The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Bush administration does not have the authority to try terrorism suspects by military tribunal.
Justices upheld the challenge by Osama Bin Laden’s ex-driver to his trial at Guantanamo, saying the proceedings violated Geneva Conventions.
The ruling is seen as a major blow to President George W Bush – but it does not order the closure of Guantanamo.
So the tribunals are ruled as illegal, doesn’t surprise me as they seem as fair as the trial of General Tomoyuki Yamashita. But having fair and open trials was never the reason for the prison at Guantanamo the prisoners were not there to be tried and punished for their crimes they are there solely for the extraction of intelligence in order for the US to carry out their War on Terror. Any open and fair trials would jeopardise this and would reveal the true nature of the detainees there including that many of them are probably innocents that were sold to the US by corrupt members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. The fact that children were picked up and held before being released is surely an indication that people were detained without first establishing who they were and what threat they constituted.
I think that the pressure has built to such an extent that the prison will soon close particularly as the Bush administration seem to have finally woken up to the fact that it is a PR disaster. But any such closure will simply be the next step in a PR campaign as it will not mean the closure of those less well-known prisons around the world and the unknowable numbers of secret and hidden US military prisons.
I would be very surprised if we ever see more than a few token open and fair trials conducted under US law occur.