The Conscience of the Colonel
However, I had to read the page 1 story about Lt. Col. Stuart Couch. Couch had been appointed to prosecute an al Qaeda operative, Mohamedou Ould Slahi.
An old friend of Couch's was co-pilot on United 175, the second plane to hit the WTC. Slahi had allegedly helped orgaize the al Quada cell which included hijackers of that flight.
The article states:
To Col. Couch, Mr. Slahi seemed a likely candidate for the death penalty.
"Of the cases I had seen, he was the one with the most blood on his hands," Col. Couch says.
[N]ine months later ... Col. Couch refused to proceed with the Slahi prosecution. The reason: He concluded that Mr. Slahi's incriminating statements -- the core of the government's case -- had been taken through torture, rendering them inadmissible under U.S. and international law.
The article closes
Col. Couch says he's still frustrated that the actions of the U.S. government helped ruin the case against Mr. Slahi. "I'm hoping there's some non-tainted evidence out there that can put the guy in the hole," he says.
Col. Couch has no delusions about the innocence of Mr. Slahi. But the Colonel understands that justice is not served by coerced confessions, and that when we torture prisoners, the terrorists win.
Terry's son understands this as well.
(My thanks to Bryan at Why Now? for the link to the full text of the WSJ piece by Pierre of Candide’s Notebooks.)
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