It begins: Federal judge tosses Gitmo detainee's confession as coerced

Via JWF, the canary in the coal mine keels over.

In a ruling this week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan also said the government failed to establish that 23 statements the detainee made to interrogators at Guantanamo Bay were untainted by the earlier coerced statements made while he was held under harsh conditions in Afghanistan.

However, the judge said statements he made during two military administrative hearings at the U.S. detention center in Cuba, where he was assisted by a personal representative, were reliable and sufficient to justify holding the detainee…

The logical inference from the record, said the judge, is that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay reviewed Al Madhwani’s coerced confessions with him and asked him to make identical confessions…

Despite Hogan’s concerns about the 23 statements, the judge relied on other evidence and three statements Al Madhwani made to a military tribunal and a review board to conclude that he trained, traveled and associated with members of al-Qaida, including high-level operatives. On those grounds, the judge ruled he is legally detained.

Ace is angry but I think he’s forgetting that Obama has basically rigged these trials from the get-go with his two-tiered approach to detainees. Remember? When he’s got a bunch of evidence on someone such that the confession is basically unnecessary, they go to federal court so that The One can boast about due process. When he doesn’t have much evidence besides the confession, they go to a military tribunal so that the confession can be admitted into evidence and he can boast about the eventual conviction. It’s a sham, and it’s crowned by the fact that he’s all but promised to keep dangerous detainees imprisoned even if they’re acquitted, but that’s the game he’s decided he wants to play. Frankly, we could use more of these test cases before the KSM trial gets going: If he and Holder miscalculate and end up sending some low-level jihadi to federal court on the assumption that they can get a conviction even if the confession’s thrown out, and then the defendant is freed, the uproar will be such that he’ll have to rethink his whole stupid KSM strategy.

Via Greg Hengler, a gloss from Krauthammer.