Nuremberg prosecutor: Bush Gitmo rules betray the principles of Nuremberg
Maybe our famously free press could turn their attention from Paris Hilton for one moment to see how Bush and his authoritarian apologists and enablers have defiled our country?
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, 88, served under Jackson, the U.S. Supreme Court justice who was the chief prosecutor at the trials created by the Allied powers to try Nazi military and political leaders after World War Two in Nuremberg, Germany.
"The concept of a fair trial is part of our tradition, our heritage," King said from Ohio, where he lives. "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.
Well, as we've seen with Gonzales: Since when is the criminal Bush regime about Justice?
[King] said the Guantanamo prisoners should be tried in the court-martial system or the U.S. federal courts, under fair rules that leave open the possibility of acquittal. Three Nuremberg defendants were acquitted, King noted.
The 2006 Military Commissions Act, which set revised rules for trying suspected terrorists at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "sort of turns its back on Nuremberg," King said. "I don't think it's a credit to us to have this thing."
"The United States has always stood for fairness. That's the important thing. We were the ones who started war crimes tribunals and we're the architects. I don't think we should turn our back on that architecture."
Of course, Gitmo isn't random.
In fact, we're already seeing the meme start to spread--transmitted by the hapless stenographers in the Beltway--that the Gitmo tribunabals themselves are trying "war criminals."
Neat trick, isn't it? Bush destroys the Nuremberg architecture so he himself and his cronies can't be tried, and gins up a new, extra-judicial system, with no habeas corpus and no checks and balances that can do, well, whatever the Fuck he wants.
It's going to take years to uncover the depredations and crimes these people have committed, and try to make the victims and the Constitution whole again.
Which is why we're going to need a Truth and Reconcilation Commmission (assuming Bush surrenders power in 2008, of course).