Go check out these two pieces:
From the AP: Lawyer: Gitmo interrogators told to trash notes
From Alternet.org: Pentagon Manual: OK to Destroy Gitmo Interrogation Notes
The first is AP’s factual reporting of the situation. The second is Alternet’s discussion of the implications, including some excerpts of reporting on the same story from CanWest News Service.
Essentially, there was a Pentagon directive that interrogators could (should?) destory their handwritten notes taken during interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Later, sanatized typed reports were created of said interrogations. The defense attorney for Omad Khadr, currently on trial in a case already making news for the replacement of the trail attorney, says that this practice prevents him from challenging any alleged confessions and he will use this to request dismissal of the charges against his client.
This all ties up neatly in a bow with my neo-fascism post below with the pending Supreme Court case regarding the denial of habeas corpus under the Military Commissions Act.
I’m not going to argue whether or not Khadr threw the grenade that killed the American soldier he is accused of killing, when he was 15 years old in Afghanistan, even though the Pentagon isn’t quite sure. I’m not going to argue whether or not he should have been deported, at age 15, against the normal standards of international extradition, to Gitmo. What I will argue is that we are America, and whether or not he is guilty of the crime for which he is accused, he should have had his rights upheld. He should have had the right to not be tortured. He should have had the right to a fair and just and timely trial, not waiting six years to face the kind of backward justice of which all Americans should be ashamed and alarmed.
Khadr is Canadian. Canadian. That’s pretty close to home, don’t you think? He is now 21 years old. No one can prove that he did what we say he did and yet we’ve held him for six years trying. Sure, he was fighting for the the other side. But this is war, folks, that’s what happens. Are we going to arrest everyone fighting for the other side?
The thing we all need to realize is that the Military Commissions act allows the President to declare anyone an enemy combatant: anyone. That’s you, that’s me, that’s my Mom, that’s your kids, that’s your neighbors, your children’s teacher, the nice lady who works at the local grocery. And once one is declared an enemy combatant, the flood gates open and anyone can be treated just like we have treated Khadr. That’s why Gitmo exists. And if John McCain, who supports this Act, is elected, this will not change. Do your homework and use your vote.