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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Military commissions: They don’t teach this in law schools

A post on Politico published on October 15, 2010, entitled "Military Commissions: They don't teach this in law schools," opines that the Obama administration's reported dismay over the case of Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen captured in an Afghani firefight at the age of 15, is not because of political embarrassment generated by the trial of the alleged trial soldier but with military commissions themselves and their "shaky legal framework." 

The writer, Daphne Eviatar, cites to a "troubling" ruling in August where Lt. Col. Patrick Parrish, the Judge in Khadr's case, refused to exclude Khadr's "confessions" at trial although they were reportedly made after his lead interrogator had threatened the teen with gang-rape and murder. The problem, notes the writer, is the "murky paw laid out in the Military Commissions Act:"

    "For the first time in U.S. history, the Military Commissions Act classifies ordinary crimes — like conspiracy, material support for terrorism and murder – as war crimes. It then creates a whole new set of rules and procedures for trying those cases. No wonder the rulings so far have been contradictory and confused."

The writer believes the most telling sign that the Commissions aren't working is that "they're not getting the job done." As evidence of this, despite the more than 700 suspects imprisoned since 2002, military commissions have convicted only four people on terrorism charges and only two remain behind bars today. By comparison, Article III courts have convicted more than 400 people for terrorism related offenses in the same period. 

For the full text of the editorial, click here

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