Col. Morris D. Davis, the US military's former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, testified yesterday that top Pentagon officials interfered with his work for political reasons, and told him that there could be no detainee acquittals. The former prosecutor found himself on a peculiar side of a court case: testifying on behalf of a detainee, Osama bin Laden's driver Salim Hamdan, and being cross examined by his prosecutorial successor.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann (pictured), oversaw the military commissions and allegedly told prosecutor-turned-witness Davis: "If we don't get some cases going before the elections, this thing's going to implode." He also told him that charges against well-known detainees “could have real strategic political value” and that there could be no acquittals.
Last night, TV host Keith Olbermann's asserted that the policy Davis described, co-opted the values of the very constitution and sacred freedoms for which the heroes of the military have fought and died. To see that chilling video, and to find out what else went down in the court,
On the witness stand, Davis recounted a conversation he had with General Hartmann: "He said, 'We've been holding these guys for years. How can we explain acquittals? We have to have convictions.'" Hartmann also insisted that prosecutors use evidence obtained during waterboarding.
Do you care whether justice is served at Guantanamo Bay? Is it dangerously easy to let slide these stories of partisan concerns compromising the constitution because we hear so many of them?