The tin-pot dictator will not let the media talk to the American prisoner captured when his plane crashed.
The dictator says that the prisoner confessed to a horrible murder, and has pleaded guilty.
And so - the dictator announces - there will be no trial, just a death sentence. Indeed, the prisoner is Christian, and the dictator says that the prisoner has asked for martyrdom according to his religious beliefs.
Would the rest of the world believe this is fair?
Of course not. Moreover, world opinion would assume that the prisoner might very well be innocent of the murder charges, especially if it comes out that any confessions were made during extreme torture.
This is exactly the situation we have currently with the prisoners at Guantanamo.
As the New York Times reports:
The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.
The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom.
Raw Story clarifies that:
This option would principally be aimed at a group of detainees accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
This is not simply a ploy to cover up the fact that these prisoners were brutally tortured.
It is also a way to silence them forever, so that they can never tell what their real role was in the 9/11 attacks, and who they received assistance from, and how they were able to convince the mightiest military the world has ever known to stand down from standard air defense protocols on 9/11.
Does Innocence Matter?
Remember, most of those held at Guantanamo and tortured were actually innocent.According to NBC news:
- Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
- At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being "tortured."
- One of the Commission's main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
- The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves
The self-confessed "mastermind" of 9/11 also confessed to crimes which he could not have committed. He later said that he gave the interrogators a lot of false information - telling them what he thought they wanted to hear - in an attempt to stop the torture. We also know that he was heavily tortured specifically for the purpose of trying to obtain false information about 9/11 - specifically, that Iraq had something to do with it.
Indeed, the Senate Armed Services Committee found that the entire U.S. torture program was geared around techniques specifically aimed at extracting false confessions (and see this).