Osama's Driver & Fairness

Salim Ahmed Hamdan is seen in this undated file photo. Hamdan was a one-time driver for Osama bin Laden. AP PHOTO

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Not our finest hour. Osama Bin Laden's driver was convicted today by a military tribunal in Guantanamo, Cuba for war crimes. His offense? Being Osama Bin Laden's driver. The tribunals are being compared to the Nuremberg trials after World War II. It should be noted Hitler's driver was not prosecuted back then.

Osama's driver Salim Hamdan, a Yemmeni with a fourth-grade education was described by 911 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed as being fit only to wash cars and change tires. But, according to an FBI agent who testified at the trial, without that kind of help, al Qaeda wouldn't be able to function.

So we'll sleep better tonight knowing that Hamdan will likely remain in prison for a long, long time. But while we sleep, one of Americas most treasured attributes lies rotting at Guantanamo. Hamdan's Pentagon-appointed attorney, a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy, said of the tribunal that it appeared designed to achieve convictions. Is that justice?


By Harry Smith
  • CBSNews

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