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Battle of the Prosecutors

By       Message WILLIAM FISHER       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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A Florida congressman is hoping to drive the last nail into the coffin of the U.S. justice system for Guantanamo detainees.

 

Republican Representative Tom Rooney, a former military prosecutor, this week introduced a bill mandating that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "remains open indefinitely" and requiring that "individuals detained at the facility be tried only by Military Commission."

 

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But other former military prosecutors think Rooney's position would be a mistake of epic proportions.

 

Rooney's "Detainee Trials at Gitmo Act" would require all detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay to be tried in the courtroom facility constructed at Guantanamo Bay.

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In a statement, Rep. Rooney said, "Military commissions are fair and provide due process for the accused, but they also protect critical intelligence officials and evidence.

 

The Congressman, a former constitutional law professor at West Point, said,   "Foreign terrorists should absolutely not receive the same rights and privileges as American citizens do."

 

He added that the recent trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who was acquitted on more than 280 counts, including murder,   "highlights the flaws with the Administration's strategy of giving detainees civilian trials."

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Ghailani, who was tried in Federal Court in downtown Manhattan, was convicted on one count of conspiracy and faces a mandatory 20-years-to-life sentence.

 

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William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
 

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