Military Tribunals in the United States

Mark Weisenmiller shows how the fate of Al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners in Cuba is linked to a US Supreme Court decision of sixty years ago.

Al-Qaida and Taliban detainees (or prisoners of war, depending on one’s perspective) being held and interrogated at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, on the eastern coast of the Communist Caribbean island nation of Cuba, will be facing some sort of trial, on a litany of charges, in the near future. US president George W. Bush Jr., Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and other American federal government officials are adamant that the detainees’ treatment abides by the Geneva Convention, yet they have not classified these people as prisoners of war. Why? Because President Bush – and especially Attorney-General John Ashcroft – would prefer to see these al-Qaida and Taliban soldiers in custody facing judgement from military tribunals.

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