I intended this post as a challenge to the political Right, not the human rights community, on military commissions. I was, therefore, a little surprised to receive this note from Gabor Rona, international legal director of Human Rights First, in response:
A lesson of first year law school seems to be missing in your analysis of military commissions vs. Article III courts: While the role of defense counsel is tied to the interest of the client, the role of the prosecutor is to do justice. I believe this notion to be as valid for trial of Gitmo detainees as it is for alleged bank robbers, rapists and child molesters. In fact, perhaps more valid, assuming that people do not rob banks, commit rape and molest children because they perceive the US criminal justice system to be unjust. Alternative, and less robust, due process standards (not unlike “alternative” interrogation techniques) applied in military commissions, on the other hand, very likely do invite a “war against Islam” reaction that al Qaeda, etc. can and do happily exploit.