We all know that America's "military tribunals" at Guantanmo Bay are kangaroo courts designed to secure convictions of "terrorists". But I never expected them to be this blatant:
The judge overseeing the premiere military tribunal at Guantánamo Bay effectively conspired with the prosecution to destroy evidence relevant to defending the accused architect of the 9/11 attacks, according to a scathing court document.
Army Col James Pohl, who this week at Guantánamo is presiding over a resumption of pretrial hearings in the already troubled case, “in concert with the prosecution, manipulated secret proceedings and the use of secret orders”, the document alleges, preventing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s defense team from learning Pohl had permitted the Obama administration to destroy the evidence.
The accusation comes in a 10 May defense filing that the military commissions have recently unsealed. It contains significant detail about an episode that Mohammed’s attorneys say has permanently tainted the most high-profile test of the US’s post-9/11 turn toward military justice for terrorism cases.
“First they tell us they will not show us the evidence, but they will show our lawyers. Now, they don’t even show the lawyers. Why don’t they just kill us?” Mohammed, who faces execution, is quoted as saying in the filing.
Of course, exactly what the evidence was is secret. But it appears to be connected to Mohammed's torture at the hands of the CIA, who waterboarded him 183 times.
Denying the defence access to evidence turns the trial into a mockery of justice. And by doing so, it will simply inspire more terrorism.