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US Demands Death For US Citizen In Iraq - On Behalf Of Romania?

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posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 05:16 AM
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This is one of the strangest stories to come out of Iraq. It seems that US representatives are demanding the death penalty on an Iraqi-born US citizen, Mohammed Munaf, who was about to be freed for lack of evidence in his trial for kidnapping three Romanian journalists. They claim to be acting on behalf of the Romanian embassy, but the Romanians deny it. It seems that Munaf was working with the journalists as a translator and was kidnapped along with them: and now US representatives want him put to death.
 



www.democracynow.org
Munaf maintains his innocence. Just weeks ago, it appeared he would be set free. Munaf’s attorneys say the presiding judge promised to dismiss the charges after he concluded there was no material evidence to support a conviction.

But then came a strange intervention. Two US military officers appeared in court to advocate giving Munaf the death penalty. One of the officers claimed to be acting on behalf of the Romanian embassy and said Romania “demanded” Munaf be put to death. The two officers then held a private meeting with the judge – without the defense in the room. When he returned, the judge ruled Munaf was guilty and ordered his execution.

The Romanian government says it did not authorize any US official to speak on its behalf and that it is not seeking the death penalty. Munaf’s attorneys are asking a federal court to stop the US military from handing him over to the Iraqi government. In an emergency motion filed last week, the attorneys write: “Mr. Munaf was convicted and sentenced to death by an Iraqi court operating under glaring procedural deficiencies and the direct manipulation of US military personnel." Lawyers have also filed a motion arguing the US has no legal right to turn Munaf over to a government where he might face torture.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


US military representatives met with the judge in closed session and demanded the death penalty. According to Munaf's lawyer, the US is responsible for judges' security, and there have been threats made by US representatives in other cases. Judges have a precarious position in Iraq.

Munaf has no opportunity to present witnesses - such as the journalists who were kidnapped with him - or to see any evidence against him. Instead, he's looking at being put to death without even a nod to a fair trial. If this is an example of the rule of law as the US would have it applied, then the US is a rogue state indeed.

One has to wonder what it is that makes them so adamant that this particular case should deserve intervention, that Munaf warrants execution, and that they're prepared to intervene on behalf of Romania, which had declined to prosecute Munaf. Is it possible that they simply don't want US citizens with Iraqi connections facilitating matters for independent journalists? Given that the US has a history of bombing Al-Jazeera and Reuters offices, and that many journalists who dare to operate "unembedded" have been killed by US forces, this doesn't seem too far-fetched.

Related News Links:
www.informationclearinghouse.info
www.informationclearinghouse.info
www.informationclearinghouse.info

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Journalist deaths hit record in 2005: IFJ
NEWS: Report Gagged By Britain Alleges Bush Planned To Target Arab Television




posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:02 AM
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The obvious question would be why go through the trouble of all this? What does he know (even if he has yet to realize that he knows)? I suppose the logical question is: who really did the kidnapping and why would these men (whoever they actually are) want to permanently silence him?



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:26 AM
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So, we have a U.S. citizen that has lost his right to a fair trial etc. Where are the people who claim "what rights have you lost since 9/11"? Although not in the U.S., this U.S. citizen HAS lost his rights. How many others do we not know about?

[edit on 10/18/2006 by Griff]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by Griff
So, we have a U.S. citizen that has lost his right to a fair trial etc. Where are the people who claim "what rights have you lost since 9/11"? Although not in the U.S., this U.S. citizen HAS lost his rights.
[edit on 10/18/2006 by Griff]


Well he committed the crime in another country which is outside of US jurisdiction.

If you commit a crime in another country you get tried by their laws, not ours. Look at those convicted for drugs in Asia, they too got the death penalty even though Australia asked them not too.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by shots
Well he committed the crime in another country which is outside of US jurisdiction.


What crime did he commit? He was about to be set free...meaning he was found innocent...until the U.S. military stepped in and demanded him to be executed. BTW, I thought the whole purpose for us being there is so people aren't tried and executed like they were under Saddam? Seems like we are just as bad. No way to call witnesses, no way to see charges against you, etc. Sure sounds like it's the same as it was under Saddam. Democracy my arse.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by Griff

What crime did he commit? He was about to be set free...meaning he was found innocent...until the U.S. military stepped in and demanded him to be executed.


Apparently kidnapping. You also have to take into account who wrote the article Amy Goodman who is very radical and biased in her views. Of course she is going to say that is what happened but I doubt she was there for the trial was she? What makes it worse is who she intviewed HIS lawyer also a biased source



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 10:21 AM
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You may be right about the biasness. I'd like to hear more on this story.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 10:39 AM
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This man was found innocent of a crime he was also a victime of. Shots, I cannot wait until two military officials walk in on an unfair trial for you one day and demand death. It may be the last moments you have, but you will finally see what an ass you have been.

Edit: Language. Dude, this is the News Network.


[edit on 18-10-2006 by intrepid]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 10:52 AM
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OK, let's apply a coat of CHILL here.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by shots

Originally posted by Griff

What crime did he commit? He was about to be set free...meaning he was found innocent...until the U.S. military stepped in and demanded him to be executed.


Apparently kidnapping. You also have to take into account who wrote the article Amy Goodman who is very radical and biased in her views. Of course she is going to say that is what happened but I doubt she was there for the trial was she? What makes it worse is who she intviewed HIS lawyer also a biased source




Don't want to take Amy Goodman's word for it, fine, here is the AP news story which sounds to me to be exactly what Goodman was saying.

Link

The point is not that he is being tried by a foreign country but that that country used the intevention of US military pressure to convict a US citizen without that citizen being given the right to present a defenseof any kind. That and the fact that this is another of Bush's executive order specialties where he claims he has the right to determine who lives and who dies w/o recourse to the courts.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 12:13 PM
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thanks stormrider for the AP link. Something does seem VERY out of place. I would like to know why mostly. Why did they show up to demand a US citizens death. What was the evidence? Question that must not go unanswered.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by Stormrider
The point is not that he is being tried by a foreign country but that that country used the intevention of US military pressure to convict a US citizen without that citizen being given the right to present a defenseof any kind.


I understand your point and a very valid one. But first you have to know what the laws in Iraq are for similar situations.

Do they have a right to face their accusers in Iraq? Was he tried under a military tribunal law under the control of Iraq? If so what are their laws?


Honestly I do not know.

[edit on 10/18/2006 by shots]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 01:17 PM
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I did some research and found that Bush is not the first to suspend habeas corpus. FDR and Lincoln also did it.

en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...

Now if the supreme court found it legal in those times what makes this so different?



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by shots
I understand your point and a very valid one. But first you have to know what the laws in Iraq are for similar situations.

Do they have a right to face their accusers in Iraq? Was he tried under a military tribunal law under the control of Iraq? If so what are their laws?


Munaf was about to be acquitted under Iraqi law in an Iraqi court. Then two guys from the US military walk in and interfere with the process of Iraqi law. Can you not read the article?

You're so desperate to defend the US and its puppet Iraqi regime that you're prepared to discard the rule of law like yesterday's newspaper, and raise illogical and irrelevant points like the one above.

Munaf was getting a trial by Iraqi authorities; the US military, for undisclosed reasons - but I've already put my guess in in the original post - have interfered with the Iraqi process. Your point as quoted is utterly irrelevant.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942) is a Supreme Court of the United States case that upheld the jurisdiction of a United States military tribunal over the trial of several Operation Pastorius German saboteurs in the United States. Quirin has been cited as a precedent for the execution of any non-legitimate combatant against the United States.

It was argued July 29 and July 30, 1942 and decided July 31, 1942 with an extended opinion filed October 29, 1942.

This decision states:

"…the law of war draws a distinction between the armed forces and the peaceful populations of belligerent nations and also between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful. The spy who secretly and without uniform passes the military lines of a belligerent in time of war, seeking to gather military information and communicate it to the enemy, or an enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property, are familiar examples of belligerents who are generally deemed not to be entitled to the status of prisoners of war, but to be offenders against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals." Link


The opinion also goes on to note that all of the enemy combatants were German citizens who commited their crimes on US soil - in short, they were spys, commited to the nazi overthrow of the US government.


Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866), was an important United States Supreme Court case involving civilians and military tribunals...

The Supreme Court decided that the suspension of habeas corpus was lawful, but military tribunals did not apply to citizens in states that had upheld the authority of the Constitution and where civilian courts were still operating, and the Constitution of the United States only provided for suspension of habeas corpus if these courts are actually forced closed. In essence, the court ruled that military tribunals could not try civilians in areas where civil courts were open, even during times of war.

It further observed that during the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, citizens may be only held without charges, not tried, and certainly not executed by military tribunals. After all, the writ of habeas corpus is not the right itself, but merely the ability to issue orders demanding the right's enforcement. Link


In Milligan, the court actually ruled against the government's ability to try or execute US citizens in military tribunals - so this ruling does nothing to support the current case in point. In fact, Milligan would seem to mitigate against what is happening in Iraq with Mohammad Munaf.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by rich23
Munaf was about to be acquitted under Iraqi law in an Iraqi court. Then two guys from the US military walk in and interfere with the process of Iraqi law. Can you not read the article?




That is what is lawyers contended, but you nor or anyone else really does not know that the judge accually made that promise for sure.

Here using the AP link that stormrider provided above you see this


"The Iraqi judge, identified as Judge al-Rubayy, initially appeared ready to drop the charges against Munaf, his lawyers contend."


Then you have the original quote that stated


Just weeks ago, it appeared he would be set free. Munaf’s attorneys say the presiding judge promised to dismiss the charges after he concluded there was no material evidence to support a conviction.


Source is the same as the original thread post.

And kindly note the embellished part from the biased source where the attorneys in that case allegedly stated the judge promised, however that part is not mentioned in the 2nd more creditable source.

I do not know about you, but if I were a news reporter and had I read such remarks you can bet that would be in the article because it does shed a different light on the story, so who do you believe? I plan to take a wait and see attitude myself.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by Stormrider
In Milligan, the court actually ruled against the government's ability to try or execute US citizens in military tribunals - so this ruling does nothing to support the current case in point. In fact, Milligan would seem to mitigate against what is happening in Iraq with Mohammad Munaf.



Perhaps that is the reason that SCOTUS ruled the way they did the first time. Since I am no legal eagle I can only presume that was the case. You also have to keep in mind he was not tried by a US court he was tried by an Iraqi court therefore it is their laws that would apply not ours.

The article also states US officials were acting on behalf of Romanian officials. Both articles also state it was Romanian officials that demanded he be put on trial.

it was only the biased source that stated the Roumanians denied they requested the US to act on their behalf. Again something that one would think the AP reporter surely would have mentioned or at least questioned the Romanian state department about, but that does not appear to be the case.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by shots
I did some research and found that Bush is not the first to suspend habeas corpus. FDR and Lincoln also did it.

en.wikipedia.org...

en.wikipedia.org...

Now if the supreme court found it legal in those times what makes this so different?


because we aren't fighting any legitamate war mainly. War on terror is not the civil war. There was no formal standing army with a country attacking. A bunch of criminals attacked us, this is no war.



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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This is just unbelievable. Shots, you are utterly missing the point and concentrating on a tiny and hair-splitting difference between the two accounts to bolster your accusation of bias. You completely ignore the FACT that whether the judge merely appeared to be prepared to, or had promised to drop the case, two representatives of the US military interfered with the trial process. That is uncontested.

You build up this straw man of whether the judge promised to drop the charges, or merely "appeared ready to drop them"... and you expect us to ignore the fact that without US intervention Munaf would not be facing the death penalty.

Want another source? How about the Washington Post? In this article we learn that Munaf had been threatened with violence against himself and his family in order to get him to confess. Not hard to believe considering the US attitude to torture (it's alright if they're the ones doing the torturing).


Military officials have said in sworn statements that Munaf confessed to elements of the crime and helped arrange the kidnapping. Munaf has been held at Camp Cropper, where the U.S. military keeps high-value detainees on behalf of Multinational Force-Iraq.

...In an emergency motion filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Munaf's attorneys asked the U.S. government to intervene and argued that Munaf made incriminating statements only after "threats of violence and sexual assault against him and his family."


I'm sure you don't believe that such things are possible... but take a good long look at those photos of Abu Ghraib that your government has tried so hard to repress, and you will see that there have been more than just threats of sexual assault by US forces on prisoners in Iraq.

As for your other straw man about Iraqi law (again, never acknowledging that the US military is using improper influence on the judge in order to bypass Iraqi law):


"In 36 years practicing law in Iraq, [the lawyer] had never before seen or heard of a death sentence being handed down without deliberation or consideration of the merits," Riordan said in the statement filed in Washington yesterday.


Remember that according to this story, two US officials had a private audience with the judge who, at the end of the closed session, handed out death sentences.


Romanian officials had indicated previously that they did not want to push ahead with charges, according to Munaf's attorneys. They said no Romanian representatives were present at Thursday's hearing.


It's pretty good prima facie evidence that the Romanians were not pressing charges if they didn't have a representative there in the courtroom. It's a good bet that the US representatives were lying about the Romanian interest in the death penalty and hiding behind it as a figleaf to cover their own nefarious interference in the process of what we might laughingly refer to as justice.

To sum up, the evidence against Munaf appears to consist of :


  1. a confession obtained under duress
  2. er... that's it


And yet he faces the death penalty. THIS IS NOT JUSTICE. This is the US arresting someone without, it seems, much justification, holding them for 15 months, and then interfering in their trial to the detriment of all concerned - and then lying that they were acting on behalf of the Romanians, who, it seems, couldn't be bothered to send anyone along themselves. This is not justice... but it's what everyone expects of the US.


[edit on 18-10-2006 by rich23]



posted on Oct, 18 2006 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by rich23
This is the US arresting someone without, it seems, much justification, holding them for 15 months, and then interfering in their trial to the detriment of all concerned - and then lying that they were acting on behalf of the Romanians, who, it seems, couldn't be bothered to send anyone along themselves.


and you accuse me of missing points that is a good one here read the facts on the arrest



link

The Romanian government has accused Munaf of assisting in the March 2005 kidnapping. He was held with the three journalists for 55 days before they were released, his attorneys said. The Romanian Embassy turned Munaf over to U.S. authorities in Baghdad.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


There you have it Romanianian authorities accused the man and made the initial arrest not the US as you claim. As for the alleged forced confession I assume you have not heard of the al qaeda rule that states you must claim you have been tortured.

And kindly do not imply I am picking out just certain points OK. What I was doing is comparing the inconsistencies between the reporting sources, of which one was biased and one unbiased.

Also not once did I take any side of the issue. I clearly said I do not know and would take a wait and see attitude.

you on the other hand are convinced he is innocient. and that its all the fault of the US when reports clearly stte it was not the US who accused him nor was it the US who arrested him. Have a nice day




[edit on 10/18/2006 by shots]



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