The DC Court of Appeals just vacated the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the former driver of Osama bin Laden, who in 2008 was convicted of providing material support for terrorism, sentenced to 5 1/2 years by a military tribunal, but then released as he had already been in US Custody in Guantanamo for 6 years.
Here is the lead paragraph of the NBC News story:
The U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday tossed out the conviction of Osama bin Laden’s former driver for supporting terrorism, saying the law under which he was tried did not apply to his crime.He was convicted under the Military Commissions Act, which included the prohibition of providing material support for terrorism. But the MCA was enacted subsequent to Hamdan's actions, and thus was at least potentially in violation of the Constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. The judges noted that while under the MCA the US may prosecute violations of "law of war" the specific acts for which Hamdan was prosecuted were not considered part of the "law of war" at the time he committed them.
“Because we read the Military Commissions Act not to retroactively punish new crimes, and because material support for terrorism was not a pre-existing war crime under 10 U.S.C. § 821, Hamdan’s conviction for material support for terrorism cannot stand,” the appeals court ruled.Several things worth noting.
1. Hamdan was the first convicted under MCA for acts related to 9-11.
2. Opinion was written by Brett Kavanagh, appointed to the bench by George W. Bush
3. Kavanagh is a protege of Ken Starr, whom he assisted in going after Bill Clinton
I suspect given SCOTUS on OH, recent polls, and the focus on tonight's debate, this will not get that much attention in MSM.
It should. It shows some of the weakness of MCA pointed out by many at the time it was enacted, and it also was a clear case of violation of the prohibition of ex post facto.