Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Attorneys observing Guantanamo proceedings report military ignoring Supreme Court -- the mysterious NAVY IG template discussed in 2002

Update US Attorneys show up; Scalia upset?

Remember last year when they were talking about lawyers in Guantanamo? Well, surprise! Someone actually realized that the lawyers never showed up.

Guess who is going to Guantanamo? Apparently, some lawyers. Wow! What took so long for the US judicial system to move? Apparently they've got rock in their brains; and are sitting on some pretty big rocks to boot.

Many of us hoped that the Supreme Court's decisions in Hamdi, Padilla, and Rasul would lead to the adoption of policies here at Guantánamo more consistent with the constitution and with international standards of justice. It's clear that this hasn't happened. Both the military commissions and the CSRTs are fundamentally lawless; they are proceedings designed not to provide fair process but rather to rubber stamp essentially political decisions. There is no doubt that the Supreme Court's rulings were critically important, but Guantánamo remains a legal black hole. Unfortunately, it's clear that there's a lot more work to do.
This comes as no surprise given the ineffectual oversight from Congress. Leahy comments, reporting that Republicans "rejected a subpoena resolution for documents relating to the interrogation and treatment of detainees."
Congressional Republicans have refused to conduct oversight on many critical issues, including . . . , and Guantanamo Bay Ref
The United States Congress cannot turn its back on war crimes. Recall, during the Tokyo War Crimes trial, the War Cabinet was found guilty of war crimes.

Why? Because they were in a position to do something about the misconduct, but failed to act. Ref

Congressional staff liability

Congress has long recognized joint oversight responsibility when it comes to issues of intelligence and national security. There is no legislative immunity when it comes to "failing to act when one has the duty to act."

There is also no legislative immunity when the issue is an alleged conspiracy to obstruct a lawful accounting for the alleged misconduct and war crimes in Guantanamo.

For starters, ask DoJ's FBI why their agents used a US NAVY inspector general guide as a template for discussing the interrogation issues in November 2002. Why was the IG guide used, but the IG has not provided a referral to the FBI; nor a final investigation report to the NAVY, DOJ, or the Congressional committees overseeing the various departments involved in the alleged misconduct at Guantanamo? Ref

A communication with the NAVY inspector general in 2002 should have prompted both a formal notification to Congress and a request for the DoJ's FBI to review the allegations of criminal conduct. What were the results of this criminal investigation?

In turn, a report "should have" been made available documenting the results of that investigation and made available to the Senate Judiciary Staff. Where is it?

Why despite the repeated denials that torture was occuring, why do we now have manuals documenting the acts that "never occurred"? Ref

These plans do not appear out of thing air. Recall Zyklon B. The contractors who made that stuff were held liable. Similarly, the contractors who wrote these torture manuals also have some explaining to do, as do the military personnel who oversaw the document-delivery-contract for these manuals.

DoJ's Marion E. "Spike" Bowman, a former-NAVY man, would be a good place to start with the questions.

If we do not adequately and timely investigate these allegations of war crimes on our own, we have no basis to assert "we should stay outside the International Criminal Court."

Choose: Self-government or external oversight. One or the other.