Running the GITMO Gauntlet


OK – now that our new President, number 44, has ordered the closing of GITMO within a year and left it to a “bi-partisan” Congressional committee to work out the details….. What next? What happens when an already over-crowded court system becomes plagued with these “terrorist trials?” How do they find an unbiased jury of their peers……..not too many openly crazy terrorists running down to the courthouses to volunteer for that jury pool.

The problem is that President Obama jumped in at the deep-end with all good intentions to right wrongs that were years in the making. He has not been in Washington long enough (don’t forget he was only a first-term Senator) to know that you cannot get Congress to buy a toilet seat in a year let alone figure out what to do with suspected terrorists.

I was nearly selected as a juror for one terrorist trial in the Southern District – a court that sits just blocks from ground zero. The questionnaire was some 20 pages long and there were nearly 500 people in the room, most of whom could not tell from that questionnaire that we were about to undergo voir dire for a 911 trial. That is scary in itself – that most New Yorkers are not savvy enough to know what they are being asked to do. On the other hand, the folks around me who could add two plus two knew that they wanted off that panel however that could happen.

These are scary times we live in and while some of the fear is justified, some of the bias may not be warranted; however, this is the reality of 2009.

So, GITMO closes in a year and I can almost guarantee that Congress will be out to recess on the day that happens.

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