An American Sentenced to Death

In Iraq, an American citizen who appears to have had no fair trial and is being frog-marched to the death penalty with the help and support of the U.S. military. He has no rights any more, of course. Scott Horton explains the facts and background of the case here. Money quote:

On Tuesday, the President intends to sign the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which purports to terminate the writ of habeas corpus for US detainees overseas. In so doing, he may well be confirming a death sentence for Mohammed Manaf. This case is shocking because it deals with an American citizen who is being stripped of his rights under a foreign legal process, including the right to a trial, at the insistence of US Forces. It provides strong grounds to question what US Forces are doing in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. As a practitioner in that court, I can only say that none of the facts detailed in the Brennan Center's papers or described by the defendant's attorney strike me as surprising. They are consistent with things I observed with my own eyes in Baghdad in the spring of this year.

What passes for justice in Iraq right now - in a Baghad in sectarian meltdown - is a travesty. But it is merely a tiny glimpse of the threat to basic liberties that this president has advanced and pioneered.