The Patriot PostDigest Â· Friday, January 15, 2010
The Courts Martial of Navy SEAL Petty Officers Matthew McCabe, Jonathan Keefe and Julio Huertas continues apace with two of the three heroes being forced to move their trial to Iraq in order to avail themselves of their constitutional right to confront their accuser in open court. This rare, if not unprecedented, move should be viewed with extreme caution and we hope defense counsel has taken appropriate measures to protect fully the rights of the accused.
For them to enter the sovereign territory of Iraq, even under the auspices of a military court, may place them in peril both physically and legally. What's to prevent the Iraqi government from bringing additional trumped up criminal charges and ordering their arrest? How will the U.S. military protect them from such arrest should such action take place?
One possible alternative would be to insist they hold the trial aboard a U.S. naval vessel in international waters off the Iraqi coast.
Failing that, the U.S. Embassy is a second logical alternative.
In a related question, there is an interesting legal position we may be forced to confront in light of the criminal trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City. If, as this administration insists, KSM (and others) are just "criminals," then under what legal authority has this administration justified the continued Predator attacks on these civilian "criminals"? We know this administration fully supports a double standard in tax cases and racism allegations, and we certainly don't expect anything different in this case.