We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
--We Gotta Get Out of This Place,
"The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.
"In its third rebuke of the Bush administration's treatment of prisoners, the court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. . .
"Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, 'The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.'"
Amen, Justice Kennedy. The Constitution has not been trumped by a Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©.)
The category "detainee" is a farce for a farceur. Most are political prisoners held indefinitely without arrest or due process; the rest are "enemy combatants," which = "P.O.W." in the parlance of a quainter time.
Ranger is not an advocate for terrorists or terror groups, but "terrorists" and "enemy combatants" are two distinct categories. It is extremely unlikely, for instance, that a Taliban rifleman or a grass roots advocate is a terrorist. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, these Taliban riflemen had a legitimate right to defend their homeland. This does not make us at Ranger unpatriotic; it does recognize their patriotism, however.
Even if they kill U.S. service members in the process, it occurs in legal ground combat, therefore if captured these personnel are P.O.W.'s. So it goes in the rules of land warfare.
In contrast to P.O.W.'s are terrorists who are captured in theatre, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM). KSM should be arrested, charged, interrogated and tried in open court. How can anything he says in court be secret since he is aware of it?
If KSM knows it, so does al-Qaeda, therefore it is open knowledge. Moreover, it is five years old. The secrecy argument does not wash, and neither terrorists nor P.O.W.'s should be tortured.
The issue of categorization of detainees as Taliban or al-Qaeda has been rendered irrelevant. The administration has insured the release of all the Gitmo prisoners as torture was used across the board.
What happens to concepts like chain of evidence in these court cases? How can anything gotten via questionable standards be deemed bona fide evidence? No legal court will admit tainted evidence, which is all this administration can provide.
While there are terror types being held in captivity, constitutional justice will require their release. It's a thorny issue but democracy is messy, especially since George Bush started imprudently tinkering with established jurisprudence.
"In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts criticized his colleagues for striking down what he called 'the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants.'"
Chief Justice Roberts needs to get a grip here. Enemy combatants (P.O.W.'s) are not the threat to the U.S. Terrorism is the threat, and the Court, Congress and the President always soft-shoe this fact by labeling everything terrorism. However, we have case law in place to deal with either scenario.
This administration's overreaction has caused more damage than terrorists ever could have. Of course, that is the goal of terrorism, and the U.S. fell nicely in line, thank you. Terrorism alone can not defeat America; terrorism is a nuisance, not a strategic issue. George Bush and Co.'s righteous overreaction elevated a terrorist act to Olympian standards.
"The court has ruled twice previously that people held at Guantanamo without charges can go into civilian courts to ask that the government justify their continued detention (petition of habeas corpus.) Each time, the administration and Congress, then controlled by Republicans, changed the law to try to close the courthouse doors to the detainees."
"In addition to those held without charges, the U.S. has said it plans to try as many as 80 of the detainees in war crimes tribunals, which have not been held since World War II.
"Five alleged plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks appeared in a Guantanamo courtroom last week for a hearing before their war crimes trial, which prosecutors hope will start Sept. 15."
The alleged plotters of 9-11 should be tried on charges of crimes against humanity or simple conspiracy murder. There is no "war," so why the levels of emotionally fraught charges?
The conspirators are not military types and their acts are not acts of war. They are simply criminals.