RealNews

Wolfowitz to Choose Tribunal Commission

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Thursday delegated to his top deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, the final word on which terrorism suspects are to be tried by a military tribunal. Wolfowitz also was given the authority to decide who will serve on the tribunals, which the Pentagon calls commissions. After President Bush determines which terrorism suspects in U.S. custody are subject to be tried under his Nov. 13, 2001 military order, a chief prosecutor would draft charges against any or all of those suspects. It would then be for Wolfowitz to decide which would actually go to trial, according to Air Force Maj. John Smith of the Pentagon’s Office of Military Commissions. This authority had rested with Rumsfeld, but he chose to delegate it to Wolfowitz, Smith said. Thus far, Bush has not determined which, if any, terrorism suspects are subject to possible prosecution. The criteria for such a presidential determination are that a suspect be a member of the al-Qaida terrorist organization; or that he or she committed or conspired to commit a terrorist act against the United States; or that the suspect knowingly harbored an al-Qaida member; and that it is in the best interests of the United States that the suspect be subject to military trial. Bush’s military order does not apply to American citizens. Full Story

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