Friday, May 15, 2009

Obama's War Detention Policies: Better but not Good

President Barack Obama apparently will use a military tribunal system to try and convict approximately 20 prisoners now held at Guantanamo Bay.

"Two senior administration officials outlined several of the rules changes, which will be carried out by executive authority, to The Associated Press on Thursday night. They include:

* Restrictions on hearsay evidence that can be used in court against the detainees.
* A ban on all evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. This would include statements given from detainees who were subjected to waterboarding.
* Giving detainees greater leeway in choosing their own military counsel.
* Protecting detainees who refuse to testify from legal sanctions or other court prejudices."

Definitely an improvement but I would much rather see the president try them in our court system. We have that system for a reason, knowing full well that we may occasionally release a person suspected of committing a series of murders or sexual assaults because there wasn't enough evidence to convict them of committing the crime (or crimes) for which they were charged. And we release those people into the society at large, if they are Americans.

In all likelihood, these defendants will be sent to their homeland if they are acquitted.

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