I do not know exactly who Bilal Hussain and do not know for sure whether the wild claims of the bloggy lynch-mob seeking his imprisonment are in any way merited. That's why the justice system exists - in both civilian and military contexts. It exists to ensure that the guilty are correctly identified, and factual claims substantiated and weighed by an impartial system. Alas, under this president and during this war, these notions have become largely moot. This strikes me as a real outrage:

In the 19 months since he was picked up, Bilal has not been charged with any crime, although the military has sent out a flurry of ever-changing claims. Every claim we've checked out has proved to be false, overblown or microscopic in significance. Now, suddenly, the military plans to seek a criminal case against Bilal in the Iraqi court system in just days. But the military won't tell us what the charges are, what evidence it will be submitting or even when the hearing will be held.

From what I hear behind the scenes, almost all of this is fueled either by animus or by an attempt to save face by the military, which internally concedes it has nothing to charge Hussain with but circumstantial hysteria. It does the US no good at all if the country's international reputation is increasingly one that is at ease with kangaroo courts, is happy to detain individuals indefinitely without charges and then seeks, as in Gitmo, to construct "trials" that are mere Potemkin shows to exact revenge on enemies, real and imagined.

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