I generally resist the urge to comment on military commission matters, but in the wake of the No Man’s Khadr post, I’m going to fall off the wagon (hopefully just this one time).
According to Reuters, a military commission prosecutor challenged a member for cause (unsuccessfully) because “he agrees with the President”:
The rejected Army officer, a lieutenant colonel who had served in Europe and specialized in nuclear arms control, said “America seemed to lose its status as a beacon of freedom, liberty and justice” by conducting extrajudicial renditions, holding prisoners in secret locations and treating others inhumanely in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo.
“I don’t believe my position is any different from the president’s,” he said.
President Barack Obama has tried unsuccessfully to shut the Guantanamo detention camp and banned cruel, degrading or inhumane treatment.
Prosecutor Jeff Groharing, a former Marine major, said that Army officer showed “a decidedly hostile view of the government” and tried to have him dismissed as biased.
“He said repeatedly he agrees with the president!” Groharing exclaimed.
The judge refused to exclude the man but Groharing used the prosecution’s lone peremptory challenge to dismiss him without having to give a reason.
Jane Sutton, Keep or close Guantanamo? Military jurors weigh in, Reuters (Aug. 11, 2010).