Is Osama bin Laden’s driver too crazy for court?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Salim Ahmed Hamdan argued for his day in court, and won. Now, as the trial of one of the most famous Guatánamo Bay detainees approaches, lawyers will argue Hamdan is mentally unfit to assist in his defense.

Hamdan is one of the high-profile captives at the notorious detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Not only is he allegedly Osama Bin Laden’s driver, but he also won a case before the Supreme Court in which his lawyers successfully argued that the military tribunal system established for Gitmo detainees violated U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions.

New York Times correspondent Bill Glaberson is in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, covering the pre-trial hearings.

Takeaway facts:

  • In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), the Supreme Court ruled that the legal system established for Gitmo detainees violated Common Article 3 of the Third Geneva Convention, which outlines humane treatment for prisoners of wars.
  • The Bush administration revamped the tribunal system following the high court's ruling.
  • Hamdan has been held at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba since early 2002.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Brian L. Mizer, a military lawyer, represents Hamdan.
  • Hamdan's trial is set to begin on May 28, 2008.

Guest: William Glaberson, Correspondent, The New York Times, in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Contributors:

Mary Harris

Comments [1]

Chris O

This is very sad on many levels. First, he was Osama bin Laden's DRIVER. I mean, is George Bush's driver a key player?! I mean, who is next, the butler. If the guy was a terrorist, he probably would not have been a chauffer. OK - I realize he may know stuff, and MAY have been involved in some planning, it just does not seem like the driver is the big fish.

Secondly, he has been held for over 6 years in solitary. No charges, no rights. It is Kafka-esque and completely against the Constitution and against the USA's first principles.

Apr. 29 2008 08:11 PM

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