August 7, 2008

"The jury was dead-on in refusing to let Hamdan off as the hapless, ill-educated flunky portrayed by his defense lawyers..."

"... and it was equally right in recognizing that he was not an Al Qaeda mastermind," says the Daily News. Meanwhile, at the New York Times, there's the editorial "Guilty as Ordered."

UPDATE: At the sentencing hearing, Hamdan speaks:
"It was a sorry or sad thing to see innocent people killed... I personally present my apologies to them if anything what I did have caused them pain."

He told the military panel deciding his sentence that he had continued working for Mr. bin Laden after a terror attack in 2000 only because he felt he had no options....

UPDATE 2: The sentence is 5 ½ years.

21 comments:

Doyle said...

We are not arguing that the United States should condone terrorism or those who support it, or that the guilty should not be punished severely. But in a democracy, trials must be governed by fair rules, and judges must be guided by the law and the evidence, not pressure from the government.

ZOMG !!1! Traitors! Al Qaeda lovers! I will not submit!

George said...

No more qat for him.

Maguro said...

But in a democracy, trials must be governed by fair rules, and judges must be guided by the law and the evidence, not pressure from the government.

And what evidence did the NYT cite to indicate that the trial was unfair? The bitches and gripes of one military lawyer who didn't get his way. Apparently the NYT views Col Morris Davis as the sole decider of whether a trial is fair or not.

Bissage said...

The NYT looks out over a vast crowd and spots a friend.

Middle Class Guy said...

It is amazing that the NYT could only one person in the military legal community to find flaws. And the so called flaws were his own PERSONAL misgivings.

Ultimately the SCOTUS will get involved and they will determine the fairness of the miltary tribunals.

BTW, the trials after WWII were not so fair and there was no hue and cry abouth them. Of course FDR was a beloved criminal.

MadisonMan said...

FDR was dead.

Middle Class Guy said...

MadisonMan said...
FDR was dead.

Sorry, I meant Truman. Was trying to do too many things at once.

Henry said...

I thought this odd sentence from the Times editorial deserved attention:

Drivers of even the most heinous people are generally not charged with war crimes.

Hamdan's trial was held by a military court, but does that mean he was charged with a war crime? I don't think so. He was found guilty of "providing material support for terrorism."

If terrorism is a criminal justice matter, as the Times clearly proposes, then Hamdan is just as clearly an accessory to crime:

A person charged with aiding and abetting or accessory is usually not present when the crime itself is committed, but he or she has knowledge of the crime before or after the fact, and may assist in its commission through advice, actions, or financial support.

The Times oddly legitimizes the military court enough to pretend that "military" means "war crimes" even as they advocate for application of non-military law.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Wow, I feel a lot safer.

Now if they could just get Osama's cook.

Is this how Bush justifies Gitmo?

It is difficult to be a Republican these days.

When does life begin?

1-20-2009

The Drill SGT said...

which is it?

1. are these trials designed to separate the "goat herders swept up and sold to the americans as terrorists" from the "real AQ boys" If so, I am certain that a guy to admits to being OBL's driver and who was caught with SAMs wasn't an innocent goat herder. Lock him up. If you released him, he'd be back killing our guys next week.

2. Are these supposed to be criminal trials where the military must present evidence documented with full chain of custody and evidence rules that will pass muster in Federal Court? The NYT seems to be unclear about the purpose of Tribunals?

Hamdan was guilty and was an illegal combatant plain and simple.

Revenant said...

I get the feeling the Times had that editorial ready to go before the verdicts came in and just didn't bother rewriting it.

Steven said...

Absolutely no one would have complained, had we captured Hitler's driver in 1942, if we had then detained him without charges for the duration of the war. Certainly anybody who insisted we release him when he could rejoin the German war effort would have been called a fool at best and a traitor at worst.

Well, the fools or traitors at the New York Times have been insisting that we not detain Osama bin Laden's driver without charges or trial until the war is over, and now they're complaining that he was charged and tried.

Maybe next they'll argue we should return his rocket launchers to him and arrange for the Red Cross to take him safely to a Taliban stronghold.

Middle Class Guy said...

Steven said...
Maybe next they'll argue we should return his rocket launchers to him and arrange for the Red Cross to take him safely to a Taliban stronghold.

That is tomorrow's editorial.

bearbee said...

Video interview of Col. Morris Davis dated 7-16-08 begins at 9:20ish to 20:00, interrupted by a whiney voiced singer then resumes 21:20ish to 39:00

He states he has little doubt about Hamden's guilt.

Davis was mainly concerned about the integrity of the legal process, the reliability and suitability of evidence presented for use in an American court of justice.

As Chief Prosecutor he was not willing to allow politicians to dictate the quality of evidence used to prosecuted.

He states that various processes and procedures were not in place to makes charges but he was being ordered to makes charges.

He seems a straight talker and highly ethical.

So what is wrong with his objections?

reader_iam said...

Althouse: Think you'll score the 15th millionth hit by Labor Day? Maybe you should start a pool for predictions.

/OT

Maguro said...

So what is wrong with his objections?

There is nothing wrong with Davis's story per se - just that his opinions are the only damn thing the Times cites as evidence of unfairness. If another well-spoken lawyer were to argue the government's case, would that convince you the trials were fair?

bearbee said...

...just that his opinions are the only damn thing the Times cites as evidence of unfairness.

Except it is not merely his opinion. Supporting Davis's charges, in May 2008 a military judge ruled that what he said was true and that because of unlawful command influence the advisor to the Hamden case legal authority was to be disqualified.

Revenant said...

Apparently after the jury was "ordered" to convict Hamdan on one charge and "ordered" to acquit him on another, it was "ordered" to give him a sentence of five whole months in prison. Five and a half years, actually, but that includes time served. The prosecutor asked for 30 years. Amusingly, "five months" is the sentence Martha Stewart got for lying about a legal stock transaction.

Just think, if the Times could have held off on publishing that editorial for another twelve hours or so they'd have avoided looking like complete asses.

Cedarford said...

Henry - Hamdan's trial was held by a military court, but does that mean he was charged with a war crime? I don't think so. He was found guilty of "providing material support for terrorism

He was charged with a war crime: active involvement in terror plots.
He was acquitted because everyone had concluded he was just a low level driver and fetcher.
A good military judicial ruling. It would have been as silly to convict unwitting minions providing material support for active war crimes participants as it would have been to convict Hitler's cook of nazi war crimes just for cooking the Fuhrer's tast vegan cuisine.
Hamdan gets a very minor war crimes sentence for acting outside Geneva, basically, he did not get a serious war crimes conviction.

================
Despite that, the Islamoid should be kept hors de combat for the duration. Otherwise, I have no doubt he would rejoin his pals and try killing infidels, heretics, and apostates.

The slowly dying Times and a good chunk of the Left still insist that terrorists are not enemy, just criminals..but Hamdan shows that even war crimes law enforcement is inadequate to keep an enemy in conflict with the West and most Muslims from being freed to kill again.

That means some modified POW status. Not full POW rights as AQ Islamoids met none of the conditions that would give full, legitimate POW status.

And it doesn't end the matter of AQ agents in the West still being able to be executed as unlawful combatant spies and saboteurs behind our lines. Hamdan, of course, was an enemy captured in enemy-ruled foreign territory - not Minneapolis. Had he been caught here, the charges would have been far more severe. (Moussaoui-level charges)

Freder Frederson said...

BTW, the trials after WWII were not so fair and there was no hue and cry abouth them. Of course FDR was a beloved criminal.

Actually there was. It was the unfairness of the military tribunals (especially in Japan) that led to the overhaul of the entire military justice system and the creation of the UCMJ. That is why the uniformed military was against the military commissions suggested by the Administration since it basically went back to the system used to try war criminals after WWII.

Roger J. said...

Does anyone really care what the NYT says about anything? They are plumetting into irrelevance and have become the paper of record for a very small niche of progressive plutocrats in Manhattan and parts of Connecticut.