The new rules for prosecuting terror suspects were released by the Pentagon last night.
The 238-page Manual for Military Commissions, published last night, offers suspected al-Qaida and Taliban militants "all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilised people," a Pentagon spokesman said.*
Some of the highlights-
- Defendants will get access all evidence against them. Material may be redacted to the point there are no legible nouns, pronouns, verbs or adjectives.
- Evidence obtained through torture won't be allowed however evidence gained through "coersion" will. Coersion is later defined as "tickling detainees with our fists," "playing the 'who talked first' game" by sticking the detainee in solitary for months on end and those actions generally accepted during frat hazing such as attaching a car battery to the genitalia or waterboarding.
- Hearsay evidence will be allowed but it has to be backed by at least three hearsay sources.
- Defendants have access to defense lawyers but those lawyers cannot be currently licensed to practice law anywhere within the continental United States and must wear a "Barney" costume during the course of the trial. When asked about this last point the pentagon spokesman said "Hey, those british guys have to wear wigs. It's like that."
- Conviction can lead to execution but acquittal certainly won't lead to not being executed.
(*When asked to define the term "civilised" the pentagon spokesman referred the reporter to the bible specifically 2 Kings 6:25-30 which defines the proper treatment of children during the siege of a major city, cultural norms promoted by the peoples of the Polynesian Marquesas Islands, legal treatment of Dutch dissidents such as Johan de Witt and his brother in the year 1672 and the organizational structure and means of the infamous Donner party.)