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Doing a Darrow

Peter F

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Major Frakt, USAF, oral argument before the military commission on Defense motion to dismiss

all charges against Mohammad Jawad. 19 June 2008.


On Feb 7, 2002, President Bush issued an order. The order stated, in pertinent part "I accept the legal

conclusion of the Department of Justice and determine that Common Article 3 of Geneva does not

apply to either al Qaeda or Taliban detainees."

"I determine that the Taliban detainees do not qualify as prisoners of war. . .al Qaeda detainees also

do not qualify as prisoners of war."

"Our values as a nation, values that we share with many nations in the world, call for us to treat

detainees humanely, including those who are not legally entitled to such treatment. . . As a matter

of policy the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely, and to the

extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles

of Geneva."

snip...not deserving of a snip, but rules are rules

February 7, 2002. America lost a little of its greatness that day. We lost our position as the worlds

leading defender of human rights, as the champion of justice and fairness and the rule of law.

But it is a testament to the continuing greatness of this nation, that I, a lowly Air Force Reserve Major,

can stand here before you today, with the world watching, without fear of retribution, retaliation or

reprisal, and speak truth to power. I can call a spade a spade, and I can call torture, torture.

Today, Your Honor, you have an opportunity to restore a bit of Americas lost luster, to bring

back some small measure of the greatness that was lost on Feb 7, 2002, to set us back on a path

that leads to an America which once again stands at the forefront of the community of nations in the

arena of human rights.

Sadly, this military commission has no power to do anything to the enablers of torture such as John Yoo,

Jay Bybee, Robert Delahunty, Alberto Gonzales, Douglas Feith, David Addington, William Haynes,

Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, for the jurisdiction of military commissions is strictly and

carefully limited to foreign war criminals, not the home-grown variety. All you can do is to try to send

a message, a clear and unmistakable message that the U.S. really doesnt torture, and when

we do, we own up to it, and we try to make it right.

I have provided you with legal authority for the proposition that you have the power to dismiss these

charges. I cant stand before you and say that you are legally required to do so. But I can say that

that it is a moral imperative to do so, and I ask that you do so.

(for the written motion see US Military Commissions - jawad

6/17/6008 – Defense Motion to Dismiss Based on Torture of Detainee, Motion Number - D 008)

Motion denied.

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