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Former Guantánamo Military Prosecutor: Commissions Are Rigged

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February 20, 2008

It’s hard not to mention a certain marsupial in relation to Guantanamo and the military commissions the government is attempting to hold when you read this story from The Nation. The former chief prosecutor there, Col. Morris Davis, says that, in 2005, he met with Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes, who now oversees prosecutions of these kangaroo courts.

“I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process,” Davis continued. “At which point, [Haynes’s] eyes got wide and he said, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals; we’ve got to have convictions.'”

That’s right folks – for the top civilian legal officer at DOD, guilt or innocence was beside the point in these proceedings. This is on top of the fact that the commissions system, passed by a cowed Congress, allows hearsay, evidence obtained through coercion, secret testimony and other hallmarks of unfair trials.

According to The Nation, Col. Davis’ statement reflects similar stories from other career military lawyers, Maj. Robert Preston, Capt. John Carr and Capt. Carrie Wolf – all prosecutors who asked to be transferred out of the Office of Military Commissions and who say they were told the system was rigged.