Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why is Diaz on Trial and Bush Not?

In another Friday evening news release, military lawyer Matthew Diaz was convicted at his court martial of communicating secret information about Guantanamo Bay detainees that could be used to injure the United States and three other charges of leaking information to an unauthorized person.

While the conviction came on Thursday, the story ran on CNN at 8:47 pm Friday, giving it almost the whole weekend to be buried by other stories. While this is a typical Bush media strategy, why would they want this story to suffer under the darkness of a typical weekend news cycle?

It turns out Matthew had much to say as a military lawyer about the Bush administration's use of torture and commission of war crimes.

Diaz, 41, of Topeka, Kansas, did not testify at his court-martial. But in an hourlong interview after the opening day of his trial Monday, Diaz said he believes the Bush administration's prosecution of the war on terror is illegal. He accused officials of violating international law, such as the Geneva Conventions on the humane treatment of war prisoners, and the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of due process.

"I made a stupid decision, I know, but I felt it was the right decision, the moral decision, the decision that was required by international law," Diaz told the Dallas newspaper. "No matter how the conflict was identified, we were to treat them in accordance with Geneva, and it just wasn't being done."

While he admits his error in leaking the names to a civil rights lawyer, it came from his frustration over the Bush team's use of delay tactics in complying with a Supreme Court ruling.

The Center for Constitutional Rights earlier had won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that terrorism suspects had the right to challenge their detention. But the Pentagon was refusing to identify the men, hampering the group's effort to represent them.

"I had observed the stonewalling, the obstacles we continued to place in the way of the attorneys," Diaz said. "I knew my time was limited. ... I had to do something."

Mr. Diaz also believes the Bush administration lies based on his experience at Guantanamo.

Bush administration officials have characterized the Guantanamo population overall as "the worst of the worst." Diaz said that is one of two incorrect or false statements.

"The other statement was 'We do not torture,' " said Diaz, whose jobs included tracking and investigating abuse allegations.

"I think a good case could be made for allegations of war crimes, policies that were war crimes," he said. "There was a way to do this properly, and we're not doing it properly."

Of course the Defense department vehemently denies such allegations. Funny how the President just signed an Executive Order making it more difficult for internal whistleblowers to endure the lengthy process of investigation. This compounds the problem of the Bush team being most inept in conducting basic investigations.

Why is Matthe Diaz on trial and President Bush not?

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