299 Iraqi Detainees Released After 3-Minute Hearings
This doesn't seem like such a good way to spread American-style democracy and rule of law principles.
Hold Iraqi detainees in U.S.-operated jails, then when the authorities consider what to do with the detainees, a review board meets in a secret location, the public is not permitted to observe, the accused men are not there and neither are defense attorneys.
From the May 9 edition of Stars & Stripes:
Nearly 300 prisoners were released from U.S.-run internment facilities in Iraq over the weekend, military officials said Monday. [...]
The reviews were conducted by the Combined Review and Release Board, an American-Iraqi panel that includes government officials from the ministries of Human Rights, Justice and Interior, as well as officers from the U.S. military command. [...]
The board reviews are held in a secret location, with no spectators allowed. The accused is not present and the cases are presented without defense lawyers.
The majority of the prisoners were released “with a guarantor” — a sheik or other official, vouching for them. In the other cases, the board voted, by a simple majority, that the detainee remained an imminent threat to the security of Iraq and should remain detained. [...]
Their workload, along with that of the 10 U.S. military lawyers who present the facts, evidence and intelligence in detainees’ files to the board — with an interpreter’s help — is intense.
Some 375 cases, divided among three boards, are heard each of three days the boards sit. That translates to an average of 20 cases heard per hour, officials said earlier this year.
I've heard of speed-dating, and this sounds very much like speed-adjudicating. The review boards average twenty cases per one hour, huh? That comes to about 3, yes three, minutes for each person's case.
Guess if they allowed defense lawyers to represent detainees we might see that time period stretch out to perhaps six minutes?