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Criminal Prosecution?

November 16, 2009

A few things to consider:

How do you try a man under U.S. legal procedures who was captured in a third country by non-law enforcement personnel, and who has been in military custody for seven years?

During World War II, it was U.S. Army practice to hold perfunctory trials followed by executions. During the Battle of the Bulge, German commandos captured wearing U.S. uniforms — in violation of the Geneva Conventions — were summarily tried in field courts-martial and executed. The idea that such individuals were to be handed over to civilian courts was never considered.

Therefore — and now we move to the political reality — it is difficult to imagine how the evidence accumulated against Mohammed could enter a courtroom. Ignoring the methods of questioning, which is a separate issue, how can one prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt without compromising sources and methods, and why should one?

Holder has opened up an extraordinarily complex can of worms with this decision. As U.S. attorney general, he has committed himself to proving Mohammed’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt while guaranteeing that his constitutional rights (for a non-U.S. citizen captured and held outside the United States under extraordinary circumstances by individuals not trained as law enforcement personnel, no less) are protected. It is Holder’s duty to ensure Mohammed’s prosecution, conviction and fair treatment under the law. It is hard to see how he can.

from Stratfor.com

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