03 December 2003

let's play count the wolfowitzes!

"The first thing that strikes the lay student of military commissions is the enormous power vested in the US deputy secretary of defence, Paul Wolfowitz, who is the commissions' 'appointing authority'. The judges - seven in a capital case - are appointed by Wolfowitz. Any judge can be substituted up to the moment of verdict, by Wolfowitz. The military prosecutors are chosen by Wolfowitz. The suspects they charge, and the charges they make, are determined by Wolfowitz. All defendants are entitled to a military defence lawyer, from a pool chosen by Wolfowitz. The defendants are entitled to hire a civilian lawyer, but they have to pay out of their own funds, and by revealing where the funds are, they risk having them seized on suspicion of their being used for terrorist purposes, on the order of Wolfowitz. Defendants need not lose heart completely if convicted. They can appeal, to a panel of three people, appointed by Wolfowitz. When it has made its recommendation, the panel sends it for a final decision to Wolfowitz."

the preceding is from an excellent guardian expose of the guantanamo system, including the conditions in the camp and the (total lack of) trial process:
part one
part two

i think the most astounding part is the extent to which the bush administration has simply made up rules to suit itself. i know it shouldn't be unbelievable, after two years, but...wow. it's still unbelievable to me.