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A Lose-Lose Situation

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April 30, 2008

Today Ben Wizner blogged on DailyKos on Tuesday’s hearing in Guantanamo, a continuation of Monday’s events.

But even more fascinating was the exchange between the detainee, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, and the judge, Keith Allred, in which Hamdan commented on the no-win situation he’s in with the military commission system. Ben writes:

Both sides cannot win, of course. But this week’s proceedings have demonstrated once again that in the military commission system, both sides surely can lose. Hamdan loses no matter the outcome: in the “tales I win, heads you lose” world of Guantanamo detention, even an unlikely acquittal at trial would not lead to release, but to continued indefinite confinement as an “unlawful enemy combatant.” And the United States loses by squandering a historic opportunity to demonstrate to the world that it can provide impartial justice instead of pressing forward in a fatally flawed system that permits conviction by hearsay statements extracted through techniques long considered torture by civilized nations.

This morning, Hamdan slept in while his defense attorneys did what they could without his presence. His trial has been pushed back from May 28 to June 2.

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