Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Due process and U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan

Lawfare has a thought-provoking post by Matthew Weybrecht, a former U.S. Army officer now studying at Harvard Law School, concerning the case of Army personnel punished for allegedly assaulting a local police commander for raping a young boy and beating up the boy's mother. He writes, in part:
Many rationalize the soldiers’ actions by noting that the Afghan judicial system may not always administer justice. This is hardly a new or unique problem. Most U.S. military personnel who have spent any time in Iraq or Afghanistan can recall countless instances of detaining individuals who were accused of exploding car bombs in markets, killing U.S. troops, or conducting horrific sectarian killings. Almost all eventually had to be turned over to local authorities, where many were subsequently released either for lack of evidence or for political reasons. . . .

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