Monday, June 04, 2007

Military Tribunals Derailed, Again

This story is telling on the general ineptitude of this administration. They have had five years of near complete control of the government and a largely free hand to create their special system of Military Tribunals that they claim are so vital for this War on Terror. Nonetheless they still cannot get them organized and placed on a solid footing. Two cases were dismissed today because under the system the Administration has set up, the defendants were not under the Tribunal's jurisdiction. Now I am certainly of the opinion that the entire Gitmo/Military Tribunal system is a cruel joke profoundly at odds with the basic principals upon which this country was founded. We can readily survive, indeed we are stronger and more secure, if we afford people the basic rights of a fair trial. Such a system assures everyone that we are pursuing the guilty and leaving the rest undisturbed. And that combination is essential to any state of long lasting security. It is also clear to me that the system the Administration is creating at Gitmo is at odds with both those objectives.

But having said that, if the Administration really believes that these Tribunals are needed for our security they should certainly by now have been able to match the state of the prisoners to the jurisdiction of the courts. They have had five years. It should not be that hard. The reason for this outcome though is of one with the rest of what this administration does. There is no system, no set of prinicipals guiding their decisions. Everything is done in an ad hoc manner that all but prevents coordination and a successful outcome. They simply are not capable of competent function.

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