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Hamdan Juror Speaks

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August 11, 2008

NPR today featured an interview with one of the Hamdan jurors, who declined to reveal his last name for the interview. Marine “Col. Patrick” reports that the jury never believed Hamdan was an Al Qaeda warrior, noting that Hamdan never brandished a weapon, even when he was captured, and that he was extremely cooperative with interrogators after he realized that he or his family wouldn’t be harmed by his captors. Col. Patrick also added that the “U.S. squandered an opportunity” to learn bin Laden’s whereabouts from Hamdan.

Col. Patrick reports that the jury never debated the legitimacy of the military commissions. But the story adds:

Hamdan is still classified as an unlawful combatant by the Bush administration, and as such could be detained indefinitely in spite of his short sentence. Lt. Col. Patrick said that the jury would be extremely annoyed if that happened. After all, he said, what did we come down here for?

That’s a good question. Long before Hamdan’s trial commenced, uniformed members of the military expressed dismay with the Bush administration’s rigged system of “justice.” It looks like six more members of the military made a strong statement against the injustice of the commissions and the Bush administration’s radical approach to national security policy.