So it was a little interesting when, within days of McCain assuming a commanding lead in the race, and with the Democrats deciding between anti-Gitmo candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, that word was leaked of a secret site within Guantanamo for hard core al-Qaeda detainees, called Camp 7.
That was just the prelude -- today comes this leaked story:
Military prosecutors have decided to seek the death penalty for six Guantánamo detainees who are to be charged with central roles in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, government officials who have been briefed on the charges said Sunday.
The officials said the charges would be announced at the Pentagon as soon as Monday and were likely to include numerous war-crimes charges against the six men, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former Qaeda operations chief who has described himself as the mastermind of the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
A Defense Department official said prosecutors were seeking the death penalty because “if any case warrants it, it would be for individuals who were parties to a crime of that scale.” The officials spoke anonymously because no one in the government was authorized to speak about the case.
A decision to seek the death penalty would increase the international focus on the case and present new challenges to the troubled military commission system that has yet to begin a single trial.
[..] (T)he timing of this strikes me as just a little bit too much of a coincidence here. The likely unraveling of Guantanamo is Bush's worst nightmare. A legitimate criminal trial under American laws of jurisprudence would expose the worst of the Bush-Cheney torture regime, including waterboarding techniques, and have a result that nobody in this debate wants: Making it impossible to gain real justice against the 9/11 planners, because of inadmissable evidence.
A quick trial under military rules, and a speedy execution, is the only long-shot hope for Bush and Cheney for making the worst of the torture nightmare that they've created go away.
Just when I think they can't stoop any lower or sacrifice their humanity any more, the Bush administration finds yet another way to dredge a little more out of the swamp. Setting aside my personal feelings on the death penalty, we KNOW that this administration tortured innocent people (Maher Arar, anyone?), how on earth can we be assured that they are putting to death guilty people now?