Military Commission Trial in United States Would Continue Failed System

Washington, D.C. – In response to today’s report in Fox News that the Obama Administration is exploring transferring a detainee to the United States for trial in a military commission, Human Rights First’s Dixon Osburn has issued the following statement:

“If today’s reports are true the administration’s move would simply continue a dismal legacy of military commissions, which have proven themselves to be an abject failure in counterterrorism prosecutions.  That will be the case whether the commission trials are held in the United States or Guantanamo.  The U.S. federal courts, by contrast, have successfully adjudicated almost 500 terrorism cases.  Let’s stay with tried and true, not failed and unworthy.”

The organization notes that this decision would be inconsistent with President Obama’s address last week on counterterrorism, in which he pledged to shift away from a perpetual war on terror. Federal courts have completed nearly 500 cases related to international terrorism since 9/11.  Meanwhile, military commissions have returned only 7 convictions since 9/11 – two of which have been overturned while the entire system remains under judicial challenge.


Published on May 31, 2013


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