Rep. Jerrold Nadler and David Frakt on Obama’s Three-Tier Justice System For Guantánamo by Andy Worthington

Bookmark and Share

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
21 November 2009

In the wake of Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that five Guantánamo prisoners — including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — will face federal court trials in New York, and five others will face trials by Military Commission, much of the media has been consumed with the whining of opportunistic right-wing politicians, who persist in maintaining the same hysterical level of unfounded fearmongering that has skewed the debate on Guantánamo for most of the year.

As a result, far too little attention has been paid to the inadequacy of the Military Commissions as a venue for trying crimes related to terrorism, although there have been some notable exceptions. Both Glenn Greenwald and myself (in an article entitled, “The Logic of the 9/11 Trials, The Madness of the Military Commissions”) have written about it, and Lt. Col. David Frakt, who served as the military defense attorney for the released Afghan prisoner Mohammed Jawad, and for Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, who was convicted in a one-sided show trial last November, delivered a withering analysis of the Commissions’ failings in an email exchange with Marcy Wheeler on Firedoglake, and has also spoken to Truthout about his concerns. In an email to Marcy Wheeler, he explained:
Continue reading

David Frakt: Military Commissions “A Catastrophic Failure” by Andy Worthington

Bookmark and Share

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
8 Aug. 2009

A month ago, when the Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony on “legal issues regarding military commissions and the trial of detainees for violations of the law of war”, and the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on “Legal Issues Surrounding the Military Commissions System,” the Obama administration’s proposed revival of the much-criticized Military Commission system of trials for “terror suspects” at Guantánamo attracted a decent amount of media attention.

Last week, however, when the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee convened to hear further testimony about the Military Commissions, few media outlets noticed. This was a great shame, as one of the speakers was Lt. Col. (formerly Maj.) David Frakt of the US Air Force Reserves, whose testimony (PDF) was at least as riveting as that of his former adversary in the Military Commissions, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, the ex-prosecutor who resigned in September 2008. On July 8, Lt. Col Vandeveld told the committee that the Commissions were “broken beyond repair,” and “cannot be fixed, because their very creation — and the only reason to prefer military commissions over federal criminal courts for the Guantánamo detainees — can now be clearly seen as an artifice, a contrivance, to try to obtain prosecutions based on evidence that would not be admissible in any civilian or military prosecution anywhere in our nation.”

Continue reading