Must Read

This Vanity Fair piece on the JAG lawyers and Gitmo is a must read. There are so many quotes of interest it is hard to find just one to single out, but this one will have to do:

Swift, incensed, sent a series of e-mails to his boss, asking him, “Captain, is this really where we want to ground American legal policy in Guantánamo?” McCarthy and Swift were adversaries in court but friends outside of it. They often jogged together on the base. For Swift, McCarthy was a prosecutor’s prosecutor, trained at Duke Law School and dedicated to justice. He wrote him, “This is kind of like saying that the Dred Scott case was a great decision. Do we really want to go back to a time when slaves cannot seek redress in the court system? It appears to make no sense for the President of the United States to decide whether or not someone is guilty in advance of a trial.” McCarthy e-mailed him back. “I am sure the Department of Defense will do the right thing.”

And it went downhill from there.

*** Update ***

On second thought, this might be the winner:

When Swift examined Yoo’s arguments, he grew anxious. “The only person who could view if the executive powers were necessary was the executive. It made no sense.” When Yoo’s torture memo came out one year later, Swift surmised it was intended to make statements coerced from detainees under torture admissible in court and to provide immunity for the interrogators.

Swift got more and more irritated: “It keeps striking me, all the phrases they are using—’The trials will be full and fair’ … it was, like, huh? They will be ‘full and fair,’ but different. It was, like, if you use this line, maybe we can convince ourselves.”

That resonates with the haggling remark I made yesterday. They know what they are doing does not work, they know we know it does not work, so it appears they are attempting to convince themselves otherwise.

23 replies
  1. 1
    numbskull says:

    Ah, but John, are those people American citizens? If they’re not, then we’ve got a God-given right to jess kill ’em! Only Americans are innocent until proven guilty. Well, only conservative, God-fearin’ Americans, anyway…

  2. 2
    Mike S says:

    Bush is the decider. If he says someone is guilty then that person is GUILTY!

    Questioning that only emboldens our enemies. You should be ashamed of yourself, John.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Full and fair seems like a cousin to separate but equal.

  4. 4
    srv says:

    So where did Swift end up? Yoo is a real stain on Berkeley.

  5. 5
    Punchy says:

    Swift will obviously say anything to sell his book…

  6. 6
    dreggas says:

    srv Says:

    So where did Swift end up? Yoo is a real stain on Berkeley.

    probably transferred from an office at Gitmo to a cell.

  7. 7
    Punchy says:

    Hey Mr. Cole, your site is slow as nuts today. Can’t you get Bra and Panties Pub to hook up the second Apple IIe they own and speed this up a little?

    Maybe if I type in Basic, their damn server could actually process and post my comments before Saturday.

  8. 8
    Tsulagi says:

    I’m fairly familiar with Lt. Cmdr. Swift’s story of his part in the Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld case and JAG’s involvement, but I’ll definitely read through the long Vanity Fair article later with more time. Did a very quick skim of parts; looks like a good read.

    Didn’t notice if it mentioned what happened to Swift after Hamdan was decided. If not, this news story gives part of it.

    Two weeks after the Hamdan ruling, Swift was passed over for promotion. He did appeal that decision, an appeal that would have gone to Rumsfeld. Guess Rummy didn’t see the value in a JAG officer who had the ability to prepare, argue, and win a case in the SCOTUS. Swift’s career was ended. He didn’t fit in with Rummy’s George Deutschificaton of the military.

    As the current president of the National Institute of Military Justice noted, booting Swift out the door has not been exceptional. He said “Swift is part of a long line of Navy defense lawyers of tremendous distinction who were not made full commander and had their careers terminated prematurely.”

    In the quick skim of the VF article, I also see they talk about the Military Commission Act and JAG’s view of it. Want to read that. When Surger/Maverick McCain flip-flopped and backed that Save the Torture/Shred the Constitution MCA legislation he sold out his country and those in uniform. For what? A momentary opportunity to fluff Bush and the brain-dead 28%ers one more time.

    If years from now Jesus Christ himself appeared and resurrected McCain from six feet under for the purpose of running for the presidency, I would not vote for that bastard.

  9. 9
    Mr Furious says:

    I just got done listening to Swift on Talk of the Nation. Phenomenal interview. Throughout the show I just kept thinking how heoic this guy’s stance was and what a patriot he is.

    This country needs guys like this now more than ever, and unfortunately he is now leaving the Navy.

  10. 10
    Jake says:

    But Joooohn! If we give the detainees a fair trial they might hurt us! And anyway, if they haven’t done anything wrong, why are they locked up? [/bedwetting brigade]

  11. 11

    Bush, Cheney and the whole neocon crowd are perfect examples of the kind of people who can read the Constitution’s words without really understanding the why and wherefore of their meaning. They use the Constitution as if it was a cookbook, to concoct justifications and distortions that appeal to equally simple-minded, self-styled super patriots.

    Beyond the lives, money and respect for the U.S. squandered by these lowlifes in high places, this trashing of constitutional protections may be the neocon nitwits’ most dangerous and lasting mischief.

  12. 12
    tBone says:

    So a moonbat mole in the JAG corps got passed over for promotion. Cry me a river. Maybe if that “brave freedom fighter” had been more concerned with defending America than with coddling terrorists, he’s still have a job. News flash, whackjobs: the terrorists want to KILL US!

  13. 13
    tBone says:

    Snark aside, that article really is a must-read. How people can defend this shit is beyond me.

  14. 14
    RSA says:

    Wow. Reading that article beats the hell out of watching A Few Good Men.

  15. 15

    Abe Lincoln said it best,

    that this Kingdom of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Anybody who questions that should be tried for treason.

  16. 16
    Perry Como says:

    News flash, whackjobs: the terrorists want to KILL US!

    When will the Leftards realize we can’t keep putting mints on the terrorists’ pillows.

  17. 17
    srv says:

    See Yoo whine in the Vanity Fair article. This guy really is a monster:

    Did he ever consider the moral implications of locking away in shackles potentially innocent men who had little ability to petition a court? “I said that I had no doubt it would be extremely controversial. I talked to people about it,” he told me. And his conclusion? “The one negative was international opinion,” he said, giving the phrase all the weight of a potato chip.

    “Why have there been no trials in five years?,” I asked. He startled me by laughing and saying, “Yes, that is something, isn’t it? It is the lawyers fighting for the defendants. They stopped the process.”

    “Are you blaming the lawyers for the fact that their defendants have remained uncharged in Guantanamo?,” I asked. Yoo did not answer.

  18. 18
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    When will the Leftards realize we can’t keep putting mints on the terrorists’ pillows.

    Not to mention giving them five-star dining!

  19. 19
    Steve says:

    This was a great piece. It’s awfully hard to accept some of the un-American things that get done in the name of America sometimes, and the fact that anyone can defend them.

    If we don’t fight for the principles that make America great, even when it’s politically inconvenient to do so, we’ll end up no better than anybody else.

  20. 20
    Jeff says:

    Either Bush knew of the wide-spread torture, abuse and extrordinary redintion before-hand or he didn’t. According to his latest press appearance, he should be impeached for either.

  21. 21
    Hyperion says:

    Abe Lincoln said it best,

    that this Kingdom of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    umm…no kingdom. instead a government.
    poor abe. nobody quotes him right.

    i note that PBS is rebroadcasting Ken Burns’ civil war documentary. one of the most striking things about it is the incredible quality of expression in the letters and articles it quotes from. very simple yet elegant prose. and the meaning is clear.

    this is to be contrasted with Chimpy and other elected officials (members of congress “debating”, i’m looking at you) who cannot craft one coherent statement.

  22. 22
    Joathan says:

    Our enemies didn’t adhere to the Geneva Convention. Many of my comrades were subjected to very cruel, very inhumane and degrading treatment, a few of them even unto death. But every one of us — every single one of us — knew and took great strength from the belief that we were different from our enemies, that we were better than them, that we, if the roles were reversed, would not disgrace ourselves by committing or countenancing such mistreatment of them.
    – John McCain, Republican US Senator

  23. 23
    jake says:

    Anybody who questions that should be tried for treason shot and left for the crows.


    Only bleeding heart moonbats would throw away the taxpayers’ hard earned money on a trial for traitors.

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