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January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Military Tribunals: Secrecy for Security?
Last Featured: 12/8/2003

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

Saddam Hussein is in U.S. custody. Will he be tried by an Iraqi court, an international war crimes tribunal, or an American military tribunal? Saddam's capture brings renewed attention to the question of whether the United States will convene its first military tribunals since World War II. The Bush administration has argued that tribunals are appropriate for 'enemy combatants', the rules will be fair and secrecy is necessary to ensure national security. Critics counter that they have seen nothing in the recent past to suggest fairness and that the secrecy surrounding the forums further erodes confidence that the trials will respect constitutional principles and American values. Sounding the alarm, defense attorneys even suggested boycotting the hearings to thwart the proceedings.

Major General (Retired) Michael J. Nardotti, Jr. is a partner in the law firm Patton Boggs LLP. He is a decorated combat veteran, who served over 28 years on active duty as a soldier and lawyer in the Army. He served as The Judge Advocate General from 1993 to 1997, and as the Assistant Judge Advocate General for Civil Law and Litigation from 1991 to 1993. General Nardotti has advised, counseled, negotiated, mediated, and advocated at all levels within the Army, the Department of Defense, the Military Services, the Department of Justice, and with Members of Congress.

Neal R. Sonnett heads his own law firm, concentrating on the defense of corporate, white collar and complex criminal cases, and attorney ethics and disciplinary matters. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Division for the Southern District of Florida from 1967 to 1972. A former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Sonnett currently serves as chair of the ABA Task Force on Treatment of Enemy Combatants. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Judicature Society, and president of the National Foundation for Criminal Justice.

Closing Quote
"You cannot do justice to the dead. When we talk about doing justice to the dead we are talking about retribution for the harm done to them. But retribution and justice are two different things."

— William Shawcross, a British prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Military Commission Order Number 1 (Department of Defense)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Department of Defense
Foundation for Criminal Justice
Council on Foreign Relations: Terrorism: Questions and Answers
Center for Constitutional Rights
Human Rights Watch
Military Tribunals
by Louis Fisher
Secret Trials and Executions: Military Tribunals and the Threat to Democracy
by Barbara Olshansky
The Tension Between Security and Liberty in the War on Terror
Immigration and Policy
The Cuban Embargo