The Mechanics of Perverting Justice

The United States Government has decided to ignore the ruling of an American Judge that the government provide access to a key witness in the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui. The government has made secret submissions which it claims justify preventing Moussaoui from accessing the witness. The judge, who has reviewed those secret submissions has rejected the government's allegations and ordered them to produce the witness. By refusing to produce the witness the judge is likely to have to throw the case out or at least severely curtail its scope as doing otherwise would deny Moussaoui a fair trial.

Having the case thrown our would serve the government's interests in two ways. First, it would allow the government to re-arrest Moussaoui and try him in a military tribunal where his rights will be those the government decides to grant him. But even more importantly by forcing the trial to be thrown out the government will have, at least in its own mind, demonstrated that the U.S. Court System cannot successfully deal with war crimes trials and so strengthen the government's contention that military tribunals are the right way to go for dealing with war crimes. This likely means that Jose Padilla, a U.S. Citizen arrested on U.S. soil who has been in a military prison for over a year without charge and without right to see an attorney or appeal his detainment (if this isn't a clear violation of the U.S. constitution what is?) will probably end up in a military tribunal.

I suppose the military tribunal isn't that big a deal, after all, with Padilla the government has already proved that they can arrest a U.S. Citizen on U.S. soil and hold them for an indefinite period of time without right to consultant an attorney. With that capability available to them how relevant is it that the government can also then put the person through a Kangaroo court? The ACLU (the link is to their section on unlawfully detained people) folks, time to pay some more for your freedom insurance.

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