William Glaberson, with the New York Times, reported this week on the commencement of the trial of Salim Hamdan, Osama Bin Laden’s driver. The story, titled “In Detainee Trial, System is Tested” describes the nature of the military tribunals as they are carried out in Guantanamo Bay.
While the Pentagon asserts that the tribunal is “the most just war crimes trial that anybody has ever seen,” representatives from various NGO’s disagreed. Matt Pollard, an observer for Amnesty International, stated that the proceedings were more like a replica of a trial than a real one, and the prize quote of the story had to come from Ben Wizner, of the ACLU, who asked, ““Where else in the world is someone being prosecuted for a crime who is already serving a life sentence and will continue to serve one if he’s acquitted?”
The results of this military tribunal will almost certainly be appealed, and given the recent Boumediene decision, those appeals will likely take place in the federal courts.
In a related story, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, another detainee, has asked that his trial before the military tribunal be blocked so that he can proceed in the federal court system. Catch the full story on SCOTUS Blog here.