Guantanamo Bay Terror Courts

Monday, March 04, 2013

Jess Bravin, the Wall Street Journal’s Supreme Court correspondent, and Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, a government prosecutor, talk about the terror courts at Guantanamo Bay, set up after the September 11 attacks in 2001, to hold captured suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan and around the world. In his book The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay, Bravin describes the U.S. effort to create a parallel justice system for enemy aliens, and argues that a maze of legal, political, and moral issues has stood in the way of justice—issues often raised by military prosecutors who found themselves torn between duty to the chain of command and their commitment to fundamental American values.


Lt. Col. Stuart Couch and Jess ravin

Comments [5]

John A

In the future? Strikes began over 5 years ago.

Mar. 04 2013 12:54 PM

I don't understand the idea of prosecuting people as criminals when they are engaged in a war, and act to oppose their enemy, as they define their enemy. The U.S. government has a War Against Terror, proclaimed by bush-cheney, ratified by both parties in Congress, and embraced and expanded by Obama. Under that theory, the U.S. is free to murder any person, anywhere, anytime, if the President decides to. No review, no court processes, no due process, no jury, no counsel, no charges. Absolute authority to murder is the defining characteristic of a dictator.

Assuming the people we define as "terrorists" are to be treated as enemies in war, they should be held subject to all the laws governing the treatment of POWs. The U.S. refuses to do that, and rejects the claim that these people are POWs.

Assuming the people we define as "terrorists" can legally, under international law, be treated as criminals, tried by the other side's rulers and condemned to life in prison or death, then we must be prepared for the consequences. Just think of all the whining over American POWs in Vietnam who the lunatics think are still being held in prisons. According to current U.S. practices, that would be permissible. Everyone in the military should be told that if they are captured, they will be held by the enemy forever, with no rights.

Obviously, the U.S. needs to end these wars, bring the troops home to protect this nation which is the only proper authority of our military, and stop invading and occupying other countries. Release the prisoners, who are in fact POWs, and return them to their own countries. And study war no more.

Mar. 04 2013 12:53 PM
john from office

So the answer in the future is to kill these enemies of the US, before our Lawyers turn them into victims. Hence, drone strikes.

Mar. 04 2013 12:45 PM
Conrad from Kingston, NY

Did Stuart or his other colleagues suffer from his exposure to torture like other military personnel I've read about?

Mar. 04 2013 12:39 PM
Roger from The Bronx, NY

Great segment! I just thought of this article when I hear Jess Bravin referencing "ticking time bomb" scenarios...

You won't believe where it actually comes from!!! Do your guests even know??

It's shocking.

Mar. 04 2013 12:37 PM

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