"We can't have acquittals, we've got to have convictions!"
Patterico links to some very, very disturbing allegations concerning the military tribunals at Guananimo Bay. While I support the general idea that battlefield captures should be treated as POWs (for those following the Geneva convention rules) and that combatants who operate outside those rules have pretty much voluntarily chosen to forfeit the protections accorded to civilians and uniformed soldiers by civilized society, it's nonetheless important to make sure that those we are putting into that category deserve to be there.
So, while I'm not going to argue that there must be a certain number of acquittals, and it's entirely possible that there aren't any innocent people imprisoned at Guatanimo, it is absolutely vital that we have a fair and honest process for answering that question accurately on an individual basis. There's room for debate on the question of whether to include classified evidence, or evidence obtained from waterboarded prisoners, or the like. These are process questions that may be tough to answer fairly, but it is still possible to have a fair and honest result.
It's not possible to have a fair and honest result if there is a political demand for convictions regardless of the facts.
I'm not sure what the appropriate recourse here is, but this issue definitely needs to be investigated and resolved.
This entry was published Fri Feb 22 11:01:17 CST 2008 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2008-02-22 11:01:17.0.