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Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts?

11:25 UK time, Thursday, 18 November 2010

The first Guantanamo detainee tried in a US civilian court has been found guilty on just one of 285 terror charges over the bombings of US embassies in Africa. What does this verdict mean?

Ahmed Ghailani was found guilty of conspiracy to damage or destroy US property with explosives.The attacks on US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 killed 224 people.

The BBC's Iain MacKenzie in Washington says the failure to convict him on more charges will be viewed by some as proof that civilian courts are the wrong place to hold the Guantanamo trials. But, he says, the fact that the court threw out some evidence gained during enhanced interrogation at CIA "black sites" will be seen by others as a strength of the justice system.

Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts or military tribunals? How should evidence gained during interrogation be handled? What should be done with Guantanamo prison?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    He was ONLY found guilty of one charge,taking part in the murder of 224 people.We should give him a couple of mil and sentence him to spend the rest of his life in a hoteel a a location of his choice.Is that not how the british justice system works now

  • Comment number 2.

    These people should have been liquidated. We don't need to spend millions upon millions in the courts in order to satisfy left wing pressure groups over our 'democracy' and human rights.

    Terrorists should be killed. The only value in capturing them is for vital intelligence. Seeing as we can't even shine a bright light in their faces these days without Amnesty, Chakrabarti and the usual suspects screeching about human rights, then they're not worth anything to us alive.

    The idea that we're 'rising above the terrorists' by giving fair trials, is a left wing construct which is one of their main weaknesses as people. Terrorists don't give a hoot if we jail or assassinate. They don't think any better of us for upholding human rights. They see us as a soft target because we have these chains tying us down.

    Terrorise the terrorists and you'll go some way to defeating them.

  • Comment number 3.

    'But, he says, the fact that the court threw out some evidence gained during enhanced interrogation at CIA "black sites".......' says The BBC's Iain MacKenzie in Washington.

    Talk about using language to disguise the truth. Just in case anybody does not realise what the above quote actually means I will rephrase it for you as follows - 'But, he says, the fact that the court threw out some evidence gained by torturing him at a CIA secret location where normal legal safeguards are ignored..........'

    Why does the BBC of all people have such a problem with saying it like it is? Are we frightened of upsetting our 'special friend' Uncle Sam?
    I'm sure if the boot was on the other foot and westerners were being tried in Iran (for example) based on evidence obtained from them whilst being waterboarded in a secret Iranian torture chamber the BBC would have no problems telling us in these terms

  • Comment number 4.

    The first Guantanamo detainee tried in a US civilian court has been found guilty on just one of 285 terror charges over the bombings of US embassies in Africa. What does this verdict mean?

    What it means is that the majority of Americans as well as everybody else except perhaps Mr Bush, Rumsfield and their chums do understand the meaning of the word torture and are willing to dismiss any so-called evidence obtained by it. For that we should all be thankful.

  • Comment number 5.

    It doesn’t matter who the suspect is or what they are accused of; in a decent and civilised society people are tried for crimes in a civilian court and the normal standards and procedures should be followed to ensure that a fair trial takes place and that justice is not only done but is also seen to be done. We do not do this for the benefit of those who wish to attack us but because to do otherwise would be to give in to those who wish to destroy our way of life.
    Freedom, Justice and Democracy are far too valuable to throw away over some rag-tag bunch of extremists and we have more to fear from those who would happily give them up in the name of safety and security.

  • Comment number 6.

    Totally agree with post #2

    Too many bleeding heart lefty liberals in this world - and it hasn't made it a better place !!

  • Comment number 7.

    The first Guantanamo detainee tried in a US civilian court - guilty on ONE of 285 terror charges.
    Tanzanian Ahmed Ghailani, 36, wasn't even found guilty of participation, but of "conspiracy". Ghailani faces a minimum of 20 years in prison.
    The Obama Administration must be sadly disappointed, but the decision restores my faith that maybe - just maybe - civilian courts can provide real justce.
    Officials will now be considering how to proceed. How to proceed? You give these guys a fair trial, or you let them go. In case officials have not noticed, these are human beings with families & friends who have waited years to see them. Since when can a country hold prisoners indefinitely without trial. If these were Americans, or British, what do you think would happen? Some rescue force would be sent in; these Americans or Brits would be free or dead.
    Apparently there will be worries that the court threw out some evidence gained during enhanced interrogation at CIA "black sites". You mean "torture". Does torture make evidence, evidence that should be used in a court of justice?
    During the trial, prosecutors suffered an early setback when federal Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York barred a key government witness from testifying, saying he had been named by Ghailani while the latter was "under duress" (i.e. torture).
    Despite losing its key witness, the government was given broad latitude to refer to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden throughout the trial. Unless, the ground was established re the connection, this referencing was illegal; it was prejudicial. It is grounds for appeal.
    Defence lawyer Peter Quijano welcomed the acquittals. He said the one conviction would be appealed, adding: "We still truly believe he is innocent of all these charges." Peter Quijano, you are probably right.
    Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts or military tribunals?
    Civilian Court.
    How should evidence gained during interrogation be handled?
    Absolutely no torture evidence.
    What should be done with Guantanamo prison?
    Remove all prisoners to whatever regular facilities the Americans use for pretail incarcerations, but leave Guantanamo empty and standing - a monument to man's inhumanity to mankind.

  • Comment number 8.

    Evidence gathered using torture cannot be used. Non-combatants or non military personnel should be tried in a civilian court. Most of the people in Guantanamo were handed over to the USA military in Pakistan by bounty hunters. Military trials are biased and should never be used to try civilians. The USA and the UK have to prove guilt without the use of torture. This is not the Spanish Inquition.

  • Comment number 9.

    It seems that the intelligence services were just fishing for terrorists without having anything tangible to prove they actually were.

    People who think its wrong to try these people in civilian courts should actually think about if they were suddenly classified an enemy of the state.

    SystemF what if the government doesnt like your comment, and sends you to a secret location to be tortured for information you dont have ?

    The intelligence services does not have a reason to incarcerate you, you have no protection, no rights, you have nothing.


    If these people are a threat, then there must be evidence and hiding behind national security is a very weak argument.

    Treating these people like this has made the world a worst place.

  • Comment number 10.

    Using Drones would eliminate court proceedings.

  • Comment number 11.

    I totally agree with "General Jack": To abandon our standards of justice would be a victory for the terrorists -- that is exactly their goal.

    The fact that the guy was convicted on only one count (by a US jury that would likely convict Jesus Christ because he was Palestinian) suggests just how weak the government's case actually was.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'd like to know what the 285 charges were. Sounds like a case of "If we accuse him of everything then *Something's* gotta stick!"
    by the time they got onto 200 or so they must have been onto "looked at my bird" & "spilled my pint"!
    Whilst I agree that criminals, including terrorists should be made to answer for their actions, I do require actual PROOF,before I start talking about stringing people up. Proof of actual crimes not involvement in crimes, otherwise where do you draw the line? For him to be found guilty of only one charge out of a bumper selection pack of 285 means either the courts are stupid fools or his involvement wasn't significant enough to hold him responsible. Take your pick.
    The guy was cleared of murder & attempted murder & was found guilty on 1 conspiracy charge, for this he'll get at least 20 years & probably life & people are crying that justice hasn't been served! He's likely to be in prison for life, that works for me. How much justice do you want? Do you want the guy dead?.
    It's likely that anything they dredged up during torture...sorry.... enhanced interrogation... would be inadmissable so the CIA shot themselves in the foot there. (possibly trying to torture themselves) Confessions gained under torture cannot be reliable & well done to the civillian court for recognising this.

    I understand the thirst for vengance is very strong but it shouldn't come at the expense of justice, integrity & plain human conscience, and before the "kill em all" brigade ask "Well what conscience do terrorists show?" I'll repeat again what I've said before. If all you believe in is an eye for an eye & a tooth for a tooth the whole world will end up blind & toothless. Vengance is not justice, nor is it the answer because eventually it'll come for you.

  • Comment number 13.

    2. At 11:45am on 18 Nov 2010, SystemF wrote:

    Couldn't agree more!

  • Comment number 14.

    12. At 1:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:

    I'd like to know what the 285 charges were. Sounds like a case of "If we accuse him of everything then *Something's* gotta stick!"
    by the time they got onto 200 or so they must have been onto "looked at my bird" & "spilled my pint"!
    Whilst I agree that criminals, including terrorists should be made to answer for their actions, I do require actual PROOF,before I start talking about stringing people up. Proof of actual crimes not involvement in crimes, otherwise where do you draw the line? For him to be found guilty of only one charge out of a bumper selection pack of 285 means either the courts are stupid fools or his involvement wasn't significant enough to hold him responsible. Take your pick.
    The guy was cleared of murder & attempted murder & was found guilty on 1 conspiracy charge, for this he'll get at least 20 years & probably life & people are crying that justice hasn't been served! He's likely to be in prison for life, that works for me. How much justice do you want? Do you want the guy dead?.
    It's likely that anything they dredged up during torture...sorry.... enhanced interrogation... would be inadmissable so the CIA shot themselves in the foot there. (possibly trying to torture themselves) Confessions gained under torture cannot be reliable & well done to the civillian court for recognising this.

    I understand the thirst for vengance is very strong but it shouldn't come at the expense of justice, integrity & plain human conscience, and before the "kill em all" brigade ask "Well what conscience do terrorists show?" I'll repeat again what I've said before. If all you believe in is an eye for an eye & a tooth for a tooth the whole world will end up blind & toothless. Vengance is not justice, nor is it the answer because eventually it'll come for you.

    ______________________

    Nonsense!

  • Comment number 15.

    "Should the Guantanimo trials be held in civilian courts"? is the HYS question.

    Surely the question should be "Should Guantanimo detainees be subject to civilian courts"? If I were a legal eagle, I could answer that - however.

    If someone ended up in Guantanimo - did that happen by some bizarre accident? No. Were these individuals plucked randomly with no connection to terrorism. No. If you lie with dogs, you catch fleas? Yes.

    Can we all finally accept that Guantanimo was a holding station for terrorists and terrorists suspects with links to terrorism. Just an unpopular thought.

  • Comment number 16.

    "11. At 12:56pm on 18 Nov 2010, Dan wrote:
    I totally agree with "General Jack": To abandon our standards of justice would be a victory for the terrorists -- that is exactly their goal."

    No it's not- their goal is to kill you and your family and take your land- they don't care two hoots about the niceties of the US and UK legal systems.

    That's the usual rubbish from people who think that if you treat people decently, they will respond in kind. These sort of people are usually poor and powerless.

  • Comment number 17.

    Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts or military tribunals? How should evidence gained during interrogation be handled?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since these terrorists were caught on the battlefield, and the war against terrorism is ongoing, then it is obvious they should tried by millitary tribunals.

    Civillian courts are there to try civillian crimes such as Murder, Theft, Bank robbery, etc while millitary courts are there to try millitary crimes committed during war and the two should not mix.


    It is my understanding that evidence obtained under torture is not automatically taken as the gospel truth, but still needs to be corroborated by other intelligences sources such as informants, captured documents or computer drives etc.


    Guantanamo detainees are to all intents and purposes prisoners of war and should remain there until that war is over, or until a millitary court acquits them.

  • Comment number 18.

    Another monumental failure of the Obama administration and our most incompetent Attorney General ever Eric Holder a man who refuses to pursue cases against Black defendants here in the United States and was warned repeatedly by the Bush administration and conservatives about the pitfalls of bringing these terrorism cases to N.Y. City for trial where we have they have some of the most liberal judges in the nation eager to let America hating terrorists go free on technicalities. These people are not criminals they have openly declared war against us have sought the protection of the Geneva Convention and need to be treated as prisoners of war.

  • Comment number 19.

    At least he was found guilty on one charge, which makes him GUILTY. As it is associated with the death of 224 people, I would expect him to receive either the death penalty or a sentence that would see him locked away forever. Job done. Happy.

  • Comment number 20.

    For your information Rubbish Girl
    ((((12. At 1:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, RubbishGirl wrote: I'd like to know what the 285 charges were. Sounds like a case of "If we accuse him of everything then *Something's* gotta stick!")))

    Most of the 200 charges were for the murders of over 200 Africans in Keynya and Tanzania men woman and children who had their limbs and bodies blown apart by the dynamite obtained by Mr Ghailani for that purpose. Had a leftist judge no doubt a friend of yours excluded the majority of evidence against him the outcome would have been quite different. It was Mr Ghailianis interrogations which gave us 9-11 Mastermind Shiek Kalid Mohammad and prevented several addtional attacks in London as Pres. Bush discribed in this book just last week. Perhaps before your ususal rant against America you might give more than a passing thought to the hundreds of dead Africans, the victims of 9-11, and those of your own London bombings.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    Notice the BBC has hidden this particular debate!

  • Comment number 25.

    "2. At 11:45am on 18 Nov 2010, SystemF wrote:
    These people should have been liquidated. We don't need to spend millions upon millions in the courts in order to satisfy left wing pressure groups over our 'democracy' and human rights.

    Terrorists should be killed. The only value in capturing them is for vital intelligence. Seeing as we can't even shine a bright light in their faces these days without Amnesty, Chakrabarti and the usual suspects screeching about human rights, then they're not worth anything to us alive.

    The idea that we're 'rising above the terrorists' by giving fair trials, is a left wing construct which is one of their main weaknesses as people. Terrorists don't give a hoot if we jail or assassinate. They don't think any better of us for upholding human rights. They see us as a soft target because we have these chains tying us down.

    Terrorise the terrorists and you'll go some way to defeating them."

    ========================================================================

    "These people should have been liquidated. We don't need to spend millions upon millions in the courts in order to satisfy left wing pressure groups over our 'democracy' and human rights."

    So our courts/justice system, human rights, and even "democracy" all exist to satisfy "left wing pressure groups"? You sure?

    "Terrorists should be killed"

    Terrorists should be held to account over their heinous crimes, you won't many people, left or right, who disagree with that sentiment, thing is don't you first need to find out if they are "terrorists" or not? Is that not what trails are for? Or do you just advocate shooting people in the face because they have 'shifty eyes'?

    "The idea that we're 'rising above the terrorists' by giving fair trials, is a left wing construct which is one of their main weaknesses as people. Terrorists don't give a hoot if we jail or assassinate. They don't think any better of us for upholding human rights. They see us as a soft target because we have these chains tying us down."

    Our present justice system is not a "left wing construct", nor does it exist so that terrorists "think better of us".

    "Terrorise the terrorists and you'll go some way to defeating them."

    Maybe, or maybe you will only serve to drive their recruitment through the roof costing many many more lives?

  • Comment number 26.

    # 21. At 2:03pm on 18 Nov 2010, you wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    # 22. At 2:04pm on 18 Nov 2010, you wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    # 23. At 2:08pm on 18 Nov 2010, you wrote:
    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

    ______________

    How does quoting the Quran require "further consideration"?

  • Comment number 27.

    They should be tried under the civilized western law and sentenced under sharia law. There would be no repeat offending then for sure.

  • Comment number 28.

    20. At 2:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:



    Some stuff.

    *sigh*

    For the very last time.
    Not an anti American rant. And once again PLEASE check a persons posts before you accuse them of prejudice. I have been considerably pro-American in some threads. But of course anyone who disagrees with your personal politics is the enemy & as you obviously speak for the whole of the US they are therefore anti American (mercy that this isn't actually true).
    If you actually bothered to read the post, I was agreeing with the decision made by an american court. I commended them for their actions in disallowing evidence obtained under torture. Though because I, or the court, don't share your opinion it's anti American....hmmm... If I had disagreed with the american court but agreed with you wouldn't that still be anti American? Looks like I just can't win eh?
    I apologise if you were offended by my opening remark. I certainly didn't intend this. Though I DO feel that you possibly need to check some of your statements, for example.....

    (snip) "who had their limbs and bodies blown apart by the dynamite obtained by Mr Ghailani for that purpose".

    If you have evidence of this why did you not produce it? Or are you of the "Guilty until proven innocent,shoot first & ask questions later" persuasion? Nowhere has it been said that this guy personally obtained dynamite to blow people up. In fact it appears they're having trouble connecting him to it at all, but, hey, don't let a little thing like evidence stop you getting out the pitchforks & flaming torches.

    Your rampant, willful ignorance (you seem not to even want to TRY and understand anothers opinion), thirst for vengance, blinkered attitude & failure to accept that people can disagree with you tires me. You may have noticed that several posters before me put forth a totally different opinion to my own. Did I condem them? No. Did I ridicule them? Tell them why they were wrong? No. I let their posts stand & simply put forth my own opinion. I did this because I consider their views valid, they are the honest opinions of fellow human beings & whilst I disagree I do not consider it my role (on what is, after all a tiny, silly blogging site!) to ridicule or insult their views. If people want to have an intelligent reasoned debate I'm more than happy to oblige.

    The fact that you are so willing to label someone "leftist" on the strength of one belief, the belief that torture is wrong, speaks volumes. You do not want a constructive discussion. You want to see the world in black & white (but not too much black eh?) not the beautiful shades of grey that make it interesting. You want to be right & you want revenge & I simply don't have the time or energy to be bothered with you.



  • Comment number 29.

    2. At 11:45am on 18 Nov 2010, SystemF wrote:

    These people should have been liquidated. We don't need to spend millions upon millions in the courts in order to satisfy left wing pressure groups over our 'democracy' and human rights.

    Terrorists should be killed. The only value in capturing them is for vital intelligence. Seeing as we can't even shine a bright light in their faces these days without Amnesty, Chakrabarti and the usual suspects screeching about human rights, then they're not worth anything to us alive.

    The idea that we're 'rising above the terrorists' by giving fair trials, is a left wing construct which is one of their main weaknesses as people. Terrorists don't give a hoot if we jail or assassinate. They don't think any better of us for upholding human rights. They see us as a soft target because we have these chains tying us down.

    Terrorise the terrorists and you'll go some way to defeating them.

    /////////

    "Your terrorist is my freedom fighter".
    Bush declared a war on terror as a simplistic excuse to invade at least one country where he had no tangible evidence of anything that would otherwise cover it.

    Kill a terrorist and you act as the recruiting sergeant for 10 more. Where do you stop?
    Perhaps by asking them "why"?
    Might be as simple as "leave our country alone!". Not too hard to sort....

  • Comment number 30.

    Before anyone else decides to jump down my throat. In the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, He's admitted (or claimed) to have masterminded the 9-11 attacks & shows no remorse. Give him a trial & then throw the key away. I am not a terrorist sympathiser. I find 9-11 as repulsive as anyone. But I will not drag my sorry carcass down to their level. I will not sanction torture or murder.

  • Comment number 31.

    Our domestic courts are exactly that, domestic. That's nothing to do with left wing pressure groups - although we don't ever seem able to deport a single terrorist due to Liberty and the rest of the left wing mob falling over themselves to win the right for terrorists to stay here.

    You cannot go about arresting terrorists everywhere. Only idiots and rubbishgirl would be silly enough to believe that.

    Our justice system should not be extended to Afghanistan.

    "Maybe, or maybe you will only serve to drive their recruitment through the roof costing many many more lives?"

    This is what I mean about a left wing construct. You lot with your naivete believe that humanity is the same. You think that what you believe as being human characteristics, are shared by others. For example, it's beyond the realms of left wing understanding that parents actively support their own children becoming 'martyrs' yet that is exactly what happens in some cases. Lefties can't comprehend that mentality.

    Similarly, a left winger thinks that Islamic terrorist groups would be more energised by an assassination, than by seeing millions of pounds spent on a 'fair trial'. This is utter nonsense. It's left wing projection of their own values and putting it onto others.

    This is the mistake the left wing make, and that is why the left wing will always be sidelined/on the periphery of major decisions that could affect humanity. You're too naive.

    There have been several examples in the past of terrorising terrorists and of it working.



    ===============
    Buggerlugs wrote:

    So our courts/justice system, human rights, and even "democracy" all exist to satisfy "left wing pressure groups"? You sure?

    Terrorists should be held to account over their heinous crimes, you won't many people, left or right, who disagree with that sentiment, thing is don't you first need to find out if they are "terrorists" or not? Is that not what trails are for? Or do you just advocate shooting people in the face because they have 'shifty eyes'?


    Our present justice system is not a "left wing construct", nor does it exist so that terrorists "think better of us".


    Maybe, or maybe you will only serve to drive their recruitment through the roof costing many many more lives?

  • Comment number 32.

    It strikes me that most people are missing the obvious point.. the reason you can't have fully open, public trials is because of the source of the evidence.

    OK so perhaps some information will have come from torture. I'm not a fan of torture.. but if it saves lives, then some times it's necessary.

    Handing a Terrorist a clip board, and asking him to 'Fess up' is hardly ever going to work now, is it ?

    what about all the other intelligence information (taken from a wide area of sources - under-cover operatives, informants, intercepted communications, covert filming / photographing, spy satelites, etc, etc.

    If you insist on a public trial.. you force Our sercurity services to bear all... and consequently leave us totally exposed to future attacks.

    I do agree torture should not be the only means of gaining intelligence, however with so much smoke .. it's not altogether surprising that there's likely to be a fire too.


    From the financial perspective.. this sickens me. Our Tax £'s being used to find these people.

    Perhaps SystemF has a point. Bullets are cheap - and the cause of the doesn't come back to haunt you.

  • Comment number 33.

    This trial is a sham. It should be the torturers, Bush/Cheney and their cohorts and US military chiefs who should be on trial in the Hague.

  • Comment number 34.

    How can anyone believe in this circus?
    Shame on those who force this course to keep their hands free.
    Those masters of manipulation getting tired, profane and primitive...

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm not sure about the attacks on 'lefties' on this blog! Seems to me that it doesn't matter what political persuasion you are of, a fair trial with 'innocent until proven guilty' is a hallmark of a decent society.

    Even terrorist suspects should have evidence put forward against them, just like serial killers and rapists.

    The talk of being recruiting sergeants for terrorism is, I think, a red herring. There are so many injustices in the world that some bloke held in a CIA compound in whereverland, out of the view of the people, will not add much fire to the already pee-ed off proto-martyrs.

    How about we just leave these countries alone and let them take care of their own? Everyone has a price, so let's just *buy* the oil if that's what this is all about. That will also corrupt them into following into capitalism eventually, by which time we will have found a better way.

    Civilian courts, with proper evidence, will do me fine thanks.

  • Comment number 36.

    Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts?

    I fail to see a purpose. I can't condone world domination through any violent or destructive means. As I see it two wrongs don't make a right. In my understanding I can not legitimize any judgment by any dominate or world power at hand.

  • Comment number 37.

    A civilian court will not be able to understand this, these people were in Guantanamo for a reason, they were evil, nasty people.
    Its about time we stopped apologizing for idiots who do wrong and bring swift justice and please, dont bleat about 'unfair practices' - these people deliberately got involved in terrorist activities - end of story.

  • Comment number 38.

    Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts? No.

  • Comment number 39.

    It means he was PROVEN to be guilty of only one of the charges ha faced.
    What's the problem ?

  • Comment number 40.

    5 minute hearing followed by quick trip to the gallows would suffice.

  • Comment number 41.

    I wholeheartedly agreee with #2. Couldn't have said it better.
    The only point I would add as a US Citizen is this: Let's quit being the world's police department and bring all the troops home from all corners of the earth. It is costing us way too much money and lives. And I just don't see the benefit. I don't really care about Korea or Afghanistan, or Iraq. Let them fight their own battles.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    if we have nothing to hide why not? if the powers need protecting over security issues we have to take them at there word,there lies the rub,to take them at there word.we as a nation have to on some ocassions except the unsavoury side of the security wing of this country, however upsetting it appears.that is the price of democracy,is it not??

  • Comment number 44.

    Seems the Yanks have taken as long as Britain does to hold an enquiry into rail crashes...or will the Yanks go for an enquiry into just why they only managed to return a 'Guilty' verdict on one charge...sounds Banana Republic to me..
    They will state it was a fair trial...for who?
    Send your answers on a stamped addressed elephant to:
    Guantanamo Trials.
    C/O The White House.
    PO Box GWBUSH
    Washington DC.
    Please note that elephants can not be returned due to Austerity Cuts...

  • Comment number 45.

    At 1:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:
    I'd like to know what the 285 charges were. Sounds like a case of "If we accuse him of everything then *Something's* gotta stick!"
    by the time they got onto 200 or so they must have been onto "looked at my bird" & "spilled my pint"!
    Whilst I agree that criminals, including terrorists should be made to answer for their actions, I do require actual PROOF,before I start talking about stringing people up. Proof of actual crimes not involvement in crimes, otherwise where do you draw the line? For him to be found guilty of only one charge out of a bumper selection pack of 285 means either the courts are stupid fools or his involvement wasn't significant enough to hold him responsible. Take your pick.
    The guy was cleared of murder & attempted murder & was found guilty on 1 conspiracy charge, for this he'll get at least 20 years & probably life & people are crying that justice hasn't been served! He's likely to be in prison for life, that works for me. How much justice do you want? Do you want the guy dead?.
    It's likely that anything they dredged up during torture...sorry.... enhanced interrogation... would be inadmissable so the CIA shot themselves in the foot there. (possibly trying to torture themselves) Confessions gained under torture cannot be reliable & well done to the civillian court for recognising this.

    I understand the thirst for vengance is very strong but it shouldn't come at the expense of justice, integrity & plain human conscience, and before the "kill em all" brigade ask "Well what conscience do terrorists show?" I'll repeat again what I've said before. If all you believe in is an eye for an eye & a tooth for a tooth the whole world will end up blind & toothless. Vengance is not justice, nor is it the answer because eventually it'll come for you.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Put my name alongside yours, RubbishGirl. I'm with you all the way on this one. Anyone who wishes to jump down your throat for what you have written has now a choice of two at least. Do things the right way, by the book, then there are no valid comebacks. I have seen mobs howling for blood and it's not something anyone should wish to take part in.

  • Comment number 46.

    The courts accept 'deposition of Eye witness' as important hard evidence, then documentary evidences and last of all hearsay evidences. As far as the evidence is concerned, there is no difference in Military courts and Civil courts.

    Then comes the confessional statement, the courts of law only admits the voluntary confessional statements of the accused. Any extraction of confession or extraction of confessional statement through coercion is inadmissible in the court of law.

    Confessional statement made by the accused in front of the Magistrate and recorded by a magistrate is readily admitted by the court of law. Even confession given to Police can be retracted by the accused.

    Only when confession by an accused made to police that leads to the recovery of more evidence concerning the case is admissible in the court of law.

    It may be mentioned that trail for proper Equity of Justice should always be done in civil court. In cases of military personnel's trail, it should always be done under military courts for offenses prescribed in the military law and apart from those for all other offenses, the trail should be conducted under civil law.

    It must be remembered that civil law is supreme. It is always advisable to conduct trial in civil court for equity of proper Justice. Nuremberg trial was not conducted by military court.

    I suppose the statement amply answers which court should try the Guantanamo prisoners. The trial in civil court ensures the accused right to get a fair trial which is absent in Military Court.


  • Comment number 47.

    It was Liberals like Obama who wanted these trials to take place in civilian courts in the first place. Great idea since taxpayer money grows on trees. Thanks again pin heads. That's exactly why I work my can off all week - so my money can provide fair trials to murderous fanatics.

  • Comment number 48.

    Self preservation is kill or be killed and promoted here is that survival to die by.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    At 4:01pm on 18 Nov 2010, Steve wrote:
    It was Liberals like Obama who wanted these trials to take place in civilian courts in the first place. Great idea since taxpayer money grows on trees. Thanks again pin heads. That's exactly why I work my can off all week - so my money can provide fair trials to murderous fanatics.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Does this mean you would prefer unfair trials? Being a pin head myself, I ask for information.

  • Comment number 51.

    You know in the impoverished world I mean third world countries there are millions perhaps billions of people ready to give up their life on any grounds in gain, either financial or eternal and its a daunting task to impress them with any logics.

    Only one thing can enlighten them into hope is justice and fair trial. Once they are evicted as terrorists next thing is the to be terrorists will try to find out the truth in western system of justice.

    It doesn't matter if its civilian court or military tribunal the truth should be uphold and respected by giving appropriate sentencing.

    We can deter a crime also by generosity.

  • Comment number 52.

    45. At 3:58pm on 18 Nov 2010, Raymond Hopkins wrote:

    At 1:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:
    I'd like to know what the 285 charges were. Sounds like a case of "If we accuse him of everything then *Something's* gotta stick!"
    by the time they got onto 200 or so they must have been onto "looked at my bird" & "spilled my pint"!
    Whilst I agree that criminals, including terrorists should be made to answer for their actions, I do require actual PROOF,before I start talking about stringing people up. Proof of actual crimes not involvement in crimes, otherwise where do you draw the line? For him to be found guilty of only one charge out of a bumper selection pack of 285 means either the courts are stupid fools or his involvement wasn't significant enough to hold him responsible. Take your pick.
    The guy was cleared of murder & attempted murder & was found guilty on 1 conspiracy charge, for this he'll get at least 20 years & probably life & people are crying that justice hasn't been served! He's likely to be in prison for life, that works for me. How much justice do you want? Do you want the guy dead?.
    It's likely that anything they dredged up during torture...sorry.... enhanced interrogation... would be inadmissable so the CIA shot themselves in the foot there. (possibly trying to torture themselves) Confessions gained under torture cannot be reliable & well done to the civillian court for recognising this.

    I understand the thirst for vengance is very strong but it shouldn't come at the expense of justice, integrity & plain human conscience, and before the "kill em all" brigade ask "Well what conscience do terrorists show?" I'll repeat again what I've said before. If all you believe in is an eye for an eye & a tooth for a tooth the whole world will end up blind & toothless. Vengance is not justice, nor is it the answer because eventually it'll come for you.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Put my name alongside yours, RubbishGirl. I'm with you all the way on this one. Anyone who wishes to jump down your throat for what you have written has now a choice of two at least. Do things the right way, by the book, then there are no valid comebacks. I have seen mobs howling for blood and it's not something anyone should wish to take part in.
    _____________________

    Fools seldom differ...

  • Comment number 53.

    The problem is that terrorism has features similar to crimes and an acts of war, but does not fit squarely in either category. Terrorists are not typical criminals because they cause mass destruction and loss of life and are hardly deterred by criminal punishments. Terrorism also falls outside of normal bounds of warfare. Contrary to popular opinion, since terrorists do not wear uniforms, do not have an identifiable chain of command, purposely and randomly target civilians etc., they are not protected under the Geneva Convention. What we need is a something like a Geneva convention for terrorism that treats terrorism neither as a standard criminal offense nor as conventional warfare.

  • Comment number 54.

    Because of the threat to lives and property and the present danger of terrorism a special methodology formulated to deal with that specifically , should be in place.
    It seems unrealistic to not have the ability to have terrorists properly sentenced and removed from society permanently if guilty.
    It is amazing that the possibility exists that someone killing so many people could get less than the maximum , because of a faulty system that on the face of it protects criminals rather than victims.

  • Comment number 55.

    Thanks Raymond Hopkins. :)

  • Comment number 56.

    Absolutely NOT! The US court system is totally corrupt, allowing criminals to go free, while someone who illegally parks gets the book thrown at them.

    Trying people for terror crimes, in such a court system, is useless.

  • Comment number 57.

    20. At 2:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:
    For your information Rubbish Girl
    Had a leftist judge no doubt a friend of yours....
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Lefists" (sic) of the world, beware.
    ONE-SICK-PUPPY is on to you. He knows that you're all mates and will almost certainly turn up at the next meeting all guns blazing, like the good ol' boy he is.
    I recommend changing the venue from Ned Flanders' Leftorium. That's the first place OSP will look.

  • Comment number 58.

    International law is quite clear, and has been since the mid 19th century. Any person taken "in arms" and not in uniform or wearing military insignia is automatically guilty of a capital offence. Their only right is to be shot not hanged. We need to apply the law and have summary executions of all terrorists and fellow travellers.

  • Comment number 59.

    49. At 4:06pm on 18 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote:
    Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrong-doers.

    Quran 5:51

    ---------------------------

    As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.

    Lev. 25:44 (i.e the bible)

    Maybe Islam isn't the only religion we should be suspicious of?

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    59. At 4:38pm on 18 Nov 2010, Bro_Winky wrote:

    49. At 4:06pm on 18 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote:
    Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrong-doers.

    Quran 5:51

    ---------------------------

    As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.

    Lev. 25:44 (i.e the bible)

    Maybe Islam isn't the only religion we should be suspicious of?

    ___________________

    9/11, 7/7, Beslan, Madrid train bombings etc etc ad nauseum were done by Christians, right?

    Christians were held at Guantanamo and have recently had trials held in civilian courts?! Right?

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts?


    The way I see it, only prisoners captured in actual battle or those who carry out direct attacks against millitary installations should be subject to millitary trials.


    While I do not condone torture, I believe evidence elicited by that method should be allowed, providing of course it can be backed up by other intelligence sources.

    The people who carry out interrogations are not stupid, they know very well that information gathered under torture is unreliable, unless it it can be verified by other sources such as informants etc.

  • Comment number 64.

    60. At 4:46pm on 18 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote:
    --------------------------------------

    " "Hey mister" Tom said, rushing up. The no-talking man didn't turn around. Tom was momentarily puzzled then he remembered. He tapped Nick on the shoulder & Nick turned. "You're deaf n dumb right? Can't hear! Can't talk!Right?"
    Nick nodded. And to him Tom's reaction was nothing short of amazing. He jumped in the air & clapped his hands wildly. "I thought of it! Hooray for me! Hooray for Tom Cullen"
    Nick had to grin. He couldn't remember when his disability had brought someone so much pleasure. "

    The Stand- Stephen King


    I can quote books too!
    See how clever that makes me?

  • Comment number 65.

    A common theme on many forums and posts on this subject is that everyone in custody is obviously guilty and just to lock them all away. What people do not appear to know is that only 6% of the people in gittmo were captured by US or allied forces. The rest where turned over by people seeking rewards and even reported cases of neighbors wanting their neighbors land.

    Many of those released would never have seen the light of day if there was any evidence at all to show they were a terrorist.

  • Comment number 66.

    57. At 4:32pm on 18 Nov 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:
    20. At 2:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:
    For your information Rubbish Girl
    Had a leftist judge no doubt a friend of yours....
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Lefists" (sic) of the world, beware.
    ONE-SICK-PUPPY is on to you. He knows that you're all mates and will almost certainly turn up at the next meeting all guns blazing, like the good ol' boy he is.
    I recommend changing the venue from Ned Flanders' Leftorium. That's the first place OSP will look

    Your Right Mr Cholmondley-Warner I'll fight these Lefties until Hell freezes over, and then I will fight them on the ice. HAHahahaaa Have a good evening Sir.

  • Comment number 67.

    I don't think I know enough about the circumstances in which each and every one of them was arrested to have an opinion! I'm not sure that anyone else does either.

    It may be that civilian courts would appropriate for some and not others?


  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    Once you start on the path of ignoring the law for certain people, it does not take much to expand on the groups or types of people. One moment it is someone caught with a gun in their hand, then it is someone who was just in the area and one day it will be because you talk with an accent or wear robes.

  • Comment number 70.

    How odd that President Obama, a graduate of the Harvard Law School, a civil rights practitioner and teacher of constitutional law, should complain about the very legal system in which he has believed implicitly, all his adult life.
    I have long thought Barack Hussein Obama a circumlocutory windbag, but never a hypocrit, until now.

  • Comment number 71.

    "
    58. At 4:37pm on 18 Nov 2010, GranolaBaa wrote:
    "

    Agreed.

  • Comment number 72.

    No. Those captured on the battlefield as unlawful combatants should have been, as prescribed by the Geneva Convention, executed forthwith. Period. We need to stop our delusions with this vermin. Try them in drumhead courts martial and execute them if found guilty.

  • Comment number 73.

    Yes, the trials should be in a civilian court.

  • Comment number 74.

    To Rubbish Girl, You accuse America of making up these 200 + charges against Mr Ghilaini so that "something will stick" in your own words.
    I pointed out these were very serious charges of murder of foreign innocents, then when I accuse you of Anti Americanism you object.

    You ask why we did not present eveidence that Mr Ghiliani bought the dynamite? We did, except the eveidence was excluded by the judge, yes a liberal activist judge more concerned with the due process of criminal law than the safety of men woman and children from these monsters who make war against us from the shadows and are not covered by any international treaties including the Geneva Convention.

  • Comment number 75.

    I would take them all out and shoot them,including the ones who are going to get millions from our stupid tory government.They are terrorists each and every one of them.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    At 5:31pm on 18 Nov 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:
    To Rubbish Girl, You accuse America of making up these 200 + charges against Mr Ghilaini so that "something will stick" in your own words.
    I pointed out these were very serious charges of murder of foreign innocents, then when I accuse you of Anti Americanism you object.

    You ask why we did not present eveidence that Mr Ghiliani bought the dynamite? We did, except the eveidence was excluded by the judge, yes a liberal activist judge more concerned with the due process of criminal law than the safety of men woman and children from these monsters who make war against us from the shadows and are not covered by any international treaties including the Geneva Convention.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    Maybe I'm wrong, but a judge who is concerned with the due process of criminal law sounds good to me.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    77. At 5:37pm on 18 Nov 2010, Raymond Hopkins wrote:

    At 5:31pm on 18 Nov 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:
    To Rubbish Girl, You accuse America of making up these 200 + charges against Mr Ghilaini so that "something will stick" in your own words.
    I pointed out these were very serious charges of murder of foreign innocents, then when I accuse you of Anti Americanism you object.

    You ask why we did not present eveidence that Mr Ghiliani bought the dynamite? We did, except the eveidence was excluded by the judge, yes a liberal activist judge more concerned with the due process of criminal law than the safety of men woman and children from these monsters who make war against us from the shadows and are not covered by any international treaties including the Geneva Convention.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    Maybe I'm wrong, but a judge who is concerned with the due process of criminal law sounds good to me.

    __________________

    Of course it would, what else would we expect from disingenuous apologists!

  • Comment number 80.

    75. At 5:35pm on 18 Nov 2010, mac wrote:

    "I would take them all out and shoot them,including the ones who are going to get millions from our stupid tory government.They are terrorists each and every one of them."

    I think there has been some confusion with the connection between "they" and its antecedent noun. Unless you meant to indicate that each and every member of the tory government is a terrorist. In which case, why haven't the mods removed such a contentious comment? :-))

    Can't quite see Big Dave, Little Nick and Gorgeous George as terrorists - their accents and suits are FAR too posh ...

  • Comment number 81.

    The terrorists are not an ordinary murders they are extremists and world destroyers all terrorist matters or cases must handle by military court marshal.Also the terrorist prison must be operated. But the terrorist defender Obama wants the terrorist's generation in America and he destroyed the Guantanamo bay prison and allowed terrorists to land in American soil to create future terrorist generation in America.




  • Comment number 82.

    75. At 5:35pm on 18 Nov 2010, mac wrote:

    "I would take them all out and shoot them,including the ones who are going to get millions from our stupid tory government.They are terrorists each and every one of them."

    Tongue in cheek (lest the mods blitz me again), it does remind me of an old piece of graffiti that can be recycled quickly viz: "Terrorist should be bloody well hung"

    "He is, my dear" - Mrs Terrorist.

  • Comment number 83.

    61. At 4:50pm on 18 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote

    9/11, 7/7, Beslan, Madrid train bombings etc etc ad nauseum were done by Christians, right?

    Christians were held at Guantanamo and have recently had trials held in civilian courts?! Right?

    -------------------

    The Dark Ages, the Crusades, Slavery, Witch Burnings, IRA & ETA bombings, the Holocaust, the Srebrenica Massacre etc.

    Islam has no monopoly on slaughter.

  • Comment number 84.

    "We did, except the eveidence was excluded by the judge, yes a liberal activist judge more concerned with the due process of criminal law"

    I am amazed people are complaining about a Judge being concerned with due process and the law. I think you would want that if you were being accused of something.

  • Comment number 85.

    "81. At 6:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, Bella Liberty wrote:"


    The US has done more to terrorize the people of the world than any small group could match.

  • Comment number 86.

    Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts?
    Of course, out in the open for all to see what the USA is trying to export to Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Comment number 87.

    83. At 6:12pm on 18 Nov 2010, Bro_Winky wrote:

    61. At 4:50pm on 18 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote

    9/11, 7/7, Beslan, Madrid train bombings etc etc ad nauseum were done by Christians, right?

    Christians were held at Guantanamo and have recently had trials held in civilian courts?! Right?

    -------------------

    The Dark Ages, the Crusades, Slavery, Witch Burnings, IRA & ETA bombings, the Holocaust, the Srebrenica Massacre etc.

    Islam has no monopoly on slaughter.

    ________________________

    The above was all set out in the bible, was it?

    Another disingenuous fawning liberal!

  • Comment number 88.

    To marchie1053 ....I would quite happily put the present government in front of a firing squad.I intended normal people to understand the connection between terrorists and political terrorists,I am sure everyone else got the point.However,I did like your joke.

  • Comment number 89.

    NO WAY!!!! That would give them the same rights as a US citizen. That would be a gross miscarriage of justice.

  • Comment number 90.

    81. At 6:00pm on 18 Nov 2010, Bella Liberty wrote:

    "The terrorists are not an ordinary murders they are extremists and world destroyers all terrorist matters or cases must handle by military court marshal.Also the terrorist prison must be operated. But the terrorist defender Obama wants the terrorist's generation in America and he destroyed the Guantanamo bay prison and allowed terrorists to land in American soil to create future terrorist generation in America."

    Can we PLEASE have some basic punctuation so that it is possible to try to comprehend what is being said. For the sake of clarity, and with my tongue once again firmly in my cheek, (and to avoid the wrath of the mods - I hope), I have to say that the comment about "not ordinary murders" reminds me of last year's advertising campaign by a major High Street store. Since the post involves terrorism and allegations of torture et al, let's assume that the store's name is "S&M". Cue sexy voice over "This is not just ordinary murder - this is terrorist murder".

    I'm sure that anyone who has suffered the unbelievable heartbreak and trauma of having a loved one murdered will struggle to see a difference. It is too easy to parody the posting in this respect but I don't want to be modded for commenting further on a rant that ignores the basic premises of justice such as fair trial, fair representation, proof that any confession was obtained without duress etc ...

  • Comment number 91.

    Should the Guantanamo trials be held in civilian courts?

    Of course.

  • Comment number 92.

    ps: Raymond Hopkins + Rubbish Girl - CHEERS!

  • Comment number 93.

    "
    75. At 5:35pm on 18 Nov 2010, mac wrote:
    "

    Agreed, well said.

  • Comment number 94.

    The process of law should be observed. Bush and Bush's Dad cared nothing for law but only for what they believed were reasonable actions against perceived threats. Just how much central American blood was shed by Bush Senior and how much crack cocaine allowed onto their own US streets just to prevent the fear of the domino effect after the Sandinista took Nicaragua.

    They both failed to achieve a thing or at best they offset every gain by so many failures.

    The process of law is tested, imperfect perhaps, but better than the methods of the Neo Cons and their soldiers. Guantanamo is entirely discredited and who knows whether any of these people are guilty or not. The only way to get even close to testing that is in a court of law, open to all. It also means that torture evidence has to be disregarded because it really can't be relied on can it even if it was something we should lower ourselves to do.

    Our terrorists are home grown. 7/7 was perpetrated by British kids. Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, torture, etc etc - all those canons of the Bush era - all as much recruiting sergeant as prevention and certainly no relation of cure. I grow sick of the arguments of the apologists for this surrender of our civilisation.

  • Comment number 95.

    Ahmed is a known associate of the terror group who destroyed the embassies. There is no persuasive evidence that he plotted or agreed to the criminal strategy. The Americans attempt to prosecute with figures of speech rather than actual indictments of perpetrators.

  • Comment number 96.

    87. At 6:36pm on 18 Nov 2010, won_hung_lo wrote:

    "83. At 6:12pm on 18 Nov 2010, Bro_Winky wrote:

    'The Dark Ages, the Crusades, Slavery, Witch Burnings, IRA & ETA bombings, the Holocaust, the Srebrenica Massacre etc.

    Islam has no monopoly on slaughter.'

    ________________________

    The above was all set out in the bible, was it?

    Another disingenuous fawning liberal! "

    ------------------------

    Try reading it sometime. You'll be surprised.

    However, I doubt you will. You strike me as the kind of person who likes to shout words without the inconvenience of facts getting in the way.

  • Comment number 97.

    Guantanamo is not part of America. It is part of Cuba. Invasion and occupation by force seems to be acceptable, if America or England does it!
    The terrorist' was convicted. He will go to jail. America's justice system worked. Isn't that enough?
    Or would some of you like to impose stoning and hanging and become just like the people we are calling terrorists?

  • Comment number 98.

    We live in an unprecedented time when small numbers of maniacs can crash airplanes into our buildings & detonate nuclear weapons in our cities. Millions can be lost & our civilization left in ruin. Our naivete has Al-Qaeda laughing hysterically.

  • Comment number 99.

    47. At 4:01pm on 18 Nov 2010, Steve wrote:
    It was Liberals like Obama who wanted these trials to take place in civilian courts in the first place.
    ------------
    Wrong! I'm no big fan of Obama, but I do like facts. Civilian trials for terror suspects were started in the Bush Admin. Too much FOX news!!

  • Comment number 100.

    Holder and Obama showed their love of the ACLU philosophy is more important than protecting us.

    These terrorist or enemy combants do not have the rights of american citzens.

    Another black mark on the worst President in modern history.

 

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