Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:25pm EST
By Jane Sutton
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - Two dozen people who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing the Guantanamo war crimes trials as illegitimate, shameful and politically motivated.
Their criticism came in response to passionate praise for the Guantanamo tribunals from other victims' relatives, whom the Pentagon brought to the remote U.S. naval base in Cuba this week to observe pretrial hearings for five prisoners charged with plotting the September 11 attacks.
"These prosecutions have been politically motivated from the start, are designed to ensure quick convictions at the expense of due process and transparency, and are structured to prevent the revelation of abusive interrogations and torture engaged in by the U.S. government," said the 24 relatives who signed Wednesday's statement, which was distributed through the American Civil Liberties Union.
They said any verdict in the Guantanamo proceedings, which are formally known as military commissions, would leave them wondering if justice had been served.
"No comfort or closure can come from military commissions that ignore the rule of law and stain America's reputation at home and abroad," they said. "It is time for our nation to stop betraying its own values and the values of so many who died on 9/11."
For the rest of the story, go to Reuters.
Thursday, December 11, 2008