Human Rights

Stephen Colbert on the Charade at Guantanamo

The "trial" of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is Kafka-esque, to say the least.

On last night's Report, Stephen Colbert took on the trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly six and a half years.

But as Colbert explains, Mohammed's trial isn't really much of a trial. The alleged terrorist faces a "one-of-a-kind military tribunal designed by President Bush, implemented by President Obama and inspired by President Kafka." The tribunals make a mockery of transparency, forcing reporters to watch behind a soundproof glass and listen to proceedings with a 40-second delay. If at any point the military judge feels insecure information is disclosed, he can hit a "mute button" that sets off sirens and a red light on his chair. Colbert notes that the alert "also means men's dress pants and slacks are 20 percent off."

"I know that these military tribunals are unconventional," Colbert said. "In that they may not be covered under the Geneva Conventions."

When the siren went off in January, defense lawyers feared people were listening to conversations between them and clients at the defense table. After discovering hidden mics in defense meeting rooms, who could blame them?

"Hey, they said justice is blind," Colbert mused, "They never said she was deaf."



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