Salim Ahmed Hamdan has been returned to his native Yemen, ostensibly to serve the final months of the sentence he received from the military commission that convicted him of providing material support to Al Queda, but cleared him of the more serious charges of conspiracy. The majority of his 5 and a half year sentence was served at Guantanamo prior to his trial and conviction. What can one make of this? A few thoughts come to mind.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
First, that US justice, even in its most adulterated form, can succeed. A man can be found guilty, or not; serve his allotted sentence, and go free. Second, that this can only happen when the accused are put to trial; sadly, Hamdan is one of only 11 detainees to get even this sort of trial; over 500 more have never received this opportunity. Lastly, it makes one pause to wonder; if a man is found innocent, years after his incarceration, how will the U.S., this supposed bastion of freedom and democracy, restore that most precious commodity that it has wrongly stolen from them - time.