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Oh, Never Mind

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Bob Egelko reports in the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Pentagon's plans for death-penalty prosecutions of six men accused of plotting the 2001 terrorist attacks were criticized by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who said capital punishment is appropriate for such crimes but that military tribunals are the wrong forum for the case....

"These trials will need to be above reproach," the Illinois senator said in a statement Monday. "These trials are too important to be held in a flawed military commission system that has failed to convict anyone of a terrorist act since the 9/11 attacks and that has been embroiled in legal challenges."

Obama said the men should be tried either in a U.S. criminal court or by military court-martial, either of which would "demonstrate our commitment to the rule of law."

Oops, sorry. That was Feb. 13, 2008.  Let me try that again. [Ahem.]

Laura Jakes reports for AP:

President Barack Obama said Friday he would reform and restart the military tribunals he once reviled for Guantanamo Bay detainees, jeopardizing his timetable for closing the prison by January and dismaying many supporters who suggested he was going back on campaign promises.

"This is the best way to protect our country, while upholding our deeply held values," Obama said, announcing his decision to renew the tribunals in a three-paragraph White House statement. The administration said he was not embracing the Bush-era system because it would be so significantly changed.

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Can someone explain to me why most of the guys being held at Guantanamo (especially the ones caught in Afghanistan on the battlefield) can't be treated as POWs under the Geneva Convention? Then, we could hold them until the war in Afghanistan ends. And if it doesn't end for another 20 years, well, so be it.

By the way, what did the US do with Viet Cong guerrillas captured during the Vietnam War?

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