⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Obama May Not Use Military Commissions After All?

Iram Martins
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 18, 2009

That’s what Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, and Gabor Rona, international legal director of Human Rights First, said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon, after meeting with the Department of Justice’s Special Interagency Task Force on Detainee Disposition.

“In order to save its ability to conduct military commissions, albeit with these new and supposedly improved procedures, it has to put the ball in motion now with proposed rule changes,” said Rona. “That does not to us mean that the continuation of military commission cases is inevitable. What was driving the timing of the president’s announcement last Friday was a timetable that was breathing down the government’s neck.”

If the government does decide to use the supposedly new-and-improved military commissions, however, that’s a real problem, Rona said, because the rules President Obama is proposing to change don’t really protect against the military commission’s abuses. The procedure is still not independent — it’s run completely by the military, with no independent check on executive power — and the so-called protections against coerced evidence only protect against evidence obtained by procedures that “shock the conscience”.  As we saw in those recently-released internal Justice Department memos, even waterboarding doesn’t necessarily shock the conscience of some Justice Department lawyers.

As for hearsay evidence, under the new rules, the government would bear the burden of proving it’s reliable. But by its very nature, the witness who made the statement isn’t available to be cross-examined. So while the government can say the hearsay statements were made voluntarily and not through torture or other coercion, the detainee and his lawyer can never really challenge that. So the new rules mean it’s reliable so long as the government says it is?

All of these questions remain unanswered, including whether the Obama administration is really going to use these courts and for whom. Some lawyers are saying this may have just been the administration’s way of floating a trial balloon to see how the idea of reviving the military commissions goes over with the public.

At least with human rights lawyers, it’s not going over very well.

Iram Martins | Personal trainer. Aspiring sommelier. Brunch critic who works part-time. When I'm not competing, you'll find me at dog beaches with my black lab or sipping drinks at the best bars in town. I like to fly a lot.

Related

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley

BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s

MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’

Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

No Experience Necessary

Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐