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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Co-Knucklehead of the Day award Part Three

Our third winner is the New York Times. Yesterday the paper of record corrections had the following editor's note

An article in the Week in Review last Sunday reported on the debate over how to try 14 terror suspects recently transferred to United States military custody. The Bush administration has proposed that the suspects be tried in military commissions under procedures the White House has presented to Congress, including rules that would allow the admission of evidence obtained under coercion or duress. Civil libertarians, on the other hand, say the suspects should get the stronger due-process protections of an ordinary court-martial.

The article included comment from Richard Goldstone, the South African chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, who objected to the provision “that evidence would be admitted even if obtained under duress or torture.”

The administration disputes this characterization of the proposed rules, saying they do prohibit the introduction of evidence obtained through torture. The article should have included this viewpoint, and should have reflected the fact that part of the debate is about how the term “torture” is interpreted.
Did the New York Times read the statute in question? Apparently not for it reads-

§ 948r. Compulsory self-incrimination prohibited; statements obtained by torture
(a) IN GENERAL.—No person shall be required to testify against himself at a commission proceeding.

(b) STATEMENTS OBTAINED BY TORTURE.—A statement obtained by use of torture, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2340, whether or not under color of law, shall not be admissible against the accused, except against a person accused of torture as evidence the statement was made. [Ed.: Thus, the prosecutor can use the fact that a defendant extracted statements from others using torture as evidence against a person charged with torture, but the content of such a statement cannot be admitted for the truth thereof.]

(c) STATEMENTS NOT OBTAINED BY TORTURE.— No otherwise admissible statement may be received in evidence, including statements allegedly obtained by coercion, if the military judge finds that the circumstances under which the statement was made render it unreliable or lacking in probative value.

So the evidence is not admissable. Why didn't the Times bother to check? I think we know the reason, the paper's agenda comes before the facts.

For another episode of shoddy and biased journalism, The New York Times is our third Co-Knucklehead of the day.

Hat tip- John at Powerline by the way of SWLIP
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