The system of military justice President Bush has cooked up for the forthcoming Gitmo trials is unique in the annals of global jurisprudence. I only hope prisoners appreciate all that he's done for them to make sure they have a sporting chance to win their cases.
First, by keeping them from meeting with lawyers for five years, he's protected them from contamination by this most undesirable element in American society. Indeed, no inmate has been billed for a single hour. Prisoners are way better off than most Americans, who can't pay their credit card bills.
Second, inmates who got fooled when the Pentagon sent in intelligence agents to pose as their lawyers will know enough to demand to see their trial lawyer's ACLU card.
Third, by having only a few people process lawyers’ applications to defend inmates, the Pentagon has taught inmates patience. Those that complain they’ve already waited six years will be reminded millions of Americans have been waiting eight years to just to throw out some trash.
Fourth, by denying prisoners the right to confront witnesses that will only say terrible things about them, Bush's unique rules will keep prisoners from becoming needlessly upset.
Fifth, after surviving waterboarding efforts to get them to talk, defendants will receive a free, autographed copy of Dick Cheney's book, "I Was God's Confessor"(Blackwater Books). It will bolster their spirits to know Cheney is thinking of them.
Sixth, after having survived non-stop questioning for days at a time, defendants will be tough enough to laugh in prosecutors' faces: "You call that a question?"
Seventh, and having been subjected to vicious, slobbering attack dogs in jail, inmates will enter the courtroom unafraid of prosecutors. With a Judge looking on, they could jeer, "Bite me, go on, I dare you."
Eighth, not allowed under Bush rules to tell the Judge of the tortures they endured, they won’t come across as a bunch of nasty, little whiners.
Ninth, having had their beards forcibly shaved off, they can better tell the Judge, "My hero was always John Wayne, never Osama bin Laden. Oh, why, in Allah's name, wouldn't they let me rent 'True Grit'?"
Finally, acquitted defendants will be allowed to enter the U.S. and have the honor of working two or three menial jobs in order to support themselves. Those that were hooded for long periods of time will have earned points toward membership in the Ku Klux Klan as well. Mississippi welcomes you! #
(Reach author Sherwood Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org)