Well, it looks like Obama has broken another one of his campaign promises. While on the campaign trail, Obama often alluded to ending the Bush-era military commission system for prosecuting accused terrorists. While he never directly advocated its abolition, he was repeatedly quoted as saying he would reform the tribunals “by bringing swift and sure justice to terrorists through our courts and our Uniform Code of Military Justice.” However, President Obama has reversed course today, and said he will plan to continue the military tribunals.
“Military commissions have a long tradition in the United States,” said Obama in a statement. “They are appropriate for trying enemies who violate the laws of war, provided that they are properly structured and administered.”
Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, the military lawyer who defended Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s personal driver, disagrees with Obama’s assessment. In an AP interview, Mizer expressed his dismay in the president’s decision to continue the Guantanamo terror tribunals. Mizer states,
“What is particularly disappointing is the fact that the government is now openly stating that the reason he is reviving this commissions process is because it is going to be hard to obtain convictions in traditional courts. And this would be the first time in our Republic that we have created a court system [simply] to obtain convictions, and that’s more than disappointing.”
Lt. Cmdr. Mizer then discusses other alternatives available that could be effective in adequately hearing the cases of these terror suspects.
“It would be either Court marshal for those individuals who have committed actual war crimes under the laws of war, or in federal court. Our founding fathers created a system of justice that has endured for over 200 years. And there’s nothing unique about this threat that requires fake courts applying laws that did not exist at the time the offenses allegedly took place.”
What is abundently clear is there is little difference between the democrat officials and the republican officials in terms of foreign policy. Congratulations America, you voted Bush into his third term!