Law from the Center is UCLA law student blog, by a serving Army Captain. It has a very nice post about the amazing gumption shown by USMC Maj. Michael Mori in giving a press conference attacking the procedures being proposed for the Guantanamo
Kangaroo courts hearings. (Lest you think that this Kangaroo court reference is unfair, I'll point you to the remark by Lord Steyn, and to Maj. Mori's claim that the tribunal is “created and controlled by those with a vested interest only in convictions” and that “Using the commission process just creates an unfair system that threatens to convict the innocent and provides the guilty a justifiable complaint as to their convictions.”)
I not only agree with everything in the “Law from the Center” post, I'll go one better (otherwise it wouldn't look so centrist, would it?). As I understand it, in the ordinary military law case, the lawyers who represent the defendant are kept in a different chain of command from the judges. This ensures their independence. I am reliably informed that several months ago, at least, the design for the tribunals did not include this independence, but that rather because everyone there is assigned to the Guantanamo base, the defense lawyers were to serve in the same chain of command as— ie effectively subordinate to—some or all of the officers acting as judges.
I don't know if this has changed since my correspondent observed this first-hand. If it hasn't, it's one of those serious structural problems that never gets the attention it deserves.
Meanwhile, I'd love a link to Maj. Mori's brief…
I hear from cyberspace that Maj. Mori’s comments to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were even more critical and caustic. He’s probably trying to foment public support there to end cooperation with the tribunal. It isn’t working.
By the way, you’re right about the chain of command — eventually, both sides go up to the convening authority, whereas in regular military units TDS works directly for the US Army Legal Services Agency, separate from a soldier’s combat chain of command.
Thanks Micheal Mori. Im glad some one sees the light. America is a controlling, self rightous, destructive nation, “In God we Trust”, What a joke.
Still looking for that link to Maj. Mori’s brief? Is it this one?
i would just like to say as an Australian thankyou so much to Maj Moris efforts in restoring my faith in humanity. because i can see that we are all slowing killing ourselves off. he truely is a man of leadership material.