He has spoken out against the arbitrary and extra-constitutional nature of the military tribunals that the Bush administration is conducting.
He said the U.S. government has taken the position that "due process does not even apply in these proceedings. I find that very offensive."
(This is an updated version of a diary that scrolled off quickly last night)
By the Globe and Mail here:
Khadr trial process 'offensive,' says U.S. defence lawyer
And by the Toronto Star here:
September trial date angers Khadr team
Vokey is frustrated by the arbitrary nature of the tribunal, stating to the Canadian media that
"The rules of evidence apparently don't apply, or some of them may apply," Vokey told reporters at a news conference in Toronto on Thursday.
"Some of the rules are made by the presiding officers themselves, and they can change tomorrow."
The "full fair and open" trials are characterized in this way by Khadr's military lawyer:
Vokey compared the process yesterday to being told to go play cricket (a sport he says he knows nothing about) and not given any rules or guidelines before the start of a game.
- Toronto Star
Vokey travelled to Toronto to acquaint himself with Khadr's family and his two Canadian lawyers who have been working on Khadr's case pro bono.
So, is this part of the whole anti-terror strategery coming unhinged? Has Vokey been embolded to say what he has said in light of recent pronouncements by retired generals? Will his comments made on Canadian soil be viewed as treasonous?
What I admire about this man is what he said:
"My first duty is to defend the constitution of the United States."
A fuller quote is provided this morning by the Globe and Mail:
Col. Vokey says he takes flak from military peers for his most outspoken views concerning Guantanamo Bay, but "my duty, first and foremost, is to defend the Constitution of the United States . . . that's above any allegiance to any officials."
-Globe and Mail
This is the bottom line. This is what all elected officials, all military, and yes, even all citizens should be reminded of.
Vokey is not wrapping himself in a flag, but stands on the US Constitution and appears to be waving this document in the faces of those who have been using it as a doormat and/or shredding it in recent years.