Sunday, August 10, 2008

Some questions just answer themselves

And sometimes within the span of two paragraphs (emphasis and bracketed annotations mine):

News Analysis - War Crimes System Is Still on Trial - News Analysis -
[The question:]
The verdict and the five-and-a-half-year sentence may not have been as severe as the government had hoped for, but it was a green light for a tribunal that the Pentagon plans to use to prosecute as many as 80 detainees, including five men charged as the plotters and coordinators of the Sept. 11 attack. Nonetheless, the central question about the war crimes system remains unanswered after its first trial: Is it fair enough and open enough to meet Americans’ concept of justice?
[The answer: HELL NO!]
Before the courtroom lights were out, there were doubts about whether the panel’s sentence would mean anything for the former bin Laden driver, Salim Hamdan. The Bush administration has long asserted that detainees at Guantánamo, even those who complete war crimes sentences or are acquitted, are enemy combatants who can be held indefinitely.
The Bush administration, that is, the cadre who clamored for and essentially runs these show-trials, claims that the outcome of any tribunal is irrelevant: they can detain even ACQUITTED prisoners for as long as they please. If that doesn't answer with steel-door-slamming finality the question of openness and fairness, I don't know what possibly could.

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