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A dreadful dilemma for the new president

发表日期:2008-12-17 摄影器材: 点击数: 投票数:
Trying terror: Doubly damned(第三周)
Dec 11th 2008 From The Economist print edition
A dreadful dilemma for the new president
KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED, the self-confessed mastermind behind the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, announced this week that he and his four co-defendants want to plead guilty to their role in the killing of 2,974 people in the most deadly assault in America’s history. All five face the death penalty if convicted. Under the rules of the special military tribunals (or “commissions”) set up to try the suspected foreign terrorists being held in Guantánamo Bay, the American president will have to sign—or refuse to sign—their death warrant. Because of time-consuming technicalities, that duty seems certain to fall to Barack Obama.

This presents America’s next president with a peculiar conundrum. Mr Obama has repeatedly said that, once in office, he will move swiftly to close down both the Guantánamo detention camp and the military commissions, the latter condemned by human-rights groups as “deeply flawed”. Unlike ordinary American courts, the commissions can admit as evidence information obtained through coercion (but not torture). As well as undergoing harsh interrogation techniques such as stress positions, sleep deprivation and extremes of temperature, Mr Mohammed was also subjected to “waterboarding”, or simulated drowning, regarded by many (though not by the administration) as torture.

At a pretrial hearing in June, Mr Mohammed told the court that he had wished for martyrdom “for a long time”. Regarded as number three in the al-Qaeda hierarchy, he has confessed to 30 other terrorist plots, according to the Pentagon, including the beheading of Daniel Pearl, a journalist with the Wall Street Journal, and plots to blow up Big Ben and Heathrow airport.
If he does indeed plead guilty to the 2001 attacks, thereby potentially avoiding a trial, the quality of the commissions might not seem to matter. But for capital offences, a full commission composed of judge and military jury must still be convened to convict and sentence the defendant. Could Mr Obama agree to accept a decision—and of the most extreme kind—by a court for which he has so little regard that he wants it scrapped? If he did not, he would disappoint the millions of still deeply traumatised Americans who want nothing less than the supreme punishment for the perpetrators of the massacre of so many innocents on that terrible September morning.
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I: 句子突破:以上有下划线的句子建议大家做好两项工作:
1) 进行口头翻译或者笔译;
2) 熟读到脱口而出。

II: 重点词汇整理:
1: A dreadful dilemma for the new president对新总统来说是个很棘手的两难的问题
2: the self-confessed mastermind behind the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington 自称为2001年纽约和华盛顿恐怖袭击幕后策划者的人
3: co-defendant共同被告
4: plead guilty服罪/认罪
5: the most deadly assault in America’s history美国历史上最致命的袭击
6: face the death penalty if convicted一旦罪名成立将面临死刑的判决
7: Under the rules of the special military tribunals (or “commissions”) 按照特别军事法庭/委员会的规定
8: try the suspected foreign terrorists being held in Guantánamo Bay对囚禁在关塔那摩湾(军事监狱)的外国嫌疑犯进行审判
9: sign—or refuse to sign—their death warrant是否签署他们死刑执行令
10: time-consuming耗时间的
11: that duty seems certain to fall to Barack Obama那个责任看来一定是落在了(新当选总统)奥巴马身上了
12: This presents America’s next president with a peculiar conundrum. 这给美国下任总统出了个难题
13: in office在任
14: close down the Guantánamo detention camp关闭关塔那摩湾(军事监狱)
15: human-rights group人权组织
16: harsh interrogation techniques严厉的审问方法
17: sleep deprivation睡眠剥夺
18: martyrdom牺牲,殉难
19: number three in the al-Qaeda hierarchy基地组织集团三号人物
20: terrorist plot恐怖(袭击)阴谋
21: the Pentagon美国五角大楼(国防部所在地)
22: blow up炸掉--
23: capital offence死罪
24: be convened to convict and sentence the defendant集合对被告进行判决

作者:sphil

《A dreadful dilemma for the new president》


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