Tomorrow, we start down the dark path to a possible execution in Guantánamo. As the Supreme Court has long said, death is different. Putting someone on trial for his life requires — at a bare minimum — a rigorously fair process if even the appearance of legitimacy is to be maintained. Nowhere will that be clearer than in the first Guantánamo military commission death penalty case, that of Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri, who was held secretly for years by the CIA, and — as the government has admitted — tortured.
On Wednesday, Mr. al-Nashiri will appear before the world for the first time since he was seized more than eight years ago. He will stand up and state whether he pleads guilty or innocent to planning the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Should he be found guilty, he may be executed. But the Guantánamo military commission he will appear before will not provide justice for him, for the U.S.S. Cole victims, or for Americans anywhere. I will be at Guantánamo tomorrow to observe the proceedings for the ACLU.
John Brennan, President Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor, claimed in a speech at Harvard on September 16, 2011 that “reformed military commissions… provide all of the core protections that are necessary to ensure a fair trial.” But if that is the case — if the basic structure of a Guantánamo military commission is the same as a civilian court — why is a Guantánamo military commission necessary at all? After all, a U.S.S. Cole indictment sits waiting in federal court.
How does the Cult of St. Barack continue to pretend that he's better than Bush? Or a decent human being?
This is the man who campaigned on the promise to close Guantanamo and then refused to do so because he's a chickens**t who doesn't want to use his political power to do the right thing and, worse, is now going to put people to their deaths.
I have no respect for those who continue to pretend that Barack's anything but a cheap con artist.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"