Remember Salim Hamdan? He was held at Guantanamo and convicted of giving material support to Al Qaeda for being Osama Bin Laden’s driver. He’s since served time and been released to Yemen. Adam Serwer of Mother Jones reports that today a federal appeals court overturned his conviction.
That’s because the Constitution prohibits Congress from passing laws “ex post facto”after the fact. The government cannot make something a crime after you’ve already done it and then charge you for doing it. But that’s exactly what Congress seemed to do in 2006 when it made “material support for terrorism” a war crime and encouraged the military to prosecute Gitmo detaineeswho had already been imprisoned for yearsfor committing it.
I bring this up because long time readers may remember that Hamdan’s lawyer had my cartoon on his trial translated for him and even ordered a signed print that made its way down to his cell in Gitmo. I’ll be writing more about this in the book I’m launching a Kickstarter for next week. For now, here’s a look at the cartoon. A follow up about Bush’s driver is here.