Before I went to Fort Meade to view the trial, I watched several interviews on Youtube which discussed Guantanamo Bay issues. I want to share with everyone reading this blog two of the interviews, because the topics they discussed are extremely relevant to the June 16th hearing concerning the alleged architects of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center & Pentagon.
Tom Woods Show Interview
First I want to talk about an interview I heard on the Tom Woods Show between historian and author Thomas Woods and Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com. The interview took place on June 12, 2014. Mr. Raimondo stated that a large portion of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay were not terrorist. He stated that the U.S. military would pay Afghanistan farmers and peasants large amounts of cash to capture and turn in potential terrorist to the United States. The Afghan people’s average annual national income per capita is about $410 so of course the chance to make a large amount of money was very appealing to the Afghans. So the Afghans scooped up large amounts of people for bundles of cash and the U.S. put the captives into Bahrain and Guantanamo Bay prisons. Mr. Raimondo stated that there is no evidence against a lot of the prisoners and as a result they are not being brought to trial. He said the U.S. government has since acknowledged that there are prisoners being detained indefinitely who may be innocent. Raimondo said that the government’s actions at Guantanamo Bay are immoral and that the individuals who are dangerous should be put in the U.S. prison system. Currently, there are more than 300 persons who have been tried and sentenced of terrorism charges in the U.S. prison system.
Plus, Guantanamo Bay is not cost effective. It cost the tax payer $800,000 dollars per year to confine a Gitmo inmate, whereas, the average U.S. prisoner cost the taxpayer $25,000 a year.
Towards the end of the interview I found it fascinating that Raimondo brought up the fact that the NSA was caught spying on American lawyers representing the Guantanamo detainees. I found this fascinating because during the June 16th hearing the lawyers for the detainees stated that the government had planted listening devices to eavesdrop on conversations between them and their clients, and the lawyers also argued against the
FBI questioning their legal teams linguist, which brought up issues affecting the attorney client privilege, confidentiality, and conflict of interest. This continual eavesdropping by the government has further increased the length of the trial and ultimately further delayed the conviction.
Democratic State Representative Candidate Doug Leatherbury
Attorney Doug Leatherbury, Democratic candidate for State Representative District 73, stated that the terrorist are criminals and not state actors and therefore should be tried in a U.S. criminal court. He argued that since America is known for having the best legal system on earth, our political leaders should not be afraid to utilize it against the terrorist. He said that Khalid Shaikh Mohammad should have been tried and convicted a long time ago.
Interview between Alan Comes and Judge Andrew Napolitano
In the interview between Alan Comes and Judge Andrew Napolitano, Napolitano stated there are three inherent flaws with the military tribunals that must be corrected if they are to pass muster in the U.S. Supreme Court. First, the tribunals allow evidence of hearsay and torture. Hearsay is something that you have heard from another person. Secondly, they permit the Secretary of Defense to replace the judge if the secretary is displeased by his rulings. And the third problem is that the President has the power to incarcerate individuals for life who have been acquitted.
In 2005, U.S. military forces captured Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi who is the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Baghdadi was held at Camp Bucca in Iraq for several years. In 2008, George Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government which handed over many detainees to Iraqi forces. In 2010, the Iraqi government had set him free. I wonder, if under our current jurisdictional laws. if Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi could have been tried in an American criminal court? I also wonder why he wasn’t tried in front of a military commission. I think over the coming weeks, after Abu Bakr becomes more of a household name in the United States, a lot of Americans will be asking the same questions.
Viewing the Two Videos
Please view the articles and YouTube videos I cited in the blog post.
What Consitutes a Fair Trial? By Andrew Napolitano
Judge Andrew Napolitano & Alan Colmes discuss Gitmo
The Tom Woods Show. Tom Woods interviews Justin Raimondo- June 12, 2014
Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp by Ron Paul
Ron Paul – On Foreign Aid & Guantanamo Bay