Quote of the day

At Nuremberg, people got off -- we can't have that, can we?



Alex Koppelman
February 20, 2008 10:34PM (UTC)

When asked if he thought the men at Guantánamo could receive a fair trial, Davis provided the following account of an August 2005 meeting he had with Pentagon general counsel William Haynes -- the man who now oversees the tribunal process for the Defense Department. "[Haynes] said these trials will be the Nuremberg of our time," recalled Davis, referring to the Nazi tribunals in 1945, considered the model of procedural rights in the prosecution of war crimes. In response, Davis said he noted that at Nuremberg there had been some acquittals, something that had lent great credibility to the proceedings.

"I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process," Davis continued. "At which point, [Haynes's] eyes got wide and he said, 'Wait a minute, we can't have acquittals. If we've been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can't have acquittals, we've got to have convictions.'"

-- From Ross Tuttle's new article in the Nation focusing on Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo Bay, and accusations he has made about the rigging of military tribunals there.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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