Interesting article. NPR tries to spin it against the Bush administration, but it seems to me that the controversy reflects more the politicization of and conflicting goals being pursued by today’s JAG corps. On the one hand the govt biases the Haditha trial in favor of the prosecution. On the other hand (the only side of the issue NPR notices) there are complaints about detainees in Guantanamo — men who could have been summarily executed without legal controversy when they were caught on the battlefield — who are being prosecuted based on confessions extracted by means that would be unacceptable under domestic law.
The controversy over Guantanamo confessions is really the smallest part of a much larger issue, which NPR ignores and whose resolution is not yet clear, about how we should treat hostile war detainees who don’t fit old legal categories such as POW or civilian internee. The anti-war Left pretends that the only question is whether Bush plays by the rules. But the more important question is how to modernize rules which don’t fit current reality and which make it harder for us to fight. The question of how to modernize these rules, if not resolved, will dog any coming Democratic administration as much as it does the current Republican one. Pretending that Bush is the problem only delays the inevitable reckoning.
It seems that the JAG community lags the rest of our military in addressing these issues.