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Thread: Military Prosecutors Set To Open Major 9/11 Case

  1. #101
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    Alleged 9/11 mastermind won't testify - live

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/brea...ry/623820.html

    7/31/2008

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Reputed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed has balked at testifying in person at the trial of Osama bin Laden's driver, defense lawyers said Wednesday. Instead, the jury will get written statements from the al Qaeda kingpin and another alleged plotter in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    Lawyers for Salim Hamdan, 37, plan to use the testimony of Mohammed and Walid Bin Attash to try to exonerate the driver, Hamdan, of being an al Qaeda co-conspirator.

    One of those men has already written Hamdan's lawyers that the Yemeni with a fourth-grade education ''Was not fit to plan or execute,'' according to defense attorney Harry Schneider of Seattle. ``He is fit to change tires. And oil filters.''

    The argument dovetails nicely with the driver's defense that he never joined al Qaeda, did not know in advance about the details of al Qaeda terror plots and merely drove for $200 a month -- and not for ideology.

    The prosecution says he admitted to knowing broadly that ''operations'' were coming, and took part in high-security motorcades that spirited bin Laden and other top al Qaeda leaders safely around Afghanistan, in case of U.S. reprisal.

    Moreover, they describe Hamdan as a sometime member of the al Qaeda leader's elite bodyguard unit, and a sometime weapons courier.

    Defense lawyers have tried for months to get access to the alleged al Qaeda senior leaders in U.S. custody, formerly held by the CIA. The government resisted, until the eve of trial. The idea was to bring in what defense lawyers call self-confessed terrorists, people who are reportedly proud of their deeds to describe what Hamdan's role was in the organization, if any.

    But Schneider notified the trial judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, late Wednesday afternoon that the so-called high-value detainee known in CIA circles as ''KSM'' would not be testifying in person, and neither would Bin Attash, who like Hamdan is a Yemeni.

    Bin Attash is also implicated in both the 9/11 plot and the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole of Aden, Yemen, an event that Hamdan claims to have first believed was carried out by the Israelis, not his boss. Seventeen soldiers died in the suicide attack by two men who blew up an explosives-laden boat alongside the $1 billion U.S. Navy destroyer -- and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh initially blamed Israel's Mossad.

    Last week, ''KSM refused to meet'' with Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, Schneider told the trial judge. Mizer is Hamdan's Pentagon-appointed attorney, and had the necessary security clearances to meet with former CIA-held captives. Schneider did not.

    Moreover, Mohammed ''sent notice through his detailed defense counsel that he would refuse to go to court.'' So Schneider said they would use his and Bin Attash's earlier written responses to questions sent to them by the Hamdan.

    Of Mohammed, who has convinced a Marine Corps judge to let him defend himself at his own death penalty trial, Schneider said: ``I see no value to seeing him testify forcibly.''

    Still unclear was whether another supposed bin Laden lieutenant, Mahdi al Iraq, would be called to testify as the lone high-value detainee at the Hamdan trial.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #102
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    Verdict due in US trial of bin Laden's driver

    http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Verdict..._08032008.html

    8/3/2008

    A verdict awaits Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan, this week in a trial seen as a test of the controversial military tribunals set up by the US administration to try suspects in the "war on terror."

    Accused of "conspiracy" and "material support to terrorism," the Yemeni national is the first inmate at the Guantanamo detention camp to face a full-scale trial before the special tribunals created by President George W. Bush.

    Hamdan, who is about 40 years old, faces a possible sentence of life in prison if a jury of six military officers finds him guilty. He has already spent six years behind bars at the prison in the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    His lawyers have questioned the fairness of the proceedings and argued that Hamdan was an insignificant figure while employed by bin Laden from 1998 to 2001, saying he was not involved in any way in Al-Qaeda operations.

    Several witnesses, including the alleged mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said Hamdan had no advance knowledge of attacks orchestrated by bin Laden against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 or the attacks of September 11, 2001 against New York and Washington.

    "He was not fit to plan or execute," Mohammed, who is also due to be tried by the tribunals, said in written testimony.

    "Hamdan had no previous knowledge of the operation, or any other one," he wrote, adding: "He is fit to change trucks' tires, change oil filters, wash and clean cars."

    But the prosecution had FBI agents and other federal investigators tell the tribunal that interrogations showed Hamdan had spent time at Al-Qaeda training camps, was part of an inner circle loyal to bin Laden and that he had helped transport weapons including surface-to-air missiles.

    The interrogations cited in the case were conducted after Hamdan's capture in November 2001 in Afghanistan following the US-led invasion that toppled the Taliban regime there.

    With closing arguments set for Monday, the military jurors could begin their deliberations on Monday amid predictions from human rights groups that Hamdan will likely be found guilty on at least some of the charges.

    The Bush administration hopes the first war crimes trial since World War II will show critics at home and abroad that the Guantanamo tribunals, or commissions, offer the accused a fair process.

    The administration has faced heated criticism over the Guantanamo prison, which has held detainees without charges for years, and the special tribunals which operate under different rules than regular civilian or military courts.

    Only a small group of authorized observers and journalists are allowed into the small courtroom and military authorities prohibit the proceedings to be videotaped by any television news networks. Reporters can bring in a pencil and notebook, nothing else.

    Hamdan sits alongside his attorneys, unrestrained by cuffs or shackles, with headphones over his white turban providing him with Arabic translation.

    Captain Keith Allred, the military officer presiding over the case, has barred some statements from being admitted as evidence ruling they were obtained in coercive conditions while Hamdan was under US detention in Afghanistan.

    Defense lawyers charged Hamdan was subjected to abuse while in US custody, including humiliating interrogation tactics and sleep deprivation.

    But the Pentagon denies any abuse and says the military commissions offer a fair and just trial.

    Five inmates at Guantanamo accused of participating in the September 11 attacks, including Mohammed, are scheduled to be tried in coming months.

    And the trial of Omar Khadr, a Canadian national captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old, is also expected to go ahead later this year in Guantanamo.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  3. #103
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    Hamdan Seen as 'Not Fit' for Terror
    Alleged 9/11 Architect Says bin Laden's Driver Was 'Not a Soldier'

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...pid=sec-nation

    By Jerry Markon
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, August 2, 2008; Page A07

    GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Aug. 1 -- Osama bin Laden's former driver was a "primitive" chauffeur and mechanic who "was not fit to plan or execute" terrorist attacks, the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks told jurors in writing Friday at the driver's military trial.

    Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged Sept. 11 architect, wrote that Salim Ahmed Hamdan was a low-level support staffer who never joined al-Qaeda and did not share bin Laden's ideology. Hamdan is on trial in the first U.S. military commission since World War II. His lawyers rested their case Friday, and closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.

    "He did not play any role. He was not a soldier, he was a driver," Mohammed said in answers to written questions from Hamdan's lawyers that were relayed to the six military jurors. "His nature was more primitive (Bedouin) person and far from civilization. He was not fit to plan or execute."

    The testimony provided another tantalizing glimpse inside the mind of Mohammed, who has been charged in the most devastating terrorist attack in U.S. history and has been a figure of intrigue since his arrest in 2003. He sketched out a vision of al-Qaeda as a group whose members also have "wives and children and schools" and said that anyone who thinks a mere driver would be involved in attacks "is a fool."

    Attorneys for Hamdan, who is charged with ferrying weapons for al-Qaeda as part of a terrorism conspiracy, had wanted Mohammed to testify live in court at the U.S. detention facility here. They had told jurors there was "a significant chance" they would hear from the perpetrators of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

    But Mohammed, after answering written questions, refused to meet with Hamdan's lawyers and declined to appear in court. His written remarks back up the defense's argument that Hamdan was a mere chauffeur uninvolved in terrorism. But it is uncertain if a military jury will take the word of an accused al-Qaeda leader.

    The statements of Mohammed, who first appeared in court in June and railed at the military commission system that is expected to try him as well, revealed no lack of self-confidence. He called himself the "executive director of 9/11" and said he oversaw all al-Qaeda cells operating outside Afghanistan. He dismissed drivers such as Hamdan, a Yemeni father of two with a fourth-grade education, as mostly "illiterate."

    His statement said Americans do not understand that al-Qaeda is a multifaceted terrorist organization that also employs a support network of professionals, such as teachers and computer engineers. "We are not gangs," he wrote.

    "As the American Army (we) have drivers, cooks, crewmen and legal personal," Mohammed wrote, according to a translation from his original Arabic that was provided to the jurors. "We also, are human beings . . . we have interests in life. Our people have wives and children and schools. . . . You can not understand terrorism and Al-Qaeda from 9/11 operation."

    He said al-Qaeda has been able to carry out its attacks successfully because of the group's diffuse structure and penchant for secrecy.

    "One of the reasons for the success of the outside operations is the secrecy of the operations," Mohammed wrote. "So many of (bin Laden's) inner circles have no knowledge of what he was planning and so many of Al-Qaeda's members and even the trainers at the military camps do not have any knowledge of the works of the outside cells. That includes the civilian employees."

    Hamdan, whom prosecution witnesses have described as personally close to bin Laden, was a mere cog in the al-Qaeda structure, the self-proclaimed terrorist leader wrote. "He was a driver and auto mechanic . . . he was not at all a military man," Mohammed said. "He is fit to change trucks' tires, change oil filters, wash and clean cars, and fasten cargo in pick up trucks."

    Mohammed also attempted to shed light on what Hamdan was doing when he was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001. Prosecution witnesses testified that Hamdan had two shoulder-fired missiles in his car when he was arrested and that he told interrogators he transported weapons for al-Qaeda.

    After the United States attacked Afghanistan following Sept. 11, Hamdan's job was to transport "Al-Qaeda's families" out of harm's way, Mohammed said. He would know, Mohammed added, because "I was personally responsible for transporting and getting out all families from Afghanistan to Pakistan."

    A statement by another detainee also said Hamdan was not involved.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  4. #104
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    US: Bin Laden driver helped make 9/11 possible

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h...9qP9wD92BJP900

    By MIKE MELIA – 1 hour ago

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — Osama bin Laden's former driver offered the terrorist leader aid and protection that helped make the Sept. 11 attacks possible, prosecutors said Monday in closing arguments at the first Guantanamo war crimes trial.

    Prosecutor John Murphy said evidence in Salim Hamdan's two-week trial showed the Yemeni detainee played a "vital role" in the conspiracy behind the 2001 attacks.

    "There's an intricate pattern in which this accused helped in the preparation of and transportation of the leadership that made this possible," said Murphy, a civilian attorney with the Justice Department.

    But Hamdan's Pentagon-appointed attorney countered that the defendant was merely a low-level bin Laden employee who never joined the al-Qaida conspiracy against the United States.

    "Not one witness said he had any role in the terrorist attacks themselves," Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer said in closing arguments. "Mr. Hamdan is not an al-Qaida warrior."

    A jury of military officers is expected to begin deliberating a verdict later Monday in the case against Hamdan, who is charged with conspiracy and supporting terrorism. He faces a maximum life sentence if convicted at the first U.S. war crimes trial since World War II.

    The judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, told the jury of six military officers that at least four must find Hamdan guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" to convict him.

    Allred reminded jurors that he allowed evidence from FBI interrogators who did not advise Hamdan of his right against self-incrimination and urged them to decide its merit for themselves.

    "You must decide the weight and significance, if any, such statements deserve," Allred told the jurors, who were hand-picked by the Pentagon and flown to the base in southern Cuba for the case.

    Hamdan was captured at a roadblock in southern Afghanistan in November 2001 with two surface-to-air missiles in the car. Prosecutors accused Hamdan of transporting weapons for al-Qaida and evacuating bin Laden to safety after learning he was about to launch terrorist "operations," including the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Hamdan is one of roughly 80 prisoners that the Pentagon plans to prosecute in the tribunal system.

    So far, only one Guantanamo inmate has been convicted. Australian David Hicks reached a plea agreement that sent him home to serve a nine-month prison sentence.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  5. #105
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    Changing lug nuts not a war crime, jury told

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/_Chang..._war_0804.html

    Reuters
    Published: Monday August 4, 2008

    GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden's driver performed vital services that enabled "the world's most dangerous terrorist" to launch attacks, a prosecutor told jurors before they began deliberations on Monday in the first U.S. war crimes trial at Guantanamo.

    But defense lawyers for Yemeni captive Salim Hamdan argued he was merely a hired laborer akin to the defense contractors who provide services to U.S. forces. "Changing lug nuts and oil filters" were hardly war crimes, they said..

    Hamdan was not even trusted to know where he was driving bin Laden until after a convoy departed, Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, his U.S. military defense lawyer, told the jury of six U.S. military officers.

    Hamdan, who is about 38, was captured in November 2001 in Afghanistan, where he had worked in bin Laden's motor pool since 1996. He could face life in prison if convicted of conspiring with al Qaeda and supporting terrorism in the first U.S. war crimes tribunal since World War Two.

    Even if he is acquitted, or sentenced to less than the six years he has already spent in captivity, the United States says it still can hold him as an "unlawful enemy combatant" until the end of the war on terrorism declared by President George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks.

    Hamdan says he drove for bin Laden because he needed the $200 monthly wage but denies joining al Qaeda, pledging loyalty to bin Laden or participating in attacks.

    Prosecutors portrayed Hamdan as a key conspirator who enthusiastically drove and protected the al Qaeda leader, knowing that bin Laden's goals included murdering Americans and taking down Western nations.

    "He's an al Qaeda warrior. He has wounded - and the people he has worked with - have wounded the world," prosecutor John Murphy said.

    The prosecutor said Hamdan ferried al Qaeda weapons and served as bin Laden's bodyguard. He was assigned to drive him to safety if his convoy came under attack, providing the last line of defense for the man at "the top of this terror pyramid," Murphy said.

    "These terror attacks could not have been carried out without the ability to transport the leadership before, during and after the attacks and allow them to kill on another day," he said.

    The defense recounted testimony that Hamdan was bored by bin Laden's speeches and that when captured at a checkpoint in Afghanistan, he ran and hid in a ditch rather than fire the AK-47 he carried. Afterward, Hamdan led U.S. forces on a tour of Kandahar, pointing out al Qaeda safe houses, Mizer said.

    He said Hamdan had cooperated with U.S. interrogators, and alluded to secret testimony that journalists were not allowed to hear, apparently referring to an offer Hamdan had made to help U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

    "You know what happened, how we squandered that opportunity," Mizer told the jurors.

    Mizer also recounted written testimony from accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who described his fellow Guantanamo prisoner as a primitive Bedouin only interested in bin Laden's money and unfit to plan and execute attacks.

    Defense lawyers portrayed the prosecution's case as guilt by association and said Hamdan was no more involved in al Qaeda attacks than were bin Laden's cooks, farmers and goatherds.

    "Hitler's driver was never charged with a war crime and it doesn't work that way today," defense lawyer Joseph McMillan said.

    Hamdan's trial is the first to be conducted by the controversial tribunals the Bush administration create to prosecute non-U.S. citizens outside the civilian and military court system.

    An Australian former captive, al Qaeda trainee David Hicks, avoided trial at Guantanamo by pleading guilty to providing material support for terrorism and finished his nine-month sentence in his homeland last year.

    At least four of the six military jurors must agree by secret, written ballot in order to return a guilty verdict for Hamdan.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  6. #106
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    Gitmo detainees subject to detention even if acquitted: Pentagon

    http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Gitmo_d..._08052008.html

    8/5/2008

    Some detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will likely never be released because of the danger they pose, and those tried and acquitted will still be subject to continued detention as enemy combatants, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

    Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, made the remarks as Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni, awaited a verdict in the first war crimes trial to be held under a special regime created for "war on terror" suspects.

    Morrell said Hamdan, a former driver of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, could appeal the verdict in US courts.

    "But in the near term, at least, we would consider him an enemy combatant and still a danger and would likely still be detained for some period of time thereafter," he said.

    Morrell said there were plans for at least 20 more such trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but he said a significant portion of the detainees being held there would neither be tried nor released.

    He said efforts were being made to reduce the size of the population through transfers of prisoners to their home countries for incarceration or release.

    "But I think, you know, there are still a significant population within Guantanamo who will likely never be released because of the threat they pose to the world, for that matter," he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  7. #107
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    Military jury convicts bin Laden's driver

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h...9qP9wD92CRJ300

    By MIKE MELIA – 2 hours ago

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A jury of six military officers at Guantanamo Bay reached a split verdict Wednesday in the war crimes trial of a former driver for Osama bin Laden, clearing him of some charges but convicting him of others that could send him to prison for life.

    The Pentagon-selected jury deliberated for about eight hours over three days before convicting Salim Hamdan of supporting terrorism. He was cleared of the conspiracy charge.

    Hamdan, who faces a maximum life sentence, held his head in his hands and wept at the defense table after a Navy captain presiding over the jury read the sentence in a hilltop courtroom on this U.S. Navy base.

    The judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for later Wednesday.

    Defense lawyers had feared a guilty verdict was inevitable, saying the tribunal system's rules seemed designed to achieve convictions, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, Salim Hamdan's Pentagon-appointed attorney.

    "I don't know if the panel can render fair what has already happened," Mizer told reporters as the jury deliberated.

    Hamdan's attorneys said the judge allowed evidence that would not have been admitted by any civilian or military U.S. court, and that interrogations at the center of the government's case were tainted by coercive tactics, including sleep deprivation and solitary confinement.

    Supporters of the tribunals said the Bush administration's system provided extraordinary due process rights for defendants.

    "This military judge is to be commended for providing a fair and internationally legally sufficient trial for the accused and the government — regardless of the ultimate verdict," said Charles "Cully" Stimson, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs.

    Hamdan was captured at a roadblock in southern Afghanistan in November 2001 and taken to Guantanamo in May 2002.

    The military accused him of transporting missiles for al-Qaida and helping bin Laden escape U.S. retribution following the Sept. 11 attacks by driving him around Afghanistan. Defense attorneys said he was merely a low-level bin Laden employee.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  8. #108
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    Bin Laden's Driver Apologizes For 9/11
    Salim Hamdan Apologizes for the Innocent Victims of the 9/11 Attacks

    http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/wireStory?id=5532477

    8/7/2008

    GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden's driver apologized on Thursday in a sentencing hearing in a U.S. war crimes court at Guantanamo for any pain his services to al Qaeda caused its U.S. victims.

    "I don't know what could be given or presented to these innocent people who were killed in the U.S.," Salim Hamdan told a jury of six military officers deciding his fate after convicting him of providing material support for terrorism.

    "I personally present my apologies to them if anything what I did have caused them pain," he said through an Arabic-English interpreter at the first U.S. war crimes tribunal since the aftermath of World War Two.

    A forensic psychiatrist who interviewed the Yemeni captive behind the razor wire at the U.S. naval base in Cuba reported that Hamdan wept when he first saw videotape of planes crashing into the World Trade Towers in the September 11 attacks, and that he prayed for the victims.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  9. #109
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    White House pleased by Bin Laden driver verdict

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008...river-verdict/

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    8/7/2008

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House said Wednesday it's pleased with the outcome of the war crimes trial for a former driver for Osama bin Laden, although the jury delivered a split verdict.

    The jury of six military officers at Guantanamo Bay cleared Salim Hamdan of conspiracy charges but convicted him of supporting terrorism, which could send him to prison for life.

    A White House spokesman defended the process, although critics have questioned the fairness of the military commissions.

    "We're pleased that Salim Hamdan received a fair trial," Deputy spokesman Tony Fratto said in a statement.

    Fratto said Hamden was presumed innocent and had an opportunity to present a defense against war crimes charges.

    "The Military Commission system is a fair and appropriate legal process for prosecuting detainees alleged to have committed crimes against the United States or our interests," Fratto said. "We look forward to other cases moving forward to trial."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #110
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    The Trial of bin Laden’s Driver

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/op...LNOVnbFqxYYXrQ

    8/11/2008

    Re “Panel Convicts bin Laden Driver in Split Verdict” (front page, Aug. 7):

    Our husbands were killed on Sept. 11, 2001; thus we have a personal interest in the Guantánamo trials and their outcome.

    Since neither the promised closed-circuit TV nor the 9/11 family member trip to Cuba has materialized, we must rely on reporters to be kept informed about these proceedings.

    We understand that the practices being used by these military commissions, such as allowing hearsay evidence and coerced testimony, are questionable at best and un-American at worst. What we have not been allowed to see could fill an encyclopedia.

    But we do know that it has taken almost seven years for our government to convict Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, of material support of terrorism. What about those who allegedly financed the terrorists, like the Saudis? Wouldn’t this be considered material support of terrorism? When will they be tried?

    All Americans should sit up and take notice — if only they had access to the information!

    Monica Gabrielle
    Lorie Van Auken
    Baiting Hollow, N.Y., Aug. 7, 2008



    To the Editor:

    Re “Guilty as Ordered” (editorial, Aug. 7):

    I’m not surprised at all that Salim Ahmed Hamdan was acquitted on one of the charges. If I were trying to apply a thin veneer of credibility to my kangaroo court, that is precisely the result I would have scripted for its first trial.

    Tracy Brooking
    Kennesaw, Ga., Aug. 7, 2008



    To the Editor:

    Has anyone asked what would have happened to the careers of the Army officers comprising the jury if they had found Salim Ahmed Hamdan not guilty of a statute written expressly for him well after he was captured?

    Gus Nicholas
    Pittsburgh, Aug. 7, 2008



    To the Editor:

    Re “Panel Sentences bin Laden Driver to a Short Term” (front page, Aug. 8):

    For any person who ever believed that the term “military justice” is an oxymoron, look no further than the results of the sentencing phase of the Hamdan trial.

    Because so many uniformed lawyers, including prosecutors and judges, as well as defense lawyers, all insisted that they would not be party to a complete perversion of the military justice system, in spite of what the civilian establishment wanted, Salim Ahmed Hamdan was found guilty, but essentially sentenced to time served.

    Capt. Keith J. Allred of the Navy, the military judge, instructed the uniformed jury members that Mr. Hamdan would be given full credit for the time he already served, so they knew full well when they sentenced him to five and a half years that he would be required to serve only another five months.

    Clearly the jury members were not to be swayed by hysterics or undue command pressure. That’s the way it worked when I was in the Navy judge advocate general corps more than 25 years ago, and it’s still working that way today.

    Stephen David Dix
    Marietta, Ga., Aug. 8, 2008



    To the Editor:

    I do not know Salim Ahmed Hamdan, nor do I know much about what he did or did not do. I do know that the military prison at Guantánamo Bay and the military tribunal system put in place there specifically to avoid recognizing the basic rights of prisoners has made me feel shame for my country.

    It was heartening then, to see the Hamdan jury of military officers do what they felt was right in the face of significant government pressure not to (“Panel Sentences bin Laden Driver to a Short Term,” front page, Aug. 8). Their courage and commitment to humanity and fairness put our country’s finest core values on display for the world and made me proud to be an American.

    Jim Bristow
    San Francisco, Aug. 8, 2008



    To the Editor:

    Osama bin Laden’s driver faces prison while Mr. bin Laden goes free.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Ilya Shlyakhter
    Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 8, 2008
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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