August 6th, 2008
03:53 PM ET

Guilty at Gitmo

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/06/hamdinhamdin.jpg caption="Salim Hamdan" width=292 height=320]

Editor's Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on In Session”

Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

Rarely has the word “guilty” meant as little as it does in the case of Salim Hamdan, the first prisoner to stand trial for war crimes at Gitmo.

Because it’s not a trial really. It’s a Military Commission, which means different rules, a wider scope of evidence, a jury of six military officers and a military judge. The former driver for Osama Bin Laden was accused of swearing his loyalty to Al Qaida and helping Bin Laden to escape after 9/11. Now that he’s been convicted, Hamdan faces life in prison.

The chief military prosecutor in the case calls the trial "an open and fair and thorough process," one which strikes a balance between security and Hamdan’s right to present his case.  But I respectfully disagree. This proceeding was neither speedy nor public. And in this country, that is not a fair trial at all.

Read more of Jami Floyd’s comments on the In Session blog.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • In Session • Jami Floyd
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Rosie

    What a cold world we live in, even our own law says, one is innocent until proven guilty. What is happening to our Country? We are the most blessed people in the world, yet our hearts are so cold, when it come to other human-beings.
    Our greatest terrorist is our own fears, built upon what we hear and not what we know. We are a people, who have become enslaved by our own fear of people.
    We have become a Country which has fell victim to paranoia, and unless we come to ourselves, and remember who we are[ the land of the free, and the home of the brave], we will become a most miserable people, who will become sitting ducks for every one who desire to take advantage of this paranoia, even if its only for political purposes.

    August 7, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    As with all wars there are cases a military court decides – WW2 had military trials for the war criminals of the Third Reich and we didn't complain – I don't really see any significant difference in this case. He drove bin Laden thus helping bin Laden travel around to inspire his followers to great feats of martyrdom as they killed the American scourge. It doesn't ruin my day that the driver was found guilty.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 6, 2008 at 9:28 pm |
  3. Genevieve M, TX

    I might be the only one who has this opinion.... but I believe that anyone who is imprisoned there is guilty of a crime, trial or no trial. I don't care if any of the prisoners there die, they are a waste of oxygen.

    As the others have pointed out, this man was employed by Al Qaida and if set free- is someone who can maim/kill someone if he chooses to do so. I have no sympathy for people like him and no one else should either.

    August 6, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  4. Alex

    Why is this even being discussed? This guy is Osama Bin Laden's driver. Of course he's been railroaded. Anybody with half a brain knows this guys can't have done anything tp protect his employer and "brother in arms." These Muslims are simple misunderstood. Give me a break!

    August 6, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  5. Chicago

    Well Jami... change the constitution...

    It was a military trial... not of a US citizen... someone who would sooner cut off your head that hear what you think (because of what you look like)...

    So I'm not sorry at all... good luck to him... he got a trial... had one of our soldiers fallen under his leader.... we would have gotten some drill bits to the knees, our hands cut off, our genitals cut off, and our heads cut off on the internet... I think he did ok!

    PS: Although I don't agree with you on this one... I like your blog!

    August 6, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Cindy

    I have to agree and disagree with you on this one. I agree that everyone should have a fair, open and speedy trial to ensure that everything is on the up and up. I disagree in this case because he is a terrorists who swears to Al Qaida who want nothing more than to kill us all. Plus he is not an American citizen so why should he get any of our rights? So I could care less what they did to him or if it was fair or not.


    August 6, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  7. Larry

    Yep, just as the Nuremberg trials were a mockery.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:58 pm |