Today, President Barack Obama is expected to announce that he will reinstate the military tribunals he not only previously shut down, but also vehemently argued against as both a senator and presidential candidate. From what I hear, the conditions for reinstatement include the exclusion of hearsay evidence, as well as any evidence or statements garnered through enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, face-slapping, or enjoying the latest Metallica album.
If Obama has looked to irritate those on both sides of the political spectrum, I think he’s done so here. Those on the far left want the president to ensure that the detainees are released, given a latte, and escorted to a speed-dating event at the nearest neighborhood Applebees. Those on the right, like myself, want no such exclusions for hearsay evidence or statements obtained through–God forbid–the harsh interrogation of sworn enemies of the United States and western civilization.
After all, weren’t the tribunals set up as a way to adjudicate these cases without providing the rights enjoyed by the American citizens these detainees want to vaporize? Now, we’re suddenly concerned about the veracity of out-of-court statements from fellow terrorists and cave-dwellers used in court to prove whether the detainee is a terrorist? Give me a break.
These people are jailed for a reason. These aren’t teenagers plucked from their idyllic daily lives by American troops because they failed to deliver a goat cheese pizza within the promised 30 minutes — these are people who have injured, killed or threatened to injure or kill our fighting men and women who make enough of a sacrifice by being on the front lines in the first place, not to mention dodging grenades lobbed at them by soldiers of Allah.