From Gitmo to Nuremberg

Hot on the heels of this recent court decision:
"The Fourth Circuit today held that this Administration violated the Constitution by holding Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri as an enemy combatant in a military brig without formally charging him for years."

Comes these statements from a former Nuremberg Prosecutor:
The U.S. war crimes tribunals at Guantanamo have betrayed the principles of fairness that made the Nazi war crimes trials at Nuremberg a judicial landmark, one of the U.S. Nuremberg prosecutors said on Monday.

"I think Robert Jackson, who's the architect of Nuremberg, would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on at Guantanamo," Nuremberg prosecutor Henry King Jr. told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"It violates the Nuremberg principles, what they're doing, as well as the spirit of the Geneva Conventions of 1949."

King went on to talk about using torture as a means to gain information:
"The concept of a fair trial is part of our tradition, our heritage," [...] "That's what made Nuremberg so immortal -- fairness, a presumption of innocence, adequate defense counsel, opportunities to see the documents that they're being tried with."

King, who interrogated Nuremberg defendant Albert Speer, was incredulous that the Guantanamo rules left open the possibility of using evidence obtained through coercion.

"To torture people and then you can bring evidence you obtained into court? Hearsay evidence is allowed? Some evidence is available to the prosecution and not to the defendants? This is a type of 'justice' that Jackson didn't dream of," King said.

Neither did the Founding Fathers, nor any other American that believes that the Constitution is more than just a piece of paper to look at. In fact the protections from the government, and the courts they control, were written into there specifically to avoid these nightmare scenarios.

The United States Constitution specifically included the English common law procedure in the Suspension Clause, located in Article One, Section 9. It states:

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

The writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is a civil, not criminal, proceeding in which a court inquires as to the legitimacy of a prisoner's custody. Typically, habeas corpus proceedings are to determine whether the court which imposed sentence on the defendant had jurisdiction and authority to do so, or whether the defendant's sentence has expired. Habeas corpus is also used as a legal avenue to challenge other types of custody such as pretrial detention or detention by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement pursuant to a deportation proceeding.

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