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A bit of sanity returning?

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  • A bit of sanity returning?

    From Reuters-
    Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo military tribunals
    By James Vicini 30 minutes ago
    In a sharp rebuke of President George W. Bush's tactics in the war on terrorism, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down as unlawful the military tribunal system set up to try Guantanamo prisoners.

    By a 5-3 vote, the nation's highest court declared that the tribunals, which Bush created right after the September 11 attacks, violated the Geneva Conventions and U.S. military rules.

    "We conclude that the military commission convened to try (Salim Ahmed) Hamdan lacks power to proceed because its structure and procedures violate" the international agreement that covers treatment of prisoners of war, as well as the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the court majority.

    The decision was a stinging blow for the administration in a case brought by Hamdan, who was Osama bin Laden's driver in Afghanistan. Hamdan, one of about 450 foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was captured in November 2001.

    At the White House, Bush said he had not fully reviewed the ruling and would consult with the U.S. Congress to attain appropriate authority for military tribunals. "We take the findings seriously," he said.

    A Pentagon spokesman declined immediate to comment but reiterated the need for a U.S. facility to hold dangerous captives.

    The ruling, handed down on the last day of the court's 2005-06 term, followed the deaths of three Guantanamo prisoners this month and increased calls for Bush to close the prison camp. U.S. treatment of inmates at Guantanamo and in Iraq and Afghanistan has drawn international criticism.

    One of Hamdan's lawyers, Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, praised the high court action. "All we wanted was a fair trial," he said outside the Supreme Court. "Yes, it is a rebuke for the process. ... It means we can't be scared out of who we are."

    Anthony Romero of the American Civil Liberties Union said, "The Supreme Court has made clear that the executive branch does not have a blank check in the war on terror and may not run roughshod over the nation's legal system."

    Stevens, at 86 the high court's longest serving justice and a leading liberal, said the military commissions were not expressly authorized by any act of the U.S. Congress. But in reading part of the decision from the bench, he said Bush was free to go to lawmakers to ask for the necessary authority.

    Stevens also wrote the Supreme Court decision two years ago that handed the Bush administration another major setback in ruling the Guantanamo prisoners can sue in U.S. courts.


    Stevens said in his 73-page opinion, "The rules specified for Hamdan's trial are illegal." He said the system has to incorporate even "the barest of those trial protections that have been recognized by customary international law."

    He said the tribunals failed to provide one of the most fundamental protection under U.S. military rules, the right for a defendant to be present at a proceeding.

    The case produced a total of six opinions totaling 177 pages.

    Stevens was joined by the other liberal justices David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, and moderate-conservative Anthony Kennedy.

    The conservatives -- Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who was appointed by Bush -- dissented.

    The ninth member of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts, who also was appointed by Bush, removed himself because he previously was on the U.S. appeals court panel that ruled for the Bush administration in Hamdan's case.

    The dissenters agreed with the administration's argument that the case must be dismissed because a recent law stripped the high court of its jurisdiction over Hamdan's appeal.

    Thomas also said the court needed to respect Bush's power as commander in chief while Alito said he disagreed with the majority that Hamdan's tribunal was illegal.

    (additional reporting by Deborah Charles)

  • #2
    Cindy Sheehan has noted that the pro-war protesters at her speeches are starting to resemble a "lunatic fringe".
    Infinite complexity according to simple rules.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Reinart der Fuchs
      Cindy Sheehan has noted that the pro-war protesters at her speeches are starting to resemble a "lunatic fringe".
      I honestly believe that people who are pro-war protesters have to have something wrong with them. Even if you discount the whole notion that it is repulsive to advocate killing lots of people, including civilians, the whole misguided administration of the "war on terror" (whatever happened to the -ism?) seems to be a strategy of following a few monumental mistakes with even more mistakes. Dig in your heels, and claim to know best. Count on idiots who are willing to give up civil rights for an illusion of safety, and who don't bother to think about consequences. Get those people to defend every move you make with the faith of true believers.

      Lemmings also "stay the course."

      BTW- In reference to the story I posted, I would consider Scalia, Thomas, and Alito the lunatic fringe of the Supreme Court.


      • #5
        Such a war of agression began on so blatant lies is rotten to the core ......

        But this war against irakian people began years before with the embargo on food and drugs and ........

        More, it is an ideological war, made for ideological reasons. Bush and co took their wishes for reality when adversaries warned them af difficulties to come .....

        No good sense, no morality .. but a technocratic business


        • #6
          Originally posted by Morgan Kane
          No good sense, no morality .. but a technocratic business
          Have the 'engineers' taken over the means of production?