A former driver for Osama bin Laden was sentenced today to 5 ½ years in prison for his material support for terrorism, a relatively light sentence that means the first detainee at Guantanamo Bay to face a full military commission trial could be released from custody in just five months.
The NYT’s editorial board is in a lather. Not because of the short sentence, but because to them it is Guilty as Ordered.
James Joyner has the perfect response:
Now, as longtime readers know, I’ve not been a fan of Guantánamo, the lack of minimal due process for those accused of being illegal combatants generally, or the treatment of Hamdan in particular. Further, I agree with the editorial’s larger point that the way in which Hamdan was convicted taints the process.
That said, the accusation, without the slightest hint of proof or argument, that the jurors violated their oath to judge Hamdan according to the evidence and their conscience, without regard to the wishes of the command, is libelous. Indeed, the fact that the jury acquitted Hamdan of the most significant charge against him serves as prima facie rebuttal of that charge.
But that won’t convince the NYT board.
As I see it, it’s more like judicial malpractice.
More from Ace.