Will Clooney play Rumsfeld?

The gods of GITMO. Team Hamdan. The Pariahs of the Military Justice are confident … confident of a guilty verdict against their client.

The ever-growing bank of lawyers for Bin Laden Bad Boy Salim Hamden have been brushing up on their appeal skills for some time now, maybe since before the trial of their client began. Their list of possible grounds grows despite what we guess might have been compelling testimony during the recent closed session. Whether it was further testimony of Hamdan’s assistance to snag Osama himself is anyone’s guess.

Hamdan, a Yemeni man-boy (or portrayed by the defense as such), is probably half hapless schlep and half cunning opportunist who knew a good thing when he saw it. Dirt poor, with no prospects of a better life, association with al-Qaida probably looked pretty good. Driving Osama bin Laden? Even better. His lowly lot in life had been determined, but at least there would be food and maybe the chance of marriage and children he probably would not have had otherwise. (Add a house, and you’ve got the American Dream.) Terrorism vs. God’s will vs. Maslow? Meeting basic needs like food, shelter, and safety trump God and ideological movements like that of al-Qaida most of the time. But we digress.

Truly Evil and Scary, Scary Man Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) confirmed the defense’s portrayal of Hamdan as a low-level servant with no knowledge of the work he and the other big fish were doing. Do we have any reason to believe KSM? The accuracy of his testimony, written or otherwise, has been a matter of debate. He does seem to have an air of self-importance. Again, we digress.

Most telling might be Hamdan’s apparent willingness to turn on the man to whom he had pledged his loyalty and help the Americans catch him, back when Man-Boy was first captured. (Opportunist Hamdan had a wife and child back in Yemen.) The issue has been talked around but has not been detailed. Such testimony will help Hamdan, if not with the verdict, then possibly with sentencing.

There’s a book due out on the Hamdan saga (including the chart-topper Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a Supreme Court fave), and Hollywood has been negotiating the rights to the story.

Probably the most important question: Who will George Clooney play?

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