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Monday, November 14, 2005

No, They Don't Deserve Court Trials

In this mornings Washington Post, P. Sabin Willett waxes poetically on the subject of detainees and the trials they deserve.

Now, I feel for his client, and those like him whom military tribunals are finding not to be al Qaeda or Taliban, but also can't be repatrioted for various reasons to their own countries. Mr. Willett's client is from China, and they not only aren't offering to take him back, they don't seem to care that he's missing.

The reason other countries aren't lining up to let him move in are probably pretty simple. A Chinese muslim, in Afghanistan, fighting as a mercenary. Yeah, he's the kind of guy civilized countries around the world are going to line up to get.

But now to the bigger question of detainee trials and the US Court system. It's the US Court System, not the "world court" not the "war crimes court". The system was designed specifically for US Citizens or residents, and crimes committed in the US.

Those very courts have upheld the right of the Military to hold it's own courts and tribunals against enemy combatants for 200 years. While Nuremberg, which he envokes in his diatribe, was held in the daylight (his words), it was also a trial for the major leaders of Germany and German camps. There were hundreds of other trials that weren't filmed, weren't written about in history books, that were held for the other, lower ranking Germans. Trials just like his client Adel got. They were all military tribunals, they weren't held in US Civilian Courts.

One of the differences now and then is that Adel and the others in Gitmo and elsewhere aren't Afghan or Iraqi, they are mercenaries, from other countries (something that's glossed over quite well in his article.). After WW I and WW II it was easy to take the non-major criminals and combatants and repatriate them, because we were occupying their homelands. This time it's a little different. We can't force China, Somolia, Yemen, etc, to take back the scum that have left their homelands to kill Americans. Of course, that's glossed over too.

Maybe Mr. Willett would preferr we let them immigrate here. He could sponsor and be responsible for his wonderful, peace loving client. He could let him stay at his house until he learns english, finds a job, and gets settled.

I doubt Mr. Willett sees the irony in his actions, attempting to use the very systems that Adel went to Afghanistan to destroy to get Adel out of Gitmo.

The WaPo has an updated editorial today (11/15), and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also chimes in.

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