Defense or guilty plea

The trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan got off to a rocky start for the prosecution when the presiding military judge ruled that some of Hamdan’s statements could not be used because they were obtained under “highly coercive” conditions. The Washington Post says that these admissions “made up a key part of the prosecution’s case against him.”

What struck me in the Post’s story, though, was this line: “[Hamdan’s] lawyers have portrayed him as a low-level salaried employee of bin Laden’s. . .” I wouldn’t have thought that receiving money from a terrorist mastermind constitutes a defense. In a society with a strong survival instinct, the defense’s position would be tantamount to a guilty plea and no further thought of his release would be entertained.

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