The first war crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay can begin Monday, a federal judge has ruled, saying civilian courts should let the military process play out as Congress intended.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson on Thursday rejected an effort by Usama bin Laden’s former driver, Salim Hamdan, to postpone his trial. Hamdan argued he would suffer irreparable harm if his was tried before he could challenge the legality of the process.
Irreparable harm? Shit, I’d have already rendered irreparable harm to his ass, and it wouldn’t involve a trial.
Robertson’s ruling is a victory for the Bush administration, which plans to use the military commission process to prosecute alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others charged in the 2001 attacks.
The administration suffered a setback last month when the Supreme Court ruled the Guantanamo Bay detainees can challenge their detention in federal court. Hamdan’s attorneys hoped to use that ruling to delay his trial. But Robertson refused.
“Hamdan is to face a military commission designed by Congress based on guidelines handed down by the Supreme Court,” Robertson said.
He said Hamdan can raise any procedural challenges during trial and, if convicted, he can ask military and civilian appeals courts to settle constitutional questions.
The sooner they all get convicted and (hopefully) sentenced to death, the better.