A harbinger of what will happen if the Dems take the White House again

I know that many of you are like me in that you’re disgusted with the Republican’s profligacy, as well as with other careless, pandering form’s of government in which Republicans engage. Be assured, though, that “punishing” them at election time, both in 2006 and 2008, will be worse. Why? Because the Dems will control the Supreme Court again. And when they control the Supreme Court, you end up with rulings such as this one authored by Stevens (of Kelo fame), that open the door to giving foreign combatants the right to expensive civil trials, complete with all the Constitutional rights guaranteed to Americans:

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The ruling, a strong rebuke to the administration and its aggressive anti-terror policies, was written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who said the proposed trials were illegal under U.S. law and international Geneva conventions.

The case focused on Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni who worked as a bodyguard and driver for Osama bin Laden. Hamdan, 36, has spent four years in the U.S. prison in Cuba. He faces a single count of conspiring against U.S. citizens from 1996 to November 2001.

The ruling raises major questions about the legal status of about 450 men still being held at Guantanamo and exactly how, when and where the administration might pursue the charges against them.

It also seems likely to further fuel international criticism of the administration, including by many U.S. allies, for its handling of the terror war detainees at Guantanamo in Cuba, Abu Ghraib in Iraq and elsewhere.

Two years ago, the court rejected Bush’s claim that he had authority to seize and detain terrorism suspects and indefinitely deny them access to courts or lawyers. In this follow-up case, the justices focused solely on the issue of trials for some of the men.

The vote was split 5-3, with moderate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joining the court’s liberal members in most of the ruling against the Bush administration. Chief Justice John Roberts, named to the lead the court last September by Bush, was sidelined in the case because as an appeals court judge he had backed the government over Hamdan.

Thursday’s ruling overturned that decision.

***

“Trial by military commission raises separation-of-powers concerns of the highest order,” Kennedy wrote in his separate opinion. “Concentration of power (in the executive branch) puts personal liberty in peril of arbitrary action by officials, an incursion the Constitution’s three-part system is designed to avoid.”

***

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a strongly worded dissent and took the unusual step of reading part of it from the bench _ something he had never done before in his 15 years. He said the court’s decision would “sorely hamper the president’s ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy.”

The court’s willingness, Thomas wrote in the dissent, “to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous.”

Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito also filed dissents.  [Emphasis mine.]

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  • JJ

    Stevens is a career-long beauty, he really is.

    And apparently has yet to have figured out that the much-quoted Geneva Conventions only apply to uniformed armies, not out of uniform civilian terrorists. Non-uniformed terrorists are not entitled to Geneva anything. Never have been, never will be.

    And this inability to note the obvious could make you sort of wonder about the validity of a lot of his past rulings, too. If you weren’t already, I mean.

  • jg

    I might favor terrorism courts, especially designed for the enemy. Whatever, this present decision seems wrong. The Court is not the final authority in protecting the American people. Heaven help us greatly if it is.

    I have come to welcome criticism of American actions in the war from those overseas which surely shows the barbaric, black hearts of the attackers. I have the utmost contempt for their cowardice.

    As does NewSisyphus: (excerpt)(link below)

    “Just prior to realizing that he was without escape, the American soldier turned to face the onrushing mob of Taliban and raised his hands. He was grabbed by the head and forced to his knees and a man with a knife cut his torso open from side to side. The American soldier, in full uniform, fighting in a declared war, having just surrendered, was executed on camera.

    There were no thundering editorials in the New York Times decrying this violation of the most basic of the rules of war, nor sophisticated leaders in the Guardian worrying aloud what this latest violation of international human rights bode for the future of humanity.

    This is how the world works: American soldiers are supposed to be brutally executed as a matter of course. A simple prisoner of war camp where men such as that that executed our soldier are treated to Muslim chaplains, three halal meals a day, an exercise yard and calls to prayer, however, is clearly illegal and a matter of grave international concern.”

    http://newsisyphus.blogspot.com/2006/06/srebrenica-kosovo-unknown.html
    ——–

  • jg

    New Sisyphus also has a final word in this post (link in previous comment) to those in Europe. We Americans have spent too much blood and treasure for nearly a century for Europe’s existence.
    Perhaps Americans were wrong. A German Europe; or a Nazi Europe; or a Communist Europe might be the future you surely should have gained. In Islamofascism you may achieve your hell this time.
    —————–excerpt

    “There will come a time after that, sooner rather than later I think, when eyes will turn to America seeking help. And the great silence that will arise in this busy nation, content in its understanding and newly aware of the rules of the game, will cause despair in the onlookers.

    We see you and what you think of us. We see our deaths and what you think of them. We know you and what you are worth.

    Oh, you smiling young men of Barcelona, Lyon, Antwerp, Swindon, Rotterdam, Munich, Turin: fate comes for you, and soon, and no hope from over the ocean will ever, ever again arrive.”

  • Ymarsakar

    Bush should ignore this decision, like he should have pulled the NYTime’s press credentials. Bush has the power, and for some reason Bush is allowing domestic enemies to borrow his power to use against him. That is unConstitutional, but until Bush realizes this and acts, nobody else will do it for him. Why? Because, unlike the domestic enemies of the US Constitution, we follow the Constitution in both written and spiritual forms. Roberts did the right thing, and it lead to the wrong decision. Remember that the next time someone says we have to give terroists the same judicial rights as we would give a soldier in a court martial. It’s just another ACLU trick to get you where they can ambush you. It’s a pretext, it’s a pretext to destroy the Constitution by using the Constitution. You destroy someone by using their own strength against him, his own weight and speed. That is the achime of skill, not expending your own energies and becoming fatigued. Thus the Judiciary does not have its own army and courts and police to enforce their decision, they have the President’s military to enforce it for them, and Bush will probably be suckered he as he was suckered by France in the UN in 2003.

  • http://expreacherman.wordpress.com/ ExPreacherMan

    Book,

    IF the Libs take the White House… Nooooooo!

    I just posted, on my Blog, a note about Barak Obama. I warn of this scenario: — Pres. Barak Obama.

    Look at the preachings of his church.

    http://expreacherman.wordpress.com/
    ExP

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Bush should tell the judges that they are free to enforce their decision, like Andrew Jackson did. Then Bush should tell them that if they don’t review their decision, everyoen at GitMo will be subjected to the Geneva Convention treatment of pirates and illegal combat.

    Everyone’s happy. We close GitMo, the judges get their authority, and we the people are satisfied.

    Ever wonder what pirates got when they got captured? Did pirates have to be caught red handed to be hung, or was the evidence all retro-active? Trying a pirate, caught by a law abiding nation, is different than a criminal trial.

    The people who have obstructed the military tribunal system in the first place, and have succeded in destroying it with the latest ruling by all accounts, are the people who refuse to allow the military tribunals to produce PRECEDENTS. Precedent, that is what judges and lawyers understand. They will not allow justice to be done.

    These people I hear on O’Reilly’s show arguing for the SC decision, they want a Military Court Martial, an Article 13 if I recall right. An article 13? An article 13 for people with no serial number, no rank, false names, in civilian clothes?

    You might as well say that the mob has the right to the protection from the police if a rival family attacked them. Hello here, criminals operating illegal operations do NOT benefit from police protection. I see no reason to accord the same rights to a fair trial to international pirates and terroists, this totally deconstructs the rule of law and the protections of civilized warfare for uniformed soldiers. If Bush can’t get his military tribunals, which is much much more fair than Murtha and the NYTime’s criminal court judgements, then I suggest to Bush to discard military courts all together and stick to summary executions.

  • http://arosebyname.wordpress.com/ anna27

    Why should they get the privileges accorded a citizen of the U.S.? They are not citizens, they are not military, they are terrorists and should be treated as such!

  • jg

    Powerline links to this UPI story. You may be offended.
    (excerpt)
    ACLU looks into terrorist brainscans
    ..” suspicions that the U.S. government is using cutting-edge brain-scanning technologies on suspected terrorists.”

    http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060630-113128-8719r

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I actually wrote a Real Blog post, rather than a collection of my thoughts and feelings that were written on the fly at various blog sites. Here

    http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/2006/07/so-called-moral-high-ground-life-of.html

    I wrote it because I got too pissed by the people defending the NYTimes and the SC decision with the argument “America must remain morally superior”. Eventually I figured out the problem, after much aggravation.

  • mamapajamas

    re: “Bush should ignore this decision, like he should have pulled the NYTime’s press credentials.”

    Bush doesn’t have the power to pull the NYTimes’ press creds. He can only take away their White House press passes. Press creds aren’t under government authority.

    Although I believe that he SHOULD pull the NYTimes’ White House passes ;).

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    He may not be able to do it directly, but what you cannot do by brute force you can do via subtlety and subversion.

    By shutting down the NYTime’s ability to cover White House and Executive branch business, through burning the TIme’s sources, Bush can indirectly take away the NYTime’s ability to lead the print journalism business in terms of government news or any other type of news for that matter. (what pisses these conglomerates off is when you give exclusives to small town publishers, like the Dick Cheney Hunting incident) When the NYT’s peers and competitors see blood in the water, they will do your job for you.

    If you want an example of subtlety and subversion, take a look at Plamegate. A little no-man like W could cause that much fuss, with his wife. You think the President of the United States has trouble equaling that kind of influence? We see no evidence of it now, not because the President does not have the power, but because he chooses not to use it. Sure, some things can’t be done directly, but a lot of things that can’t be done directly can be done indirectly. Plame couldn’t discredit the Bush Admin based upon the evidence, so she sent her husband to fabricate an incident. “fabricate” meaning, using subversive and subtle methods that is designed to use the opponent’s weight against them. This administration lacks a lot of guile and knowledge in the subversive tool kit of skills.

    There could not be a greater degree of difference between me and the Left. The Left believes the Bush Admin mislead them and isn’t being honest with America. I’m of the opinion that Bush has been too honest, and has not used enough deception.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Can you just imagine if Republicans said what I said, whenever a Democrat came up with their talking points of Bush lied people died? I’m trying to remember, but I don’t recall seeing any Republican or conservative on Fox News, for the past 4 years, say in response to the Bush lied argument that Bush was TOO honest.

    That’s too bad. There are so many examples of Democrats lying in war, like FDR, that you have plenty of ammunition to conduct a little asymmetrical warfare of your own in the propaganda war against Democrats. The Democrats expect you to defend Bush’s honesty, but they don’t expect you to attack Bush’s deception abilities. It’s almost as surprising as terroists being told that 50% of their buddies at GitMo would be executed in 5 days. It’s like, shock and awe, they didn’t even expect that. You can’t shock or awe someone when they expect it however.

  • http://legalinfo.wordpress.com/ legalinfo

    Agreed this comes as no shock. Bush is being Bush and as long as hes president hes going to feel like the ruler of the world.