Saturday, March 24, 2007

Judge Crawford steps up to the plate

Tomorrow the long-delayed military commissions begin anew with proceedings against Australian David Hicks. The charges against David Hicks, along with many other documents related to the commissions, are available on the DoD's Defenselink news site.
The charging sheet reveals that convening authority Susan J. Crawford marked out the charge of "attempted murder in violation of the law of war," leaving two specifications of "providing material support to terrorism," a charge that carries a maximum sentence of confinement for life. It's one of 29 crimes laid out in the Military Commission Act of 2006. Judge Crawford was appointed to oversee the new commissions after completing a 15-year term at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF), the military's highest court. Prior to joining the bench she served Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush in key Department of Defense legal billets.
The DefenseLink news site also includes the transcripts of the unclassified portions of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT's) held over the last few weeks for the high-value detainees transferred to Guantamano Bay last fall. Detainees do not have access to counsel at these status hearings, but they do have the services of a misnamed "personal representative," a field-grade military officer with a top-secret clearance who is assigned to manage the detainee's participation in the process. The "personal representative" does not represent or advocate for the detainee (in fact, she cannot be a judge advocate) and may not treat as privileged any information gained in the course of conversations with the detainee. For more on the CSRT's, see Mark Denbeaux and Joshua W. Denbeaux's important study of previously released transcripts.

3 comments:

Chad said...

Judge????????

Judge's take an oath to uphold the law and justice.

Crawford is a bought and paid for servant of traitors.

She is an utter disgrace to everything America stands for.

Hey "Judge" Crawford grow a backbone and start abiding by the oaths you took...

Surprise the world, tell your boss you are going to stand for justice instead of being a mouthpeice for the retarded republicans.

Chad.

condor said...

And now we learn, from the New York Times -- today, that her
view of/on "justice" is
so-tainted, or tilted, in favor
of Jack Bauer-style torture, as
a method to adduce evidence,
that a Military Judge has ruled
her office's counsel is to have
"no role" in one (and in the future,
presumably, ALL Gitmo detainee cases). Let's listen in:

". . . .General Hartmann, who has been a controversial figure since his appointment last summer, is the legal adviser to the Pentagon official with broad powers over the war crimes system, Susan J. Crawford. She has the military title of Convening Authority of the Guantánamo war crimes cases.

Ms. Crawford has never made a public statement in her role.

General Hartmann has been the military official most publicly identified with prosecutions in recent months. It was he, for example, who announced the Sept. 11 charges and has publicly pressed prosecutors to move faster.

Ruling on a defense lawyers’ request that said General Hartmann had exerted unlawful influence over the prosecution, Judge Allred said that public concern about the fairness of the cases was “deeply disturbing” and that he could not find that the general “retains the required independence from the prosecution.”

Pentagon officials could ask the judge to reconsider, could appeal to a special military appeals court created to hear Guantánamo cases or could replace General Hartmann.

General Hartmann has denied Colonel Davis’s assertions and said the commission system would “follow the rule of law.” He has also said he has pressed prosecutors and others involved in the tribunals to move the cases more quickly.

As convening authority, Ms. Crawford has powers over the entire war crimes system, including the power to approve or reject charges, to reach plea deals and to provide financial resources to the prosecution and the defense.

Among officials in the war crimes system, General Hartmann was assumed to have been acting on her behalf. But the judge did not find there was evidence suggesting she should be removed even from the single case.

Judge Allred’s ruling followed a hearing in Guantánamo on April 28 at which Colonel Davis said General Hartmann pressured him in deciding what cases to prosecute and what evidence to use. The judge called the hearing after lawyers for a detainee, Salim Hamdan, said his charges were unlawfully influenced
. . . .

Indeed. Do go read it all.

condor said...

And still, her (likely successful)
defense (I hereby predict) will
be something along these lines --
reminiscent of/a la Scooter
Libby's protection of Dick
Cheney -- "Hartmann?"

"Nope, I don't recall
ever knowing Gen. Hartmann was
torturing the rule of law, on
my behalf
. . . ."

"I am surprised to learn that."

R-i-i-i-i-i--i-i-i-ght.

And if one believes THAT, then
I work at a gumdrop factory,
and commute to work every morning
on a rainbow-colored unicorn, with
gossamer wings. . . .

[He only worked right next to her,
for the at least the last year, solid!?!]

Sheesh.

GO read:

http://www [dot] nytimes [dot] com/2008/05/10/us/10gitmo.html?hp

Replace the "[dot]", in each case,
with an actual period: viz "."