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February 8, 2008

In her final dispatch from Guantánamo, Hina Shamsi writes in DailyKos about the hearing of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, and the negotiations between Hamdan’s defense attorneys, government prosecutors, and the judge. In an American court of law, defendants have the right to see the evidence against them. At Guantánamo, not so much:

Indeed, the judge himself tried to fashion a compromise, based on precedent established in the government’s prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui. He suggested that, instead of personal interviews, the parties agree that the defense could submit written questions and get written answers in response. Again, the prosecution vigorously objected, saying that even this risked the disclosure of national security information. At one point in the argument, the judge asked whether, “just because they are high-value detainees, no one can talk to them?” The prosecution agreed. As the judge later said, the men are “wrapped up in secret tape.”

Secret tape. Defend detainees without evidence. Does this sound remotely fair to anyone?

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