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United States

Submission + - DoD appeals to Indian Wars case to defend tribunal (firedoglake.com)

boombaard writes: The DoD has thought of a new defense of the use of military tribunals for trying 'unlawful enemy combatants':

Pentagon prosecutors touched off a protest — and issued an apology this week — for likening the Seminole Indians in Spanish Florida to Al-Qaeda in documents defending Guantanamo's military commissions.
Citing precedents, prosecutors reached back into the Indian Wars in arguments at an appeals panel in Washington D.C. Specifically, they invoked an 1818 military commission convened by Gen. Andrew Jackson after U.S. forces invaded then-Spanish Florida to stop black slaves from fleeing through a porous border — then executed two British men for helping the Seminole Indians.
Navy Capt. Edward S. White also wrote this in a prosecution brief:
"Not only was the Seminole belligerency unlawful, but, much like modern-day al Qaeda, the very way in which the Seminoles waged war against U.S. targets itself violate the customs and usages of war."

As the blogger notes: 'And so it is that our government clings desperately to one of the darkest chapters of our history to legitimize its current actions. Rather than reflect on what that means–how damning it is that we can point only to Andrew Jackson’s illegal treatment of Native Americans to justify our current conduct–the government says simply, “a precedent is a precedent!”'

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.