SAUDI MILLIONAIRE FACES DEATH PENALTY.
This is the first death penalty war crimes trail to go forward and it has been a long time in coming following is some of the facts on the case and what the defense will use. This is another case of a weakness in our system when it takes so many years to decide what to do. Studies have shown that delayed justice can cause other violent minded people to act when facing justice can be uncertain.
A senior Pentagon official Wednesday approved the first death-penalty war-crimes prosecution of the Obama administration — the trial of a Saudi millionaire accused of masterminding al-Qaida’s suicide bombing of a U.S. Navy warship in a Yemen port a decade ago.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 46, also gets the first full Guantanamo military commissions trial of the Obama era at a time when the White House is still committed to closing the prison camps. Wednesday, the Pentagon held 171 captives at its base in southeast Cuba, just four of them convicted war criminals.
Two suicide bombers drove a bomb-laden skiff into the USS Cole in October 2000, killing 17 American sailors and crippling the $1.1 billion warship.
“It’s long overdue from my standpoint,” said John Clodfelter of Mechanicsville, Va., whose 21-year-old sailor son Kenneth was killed instantly in the ship’s bulkhead. “It’s just been unreal. Kenneth … was tore up so horrifically.”
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald, who oversees the war court, announced the charges on a new interactive website meant to launch a new era of transparency at the Defense Department division that at times has had a penchant for secrecy.
The Nashiri page, however, included only prosecution documents against Nashiri, the alleged al-Qaida chief of Arabian Sea operations. Conspicuously missing was a July 15 filing by Nashiri’s defense team claiming that the case was too tainted by delay and CIA torture to go forward.
Nashiri is defended by U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Reyes, who said the latest step signaled that it was now “time to see how transparent these trials will be.
“Item No. 1: What happened to my client in CIA custody?”
Some of that already has come out in congressional investigations and documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act: While at a secret CIA prison, an agent revved a power drill near the head of a naked, hooded Nashiri, who was also subjected to waterboarding, a technique that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called torture.
Pentagon lawyers and contractors have spent the summer readying the war court that former President George W. Bush created and Barack Obama criticized as a senator then reformed as president. During the week of Sept. 11, MacDonald inspected Guantanamo’s crude tent city and maximum-security court, called Camp Justice.
The Nashiri case will be widely watched as a test case of the new court. Pentagon lawyers are still preparing for the capital trial of five former CIA captives accused of conspiring in the Sept.11 mass murder, chief among them confessed mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.
The Cole capital case that MacDonald approved Wednesday included nine charges, including terrorism, murder as a war crime, treachery, and attacking civilians. It also accuses Nashiri of a lesser-known attack two years after the Cole bombing on a French oil tanker off the Yemen coast. A Bulgarian crewmember was killed.
Next, the chief war-court judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, will assign a military judge to the case, if not himself, to formally charge Nashiri within a month. Nashiri, who disappeared into CIA black-site custody in November 2002, and the alleged 9/11 plotters were sent to Guantanamo in September 2006 and have been sequestered at a secret prison camp, which some members of Congress have inspected.
The detention-center commander, Rear Adm. David B. Woods, said earlier this month that the camps and compound were ready to host trials, although he had yet to receive an order to prepare or plan for an execution chamber.
It will be up to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to pick the method of death the tribunals might employ.
As I mentioned at the beginning delayed justice is at the least ineffective and causes more crime. When you look at countries in the world who have swift justice the crime rates are lower. Hopefully in the future we can take the politically aspect out of the justice system and have the system work as it should.
Stay informed: Until next time, Be Safe