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Guantánamo Commissions Trudge Along

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April 12, 2008

Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, has published his last dispatch from this week’s military commissions hearing in Guantánamo in our DailyKos diary. He also podcasted his thoughts on the week’s hearings, which can be found at www.aclu.org/multimedia/gitmo_dakwar_042008.mp3.

The New York Times also covered the hearing of Omar Khadr, and points to the prosecutor’s attempts to get the judge in the Khadr case to schedule a trial. The judge rightly refused, as these pre-trial hearings have been bogged down by questions of what evidence the defense is allowed to see, use of evidence gained through torture, and other issues that can’t be hurried along for the sake of an election-year win for the government. Jamil writes:

[T]here is no excuse for the way the government is dealing with these cases, trying to withhold evidence it considers classified in what the defense has called “selective disclosure,” and pushing the proceedings to move forward at any cost.

The The Times writes of the big revelation at Friday’s hearing:

[Khadr’s attorney] Commander Kuebler said prosecutors were blocking defense efforts to get evidence that he said could help prove his client’s innocence.

As an example, Commander Kuebler said, some witnesses to the firefight in which Sergeant Speer was fatally wounded have suggested he may have been killed by American fire.

That’s right, the most serious charge against Khadr has been dealt a second blow, after the first revelation at February’s hearing that Khadr wasn’t the only person found alive in the Afghan compound where he was arrested.

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