Brig. Gen. Hartmann Responds to Col. Davis:

In today's Los Angeles Times, Air Force Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann responds to the recent op-ed by former Gitmo prosecutor Col. Morris Davis alleging that the military tribunal process was unfair and unduly politicized. My former colleague Amos Guiora finds Hartmann's essay unresponsive and unpersuasive.

Tracy Johnson (www):
Well if it wasn't politicized, would the fewer number of hands in the process made it fair?
12.19.2007 10:36am

This is particularly biting as he knows that the process offers unprecedented rights to alleged war criminals.

The genocidal monsters at Nuremberg got quite a bit more.

. . . not one piece of evidence will go to a commission jury without review and the opportunity to object by the accused and his counsel.

Also factually untrue.

If he can't get his simple facts right, his credibility is for shit.
12.19.2007 12:16pm
Facts don't matter. Foreign terrorists are not entitled to facts, only U.S. citizens are entitled to them (except Padilla).
12.19.2007 12:49pm
I find Guiora unpersuasive, since he seems to think that only one issue has merit; the one he is interested in. Stories like these are often quite deeper than what these op-eds tell us, and I understand Hartmann's desire to correct the personal slights Davis hurle over addressing whatever issues Davis may have raised. Will we ever get the
"true" story here? Almost definately not now.

If you really want to start a discussion about something, the op-ed by Davis was absolutely the wrong way to do it. It read more like an application to join the McCain For President team than anything else.
12.19.2007 12:49pm
The piece wasn't supposed to do anything for you, it was a warning to Davis and anyone else who wants to speak out as to what will happen.

He as much as accused Davis of disobeying orders.
12.19.2007 1:00pm
Boyd (mail) (www):
As a retired Navy layman, I agree with West. Guiora claims that Davis essentially had one main point to make: Hartmann's suggestion that information obtained through water-boarding might have been admissible as evidence. In fact, it strikes me that Hartmann did, in fact, address that. Guiora might reject his statement that the accused and/or his attorney had the opportunity to object to such evidence, but he's lying inaccurate when he says Hartmann didn't address it. On top of that, Davis didn't mention Hartmann by name at all, so this is Guiora's "interpretation" of what Davis meant.

And further, Davis's own words left me with the impression that the main reason he left was because he realized that he was working, through the chain-of-command, for Haynes. All this other stuff wasn't enough to make him resign, but having to work for Haynes was more than he could bear.

Sorry, Guiora's article strikes me as being more agenda-driven than the two articles to which he's responding.
12.19.2007 2:43pm
Bart (mail):
The MCA allows the military judge to review statements given under interrogation and decide if they are reliable enough to be admissible.

If statements given after waterboarding are confirmed by other evidence, I see no reason why they are not reliable enough for the jury to consider. Unlawful enemy combatants have no right against self incrimination and the only issue is whether the evidence is reliable.

For example, if an unlawful enemy combatant admitted that he was involved in a plot to attack the Sears Tower and gave details of the plot and these details were confirmed by other captured plotters, then I see no reason why this evidence is not reliable enough to be considered.

However, when KSM took credit for murdering Danny Pearl, and admission which has not corroborating evidence and is contrary to other evidence, then the admission should be excluded. If course, the egomaniac KSM may take credit for it anyway in open court, but the out of court statement should not be admitted.
12.19.2007 5:04pm
Public_Defender (mail):
I notice that the general referred to retired Colonel Davis merely as "Davis" and not "Col. Davis." As an outsider, that seems like a slight not to give a fellow officer (even a retired one) the courtesy of using his rank. Am I right? Or am I reading too much into that. Could it also just be the LA Times' style convention?
12.19.2007 8:03pm
What does Guiora mean when he says the Gitmo detainees are not accused war criminals? I thought that was what they were being tried for.
12.19.2007 9:12pm
byomtov (mail):
If statements given after waterboarding are confirmed by other evidence, I see no reason why they are not reliable enough for the jury to consider.

I've never understood this sort of logic. Some piece of alleged evidence is deemed worthless, but if there is support for what it purports to show it suddenly becomes respectable.

Let's say I announce it's going to rain tomorrow because my Magic Weather Wheel pointed to "rain" when I spun it. That's worthless. Now the Weather Service predicts rain. OK. So rain is now likely, but that doesn't give my Wheel any validity whatsoever. The only reason to expect rain is the Weather Service forecast. The wheel is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what it predicted. It in no way strengthens the argument that it will rain tomorrow.
12.19.2007 9:39pm
Awww, what the administration apologists are trying to say is that information dereved via torture enhanced interrogation methods is perfectly reliable, except when it isn't.

Interesting too that Gen. Hartmann refers to the Gitmo Guests as "alleged war criminals" which strikes me as a status quite different from the 'alleged unlawful enemy combatant' label that the administration is trying to use to keep these folks in an undefined limbo. If they are alleged war criminals, then shouldn't they be put on trial?

What continues to baffle me is how Yamashita &Quirin are precedents to deny any manner of process to determine these prisoner's status, considering those WWII era detainees had considerable process to determine their status, prior to the cases bearing their names being brought/decided.

Unprecedented rights indeed ... I think the lawyers for today's detainees would be tickled pink to get the process that Yamashita and the Quirin eight received to determine their status rather than being stuck as Schroedinger's Cats in boxes that could remain forever unopened.
12.19.2007 10:36pm
rather than being stuck as Schroedinger's Cats in boxes that could remain forever unopened.
You win the Gitmo Analogy Prize!
12.20.2007 12:56pm