Sunday, June 13, 2004

More on the JAG Corps 

"It's you and me against the infinite resources of the American government."
-Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift to his Gitmo-detained client.

This article is in today's New York Times Magazine about Commander Swift and his attempt to put more transparency and due process into the military tribunals set up after 9/11.
An optimist by nature, Swift was inclined to believe that the post-9/11 military-tribunal process would be fair. But over the course of the spring last year, as the Defense Department continued to define the workings of the military tribunals, his hopefulness began to fade. He learned that under the emerging system, his client, should he be assigned one, would not necessarily be able to see the evidence against him. Hearsay would be permitted, and there would be no appeals process beyond a four-member review panel handpicked by the secretary of defense. What is more, the Defense Department (in effect, the prosecution) was not only defining the crimes worthy of trial by military tribunal but also doing so only after hundreds of suspects were already in custody and had been repeatedly interrogated. In theory, crimes could be retrofitted to suit the testimony of prisoners.

"It was like a Monty Python movie," Swift says. "The government had this wonderful suit of armor, a lance and a sword. And I had been given a sharp stick."
Quite an interesting article, and again shows the JAG Corps valiantly fullfilling their duty to this country.

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