Guantanamo courts an abuse of the law

THE term Kangaroo Court takes on a new meaning at Guantanamo.

A so-called jury of six (not 12) hand-picked US military officers found Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former Yemeni driver guilty of “providing material support for terrorism”.

Simply earning a living working as a driver for a foreign national in a foreign country, gets you sentenced for crimes against humanity.

Meanwhile, national leaders go free, who were responsible for the deaths of up to one million people in unlawful wars, and who gave orders that led to thousands of prisoners of war being tortured.

Such an anomalous and flawed legal decision is likely to have repercussions for US civilian contractors, mercenaries and soldiers captured in conflict zones.

It is right and legally proper that leaders such as Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic, and many others, should be brought before a properly constituted international criminal court at The Hague.

The military courts at Guantanamo are an abuse of the rule of US and international law.

The reason that the US Government set up the prison in Guantanamo was to try to circumvent the US Constitution and the rule of international law, especially the Geneva Conventions on War and the UN Convention Against Torture.

If Guantanamo is outside the rule of law in regards to subjecting prisoners to torture and to cruel and inhuman treatment, then surely any court convened at Guantanamo is also outside the rule of law, in other words, unlawful.

We don’t know as yet whether Salim Hamdan was transported to Guantanamo through Shannon Airport.

If so, can Irish citizens be tried at The Hague for providing material support for state terrorism?

Edward Horgan

Newtown

Castletroy

Limerick

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