HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

Gitmo Justice Jumble?

I have no first-hand knowledge of what has gone on at Gitmo, but if this is true, it speaks to the real issue behind a critical POW/Enemy Combatant/GWOT situation:

In a court filing this month, Darrel Vandeveld, a former military prosecutor at Guantanamo who asked to be relieved of his duties, said evidence was "strewn throughout the prosecution offices in desk drawers, bookcases packed with vaguely-labeled plastic containers, or even simply piled on the tops of desks."

He said he once accidentally found "crucial physical evidence" that "had been tossed in a locker located at Guantanamo and promptly forgotten."

Personally I think the rules on who should be in Cuba and who shouldn't are fairly clear cut, but even if they were not, you can't argue that you're doing the right thing if the evidence indicates you don't know WTH you are doing. All lawyer jokes aside, who runs cases at this level of import in such a fashion? My Cousin Vinny?

To be sure, detainees with intelligence value or who were rounded up as part of an intelligence operation are going to be a metaphorical pie with a lot of fingers stuck in it, but how much of that is legitimate and how much is just people playing standard Washington rice-bowl nonsense? How many detainees are being held just because someone forgot where the exculpatory evidence is?

There is a reason to be cautious here, but if we're being true to our principles, there is also a reason to be vigorous in our pursuit of justice.

Leave a comment