The ABC reports this morning that two leaked emails from two former US military prosecutors claim the military
commissions set up to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay are “rigged,
fraudulent, and thin on evidence.” The two prosecutors, who have since left their posts, expressed
considerable doubt in the trial process to their supervisors just
months before Australian detainee David Hicks was charged.

After an investigation into the claims, the Pentagon said the prosecutors’ comments
were the result of poor communication and “personality conflicts.” And
Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has this morning defended
the military commissions as an “appropriate way to deal with issues when you are in a continuing conflict.”

But Hicks’s defence lawyer, Major Michael Mori, says the emails
reveal concerns about the fairness of the military
commissions at “the heart of the process.” And Hicks’s
father, Terry, says the revelations confirm his suspicions that the
commissions were set up to “ensure convictions.”

Major Robert Preston said:

[Pressing ahead with the cases could be] “a severe threat to the
reputation of the military justice system and even a fraud on the American

Surely they don’t expect that this fairly half-*rsed effort is all that we have
been able to put together after all this time.

I lie awake worrying about this every night, I find it almost impossible to focus on my part of
the mission.

And Captain John Carr said:

I expected there would at least be a minimal effort to establish a fair process and diligently
prepare cases against significant accused.

I find
a half-hearted and disorganised effort by a skeleton group of relatively
inexperienced attorneys to prosecute fairly low-level accused in a process that
appears to be rigged.

military panel will be hand-picked and will not acquit these detainees.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey