The Talking Dog

May 9, 2009, The grateful undead

And so, we see the reanimation of an idea once derided by a Presidential candidate named Barack Obama... but in the cold political reality of his being President, and doing his job with an absurd predilection to try to satisfy the unsatisfyable right-wing critics while screwing his own most ardent supporters wherever possible, the reanimation continues... and hence, we see that the Obama Administration is proposing to reanimate the once-thought-to-be-dead military commissions. And careful with those brains, people... I hear zombies don't like to chew through tinfoil... just saying...

In other Zombie news, it appears that a number of zombie banks managed to convince federal authorities to ease up on capital requirements to make them look better... nothing like a public-private partnership concerning the regulation of the private entity itself; should give the public plenty of confidence in that whole process. [In other zombie news, Mike Huckabee warns that the GOP could go the way of the Whigs... let's just say, this isn't at the top of my worries list, and "the party of money"... like many a zombie... ain't so easy to put down!]

Well... the commissions. The trial balloon apparent leak concerning them reveals that "evidence" obtained by torture coercion would probably not be admissible, but "some" hearsay probably would, with the commissions likely to occur on the USA mainland, with, perhaps, another 90-day stay to be sought on top of the 120-day stay already requested and in place.

Look: former GTMO prosecutor Col. Darrel Vandeveld told us, in an interview on this very blog, that:

My fundamental conclusion, after eighteen months with the Commissions, was that no lawyer could certify to the Commissions and to opposing counsel that the discovery requirements mandated by the Military Commissions Act and its implementing regulations had been met, so dismal was the condition and organization of the evidence. Hence, I concluded, none of the detainees, or at least those whose cases I examined and evaluated, could be guaranteed a fair trial not a perfect trial, which is impossible to achieve in any case, but a trial that afforded the detainees with evident and ascertainable fairness and transparency. The ineluctable consequence of this assessment required me, I believe, as a lawyer, military officer, and a human being, to refuse to participate in the Commissions any longer.

You got all that? A man once charged with the prosecution or around a third of all commission prosecutions concluded that we can't give these men fair trials.

Fuggedabout it, Mr. President: the commission system is broken. Don't try to pretend it can be fixed. Charge those who can be charged in federal courts; if they end up acquitted, so be it. The value of demonstrating the fairness and transparency of our system will more than make up for any "danger" of releasing "dangerous men"... and quite frankly, how do we even know they were really "dangerous" in the first place, if we don't have enough evidence to convict them in court? Huh? How 'bout that one, Mr. Constitutional Law Professor Lecturer?

This has been... "The grateful undead."