Can they get a fair trial?

I’m sure you’ve seen that the Pentagon has announced charges against six Guantanamo Bay prisoners over their alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

The accused won’t get their day in court, they’ll get their day in a US military tribunal system. And those tribunals will hear evidence gathered in Guantanamo Bay, under conditions that remain disputed. And those two issues are just the start of fierce discussions going on around the world.

So, can justice be served?

151 Responses to “Can they get a fair trial?”

  1. 1 Ros Atkins
    February 12, 2008 at 12:35

    Ingrid in Norway
    Short answer: No.

  2. 2 John in Salem
    February 12, 2008 at 13:24

    No. Justice will not be served until Bush and Cheney are behind bars and that will never happen.

    I think it’s safe to predict that all in Guantanamo will be found guilty. And even though the military is seeking the death penalty it’s unlikely there will be any executions, given that the CIA has already admitted torturing at least two of them.

  3. 3 Jerry Cordaro, Cleveland OH
    February 12, 2008 at 13:25

    Let’s see – the system presumes that the detainee is guilty, evidence can be obtained using torure – excuse me, “enhanced interrogation methods” – and the defense can’t see classified evidence being used against them. What’s unfair about that?

  4. 4 ZK
    February 12, 2008 at 13:47

    Personally I’m for the death penalty generally, and in this case I think it’s more than fair that prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

    Let’s make this clear. People who say these prisoners are humans and have rights must be out of their mind, because these are the same people behind the attacks that killed 3,000 people. These people don’t deserve any rights.

    But they are granted such rights by law, and these rights should be respected.

    To hold this trial at Guantánamo in a military court all but guarantees that the detainees, regardless of evidence presented in defence, will be found guilty. The law’s in place for a reason, and to so blatantly say as much that “we don’t care what evidence you may have, you’re dead”, well that is just beyond me.

    Then again one could argue that in a civilian court in the United States they’d just face the same. Surely it would be better to hold the trials at a neutral place?

  5. 5 Xie_Ming
    February 12, 2008 at 13:55

    Has anyone read any transcripts?

    The military “counsel” was a career officer seeking to advance his career in the one I read.

    They do not have the chance of a snowball in hell!

  6. 6 Joanna, St. Louis, MO
    February 12, 2008 at 13:59

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the problem is that if they bring them on U.S. soil for a trial then they must be treated with a different level of humanity. Also, do you really think they would get a fair trial even if that were an option? Where would they find jurors who would be fair to them? Most of us have already judged them as guilty because of our media. The tribunal is their only option to avoid a messy public trial and of course to minimize the publicity about their poor treatment. However, isn’t it possible for them to appeal all the way to the supreme court?

  7. February 12, 2008 at 14:03

    of course not
    they are allowed to see all the ”evidence ” that will be presented [wernt they there when it was tortured out of them?
    this reliving the means the evidence was obtained is a perversion , that is only compounded by this farcicle destraction about a trial
    are they even aware of the rebuttal ”evudence presented by the 911 rebutalists?
    how can they have a fair trial if all the facts are not made available for them to dispute the accorded cause
    we know they will get sentanced to death [great way to hush up the story ] why sadam not allowed to give his vieuw, its the same thing all ober again

    no debate nor discent allowed

    he was condemmed by what evidence revieuwed by a neutral party?

    isnt a judge getting sacked cause for a retrial?
    welcome to the new world order

  8. 8 Brett
    February 12, 2008 at 14:08

    C’mon guys, give the administration a break. They are worrying about the details so we don’t have to. Theyre going out of their way to bring justice to the ‘turrists’. I mean, they even said that its going to be fair… *rolleyes*

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  9. 9 John in Germany
    February 12, 2008 at 14:20

    Hello Ros.
    Some how i was hoping this question would never be posted, why? because it cant even be answered correctly from what ever position you stand at.

    Let us get to it this way, if anyone can tell me of a terrorist that has committed the ghastly crimes against manhood in the name of any religion: ever considered the tragic results of his or her actions. NEVER. or they would not participate.,nor follow the wishes of unpredictable elders, or they are perverse.

    There are pictures of terrorists committing, or preparing to commit crimes, and there is no doubt about there identity, and still a good lawyer can get them of the hook. Come on! where are we living? an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth, but nothing about 3000 to 5. eyes or teeth.

    i respect all and every bodies right to think as they will, but remember, it is not pacifists that prevent the next attack,.They cannot extract that extra information that is needed, and some times very quickly, by pleading to the goodness of some
    fanatical murderer. Stupid is it not “Thank heavens that attack did not take place” and now lets jump all over the interrogators that extracted the information that saved HUNDREDS of lives. There is always someone to do our dirty work, and we can sit back and enjoy our freedom of speech, and our self righteousness.

    Lets join together and wish those military people that are using their knowledge, strength, and sense of democracy, all the best in this world, good health, and a thick skin when needed. They will need it, then they will be confronted with highly motivated lawyers.

    Lets finish on a lighter note, In the fifties i was on a military excersise, on which the Van Doos, elite Canadian soldiers took part. Three of our lads were interrogated by the frost, they were inattentive on guard, got caught, and tied to a tree with their trousers down. We found them soon enough, and no one complained.

    God bless you all, who ever he may be.

    John in Germany

    A better question would be what is a fair trial?.

  10. 10 mohammed ali
    February 12, 2008 at 14:20

    Is this about fair trial or retributive justice. I think there will be no fair trial for those guys. But in any case I would have advocated death for them especially khalid Shiekh Mohammed for the beheading of the American journalist, Michael Pearl. Do they really deserve fair trial when in their ream they don’t give some to others.

  11. 11 Ros Atkins
    February 12, 2008 at 15:00

    George in the States.
    If the men were the planners of 911, I don’t care if their trail is fair or not, only that they are the correct men.

    The one thing that this White House has hammered into everyone is they LIKE to torture.

    By torturing confessions the White House has confused the question- are these the right men?

    Give them a trial. Do it right.

  12. 12 Justicia
    February 12, 2008 at 15:45

    ZK: “Let’s make this clear. People who say these prisoners are humans and have rights must be out of their mind, because these are the same people behind the attacks that killed 3,000 people. These people don’t deserve any rights.”

    And how many hundreds of thousands of people (Vietnamese, Cambodians, Iraqis) that the American military has killed in illegal wars. By your reasoning, I guess you’d have to say that the Americans aren’t human beings either.

  13. February 12, 2008 at 16:00

    John in Germany,

    Perspective is a problem. How does one end up being guilty in the eyes of U.S. In Afghanistan. A typical story was neighbor “A” felt “dishonored” by neighbor “B”. “A” runs to the US forces and says “B” is a terrorist. Neighbor “B” is scooped up and delivered to an interrogator. The interrogator “knows” only one thing, “this guy is a terrorist and only his admitting it will satisfy my objective.” So the torched methods are conducted until the “objective is achieved.” “Good soldier, you got the job done.

    Her in lies the problem, about 450 of the once 800 detainees have been released and 80 are awaiting deportation, but no country wants a guy who has suffered the hell of Guantanamo in their country. Let’s face it if they were “freedom hating terrorist” going in, they will surely be coming out. Thanks, the net is about 400 chances that the US created it’s own next Osamma bin Laden.

    Now for some more math. There are plenty of studies that show people under extreme pressure of just something like a police interrogation will admit to crimes they didn’t commit. That figure is way more then 1%. (closer to 20%) really. But for the sake of argument, let’s just say 1%. Well figure that into 800 and you have 8 “self admitting very dangerous criminals.”

    If there are pictures, and there videos let’s see the evidence! The court is jaded anyway. It certainly won’t take “beyond reasonable doubt” to convict these guys. There is never a good reason to not have transparency.

    This administration was supposed to be “Christian inspired”. “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for the tooth” is the old way. Christ – “the basis for Christianity” said there can be no end to forgiveness. He himself had the power to set right the wrongs done onto him, but he did nothing but pity them. The whole point of his life was to show humanity the true meaning of faith in the afterlife of heaven. Yes Jesus himself was a pacifist. So bring the next attack on. Nothing you can do to the building and structures of the N. American continent can destroy that which is American. Our “inalienable rights” can not be take by a few nut jobs with a butter knife.

    I actually get offended by those who insinuate that Americans are so weak and cowardly that they will not rise up to a fight for a clear and just cause. If you are in question of what a “just and clear cause is”, then here are a few signs. You should not have to lie or overemphasize the threat. You should not have to change objectives to suite the need for success. Lastly, if 6 years into the war you are finding you are having to enlist high school dropout, criminals, and mentally challenged children, or overpaid mercenaries to fill your military needs, then you do not have a “just cause”. I can’t believe that some people are so contemptuous towards Americans that they think that the American people are too stupid and weak to know when the fight is righteous.

    The answer to “what is a fair trial?” is simple and spelled out in The Constitution, and it’s amendments. Our founding fathers didn’t think that only Americans were deserving. They said they believed, “All men are created equal” and deserving of these inalienable rights.

  14. 14 Paddy in Scotland
    February 12, 2008 at 16:02

    Evidence gathered through torture, or enhanced interrogation methods (thank you Jerry in Cleveland), is inadmissible, so the only way a fair hearing can take place is if the prosecution against them is instantly dismissed. Failure to do this will once again expose the hypocrisy of the political leadership that espouse the values of freedom and democracy, enrage a large majority of the world, and act as a recruitment drive for violent extremists.
    The most worrying thing is that the powers that be know this – and still they do it.

  15. 15 gary
    February 12, 2008 at 16:09

    Hello All,
    Quite a number of ordinary, innocent working people died on 9/11. In response to their deaths, G. W., and his cadre of loyal supports, engaged in a number of illegal acts. Intelligence was ignored or falsified, public wrath was wrangled and whipped-up in a manner in which Madison Avenue wonks would take pride, and Afghanistan and then Iraq were invaded, both with as much planning and forethought as one would give to a stroll in the park. Likely 9/11 suspects were rounded-up and shipped to Guantanamo. All these things were illegally done by any commonly used test of legality. Quite a number of people have died since; most them were innocent also.
    The U.S. Constitutition demands checks and balances be imposed to slow such rapid slides into idiocy by a President and his V.P. Congress thus shares the guilt. The Geneva Conventions forbid the sort of incarceration (and torture) of military prisoners that occurred (The term “military prisoner” is defined by who owns the prison, not by the identity of the prisoner.). Additionally, I cannot fail to note that while Pres. George W. Bush says he is a Christian; he has ordered (He is commader-in-chief.) treatment of the detainees that is clearly immoral. And yes! Many common people in this country have exhibited exceptional levels of criminal stupidity!
    Your question “Can justice be served?” is an interesting one, though. Too badly for you, the answer is trivially simple: If you wish to have justice under law; you must obey the law. From casually allowing people to die in hurricane Katrinna (By scuttling the life boats; FEMA, G. W. became guilty of at least involuntary manslaughter.), to illegal detention of people (Possibly criminal ones! Who the hell knows now?) at Guantanamo Bay, George and a lot of other people have proven they have no respect for the people, the law, legal international agreements, or the Constitution. I tire of their sad wail, “We needed to do these things to save the Constitution!” Is it such a feeble document that its articles cannot engender its legitimate defense? Of course, these are minor considerations compared to the million or so innocent dead in the US, England, Australia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
    The bottom line is the saddest: There will be no justice for any of these victims, nor for their murderers. If those at Gitmo are guilty, they remains so; but the actions of the government have made it all but impossile to so prove legally. If my observations of past such occurrences are correct, only the “little fish” are in the net anyway! The “Big Fish” are still alive and well. They’ve only been strengthened by the chaos. In a few months George will go off and open a library filled with pop-up books and crayons, Dick Chenney will return to being Darth Vader in real life, the brave soldiers will try rebuilding their interrupted lives and continue to yearn for a night’s sleep without nightmares, the families of the dead will live with their grief and nuture their hatreds, the international reputation of the country will be left a great steaming pile of bovine fecal matter, islamic radicals will have a glut of volunteer suicide bombers, Osama will be popularly acclaimed “a prophet,” and the rest of us will just try to get on with our lives.

    Wow! Maybe this “prophet” thing isn’t so hard after all.

  16. 16 Brett
    February 12, 2008 at 16:17

    “George in the States.
    If the men were the planners of 911, I don’t care if their trail is fair or not, only that they are the correct men.”

    Is that not the point of a fair trial? To make sure you have the right men?

    It amazes me that the US Government can deem any person it wants a terrorist, try them in private, and people support what is said without any knowledge… Just what the government chooses to give you, which, honestly, what are the chances that it is correct in the first place and not misinformation, blatant lies, or partial truths? Or, oh yes, and I’ll bring it up again, how reliable are any confessions made through use of tortue… wait, wait… through interrogation, I’m sorry….

    Taking away anyones rights to live, or to a fair trial, makes you no better than the terrorists.
    Take it for what its worth. The supporters of the “Inquisition” sound like little lemmings, content with what ‘facts’ they are given by the government. Not wanting, or caring about the truth of either the situation, people, or their trials.

    If they are guilty, what is everyones fear or opposition to having a fair trial? Why is it even an issue? If they are guilty, they will be found that way through due process.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  17. 17 Rory
    February 12, 2008 at 16:29

    Ros and Ohio Corardo and Xie – you have got it SO right!!!!! We don’ t know these are really the right men- BUT we do know they are NOT ‘covered’ by US law(according to the constitution). Ah… so THAT”S whay Guantanamo was OUTSIDE the USA!!!!! Outiside US LAW….Now there’s a conundrum – waterboard a screaming body for a confession – then smile at the pained expressions of international justice- Um…. where did you say that was?
    Sounds like the Inquisition to me.
    Fair Trial? LOL

  18. 18 Kelly in Lebanon, OR
    February 12, 2008 at 16:31

    Can’t have a decent hangin without a trial, so we’re gonna give you a fair trial, find you guilty and THEN hang you.

    If we were really concerned about legality and justice, these detainees’ trials, or tribunals, or whatever would have happened several years ago. As it is happening now we appear to be just tying up loose ends. If they have only limited representation and no access to evidence, why bother other than for pure revenge with a photo-op?

  19. 19 Ros Atkins
    February 12, 2008 at 16:36

    Richard in America
    Under the current administration? No. It took 7 post ‘911’ years to indict these prisoners, of which they already had intelligence for some of them prior to ‘911’. More than anything, this tribunal stinks of politics, and in an election year, wreaks of upstaging Democrats, not to mention how it reaffirms the DOJ’s standing inspite of the attorney-gate.

    For all intensive purposes, this court drama will pander to the conservative base, all of which is poised to vote for the Democrats, weakening Republican stance, and end occupations. Without this, the GOP has little to distract voters, spin sentiment, and win 2008.

  20. 20 Ivan Lindau in Lund, Sweden
    February 12, 2008 at 16:37

    As an US expat living in Sweden, I find the shelving of due process horrible. In addition to water-boarding, these prisoners are not appointed civil lawyers or have any clear legal status. A great amount of effort was put into forging the legal system found in the US today. A shame principle is sacrificed to prosecute these individuals. I believe they could have been prosecuted within the current US legal framework.

  21. 21 John in Salem
    February 12, 2008 at 16:52

    The worst part of this fiasco is that the American people have been robbed of a trial. The administration has muddied the water so much that we will never know for sure that these men were actually involved in 911 or are merely scapegoats.
    By denying them due process they have robbed all of us of justice.

  22. 22 Anthony
    February 12, 2008 at 17:27

    Everyone knows either way they have no chance of getting off, so does it matter. What I really want to talk about is whats going on with Russia and the Ukraine!!

  23. 23 Rashid Patch
    February 12, 2008 at 17:50

    Let’s see, they’ve been imprisoned pretty much without charge, for what, 6 or 7 years, they’ve been tortured, pretty much routinely denied counsel, habeas corpus has been rescinded, and only now are they indicted for any crime, the evidence against them is secret and can’t be revealed to the defense – if any defense is possible, since they are not actually being tried by a court, but by a jury-rigged “tribunal” of doubtful legality – and the question is, will they get a fair trial?

    Did I get all that right?

    And people are commenting here that because 3,000 people died, the accused don’t have any human rights?

    A million Iraqis have died. Should Bush and Cheney hang for that? Should they be tried first? Maybe they should get the same kind of trial as the prisoners at Guantanamo – might that be fair?

  24. 24 melinda
    February 12, 2008 at 17:51

    i don’t believe there is any fair way to deal with the six prisoners. The only action i believe could ultimately be fair is to sentence each prisoner to life in prison in solitary confinement,each in a separate federal prison. At least that way when we learn that Bush, Cheney & Co. lied to us yet again and that these six aren’t the guilty parties after all, they can be repatriated to their homes.

  25. 25 Dennis via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:04

    my wish is for these people: to be tried on many counts of murder of good hardworking citizens,
    in a military tribunal and given all of the rights to prevent appeals….if convicted given
    the death penalty….if not guilty RELEASED them and send back to country of origin..

    Madrid, New York

  26. 26 James in USA
    February 12, 2008 at 18:07

    The trial is not fair for many of the reasons that have already been mentioned. Worse yet, even if the trial were to match the ideal of fairness, it would not be understood that way outside of the courtroom. I want to know what the Bush administration is afraid of and why, if they have the evidence, don’t they take these criminals to US District Court where the trial would not only be fair, but it would be perceived as such.

  27. 27 Andrew via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:10

    In 2000, well before the 9/11 attacks, I lived with a CIA trainee. He wasn’t supposed to tell me about waterboarding, supposedly, but he did, and called it “simulated drowning,” a term that has been picked up by journalists around the U.S. I said, “It sounds like real drowning to me,”
    and he repeated, “It’s simulated drowning.” I also asked him how they avoid killing the subject in these situations, and he said, “Watch for the bubbles.”

    I would like the world to know about this — that is, that the CIA was doing this BEFORE 9/11/2001, and also that they had at that time already devised a way of answering objections — in other words, telling us that it’s “simulated drowning,” and that it leaves no permanent damage — except for post-traumatic stress, of course.

    Andrew in Virginia

  28. 28 Pawnbroker
    February 12, 2008 at 18:14

    Oh, this Karl Rove written all over it – a move to mobilise the base as an accknowlegement of what has been accomplished, as well as a reminder of the work left to do..

    These inmates are going to be used as political pawns.

  29. 29 Dwight via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:25

    In reality I am not so worried that the innocent people will get judged guilty and executed. “stuff happens”. I am more worried that guilty perpetrators are not being found charged and brought to justice.

    in the end 19 people are guilty of 9-11 attacks. They died while committing the act. 19 insane men chose to come to the states, get on a plane, and commit these heinous crimes. Our safety lies not in persecution the people who suggested they did it. Our guaranteed safety lies in stopping the environment forces that allows people to resolve to such acts.

    Lord of logic

  30. 30 James in California
    February 12, 2008 at 18:38

    Torture is evil and the information gained is unreliable. Too many false convictions have been overturned in the US by DNA evidence that were based on coerced confessions.

    And any Americans who aren’t losing sleep are not paying attention or are stupid…

  31. February 12, 2008 at 18:39

    The current American speaker, Goldfarb, does NOT speak for me, a US citizen in Vancouver, Washington.

    Our treatment of every human being informs the world about OUR values. Our fairness is on trial, every bit as much as those being prosecuted.

    Also, not all of those in Guantanamo arrived there from “a battlefield”. Many were “rendered” there illegally.

    My government embarrasses me.

  32. 32 Hazem via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:40

    if they go thru with the trial, it’ll be the end of the picture of democracy in the U.S.

    what evidence do they have on these people. Nothing. they torture them then say there you’re here’s your evidence.

    that’s great.

    Orlando, Florida

  33. 33 Ryan
    February 12, 2008 at 18:41

    These people are not US citizens, but they are also not exactly enemy combatants. Any trial should try to determine their role in combating the allies and should imprison them on that basis.

  34. 34 Zamondo via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:42

    I disagree. We need to maintain consistence through all our dealings to set an example for the world.

    Santa Cruz, California

  35. February 12, 2008 at 18:43

    These guys do not speak for me. If I was being waterboarded, I would say that I masterminded the attacks on 911 also.

  36. 36 Fahad Khan
    February 12, 2008 at 18:43

    Isn’t the whole point to prove that these people have done something and not assume they have done something and conclude that they must be hanged based on the assumption?

    There was a world outside of the US before September 11 (believe it or not). There was fighting going on in Afghanistan long before the US occupied it. That doesn’t mean someone caught on the “battlefield” is guilty of being a terrorist (since many people are assuming that being caught in Afghanistan makes you a ‘terrorist’)

  37. 37 isabel, San Francisco, CA
    February 12, 2008 at 18:44

    You might want to mention that the Weekly Standard is run by Bill Kristol, a neocon.

    Does your guest admit that the Bush administration tortures? Please ask him.

    Chances are, these men have been tortured and the facts show that when people are tortured, they lie. These men deserve to be tried in an international court. What do we know about the evidence gathered so far?

    What about the timing of this announcement? Last week, the government admits it tortures and remember, torture is ILLEGAL. Then yesterday, they’re trying these guys?

    Why don’t you invite someone from The Center for Constitutional Rights to comment on this.

    What sort of credibility does your guest have?

  38. 38 Frank In Oregon
    February 12, 2008 at 18:44

    I can not agree with the speaker that said “these People” do not deserve the protection of the US Constitution. The Constitution is there to protect the rights everyone. As Lincoln said it is “dedicated to the proposition that ALL men are created equal”

  39. 39 Michael Sheridan
    February 12, 2008 at 18:44

    I feel that they will not get a fair trial within any of the american courts systems because feelings will not be neutral towards them. There seems to be, eventhough it has been 8 years since the tragedy, a festering angry which most americans feel won’t be relieved until some sort of “revenge” is taken on whomever took part in 9/11. It quite disheartening and I personal wish it wasn’t true

  40. 40 Claire in New Jersey
    February 12, 2008 at 18:45

    If proof of the guilt of these suspects, in the form of admissible evidence, is so clear they would be convicted regardless of the forum. By insisting they go before a military tribunal, advocates of that position necessarilly imply an insecurity that the suspects could be convicted in civilian court.

  41. 41 Elizabeth via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:46

    No not everyone agrees with him-

    If you want to promote democracy in the world we have to be the best example of this democracy and this is no way to run a democracy – we look like hypocrites


  42. 42 Nancy via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:46

    This guy is nuts!! Even if a majority of people in this country is in favor of kangaroo courts for 9/11 suspects, what will they think in 20 years? How does the populace feel about WW II internment? Slavery? Genocide of Indians? A popularity contest is not the way to determine moral behaviour.

    San Francisco

  43. 43 Justin via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:47

    I would love for these men to be tried in civilian court. However it would be infeasible to find a jury of their peers and any jury that could be seated would undoubtedly have extremely prejudicial views.
    Justin Chicago

  44. February 12, 2008 at 18:47

    Guest just said, “You don’t give a trial before you drop a bomb on a house.” Right and that is why making sure the war is a “just war” is so important.

  45. 45 Anya via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:47

    If you read the Human Rights Manifesto–each person should have rights to know what they are accused of, and the chance to defend themselves. Not secretly tortured and tried.

    There is a LOT of concern around here that I know who disagree– Torture is not an effective way of getting people to tell you the truth.

    Is “field of battle” simply the country of Iraq? That could be anyone.

    Anya, in Oakland, California.

  46. 46 Julia via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:48

    I disagree with the reporter you have on who says Americans don’t want these guys to have a regular trial. I can’t imagine why anyone should not be afforded the rights we afford ourselves (and are so proud –even to the point of boastful–about). Even if we aren’t all Americans aren’t we all human? Why should there be a double-standard when it comes to Human Rights?!

    Silverton, Oregon.

  47. 47 JohninSanFrancisco
    February 12, 2008 at 18:48

    Your guest editor is denying these prisoners any presumption of innocence. He knows only that they are battlefield fighters, not terrorists, yet he would surrender the most basic American principles to prosecute them. He and the caller who said the prisoners are less than human sound like Nazis referring to the Jews. The government has said that the prisoners will NOT BE FREED regardless of the outcome of the trial – that is why there is no civilian trial. America should not lower itself in this way.

  48. 48 Linda Wilson
    February 12, 2008 at 18:49

    The Daily Standard doesn’t speak for most Americans. They are one of the most right wing publications in this country. They supported going into Iraq. They support the Bush Administration after all they’ve done to destroy a great democracy. I feel that these people will not get a fair trial. They shouldn’t be given the death penalty – life imprisonment after all the torture they’ve undergone is bad enough.
    Also, realize that the people who committed the crimes on 9/11 died in the planes with everyone else. These guys may be guilty of conspiracy, but these men need to have fair and open trials. Otherwise, the US will look no better to the world than the terrorists themselves.

  49. 49 Ulric via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:49

    If a “polling” amongst your listeners is, as you put it on air, “unscientific”, can you tell me why you call for it and, worst, tell about the results ?!

    What kind of radio is this ? You should REFRAIN from unreliable information, be it information that is not confirmed independently or information that is obtained in an unscientific way when you can do better.

    Please !!


  50. 50 Blossom
    February 12, 2008 at 18:50

    The Bush Administration has proven it’self untrustworthy in every way. They lied about why we invaded Iraq and do not care about anyone’s Civil Rights. I am from NY City and want everyone respondsible to pay for 9-11. Perhaps the trials should not be public, ok, but let’s show the world and our own citizens that there is still justice in America, give these men REAL trials!

  51. 51 Michael via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:50

    Military tribunals No Criminal trials Yes

    Reasons: Not military persons, though truly enemies.

    Use of torture by US needs to come out rather than be hidden.

    Stick one in the eye of the secretive Bush administration.

  52. 52 Jay via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:51

    I’d like to see them having a fair trial, but I find that hard to achieve one way or another as the high profile cases having the grandstanding attorneys eager for the spotlight. As a balance, I’d rather see at least an open trial so that those here can see the proceedings and make their own determinations on how the trial was handled.

    Jay in California

  53. 53 Hank Levin
    February 12, 2008 at 18:52

    It is necessary for the US to try these prisoners in secret and insure their execution, in order to hide the involvement of individuals like Cheney, who stood down the Air Force’s response to the 9-11 hijackings. This has never been officially vetted, or even discussed in the US media (only on the internet).

    By allowing the handling of these purported criminals outside of the US laws of the US and its justice system (which is perfectly set up to handle this kind of atrocity), the Americans have abrogated their right to enjoy this system for themselves.

  54. 54 Tim via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:52

    Kill em all, Let Allah sort them out! They killed almost 3000 people, not all of them were Americans. 10 of them were my friends, including my best friend. They showed no mercy, why should we. The US needs to grow a pair and stop trying to satisfy everyone else and do what needs to be done. They should be executed and have it done publicly.

    New York City

  55. 55 Edward in Portland, Oregon
    February 12, 2008 at 18:52

    The secrecy of using torture and inhumane actions against the detainees at Guantanamo bay is not going to bring justice and satisfaction to the victims of 9-11. It does not guaranteed or improve any American’s safety in the US or aboard. The persecuted people guilty of 9-11 attacks should grant the same justice and opportunity and human right as any other human being on this planet deserves. I feel my government has betrayed my feeling of their long stance for human rights and equality.

  56. 56 Isaac in San Francisco
    February 12, 2008 at 18:52

    The Bush administration seemed to say that they had made a deal with the devil: we’ll torture them now because we must know what they know but that will forever put them beyond the reach of the courts. Now, unsurprisingly, they want it both ways.

    Antonin Scalia and Attorney General Mukasey are the latest group of compromised me n who think cruel and unusual somehow excluded torture. History, if not the creator, will judge them harshly.

  57. 57 Ken via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:53

    If the tables were turned, I doubt the American public would support this kind of trial for US troops. Granted, many Guantanamo Bay prisoners are considered “Illegal Combatants” but it should not diminish their rights as human beings. If there is truly enough evidence to convict these men, give them fair open trials and prove we have a true system of justice.

    Ken in Cleveland

  58. 58 Kelly in Lebanon, OR
    February 12, 2008 at 18:53

    If they are not going to be accorded their rights as POWs, why try them at all?

    By extension, if OUR boys are captured on the battlefield, why should any country feel obligated to give them representation, legal rights or protection from torture?

  59. 59 John & Linda via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:53

    I feel that these men will not get a fair trial. They should be released because it cannot be proved as terrorist beyond a shadow of doubt. The citizens of this country do not realize that these courts can be used against Americans in the event of marshal law.
    If they must be tried it should be in civil trials not military hanging courts who already want to kill them.

    John & Linda
    Minnesota USA
    Listening on Channel 141 Sirius Radio

  60. 60 Jerry in Oregon
    February 12, 2008 at 18:54

    They can get a fair trial because eveyone will be looking over the militarys’ shoulder.
    But they should have been charged or released years ago.
    Bush is at the very least violating the spirit, if not the letter of our Constitution

  61. 61 Lindsay in Portland, Oregon
    February 12, 2008 at 18:54

    I don’t agree with your guest. I am not one of the “most Americans” who feel like these prisoners should get a military tribunal. It’s unfair for him to generalize. Comments like that are, in my opinion, simply ridiculous.

    I don’t trust the current administration as far as I can throw them. The prisoners deserve the right to be tried in a regular court room. And no, these people are not being considered innocent. They have already been stamped with the guilty verdict. This needs to be out in the open and made accessible by everyone.

    Once again we are showing how violent and vengeance oriented the west really is.

    Whatever happened to talking to each other? Whatever happened to using our intelligence instead of our fists? Come on!

    I am so sad.

  62. 62 Joanne via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:54

    I’m afraid Michael is all too correct about American opinion on the legality of these trials. However, there are also many of us who are severely disturbed by the attitude that says that non-US citizens should not be accorded the same right to a fair trial as US citizens. Fairness should be an American doctrine and this administration is not of this opinion. I am a native New Yorker who lost several in the attack on the World Trade Center.

    Albany, New York

  63. 63 Jaime via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:55

    Michael might consider not speaking for most Americans. I’m sorry he’s been chosen as a representative for the American voice. There are lots of reasons why Americans are “not losing sleep” over the issue.

    Every trial should be fair.


  64. 64 K MJUMBE
    February 12, 2008 at 18:55

    wow. the ignorance is running amuck today. For all of those who think that after more than 500 people rounded up and post six years with no adherance to statute of limitation rights, no number of individuals from Gitmo [who are people of colour], will get any thing near a fair non-biased tribunal.

    By dont believe me, just talk to former Chaplain James Yee. What did the government subject him too? And is still subjecting him and his family too?

    Let us be clear. The attacks in Sept 2001 were no more than a response to Israeli/Jewish global financial capital[WTC] and the US military’s constant support and infusioning the Israeli government with military armaments in its quest of genocide against the Palestines. That his been going on since 1947 to date. Americans have been disillusion that these acts where attacks on their “country” nothing could be farther from the truth.

    As far as Mike’s comments about combatants from war. Did his Congress and its populace elect and declare war on the nations whom these men were citizens of?

  65. 65 Nancy via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:56

    I am appalled and worried to hear a US citizen claim that the US system of justice “has corrected itself” by the creation of puppet courts that lie outside of the real system of justice.

    We must adhere to a judicial system that protects the rights of anyone who is accused of a crime.

    I wish the people accused of crimes in an international war were tried in The Hague.

    The US has a frightening pattern developing of changing the rules to suit the whims of the administration, not of the people.


  66. 66 David via email
    February 12, 2008 at 18:59

    Absolutely ridiculous that people decide that certain people do not deserve the same kind of justice as everyone else.

    This is the same argument that every totalitarn goverment gives to take peoples basic rights away.


  67. 67 John
    February 12, 2008 at 19:03

    I am a Vietnam Veteran, and feel strongly that these people should be tried under US Law in a US Court. The Bush Administration has kept these individuals out of the continental US to keep them from the protections of the US system, and under military control. These people do not come under military law, as they are not combatants in the normal sense. They were people from various countries who committed criminal acts against the USA, but these are not “acts of war,” as they did not represent any nation on this earth. Acts of war are nation against nation. These people need to be tried openly, under our normal laws. I don’t agree that the majority of people in the USA agree with the way this is being handled by the Bush Administration; they would have a higher rating if that were true.


  68. 68 Claire
    February 12, 2008 at 19:04

    Your guest needs to stop speaking for Americans. “Most Americans don’t loose sleep over [torture]”, “most Americans see a grey area when it comes to the rights of foreigners”…WHAT?! If this is so, then I am ashamed to share a nationality with him and the people like him.

    This sets a terrible precedent and the US is already one of the world’s most hated countries. This is dispicable.

    International court is the best place for these men. Then they can be condemned or released as the entire international community sees fit. Faked trials serve no justice, no person, and does a disservice to the victims of terrorism.

    American in Germany

  69. 69 Eben via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:24

    As an American I have grave concerns about the military tribunals.
    After world war II, Harry Truman insisted on fair trials at Nuremburg when Churchill and Stalin wanted to string up members of the Nazi regine. I think it is shameful that we are no longer at the forefront of fair jurisprudence in the world.

    While I have no love KSM and the other five people coming up for “trial”, I am much more concerned about the rest of the detainees at Guantanimo, and whether they will get their day in ANY court.


  70. 70 Andy via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:25

    As an attorney, one who has taken the oath to uphold the Constitution of the U.S., I find his comments ridiculous. the U.S. constitution does not only apply to “US Citizens”, but its protections have been extended to others through case law. It’s a bad example to the rest of the world to hold people this long without charges, and then to make up the law as you go along. Countless times Americans abroad have been been treated in such ways, including in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and most recently in South America. This is hypocritical treatment.

    San Diego

  71. 71 Stuart via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:26

    Gentlemen –

    I am an American. And I certainly don’t agree that “enemy combatants” should be subject to trials that do not afford the legal rights that were established to make sure the trials are fair.

    There seems to be an opinion among those who disagree that those in custody are already guilty, so any trial is pro forma in any case. That is clearly incorrect.
    There have been many held by the US who have been shown not to have had any role in waging war against the US. But they were held for months or years before finally being released. Who can guarantee that there aren’t others?

    San Francisco

  72. 72 Pat via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:27

    I agree with Michael. While I’m not crazy about the torture thing, these guys are the enemy and they should be treated as such.

    Love your show!

    Pat from Corvallis, OR USA

  73. 73 Tracy via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:27

    Do I agree with your guest about the trial process for suspected planners of 9/11? Absolutely not. He has no right to say that Americans don’t care about the human rights of detainees accused of terrorism. This American loses A LOT of sleep over the actions of our government. I’m waiting for the day when George Bush’s administration has to answer for it’s own crimes.

    The Dalles, OR

  74. 74 Andrew via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:38

    Torture, or less than “innocent til proven guilty” is unamerican. If we sink to our enemies’ level, then why would we deserve to win?

  75. 75 Justin via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:39

    Using a military court is frankly quite stupid on the part of the United States in light of the issues about torture and concerns about American misuse of power. If these people are to be tried by a military court, it should be modeled after past military courts, Nuremberg, world courts of human rights violations, not a cowboy system that the world will mistrust. This magazine editor is out of touch with a majority of Americans in my humble opinion as well. Americans are not people who disregard the rights of human beings and approve of torture. I am worried by the way the American government is handling this.

    Iowa, USA

  76. February 12, 2008 at 19:44

    Google the video “September Clues”.

    Discover all the TV fakery they wanted you to miss
    when they first conned you with faked planes on-screen
    on 9-1.

    Visit http://www.thepentacon.com and find out how they got caught,
    we were NOT supposed to see that missile hole….

    All the evidence that no planes were involved in 9-11 is now
    readily available but only on the internet….no wonder the
    conspiratorial Media Moguls are still trying to fool us with
    Guatanamo propaganda.

  77. 77 eks321
    February 12, 2008 at 19:52

    This is to teach the ignorant about the laws of the USA. first off the US Constitution does not offer any rights to non-US citizens who are held outside the territory of the USA. Since the Guantanamo 6 are not US citizens and are not being held on the territory of the USA, they have no protections afforded by the US Constitution.

    Second, since the Guantanamo 6 were not wearing the military uniform of the country on whose territory they were captured, they are not entitled to the protections afforded by the Geneva Convention.

    Third, the laws of the USA require our government to do everything possible to protect its citizenry. If using extra-judicial means to keep terrorists from blowing up NY City, then the government is required to do so. as long as the use of such means is judicious and measured, and not arbitrary or sadistic, then their use is legitimate.

    No amount of emotions or self-righteous posturing can overturn the letter of the law. The laws of the USA are not meant to please everyone worldwide. They are meant to protect the citizenry of the USA!

    It never fails to amaze me how the so-called human rights advocates can be so concerned about murderous terrorists, when they say nothing about the millions of sentient babies that are butchered every year during abortion procedures! Sonograms prove (see the movie “Silent Scream”) that these babies not only feel the pain of being dismembered, but actively try to avoid it! Why not direct your self-righteous indignation where it is deserved!

  78. 78 Mike via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:54



  79. 79 Abdulkadir via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:55

    It is one of the worst human right abuse by the american government to charge death penalty these six men alleged 9/11 attacks.
    Kismayo, Somalia.

  80. 80 Chris via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:56

    I was in NY during 911. These 6 individuals do not deserve a U.S. court trial. I agree with Michael, I don’t believe Americans care for these people. If these suspects are at all involved in these attacks they do not deserve the presumption of innocence Americans work so hard to maintain in their legal system. We can’t allow these people to manipulate our own free nature against us. Remember that in U.S. courts we work on a presumption of innocence, they did not operate in the same manner. Exceptions must be made.

    Chris – New York

  81. 81 George via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:56

    These individuals are not responsible for the 911 events.
    These folks are just fronts for the larger forces behind the curtain. The U.S perpetrated these events in order to move into the Middle east. Even on this programme it is evident that this FACT has been passed on to mythology…..totally sad and incredible.

  82. 82 Sean via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:57

    I wholeheartedly disagree with Michael. Arguments like those make me sick. They are representative of fear based, quasi racist thinking. How can you not care how human beings are treated? It is my sincere hope that these men get fair and open trials so that people the world over have absolutely no doubt about their guilt. Waterboarding and secret military tribunals can only fuel hatred. I felt quite a lot of sorrow over the attacks of September 11th, but the fact is the attackers are still human and should be treated as such. I expect these men to be dealt with justly and to face their crimes, but I also expect my government to show them basic human dignity because we don’t need to sink to that level.


  83. 83 Constance via email
    February 12, 2008 at 19:59

    About the trials for those who bombed the twin towers – the end does not justify the means, nevertheless, the criminals ought to be tried as “war criminals!”

    I am an American living overseas, but I hear your radio program presently, and desire those who called for a “jeehad” to be tried without USA “special “PRIVILEDGES”” seeing how they are calling “war” against all Americans!

    I agree with the gentleman, so far, with whom you are speaking on the radio.

    Those men took it upon themselves to commit heinious crimes, just as Hitler did!


  84. 84 Bill via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:00

    Should the detainees be tried in Military Tribunal or Civilian counts?

    Depends if you want a guilty verdict or a non-guilty / acquittal verdict. Military will most likely lead to guilty (predisposition), civilian most likely to innocent (due to challenges to interrogation and confession means). I believe many in the US want revenge, and this is one way to get it in a politically correct and highly visible way – George Bush “closing the deal.”


  85. 85 Michelle via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:00

    This man is daft! He does not speak for me as an American– I want transparency and proof of evidence. The American government and military has lost my trust and faith, and this lynch mob mentality is shameful.

  86. 86 Greg via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:01

    If the United States is going to topple other governments and try to install democracies, it is absolutely essential that we follow the basic principals of our democracy -one of these is justice for all. When we do not follow these principals, then we become hypocrites. The people of Iraq must question how we can instill our rules on them, if we cannot even follow them ourselves.


  87. 87 Carrie via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:01

    individuals at Guantanamo should receive all due process and civil protections of anyone charged by the US govt of criminal charges

  88. 88 Henry via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:02

    I simply can’t believe I am listening to a member of the West These men have been tortured, and they have waited for 5 years for trial what is america doing. I was in the Oman when 9-11 hit and am astonished that America cares so little for justice and the opinion of the rest of the world. And they wonder why they are so disliked as a nation. If these people think they are being more than fair by torturing prisoners, then there is obviously one world for america and one for the rest of us. Thank god I am with the rest
    Henry FOrd

  89. 89 Syed Hasan Turab
    February 12, 2008 at 20:02

    As far as the criminal charges & burden of proof is concerned each & every one knows they are indirectly involve in horrible crime of sept eleven & should be Severly punished from each & every Court of Law not only USA.
    Now question is this do all residents of this Global Village agreed with USA?
    Under these circumstances this trial should be done by International Court with publicaly elected International Jury, as US Justice System Stink & is a declared failour in diversified Cases along with popularity of Double standard of Law.
    Sentivity of the case may not be ignored and public trust in Justice is very important factor

  90. 90 Sara via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:02

    I think there is a large percentage of Americans who do not believe anything the Bush administration tells them. And torture just makes this a worse thing for the American government to do, to have a non-standard trial.

    Kirksville, MO

  91. 91 Kat via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:03

    As an American, I heartily disagree with Micheal’s sentiment. These accused, despite our gut reactions to their crime, deserve trial and treatment the same as any other world citizen. Whether or not they are American citizens does not alter their basic claim to inalienable human rights and standard, humane trail. It is immoral to with differently upon them, regardless of their offense.

  92. 92 Zamondo via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:03

    I would like to see the Bush administration in civilian court, with a focus on unanswered 911 questions. Can you do a show about that?


  93. 93 Bob via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:04

    I am an American and am very sorry that most Americans are reacting in panic to the 9/11 attacks. We kill 50,000 Americans a year with automobiles and we’re not in a panic over autos.

    I say we should try these guys in a normal court, and give them whatever punishment the court decides in accordance with the law.

    Then we should try Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others for the crime they committed in allowing torture.


    Royal Oak, Michigan

  94. 94 Nella via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:05

    The men in Guantanamo should be tried under our civilian courts. We should have enough faith in our judicial system to find if these detainees are guilty or no. Given the our government’s shameful track record at detaining non-terrorists in Guantanamo and torturing detainees, as an American citizen I want to hold my govenment accountable to holding criminals accountable. I want a transparent trial because I am American citizen, and I believe in our civilian courts. I don’t think our military or government have given us any reason to trust their judgement and this should be brought to the citizens to decide through legal methods.

    Oregon, USA

  95. 95 Janet via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:06

    If our courts and standards of justice need to be “bent” to guarantee an outcome, we are more broken than even I thought us to be. Torture is criminal behavior. These guys sound like an old-fashioned lynch mob.

    Justice and revenge cannot be doled out with the same hand.

  96. 96 Harry via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:06

    I strongly disagree with Michael. Many of us wonder how the McCarthy era could have happened, how American citizens could have been interned during World War Two, and we now know.

    Millions of American citizens, unlike Michael, are not brownshirted fascists nor do they agree with Michael. We find waterboarding and other torture techniques practiced by the US “intelligence agencies”
    disgraceful, morally reprehensible, and the practitoners should be prosecuted as criminals. We believe in the right of habeas corpus, presumption of innocence before guilt, and humane practices towards suspects. We reject torture, “rendition,” and other practices. They are shameful.

    Guantanamo prison should be closed. It has long been evident that these are a bunch of no-consequence nobodies. Also, the idea that these individuals were fighting the US government is ridiculous.

    Harry in San Francisco (KALW)

  97. 97 Shannon via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:07

    I think it would be very easy for a military tribunal to cut corners and dispense with the accepted modes of attaining justice. Since September 11, we have been overly ready to convict anyone who seems remotely suspicious no questions asked. At least in the normal courts there would be a better chance of getting a fair trial and upholding basic human rights. Isn’t that what Americans are so proud of – our rights?

    Portland, Oregon USA

  98. 98 John via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:08

    They should be tried in civilian courts in the U.S. If they are guilty we have nothing to fear by putting them through the same system as everyone else.

    John in Salem

  99. 99 Nick via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:08

    I absolutely disagree with Michael 100%. This is the type of cowboy thinking that got us into this mess. I am losing a great deal of sleep over the way these people are being treated. Torture is never ok. If you throwout the mantra that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, then the people have lost control over our own government. At this level, things cannot be handled in an emotional way, they need to be handled in a legal way.

    Lexington, KY

  100. 100 Nancy via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:09

    I couldn’t disagree more with your guest on whether the defendants deserve a trial which is more likely to be fair than the military tribunal.
    Everyone, everywhere, deserves a fair trial; the whole purpose of such fairness is that it presumes that justice will be served. To ask for anything else is to seek a breach of justice! This is profoundly wrong.

    Thank you,

  101. 101 Curtis via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:10

    The highest tribute we could pay to the victims of the 9/11 attacks would be to treat these men with the fullest extent of judicial rights and equality that our attackers so savagely denied thousands of innocent souls. To stoop to a lower level, no matter how satisfying it may be, would be to hand an ideological victory to those who claim Western values are fundamentally devoid of fairness.

    Curtis, North Carolina, USA

  102. 102 Mike via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:10

    I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of military trial for these terrorist.

    If they are guilty, then the death penalty, if not then send them home.

    They are getting a far more careful judicially balanced process than they would get in the countries where they came from.

    Thanks for a great program.

    Eagle Creek OR.

  103. 103 Kulpreet via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:11

    Interesting to hear some Americans saying they are puzzled about how to deal with “the threat” that caused 9-11.

    I guess Bin Laden has been hugely successfull in drawing the world’s attention to US army bases all over the place – understood to be largely for maintaining US control in critical places.

    So if we have to “fight” terrorism you have to talk to the disgruntled. That is the Indian experience. Terrorism in Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, all over the place. Listen to them, try to understand what their problems are.

    In India they are largely Autonomy. I guess Iraq wants autonomy right now, so do some in Saudi, so do some in Afghanistan and Chechenya.

    If you don’t talk to them they’ll keep coming back. Torture and war are not a solution. Talking with a desire to understand is.

    Ram Ram,

  104. 104 Margaret via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:12

    It’s an ideal in the US that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. If we undermine our own ideals of justice, fairness, and commonality under the law, then we undermine any claim we as a nation have to any sort of leadership in the world. Changing the rules to suit our ease and the emotional strain in each situation is to loose the rationality that is absolutely essential to the rule of law.

    Clearly this situation is beyond our experience as a nation, but if we fail to hold true to our ideals as a nation, we open the door even further to our own demise.

    Portland, Oregon

  105. 105 Matt via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:12

    The reason that these men are not being tried in a court is because the only evidence against them are confessions obtained by torture. These cases would be thrown out in Saudi Arabia let alone washington.
    Matt in canada

  106. 106 R.B. via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:13

    “picked up on the battlefield” brings to mind just what it says. This current mess is not so black and white.

    given the current view I have of this government. I don’t think one can escape doubting the fairness of these trials.

    R.B. Cleveland, USA

  107. 107 Pablo via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:14

    Face REALITY …. These trials have been on hold so they will affect this year’s elections. More TERROR tactics from the Bush administration. Also would it be legal to execute someone on CUBAN soil????

  108. 108 Chris via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:14

    My name is Chris, and live in California. I am very concerned by the actions of our government. I feel strongly that ANY person charged with a crime must be tried by the standard of justice America has (until recently) been known for.

    My government no longer has my trust


  109. 109 Eric via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:15

    these people are not us citizens and are not being held on us soil, so they do not legally have the protections afforded by the us constitution.

    these people were not wearing the uniform of the country where they were captured, so they do not qualify for geneva convention protection.

    the us gov must protect its citizens using all means necessary, so long as the means are used judisiously, not arbitrarily, which in this case they were. so i agree with what is being done.

    melbourne beach, fl

  110. 110 Kathryn via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:16

    I think the majority of US citizens would like to see all the internees get at least all the rights given those at a military courts martial. I no longer trust our current government. These special commission trials are suspect. The US should finally take the high ground. Many US citizens do not consider the “war on terror” a real war (no more that the war on drugs or the war on poverty). The prisoners at Gitmo are (perhaps) criminals and should the tried as such.

    Kathryn, Cleveland, Ohio.

  111. 111 Abdul via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:16



  112. 112 Ray via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:17

    In this instance I believe most Americans are expecting a trial where evidence is presented that would lead any reasonable person to vote for conviction. The trial will be conducted in open court and reported on to the public, so there won’t be any secret procedures.

    “Fair” is relative. We have had lots of “fair” trials that allowed guilty people to walk free. Have you ever heard of O.J. Simpson?


  113. 113 Larry via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:18

    Any non-US citizen that is considered an enemy of our country is not deserving of the equivalent rights of a U.S. Citizen. They should be tried by the measures of our military institutions. If our military institutions cannot allow unjust behavior to go unchecked, that is the beauty of living in a free and open society. By it’s nature a free society has implied checks and balances on itself. That’s why we are willing to sacrifice the lives of our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters.


  114. 114 Mark via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:18

    he current administration has absolutely no credibility – and contrary to what your guest is saying, the american people are not in consensus.
    There is no interest in a fair trail from the Bush Administration.

    We (USA) have killed far more civilians in Iraq in the past two years than Al-Qaida have in total. The dialog from your guests purports that these cases are already deemed guilty. I would presume we are still dealing with innocent until proven guilty – or maybe not.

    I’m sorry, but the desire to use military tribunals instead of civilian courts deals only with getting the outcome they desire. In a civilian court, coerced confessions are inadmissible (as one minor example).


    Taylor, TX. USA

  115. 115 AJay via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:19

    I saw the towers fall, so I’m not ignorant of the situation. It is frightening when a Supreme Court Justice says that our Constitution does not proscribe torture. It is a big deal in the United States.
    Many people still feel that 9/11 was a false flag operation to justify more power to the executive, and ramp up to the war in Iraq. We will probably never know the truth, but this Guantanamo Bay fiasco–and your guests–seem to be saying, as in the old joke, “Give ’em a fair trial, then hang them.”

    Chester CT

  116. 116 Claire via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:19

    Our government has distorted justice since it came into office in 2000. We have tortured, killed, and abused both innocent and guilty persons alike. We have obtained “evidence” through twisted means, that may or may not be valid. We have messed up so much, let us make this trial as truthful and just as possible.

    These men, as horrible as they may or may not be, need to be tried in international court. To try them in a US military court would be a joke. To try them in a US civil court would be unrealistic. The only hope for us to give them an unbiased judgement from the entire world. After all, a terrorist act committed anywhere hurts everyone no matter where they are. If these men are guilty, then the world has a right to condemn these men in the name of victims the world over.

    I for one disagree strongly with the blasee naive stance of your guest. I’d also ask him to stop refering to the alleged terrorists as ‘these people’. They are individuals, some of whom may be guilty, others not. Innocent until proven guilty.

    an American teenager abroad

  117. 117 Marilyn via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:20

    No, they can not get a fair trial. Testimony obtained by torture can not be considered fair. Our country’s treatment of these people is a disgrace. We send young men to die in war and most of the rest of us are too cowardly to risk death to stand up for our principles or the consequenses of our leaders policies.

    Berkeley, CA

  118. 118 Mark via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:20

    The military trials are more than fare for Foreign enemy combatants. I have more faith in our military court system than any other system in the world.

  119. 119 Curtis via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:21

    The rhetoric that your guests are using (i.e., “picked up on the battlefield,” “during war,” etc.) indicates that these prisoners should be considered prisoners of war who should be tried under accepted guidelines. This is clearly a case where the Bush administration is making up their own rules. The only thing “uncharted” about this territory is that the Bush administration is intent on railroading justice and civil liberties.

    Your guests are cowards who are doing nothing more than pedaling fear. Based on their rhetoric the terrorists are winning.

    Pittsburgh, PA

  120. 120 Gregory via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:22

    These defendants are not being given fair trials. In a fair trial, you are allowed to talk to your lawyer while you are being detained. Your are not tortured, denied console, detained for over a year, and then later allowed a lawyer. If that happened to a US citizen, there would be many lawsuits. Liberty and justice for all…but not for you.

  121. 121 Jean via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:23

    All people whether American or not should be innocent until proven guilty and let’s remember that when these detainees were picked up we had not declared a war on any country but on terrorism, We were responding to the attack on the world towers . A mistake was made in the case of Murat Kurnaz, an innocent German citizen detained at Guantanomo; we must make sure that the trial of these defendants is transparent and fair.

    Jean replying from USA

  122. 122 Noal via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:23

    I do not agree with Michael that most Americans would not want the same access to a fair trial that an American citizen would. How can he feel ok with speaking for everyone? His arrogance reflects a greater American image that frankly embarrasses me as an American.
    My view is that if with do not afford them the fairness of the “progressive” world then we justify the actions of those who have done the atrocities against the Innocent.
    People should be Innocent until proven guilty – something that Michael and others who have spoken today seem to ignore or forget. I disagree that the rules of war are in any way different. War does not justify unfairness. These people do not have to be tried by the military.
    Michael seems to miss his own double standard. Personally I would rather die being fair than live as a hypocrite.

    An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind…

    Noal in Portland Oregon

  123. 123 Iran via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:24

    Iran in Portland

    Black Americans can’t get a fair trial in the USA, and these won’t either . It’s very said.

  124. 124 Ariel via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:25

    I am a law student in the U.S. First of all, having anyone from the Bush administration tell us that the detainees are the ‘worst of the worst’ means nothing. With all of the lying that has come from the White House, I would require proof of any claims they make, especially if they are making them in defense of a questionable practice. I find it appalling that your guest actually believes that most Americans do not think that the detainees at Guantanamo Bay deserve a normal, fair, American trial, as any citizen would get. The procedures in place for “normal” trials are there to assure fairness, and I would be wary of anyone asserting that these men do not deserve to be treated fairly. They are innocent until proven guilty, and the means by which their testimony is procured is not only relevant but in some cases should be decisive. Statements made under threat of bodily injury, after torture [including water boarding which is clearly torture], should not be admissible. Your guest does not speak for the majority of this country. Please tell the world that we are not all cruel, blind, and ill informed. Your guest should be ashamed of himself for putting his own slanted views out there as if they represent the majority of Americans. They do not.

    Best Regards,


  125. 125 Dan via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:31

    I cannot believe that you let Patty spew crap, lies, rumors and disinformation.
    When did Patty become an expert in torture?
    Who the hell is Patty to make a determination of guilt? Is she sitting on a jury?

    What the hell happened to the BBC?

  126. 126 Skip via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:35

    With all due respect to your guest. She does not understand the legal definition of tourchor, legal issues around war criminals, and an understanding of the war we are in. These are war combatants and not citizens of this country and subject to our laws.

    Skip – Chesterland, ohio

  127. 127 Ellie via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:36

    I live in New York, and I utterly reject the points that the man from the Weekly Standard, and the man from New Jersey, are making. Do we want the undemocratic actions of others (and not necessarily these men) to be used as justification for us to become less democratic ourselves? We need to show that we have a just system.

    I am also amazed that anyone, anywhere, might not be interested in having a fair trial – surely we want to make sure we have the actual people who committed these crimes, not some people who might have been framed.


  128. 128 Nancy via email
    February 12, 2008 at 20:37

    The U.S. has lost all credibility in the world under this administration.
    They have thrown out the U.S. constitution and ignored due process. How can we trust this government or military courts to do anything except spin.

    The only possible chance for some legitimacy is to try them in the world court.

    And I lost someone on 9/11.

    Nancy from Washington D.C

  129. 129 Thomas Murray
    February 12, 2008 at 22:28

    You all have such good points.

    It’s like the U.S. rolled the dice for a hundred million dollar bet in a Baghdad back alley and crapped out. The residue of this colossal smoldering-pit-of-the-crater disaster is what we must face in Guantanamo.

    Will the trials be fair? Yes. Does it disturb me that the press and public will only be able to witness them via close-circuit TV? Yes. Will evidence obtained through duress (torture) be used by the prosecution? I hope not. Is Khalid Mohammed presumed innocent under U.S. civil law? I hope so. Do I realize that if Khalid Mohammed is found guilty that he will have to be executed? Yes, but reluctantly. Are these men pawns in a vast misadventure? Yeah, sadly. Would these men be better off tried in the Hague? You betcha. Would the Bush administration disrobe of its arrogance and do that? Not a snowball’s chance…

    This is the way the miserable world is right now. And I don’t like it either.

    No punchline today.

    I just hope the Bush administration realizes that the seventh defendent in this fiasco will be the United States.

    –Regards, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

  130. 130 viola anderson
    February 12, 2008 at 22:47

    I note that one poster says the fighters captured in Afghanistan are not soldiers of any nation on whose behalf they were fighting. Perhaps the definition of “nation” needs to be broadened to include any large group of people with an agenda of conquest for a “cause.” Another thing to bear in mind is that law, if it is to be useful, must evolve. That this appears to some of you to be invented law is YOUR problem. Stay alert for travesties of justice, one example of which would be the freeing of guilty people, another the conviction of innocent people. The notion that the big man, or the big dog, or the big nation are morally obligated because of their strength to permit vicious attacks on them to take place with no retaliation or with only politically correct ineffective responses is a serious error, one all of you would get all indignant about if someone suggested that someone who blew up your home and killed members of your family had the right to do that because they believed you wronged either them or somebody they knew. The 911 plotters and their backers are using the wealth generated by the gasoline you put in your car to try to destroy your way of life and substitute their own.Too bad if that sounds paranoid. Is it any more so than all the voices coming out of the woodwork blaming the U.S. for 911?


  131. 131 Eli Dumitru
    February 13, 2008 at 01:20

    When your radio show brought on that guy that said that he didn’t think most Americans want a fair trial, I was so disgusted with him that I turned off the radio. I know there are people that think that Americans don’t care about all of our forefathers who fought and died for our Constitutional Republic, but if he thinks that we all prefer the Stalinist form of government, where the “leaders” tell us who the bad guys are and we just go out and kill whomever they tell us to without question, he is sadly mistaken. There are way too many unanswered questions about 9/11, and still way too much ongoing secrecy about what happened and how it happened.
    Despite that guy’s low opinion of Americans, most of us do want the truth, and do want a fair, open and honest trial.

  132. February 13, 2008 at 07:56

    What i can say is that Osama Bin laden is an enemy not only to the west but to the democratic and christain world as far as i am concerned. And to my understanding this people were helping Bin laden in so many ways .so here what i can say here is that we all know that anybody that stand on the way to capture Bin laden is an enemy and and in that case i can’t see the different between the terrorist and those who harbour them. What i can say here is that let justice prevail and let stop the so call human right where were those people who compaign for human right before 11/9/2001?

    if you want to preachs human right then go to Darfur and here and here time have runout no more talk it is time for justice

  133. 133 John in Germany
    February 13, 2008 at 08:38

    Hi All.
    Interesting reading, and as to Lincoln’s famous saying “All men are created equal”. What happened the day after?. Lets not divert into the equality of men in any country, we know the answer to that., the selection system starts at birth.

    As long as we have the right people: that gives us the right answer, If we have them then they should be punished according to the law. whether Military or Civil.

    At the moment we seem to be of the opinion that they will get a fair trial. Well at least that’s my interpretation of the previous articles. Whoops, i said my opinion. Other opinions will vary according to how equal we are.

    Have a nice day.
    John in Germany

  134. 134 George USA
    February 13, 2008 at 13:04


    “George via email February 12, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    These individuals are not responsible for the 911 events.
    These folks are just fronts for the larger forces behind the curtain. The U.S perpetrated these events in order to move into the Middle east. Even on this programme it is evident that this FACT has been passed on to mythology…..totally sad and incredible.”

    That is the statement of a different “George” than myself.

    So the gassings, progressive mutilations of teeth, face, eyes, and hair and other violations are uncalled for.

    Perps. please be so kind as to direct your retaliations at the person(s) using that name, and get off our backs.

  135. 135 Ayo via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:32

    Michael, I concur with you and with many Americans that those involved in 9/11 deserve a harsher trial than regular citizens and should be tried in a military court. In the mind of these militants it was a jihad they were fighting ” a holy war” therefore, let them be tried the way people involved in war are tried when captured. Surely, they wouldn’t even be debating what kind of trial to give their opponents if the tables were turned. But America needs to CYA though so that they are not labeled by the world as violators of human rights etc.

    Ayo, MD, USA

  136. 136 Deb via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:35

    The U.S. has mishandled the entire process for this issue. I am embarrassed and ashamed with what has led to torture, readiness for war with anyone who disagrees (now, like Iran) and the total lies that have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths of Iraqis, the debacle of the death of Saddam and most importantly the deaths/injury of thousands of Americans. And all because of a horrible attack on America when Osama seems to be the least of our priorities – because it is more important to deal with a tyrant in Pakistan and call him friend than go to the source of his location and get him. And I will not forget that while we were attacked, Bush was reading a “My Pet Goat” and Cheney was hiding.

    This trial should be in an international court – not in America. All it does is add to our lack of credibility and the Bush/administration desire to be powerful. It sickens me.

    Portland Oregon

  137. 137 Tim via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:36

    “National Security” seems to justify any behavior we want to engage in – even if the result is a geometric increase in terrorist (which makes us less secure).
    Apparently we have to destroy the priciples of our democracy in order to save it. Secret trials, secret evidence, secret testimony – why bother going through the motions. There’s no reason Justice can’t be achieved in daylight.
    BTW many of of us with conscience feel deep shame over what our government is doing and do lose sleep – for all of the unneccesary deaths and “mistakes”.

    Tim in San Francisco

  138. 138 Emilio via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:36

    It is crucial that the Guantanamo prisoners receive a truly fair trial. This is not only for the appearance of how the U.S. appears to others in the world, but also to the citizens who were the victims.

    Yet, if you have followed the hearings to this point, two facts are clear:
    1) the extremists who have declared war against Western Civilization won’t believe the U.S. is fair, and
    2) the defendants will not allow it to be a fair trial — they will make it a political harangue.

    Pittsburgh, PA, USA

  139. 139 Laura via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:36

    I am appalled at your guest’s cavalier attitude towards the readiness with which he has self-appointed himself as the spokesman for “all Americans”. Don´t speak for me, please !!!! Does no one now recall the principals upon which our so-called democractic system was built? Once we let those principals go, we will have no ethical basis upon which to base any future actions in support of our beloved democracy because we will have NO democracy left.

    Laura, Spain and California

  140. 140 Monica via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:37

    First, Michael Goldfarb has no right to speak for me or for the rest of the American public. The men should not be tried in a military tribunal. There has been too much secrecy on the part of the military and the government already.


  141. 141 Tim via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:37

    In the US we know what percentage of the population the weekly standard speaks for. Obama will close Guantanamo. Even the conservative candidate McCain is outraged by torture. It will taint the prosecution and either be a miscarriage of justice or look like one to the U.S. & to the rest of the world. Bush botched the war on terror and now he will botch the prosecution.
    Santa Cruz

  142. 142 Gregory via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:38

    Military and Justice do not belong in the same sentence. Like your guest said — We don’t have a trial before we drop a bomb, so who is to think that a trial would be fair?

  143. 143 Robin via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:39

    Please tell Michael not to speak for the majority of the American people as generalities without statistics. He does NOT represent me and it bothers me that in an international forum he feels so easy speaking for all Americans.

    Portland, Oregon

  144. 144 Stephen via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:39

    Many Americans resent Michael Goldfarb speaking for “most Americans”. They should be tried in a fair court, which is in a time-tested, civilian court system, and not a specially created, “learn as you go” court. A fair court is a fair court is a fair court. Michael Goldfarb and his neo-conservative movement have brought us such monuments to fairness as the Iraq War. He is not a voice to turn to about an issue like fairness.
    Berkeley California

  145. 145 Schel via email
    February 13, 2008 at 15:40

    What a crock!
    this issue is exactly the way this whole “war” has been passed upon the world…
    the question if these men should be tried in a military or world court is a huge distraction from the truth..which is Cheney and Rumsfeld’s involvment in 911 along with Bush’s “need” to justify this invasion have been proven…much more than the “evidence” against the 6 men “caught” that the truly guilty is our own government and U.S. media giants!
    Bush on his way out (hopefully) needs to have some kind of “proof” of justice and justification for the war…and closing his term with a nice little bookend to his starting this war is so blatanly a media/propaganda scheme that I’m sickened to hear day after day the distractions pushed on us, after the facts have been out (not in mainstream U.S. media of course) that alqueda is a branch of our CIA and the entire invasion is just a big money/oil grab!!

    sorry for the run on sentence, but I’m writing furiously to catch the program

  146. 146 Brett
    February 13, 2008 at 15:41

    “Kill em all, Let Allah sort them out! They killed almost 3000 people, not all of them were Americans. 10 of them were my friends, including my best friend. They showed no mercy, why should we. The US needs to grow a pair and stop trying to satisfy everyone else and do what needs to be done. They should be executed and have it done publicly.

    New York City

    Thank God, Allah, or whoever anyone chooses to worship that you and the rest of the neoconservatives are the minority in the upcomming election.

    We ‘grew a pair’, Bush and Cheney… Look where they got us, into this situation… among many. Ignorance and Aggression are two very destructive things when both are present in leadership.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  147. 147 Nancy via email
    February 13, 2008 at 17:01

    I am appalled that your guest would say that “most Americans” are OK with the military tribunal scheme. We are not. I do not know a single person who feels that a military tribunal can possibly provide a fair, open trial. For the sake of our own moral sanity, we need to apply the same standards to others that we apply to ourselves.

    Ashland, Oregon

  148. 148 A.Cristina via email
    February 13, 2008 at 17:03

    Are you serious? The Bush administration is guilty of the torture of prisoners, of imprisonment without charges or legal representation, of maintaining secret illegal prisons–all of which in flagrant violating of the Geneva Convention. It is further guilty of misrepresenting facts and the illegal declaration of war, of undermining the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Members of the US Armed Forces in Iraq have been guilty of the same crimes these men are charged with and few enlisted and no officers have been brought to justice. In America today, Justice has been not simply violated but corrupted. Thus, it is NOT to be expected that these men receive any semblance of justice from military tribunals under the conditions set and prevailing at the Guantanamo Prison Camp.
    Move these men to a civilian criminal court and let them be tried behind OPEN doors. Let the world witness the enactment of genuine justice in a US Court of Law, and not its travesty and mockery in a military tribunal under Bush’s thumb.


  149. 149 Jason from Portland, OR
    February 13, 2008 at 18:10

    I’m astonished and angry that these Americans, I am an American, on the show are trying to paint all of us with their opinions. That they feel there’s one justice for Americans and another for everyone else flies in the face of what the US is supposed to stand for. I find it amazing that they’re already accusing them of guilt because they’re incarcerated. What ever happened to presumed innocence? Whatever happened to Habeus Corpus and, in fact, any semblance of our constitution? That these guys are supposed to represent US opinion has me boiling.

    The fact that Bush’s popularity is at around 30%, and dropping, should be a strong indication as to whether people in the US agree with the current administration. Please, get some dissenting opinions for these kind of conservative wonks.

  150. 150 Thomas Murray
    February 13, 2008 at 22:16

    I don’t much like to admit being wrong, but today’s 2/13/08 New York Times’ editorial denouncing the trails at Guantanamo and imposition of the death penalty as “both a betrayal of American ideals and simply bad strategy” has properly put me in my place.

    “Injecting the death penalty,” it continues, “which is unpopular unternationally in the best of circumstances, will only increase the bad feeling. Alienating the world, as the Bush administration still does not seem to understand, is not simply loutish behavior… It is reckless to needlessly act in ways that outrage the rest of the world.

    “This is just what we feared would happen as a result of President Bush’s decision to go outside the law in dealing with terrorism: men who may well have committed crimes against humanity are being put on trial in a system so flawed that the results will seem unjust.”

    I stand chastised.

    –Regards, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

  151. 151 Dennis
    May 11, 2008 at 23:23

    NO and they should get a FAIR TRIAL…..

    Dennis from Madrid, U.S.A.

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