they'd rather do what hasn't worked in 85% of the attempted cases, and even when it has worked the suspect was ultimately released for time served after only SIX MONTHS.

But let's not dance around the sad ugly truth here - the real reason that Conservatives want to have the Military handle these cases is because they believe that Only The Military can "Sweat those Terrorist Secrets Out of Them" - like Jack Bauer in a badly thought out scene for "24".

Just listen to Giu-Liar-ani talk about how "We should still be interrogating" abdulMuttalab with the military even though from all indications he's already talking to us.



Guiliiani: They only talked to him for 30 Hours? My question is why would you ever stop it? In the Military they wouldn't have a time limit to talk to him.


Actually the fact is they don't have to stop it. Even with Miranda in place or a lawyer present they can ask him all kinds of things about al Qeada's functioning as long as it's not about his own case, or going to be used in court against him. (That's what the Fifth Amendment from that Pesky Constitution is all about)

His attorney's only requirement is to protect his client, not to protect al Qeada. In fact, it's because of what abdulMuttalab has told us - without the Military - that we even know that former Gitmo detainees were involved in his training in Yemen.

Guiliani is a former Assistant Attorney General and Federal Prosecutor - he should know better than this. He really should. But for the sake of Partisan Politics he pretends he doesn't know that law or how our Justice system works. It's pathetic.

Anyone who'se ever sat halfway though an episode of Mattlock should know this stuff.

Let also point out the kind of "extended interrogations" that Ghouliani is talking about - something which is far beyond what would be allowed for any P.O.W. under Geneva (ie Name, Rank, Serial Number)- are likely to be thrown out even in a Military Tribunal setting and not admissible, ending in a ruined case just as it did in the case one living accused 9-11 Hijacker Mohommad al-Qhatani.



"We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case" for prosecution. [...]


Oh, and one more thing -- according to FBI (Ali Soufan) and Military (Matthew Alexander) Interrogators who did get us actionable information after 9-11 and in Iraq Torture Doesn't Work at giving us accurate information, besides the fact it's inadmissible in ANY court.



From Salon.com

WASHINGTON -- The testimony of a key witness at a Senate hearing Wednesday raised serious questions about the truthfulness of former President George W. Bush's own personal defense of the CIA's brutal interrogation program. Former FBI agent Ali Soufan also indicated that the harsh interrogation techniques may actually have hindered the collection of intelligence, causing a high-value prisoner to stop cooperating.

In the first congressional hearing on torture since the release of Bush administration memos that provided the legal justification for torture, Soufan told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the CIA's abusive techniques were "ineffective, slow and unreliable, and as a result harmful to our efforts to defeat al-Qaida." According to Soufan, his own nonviolent interrogation of an al-Qaida suspect was quickly yielding valuable, actionable intelligence -- until the CIA intervened.


This is NOT the road we need to be running blindly back down. As has been posted in another diary - Obama's Approval Rating on his handling of the attempted Detroit Plane Bombing is 57% favorable.

What Obama's doing isn't broke, so don't fix it.

Vysn

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