Monday, November 3, 2008

Guantanamo Bay tribunal gets second conviction

Reuters reports that, in a verdict announced today, a U.S. military tribunal found Osama bin Laden’s media secretary Ali Hamza al Bahlul guilty of conspiring with al Qaeda, soliciting murder and providing material support for terrorism. He is the second man to be convicted by a jury in the war crimes court at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and faces life in prison.

At Bahlul’s request, the government’s evidence went unchallenged by his U.S. military lawyer who he considers an enemy. (Bahlul was not allowed to act as his own attorney and tried to fire his lawyer, Air Force Maj. David Frakt.)

Culminating the weeklong trial, a jury of nine U.S. military officers reached their verdict after deliberating for four hours.

This mess at Guantanamo Bay really stinks, but it is what it is. Many justify these kangaroo courts as a strategy to fight fire with fire. I’ve no sympathy for Islamist extremists who seek to murder innocent westerners, so I try to hold my nose and hope the Americans get this business over with quickly.

It certainly is not justice, but how much justice do terrorists really deserve?

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