Terrorists To The Bone

In last Wednesday’s Washington PostMilitary Judge’s Release of Pleading by 9/11 Defendants Draws Criticism tells of reaction to a military judge’s decision to release statements by Guantanamo detainees.

The decision by a military judge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to order the release yesterday of a pleading by defendants accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was criticized by defense counsel and civil liberties groups, who said the judge was defying President Obama’s executive order to halt all military commissions.

Defense Department officials defended the judge’s order to release the six-page filing from Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants, saying that it was in compliance with Obama’s order.

Shortly after taking office, Obama wrote that “all proceedings of military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgment has been rendered . . . are halted” pending a government review of the cases of all detainees.

Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “The military judge’s order authorizing release of the 9/11 co-conspirator filing does not constitute a ‘proceeding.’  …

But Michael Berrigan, deputy chief defense counsel in the Office of Military Commissions, said the Pentagon’s understanding of “proceeding” is flawed.”Look up the definition of ‘proceeding’ in Black’s Law,” he said, referring to the standard legal dictionary. “Hopefully, Obama’s people will see what’s going on.”

Sounds like a cat fight, to me. Since I am no lawyer, I have no way of telling what is a proceeding and what is not.

But the really important take away from this episode is not whether the judge was out of line, or whether it was a proceeding, or what Obama ordered. What I care about is what was stated by the detainees.

  1. [The detainees] called the charges against them “badges of honor, which we carry with pride.”
  2. “Your intelligence apparatus, with all its abilities, human and logistical, had failed to discover our military attack plans before the blessed 11 September operation”.
  3. “We are terrorists to the bone.”

Thank you very much. There was some serious doubt creeping into my mind. No wonder Obama is having a little difficulty in deciding what to do with these dregs, and no wonder foreign countries aren’t lining up to receive them.

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