Kangaroo Justice at Guantanamo reinforces the United States image in the rest of the world
After 5 years of imprisonment without charge having been brutalised and
possibly tortured, David Hicks pleaded guilty to the accusation of
'providing material support to terrorism' in front of a military
tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. The tribunals held there have been widely
condemned for allowing secret evidence obtained by torture. Whether it
was this unreliable evidence or the thought of leaving what can only be
described as a modern day gulag and serving his sentence in his native
Australia, that caused David Hicks to plead guilty, we may never know.
All we know is that what takes place in these tribunals cannot be described as justice. The nature of the evidence and how it has been obtained, the oppressive detention conditions and how these might affect someone's decision to plea, are the two most obvious factors. The fact that the military tribunals – often closed to observers – are conducted by people in whose interests it is to save the reputation of the United States, its military and government, provides a huge conflict of interest.
The end result will be that these tribunals, far from saving the US from accusations of violating basic rights and standards of justice and dignity, will reinforce those perceptions that the US makes and breaks rules at a whim and violates what it claims to stand for in the world. By any moral or ethical standard they are in a hole, but with justice like this they are only digging deeper.
Unlike the US and its allies in their war on terror, Islam forbids the denial of justice for the sake of political expediency. The Prophet Muhammad even famously said that older nations were lost because they selectively dispensed justice between rich and poor, strong and weak. The Islamic Caliphate state will treat prisoners on the basis that people are innocent until proven guilty. In particular prisoners of war under Islam were fed before their guards and freed or ransomed after the end of hostilities.