Military Commissions 3.0 show little signs of improvement in practice

Dominika Svarc

While Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9/11 conspirators will finally be tried in a Manhattan district court, following the Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision last month, some other terrorist suspects will still have to face the military commissions. Although this controversial parallel system of justice has been somewhat improved by the 2009 Military Commissions Act, numerous commentators (including myself in a recent post on this blog), have criticized them for remaining a second-class system of justice, violating both the US constitution and international law due-process protections.

Those, who have since been given a chance to observe the work of the “improved” commissions in Guantánamo, clearly add volume to the skeptical voices. According to the representatives of human rights organizations such as the ACLU and Human Rights Watch, the procedures in the case of Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi, a Sudanese national charged with conspiring with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda and providing material support for terrorism, has so far failed to come even close to “the highest standards” of American constitution that Holder pledged to when passionately defending the new military commissions system.

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About Jason Ralph

Jason Ralph, Professor of International Relations, University of Leeds
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