Guantanamo Bay Prosecutor Calls Bush Tribunals Fundamentally Unfair and Resigns His Post

When the military tribunals were being created at Guantanamo Bay, some of us publicly stated that we would not take cases because the rules written by the Administration were fundamentally unfair and did not recognize core principles of due process. Since then, there have been a steady stream of prosecutors and defense lawyers in the military who have resigned in protest. The latest is Lt. Col. Darrel J. Vandeveld, who decided that he could no longer live with himself as a person or an attorney to participate in such a sham legal system.

Back in August, Vandeveld (who was once a supporter of the tribunals) began to voice long-held reservations, stating in one e-mail “I am beginning to have grave misgivings about what I am doing, and what we are doing as a country. . . .”

Last month, he felt that he had no moral choice: he resigned. It was a considerable act of courage that protected his integrity as a lawyer.

For the full story, click here.

12 thoughts on “Guantanamo Bay Prosecutor Calls Bush Tribunals Fundamentally Unfair and Resigns His Post”

  1. Jill and CMM,
    I agree that the Bush crowd is eavesdropping on all of our calls. This latest revelation is just additional evidence that it isn’t about national security. As Jill suggested it is about money for the contractors, but I agree with her statement that it is more than just money. It is control. Control of their employees and control of the citizenry. Kind of spooky.

  2. Jill, I’ve spoken of this before. I’m glad people are finally starting to understand.

    You are right. Its all calls. And anyone doubting that only needs to ask themselves one simple question.

    We were told back in 2003 when CNN took us inside of the NSA listening posts in FT Meade MD, that they could “START” recording any call whenever certain “keywords” were spoken.

    Words like bomb,airplane, etc spoken in certain combinations would “trigger” large super computers to “START” recording the call.

    Well, I asked myself one simple question that apparently eludes 99 percent of the general population.

    If they can “START” recording whenever certain keywords are spoken, …. then HOW did they KNOW those words were spoken in the first place?


  3. I wanted to add something I read (sorry for the double posting). This was from the Oct. 12 edition of my newspaper via AP: “Jakarta, Indonesia–When the health minister of Indonesia stopped sending bird flu ivruses to a research laboratory in the US for fear Washington could use them to make biological weapons…”–this is a truly incredible event. Indonesia is our “friend”. I do know that DARPA is working on antibiotic resistant bugs for biological warfare. I want to know a lot more as to why Indonesia is afraid to ship this virus to the US.

  4. Mike,

    I’m also glad to “read” you back! I think you are correct that the profit motive looms large. I don’t think it’s “less than meets the eye” though for this reason: Consider the police state actions at the DNC and RNC. Consdier the case of Kind Hearts Charity in a post below. Consider that this govt. harrasses people trying to cross the border or board airplanes. Consider that they have rounded up immigrants in mass raids, imprisoned Muslims for no reason, and inflitrated groups such as vegans (admittedly they can be smug), counter recruiting, and veterans for peace (to name a few). The phone calls are not only being recorded they are transcribed and stored. Yes, this is very profitable, but given the record of abuse of the Constitution, citizens and non-citizens alike, I just don’t feel it’s innocent.

  5. “NSA is sweeping up every communication of American citizens. Why is that?”

    I’ve thought a lot about this and my conclusions is that this is more about the money to be made in data mining, than about national security. This administration has always been about the money and personal aggrandisement of its supporters. I think there is less there than meets the eye.

  6. Below is the link to the James Bamford interview. As in Gitmo, the govt.’s actions make no sense. Torture does not provide good intelligence. The mistreatment of detainees produces more enemies around the world. Breaking the law isn’t good law enforcement.

    NSA is sweeping up every communication of American citizens. Why is that? The actual sweeping is done by contractors, one of whose head man is in hiding due to a fraud conviction. These companies are often connected to foreign countires. Again, why? In the meantime there is no Pashtoon translator, the language of the group we are supposed at war with.

  7. rafflaw,

    He said in the article he was afraid for himself and his family. That is outrageous but typical of an administration who lives by creating fear to control American citizens.

    To All:
    Today Terry Gross will discuss the NSA total spying awareness 🙁 with James Bamford. That should be quite enlightening. He spoke with the two low level NSA employees who came forward to let us know at least a little of what the NSA has been up to refered to in one of JT’s earlier posts.

  8. Jill,
    You are right that LTC Vandeveld will face problems with the Bush regime and within the military for his courageous actions. It is especially interesting since he was in favor of the tribunals originally. I am glad that he realized what some knew from the outset.

  9. “John Brady Kiesling, the first U.S. diplomat to resign in opposition to the coming war in Iraq, says, “Because we were loyal to the President and our careers, we failed the American people”…(From Dissent, Voices of Conscience by Ann Wright).

    LTC Vandeveld will no doubt face the hateful recriminations, slander and fear as have other wistleblowers. What he did takes great courage. He has remained true to the highes values of our nation. I hope the courts and the Congress will take seriously the information he provides and end the injustice that is Gitmo.

    As to cheneybush. They have used the term “war” on terror not because there is a war but because this was the mechanisim for gathering unchecked power to the office of the executive. In the name of “the war on terror” they have disposed of whole parts of the Constitution, falsely imprisoned and tortured the innocent and guilty alike, and gutted the dept of justice so that no one will oppose them. It is imperative that “we the people” stand against their crimes. I hope more and more people will speak out against the abuses of this administration. I further hope these crimes will be stopped. Thank you LTC Vandeveld for upholding your oath to our Constitution.

  10. “Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”


    “Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong”

    —Thomas Jefferson

    Carry on LTC Vandeveld. I salute you!

  11. Headline should read:

    “Military Officer Finally Realizes Importance Of Oath He Took To Defend Constitution.”

  12. I have to give kudos to Lt. Col. Vandeveld for taking a principled stand against the extra-constitutional military tribunals at Gitmo. This is another example of how our military has lost faith in the fake tribunal system set up by the Bush/Cheney regime. I hope that the Obama/Biden administration will end this charade as soon as possible after January 20th, 2009.

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