Supreme Court

"So-called, quote, Habeas Corpus suits"

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John McCain is calling yesterday's Boumediene v. Bush Supreme Court ruling "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country." Quote:

We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called, quote, Habeas Corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material.

Calls to mind another bedrock right McCain gave the scare-quote treatment to a couple of years back.

(Link via Andrew Sullivan.)

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  1. the take-home message is that John McCain doesn’t know what habeus corpus means

  2. Habeas Corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material.

    I do not think Habeas Corpus means what McCain thinks it means.

  3. *Shaking fist in a puny rage*

  4. What. An. Asshole.

    As Andrew Sullivan noted, the choice (if it wasn’t clear already) just got clearer.

  5. I read the link provided by Michael Ejercito.

    What happened to those German agents was an atrocity. If they were criminals, then they should have been brought to the U.S. to stand trail for espionage in a U.S. court instead of being murdered by our troops.

    We can not undo this wrong, but the Supreme Court has ensured that Americans will not commit such an atrocity again.

  6. We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called, quote, Habeas Corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material.

    Or even something ridiculous as being locked up indefinitely without being charged and not being labeled a POW! The nerve of these guys!

  7. Someone’s forging my name.

  8. Oh Geezus Aitch Kryste doing loop-de-looops in a biplane.

    Holy crap that’s depressing, I could really go for a stiff belt over that one.

    Can’t say as I’m the least bit surprised. Pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the Constitutionally Retarded McCaint.

  9. What the fuck is McCain talking about? Its like he’s speaking in a bizarre form of old and crazy.

  10. Someone’s forging my name.– Michael Ejercito

    My apologies.

    I’m reading three or four web pages right now, and I must have typed your name into the name field instead of the comment field.

    Sorry about that.

  11. Next thing you know there gonna want to marry there pets!

  12. McCain can not be so stupid that he doesn’t know what Habeas Corpus means. He’s obviously being disingenuous.

  13. To be fair, McCain was born before the Magna Carta was signed, so it’d make sense that he wouldn’t know what Habeas Corpus is.

    (someone had to say it)

  14. So German POW’s held on U.S. soil were entitled to habeas corpus?

  15. The choice is to give up a substantial portion my income when Barry O’Bamma takes over or enjoy the police state that McCain will institute.

    I’m still hoping that McCain picks a really good VP, then has a debilitating illness shortly after taking office.

  16. Number 6 | June 13, 2008, 2:14pm | #
    McCain can not be so stupid that he doesn’t know what Habeas Corpus means. He’s obviously being disingenuous.

    Yeah, I don’t know. I wouldn’t give you a plug nickel either way. But either way it’s fricking disgusting.

  17. Here is my problem with the decision. Terrorists are NOT criminals. They are the enemy in a war. They don’t get the same protections as criminals, because they didn’t commit crimes. they committed acts of war. You cannot give them the protections of criminals because they didn’t merely commit a crime.

    http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2008/06/detainees-to-get-habeus-rights.html

    That’s how I wrote about it.

  18. Terrorists aren’t humans, therefore they don’t have any rights. See here the racist Republican worldview.

  19. As Andrew Sullivan noted, the choice (if it wasn’t clear already) just got clearer.

    Yep. If I had any doubts about my Barr vote, this helps push them away.

  20. I’m afraid, kinnath, the choice isn’t that simple. With Obama, you could end up giving up your right to bear arms, your right not to join a union, and your right to the last vestiges of federalism.

    On the flip side, no choice of VP will dilute McCain’s wretchedness. And don’t count on him dying of sickness. If you’re destined to hang, you can’t die of illness.

  21. Michael Volpe,
    Nope, they are criminals. Acts of terrorism are most definitely crimes. Beyond that, the prisoners held in Guantanamo aren’t even terrorists. As far as we know they haven’t committed any crimes at all.

  22. Here is my problem with the decision. Terrorists are NOT criminals. They are the enemy in a war. They don’t get the same protections as criminals, because they didn’t commit crimes. they committed acts of war. You cannot give them the protections of criminals because they didn’t merely commit a crime.

    http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2008/06/detainees-to-get-habeus-rights.html

    That’s how I wrote about it.

    And you couldn’t be more wrong.

    First hint: Nothing in the constitution that gives the President his responsibility as Commander in Chief exempts him from following the rest of the Constitution in such duties.

  23. McCain – give up rights.
    Obama – give up rights.
    Barr – maybe not get back as much as you would expect from an LP nominee, but at least it wont get any worse.

    That isnt even a lesser evil argument. Barr is a lesser good, but at least still on the good side.

  24. Oh god
    McCain is one of those former-military who thinks that because he fought for your freedom he should be able to tell you what you can say and do

  25. The choice is clear. Vote Bull Moose.

  26. Enemies in war do have rights. It’s called the Geneva Convention. And as quaint as Bush may believe this document to be, we signed on to it (with good reason) — and we should uphold it.

  27. My God,

    McCain isn’t even trying anymore, he’s just eating the Constitution line by line.

  28. He’s a US Senator.

    He votes up or down on supreme court nominees.

    Could he really seriously not understand what Habeas Corpus is?

    Thank god for small favors that he’s not on the Judiciary Committee.

  29. I know it’s hard to believe that McCain can have no idea what habeus corpus is, or what the case he’s talking about was about.

    So it’s tempting to think that he gave this response because he wants the public to think that the case was about giving prisoners at Guantanamo the right to sue to get cable TV and the like.

    But I think we need to consider the possibility that he’s not just being his usual lying “mavericky” self. He may genuinely have no clue.

    He doesn’t seem like the most intellectually curious person in the world and obviously has no real interest in Constitutional issues. So maybe he really and truly thinks that you file a writ of habeus corpus when you don’t like the prison food.

  30. Here is my problem with the decision. Terrorists are NOT criminals. They are the enemy in a war. They don’t get the same protections as criminals, because they didn’t commit crimes. they committed acts of war. You cannot give them the protections of criminals because they didn’t merely commit a crime.
    This is known as begging the question. You assume that there is sufficient evidence to treat them as terrorists when that is exactly the question at issue. But you knew that, didn’t you?

    I’m done giving people the benefit of the doubt and presuming that they’re stupid or uninformed, rather than being dishonest.

  31. McCain isn’t even trying anymore, he’s just eating the Constitution line by line.

    Well, since he’s older than the Constitution, one can understand how he might feel he has the right to…

  32. If these guys aren’t criminals, but merely enemies who have laid down arms, why not build a POW camp provide them with rations and the tools needed for gardening and hobbies and allow them to live in comfort for the duration of the war so long as they don’t attempt escape?

    Oh wait, that’s right, mixed in with the chef from London and the kid who was 9 years old when he was supposedly plotting to blow up Americans and all the other people visiting Pakistan without clan protection that were picked up by Pakistani bounty hunters and turned in for the equivalent of several years’ wages in FRN’s are some bad dudes who did really plot to commit crimes like mass murder.

    These guys are so bad, and so hard to separate from the rest of the population that all the prisoners are kept in solitary confinement. How do we know they’re bad? Well, the governemnt claims to have evidence. Of course, the evidence they have is of a dubious quality, so dubious that guys are indicted under names they never had for crimes comitted in places they never were with testimony that clearly describes someone else – one guy even was indicted based on the testimony of his wife in Pakistan, except that he had never married and if memory serves had been in Pakistan all of one week on a business trip before being picked up by the bounty hunters.

    It’s these guys’ plight which is the reason why we have habeas corpus to begin with: it’s too easy for the local shire reave to “round up the usual suspects” and to refuse to release them because it makes his life easier.

    These guys aren’t the Japanese Yakuza of that 80’s Dolph Lundgren movie. Even the actual enemies of the U.S. that reside in U.S. prisons are mere humans, many of them semi-competent at war making.

  33. Colin,

    What would Bush know of the Geneva Convention? Granted he took to the skies of Texas to keep the Viet Cong out but that is just one example.

  34. Here is my problem with the decision. Terrorists are NOT criminals.

    Terrorists are not soldiers and they most certainly are criminals (war criminals for sure, but criminals none the less).

    There certainly are lots of problems with applying the US judicial process outside our legal boundaries. But now we have the US government bringing accused terrorists into the US jurisdiction then refusing to apply either established civilian criminal procedures or even established military criminal procedures.

    I am far more comfortable extending habeus to them than not.

  35. So German POW’s held on U.S. soil were entitled to habeas corpus?

    This is a new kind of war, Mr. Ejecito, one where the line between civilians and military, criminals and combatants, the battlefield and the home front are blurred. Surely you’ve come to realize this.

    In such a situation, where the U.S. military bursts into homes to capture people they haven’t seen commit any acts of war just on the say-so of some third party, then puts them in a camp while not giving them the rights of POWs, the risks of innocent people getting caught up are much higher than when we were talking about uniformed soldiers carrying assault rifles.

    Faced with such a situation, and the attendant risks it poses to innocents both at home and abroad, we can either reconcile this blurring of military and civilians by allowing the practices of the military on the battlefield to creep into our civil justice system, or by allowing elements of our civil justice system to bleed into the military’s practices.

    This is not a remotely difficult choice for people who prefer to live in a free society.

  36. Fluffy-The man’s been in politics since the stone age. He’s had quite a bit to say about torture and similar issues. He knows damn well what Habeas Corpus means. He’s demagoguing.
    Of course, he may be capable of Orwellian double-think. Maybe he believes his bullshit even as he knows it’s untrue. The best liars are capable of that.

  37. This continues to prove my point that the north vietnamese government were successful in their efforts to plant a sleeper agent in America.

    Seriously though — I’m voting Barr but between Obama and McCain its Obama by about a mile as imperfect as he is.

  38. Joe-I was going to post a similar response to the German POW analogy, but you beat me too it and did it better.

  39. A lot of people here claim to know an awful lot about the writ of habeas corpus, but I doubt they do.

    A threshold issue in this case that everyone seems to be just blowing past was whether habeas corpus applied to foreign nationals held at Guantanamo. I haven’t had a chance to read the opinion, but I suspect that there are non-trivial arguments that it does not.

    Its originally a common-law writ, based on Olde English case law, that I would be shocked to learn the Olde English had ever applied to require their armies to hold hearings on captured enemy combatants.

    The writ has also been defined, to some extent by statute. I would bet not a single person on this thread has looked at the statutes or the lore on the common-law writ.

    C’mon, gang, we can do better than this.

    At the moment, I’m agnostic on whether the Court did the right thing jursiprudentially(because I haven’t read the opinion yet), and I suspect that the civilian courts are not, perhaps, the optimum forum for people who were taken by our armed forces during an armed conflict.

    Acts of terrorism are most definitely crimes.

    Most of the “crimes” committed by these men were outside the jurisdiction of the US, and so they should not be held at all on that basis.

  40. I’m afraid, kinnath, the choice isn’t that simple. With Obama, you could end up giving up your right to bear arms, your right not to join a union, and your right to the last vestiges of federalism.

    You are assuming that the republicans will not have enought senators to filibuster. Even so, it will take the democrats far longer to rewrite the laws which will most certainly be challenged in court for the extreme cases.

    McCain seems far more willing to extend the Bush philosphy that we can just bypass that whole legislative/judicial nonsense.

  41. Oh, I should say that joe @ 2:45 does as good a job as any at framing the issue.

    Remember, too, that treating them as POWs means that they can be held “until the end of the war” (in this case, indefinitely), so I would hesitate before throwing them in that bucket.

  42. As Andrew Sullivan noted, the choice (if it wasn’t clear already) just got clearer.

    Sit this one out? Good call.

  43. Colin: exactly right. in fact, since the Geneva Conventions have been ratified, they are US law under the constitution. If Bush has violated the Geneva Conventions, then he has violated US law and should be impeached and removed from office.

  44. This is not a remotely difficult choice for people who prefer to live in a free society.

    What about a safe society?

  45. threshold issue in this case that everyone seems to be just blowing past was whether habeas corpus applied to foreign nationals held at Guantanamo. I haven’t had a chance to read the opinion, but I suspect that there are non-trivial arguments that it does not.
    No doubt. But that’s not the objection I’ve heard voiced my most of the decision’s critics. Instead, they just shriek that the Supreme Court has given terrorists permission to murder Americans.
    I’d be up for a reasoned discourse on the applicability of HC to foreign nationals, but it’s hard when you have to shout over the morons and intellectually dishonest whores to be heard.

  46. What about a safe society?

    The Soviet Union was a very safe society.

  47. Most of the “crimes” committed by these men were outside the jurisdiction of the US, and so they should not be held at all on that basis.

    And the US government is capturing these criminals and bringing them into the US jurisdication, then basically saying they are beyond ANY jurisdiction.

    If the US government set up kangaroo courts in the wilds of Afghanistan, let the local government try and execute the prisoners under whatever rules the locals set up, then we would still be miles ahead of where we are now.

  48. What about a safe society?

    They can defer to Patrick Henry.

  49. And you know what? Despite his hatred for the Bill of Rights, McCain will probably win.

  50. In such a situation, where the U.S. military bursts into homes to capture people they haven’t seen commit any acts of war just on the say-so of some third party, then puts them in a camp while not giving them the rights of POWs, the risks of innocent people getting caught up are much higher than when we were talking about uniformed soldiers carrying assault rifles.

    So Al Qaeda terrorists who have no regard for any life, even their own, have more rights than German soldiers who fought for their homes and their neighbors?

    Anyway, we should just kill terrorists upon capture . No detainees, no Camp X-Ray.

  51. A threshold issue in this case that everyone seems to be just blowing past was whether habeas corpus applied to foreign nationals held at Guantanamo. I haven’t had a chance to read the opinion, but I suspect that there are non-trivial arguments that it does not.

    I read the majority opinion, and the issue boiled down to whether Guantanamo was US controlled territory.

    The Bush admin argued that since the lease we have with Cuba says that Cuba retains sovereignty over the land, that Guantanamo was outside US jurisdiction.

    The majority held that the fig leaf of sovereignty Cuba retains over the territory in question was not relevant, because the US clearly has complete control of Guantanamo. Relying on nominal sovereignty in the face of that control was not acceptable to the majority.

  52. It seems like we have two alternatives for the people held as part of anti-terrorist policies.

    One, we hold them as enemy combatants, as stipulated under the Geneva Convention, and hold them without trial or access to the outside world for the duration of the War on Terror (how long is that, again?)

    Two, we treat them as criminals, as stipulated under the constitution. This requires that they are innocent until proven guilty, and it requires that the government provide evidence against them in a public court. As I understand criminal law, it does apply to foreign nationals on American soil.

    As joe put it, its not much of a choice for people on the side of freedom.

  53. McCain discussing the Oil Situation (from this article):

    “I believe there needs to be a thorough and complete investigation of speculators to find out whether speculation has been going on and, if so, how much it has affected the price of a barrel of oil,” Mr. McCain said in response to an audience member’s complaint about investors driving up the price of fuel and other commodities. “There’s a lot of things out there that need a lot more transparency and, consequently, oversight.”

    I’m trying to figure out when buying a stock or commodity, based on what it will do in the future, became illegal.

    Now that McCain has gone into full Pander Mode I don’t agree with him on one fucking thing!

  54. What we need is some sort of mind control, where we reprogram these people into right thinking. If we could do that, then we could free them. If they already love America, well, a little extra love after the treatment shouldn’t bother them much.

  55. I’m flattered, RC. That is high praise indeed, given the source. Thank you.

    And you are quite right about the problem with the POW status. That, too, is a wrinkle produced by this new kind of war we’re fighting.

    Bob,

    We will be a safer society if our military is focused on real threats and not fake ones. Providing for a “judicial” system that has adequate protections and adversarial conditions to weed out mistakes – rather than simply a kangaroo court system to rubber stamp any government claims – helps us do that. How does holding people who aren’t really the enemy, and using the statements they provide to their captors as intelligence, make us safer?

  56. “I believe there needs to be a thorough and complete investigation of speculators to find out whether speculation has been going on and, if so, how much it has affected the price of a barrel of oil,” Mr. McCain said in response to an audience member’s complaint about investors driving up the price of fuel and other commodities. “There’s a lot of things out there that need a lot more transparency and, consequently, oversight.”

    If investors are driving up the cost of oil by speculation, as they did with real estate two years ago, the oil market will go the way of the real estate market.

  57. If we give them fair trial and the results become public, then they will essentially be a martyr to there fellow Islamic extremists, and then they’ll use that to recruit more terrorists and we’ll have another 9-11. 1 person detained vs. 3000+ people dead! Hmm, hard decision…

  58. So Al Qaeda terrorists who have no regard for any life, even their own, have more rights than German soldiers who fought for their homes and their neighbors?

    Are you reading-disadvantaged?

    Terrorists are criminals. If the US government brings them into US jurisdiction, then the US should apply US law to them. This could easily be accomplished by applying US military law at Guitmo or in US held Iraq.

  59. Oh Bob @2:51,

    Do I really have to quote Benjamin Franklin to you? Everyone else here has read it at least a dozen times.

    I’ll give you a link so as not to bore the others. http://www.wisdomquotes.com/000974.html

    Now you might want to return to whatever other blog you usually haunt.

  60. So Al Qaeda terrorists who have no regard for any life, even their own, have more rights than German soldiers who fought for their homes and their neighbors?

    Until they’re convicted in a court of law, they aren’t Al Qaeda terrorists. I’m not going to accept that they’re Al Qaeda terrorists based on your say-so, or Bush’s. The President is not the finder of fact.

    If you’re so anxious to keep these guys out of US courts, the smart thing would have been to hold them in military detention in Afghanistan until we had our puppet government set up, and then turn them over for trial by the Karzai government. But we fucked up and built a prison/concentration camp in Cuba for them, and having taken that step the Bush administration now gets to live with the outcome of it.

  61. Just because someone else mentioned it…

    “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

  62. Bob meet Neil, Neil meet Bob.

  63. So Al Qaeda terrorists who have no regard for any life, even their own, have more rights than German soldiers who fought for their homes and their neighbors?

    Actually, those Germans soliders had vastly more rights – those provided for regular, law-abiding uniformed soldiers under the Geneva Conventions. Name rank and serial number, mandatory release at the end of hostilities, no coercive interrogations, and all sorts of other goodies.

    Yes, enemies who operate openly get less of a right to challenge their detention than those who operate by stealth, because of the extra step the latter require to confirm their status. It sucks, but it is what it is.

  64. If we give them fair trial and the results become public, then they will essentially be a martyr to there fellow Islamic extremists.
    More question begging. Again, you know that, don’t you?

  65. The choice is to give up a substantial portion my income when Barry O’Bamma takes over or enjoy the police state that McCain will institute.

    Thanks for ruining my weekend. If Bob Barr doesn’t get 5% of the vote, then the situation here is hopeless, and I’ll need to think about which cave I’ll emigrate to.

  66. Until they’re convicted in a court of law, they aren’t Al Qaeda terrorists. I’m not going to accept that they’re Al Qaeda terrorists based on your say-so, or Bush’s. The President is not the finder of fact.

    How many German soldiers were convicted of being German soldiers in a U.S. court?

  67. 1 person detained vs. 3000+ people dead! Hmm, hard decision…

    The Soviets didn’t think so.

    If the government can arbitrarily imprison people without having to show cause how can you say where it stops?

  68. If investors are driving up the cost of oil by speculation, as they did with real estate two years ago, the oil market will go the way of the real estate market.

    You say that like its a bad thing….

    What’s hapopening in the Housing Market is that speculators miscalculated future prices. They bid up prices expecting future increases. Had they been right they would have performed a useful function, encouraging an increase in house production to meet that future increased demand.

    The future demand did not materialize, and the prices are returning to the level that will clear the actual market for housing.

    This meltdown, so called, is how market forces naturally correct people’s expectations. If oil is similarly mispriced, then a correction would be a good thing.

  69. RC, IIRC, the Geneva Conventions have rules concerning treatment of both “regulars” (uniformed, recognizable members of a state’s armed forces) and “irregulars” like the terrorists and the Bush Admin has ignored them.

    Michael Ejercito, you’re an idiot and a pants-wetting pussy. I bet you sleep in a safe room so the terrorists won’t get you.

  70. Anyway, we should just kill terrorists upon capture . No detainees, no Camp X-Ray.

    If a guy’s bomb vest doesn’t go off, and the Marines on the scene put a round in his head, you’re not going to hear my weeping.

    But if two guys in Afghanistan show up at a base with some shmuck, say he’s bin Laden’s manicurist, and ask for their $2000 bucks for delivering a terrorist, that’s a bit different, isn’t it?

  71. What we need is some sort of mind control, where we reprogram these people into right thinking. If we could do that, then we could free them. If they already love America, well, a little extra love after the treatment shouldn’t bother them much.

    I definitely agree, pro liberate. your overdoing it a bit, but the idea is right. If they loved america, they wouldn’t be in guitmo, now would they?

  72. How many German soldiers were convicted of being German soldiers in a U.S. court?

    How many ethnic Germans born in Thailand were apprehended as “soldiers” on the uncorroborated accusation of a third party?

  73. Listen and repeat, DogDammit! Without some sort of due process, we don’t know if these people are terrorists or not.
    Being arrested is not proof-or even much evidence-of guilt. This is especially true when dealing with spotty intelligence, mistaken identification and the fog of war.

  74. Is McInsane confused? Is age a factor? Is he to old to remember his oath to uphold the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic(Bush & crew)? Or is he an enemy of the Constitution himself?

  75. If they loved america, they wouldn’t be in guitmo, now would they?

    They might be if they pissed off their neighbor in Afghanistan and the neighbor told US forces that they were terrorists.

  76. tarran –
    Hopefully this string of bubbles, all within the same decade, will help teach the average American how to spot a bubble… or should I might as well ask for a unicorn riding on a dinosaur with a human?

  77. How many German soldiers were convicted of being German soldiers in a U.S. court?

    Michael, you are either stupid or a troll. Uniformed soldiers operating in a war zone are clearly uniformed soldiers operating in a war zone — So Geneva applies.

    Non-uniformed soldiers operating in a war zone may be assumed to be spies which also has an established set of legal procedures.

    Terrorists operating in non-war zones are criminals, not soldiers, not spies, criminals. You can’t just “disappear” them into a quasi-military holding pen forever.

  78. So Al Qaeda terrorists who have no regard for any life, even their own, have more rights than German soldiers who fought for their homes and their neighbors?

    It seems that the enemy of the day always gets a ridiculous caricature. The same things were said about the Japanese during the second World War. Somehow the enemy never has an appropriate regard for life (whereas “we” always do). Somehow the reasons that other people fight are always inferior to our own.

    Killing for religion? Absurd! Killing for your nation? Yeah, that makes sense.

  79. Scan this page for the word “petition” down until this comment of mine.

    John McCain is an asshole, and he’s not the only one who doesn’t understand habeas corpus.

  80. Terrorists operating in non-war zones are criminals, not soldiers, not spies, criminals. You can’t just “disappear” them into a quasi-military holding pen forever.

    When Barack Hussein Obama becomes president you’ll all see what the rest of us see now. He’ll let all of his fellow Muslims out of jail and then they’ll all go and blow us up. Why else do you think he won’t wear a flag, or say the pledge? The democrat environmentalists would just love that too since they hate there own country.

    John McCain is the only one running who has the courage to stand up and say what the rest of us are thinking!

  81. Terrorists operating in non-war zones are criminals, not soldiers, not spies, criminals.

    Well, they’re WAR criminals, so a military court (also called a court-martial) is a perfectly fine place to try them.

    It just can’t a kangaroo court. It has to be a real one. If not, the civil courts have the duty to step in, but that’s a second-best solution.

    If the accused were being given the courts-martial that the military long endorsed for such cases, none of this would be happening, and nobody would be getting habeas corpus rights. But then, there would be the possibility of innocent people being acquitted, and that might be embarrassing.

  82. John McCain is the only one running who has the courage to stand up and say what the rest of us are thinking!

    “I could really use a nap.”

  83. Oh Reinmoose, you really should have written that as “Reinmoose as Bob” or something. You really had me going. To think I was going to write Bob back! Hahaha

    Why are there so many people in this country who still think that there are terrorists everywhere and that we’re “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” and still believe everything the White House tells them? Why?

  84. Would the real Reinmoose please stand up?

  85. Bob, does the phrase Pyrrhic victory mean anything to you?

  86. FLP –
    Because they can’t think for themselves and they’re encouraged to believe that what they choose to believe is actually their own, self-formed opinion?

  87. The crazy thing is that people actually believe that holding those people in Guantanamo makes them safer. It doesn’t:

    Most of the people who were picked up were turned in by bounty hunters far from any battle-field. This wasn’t the case of someone waving a white flag and surrendering on a battlefield.

    No, a bounty hunter showed up with a bound captive and said “here’s a terrorist, where’s my money?”

    Many of the prisoners had no beef with the U.S. prior to their capture. After brutalizing them for years, the U.S. government has made them into enemies.

    The unjustice of the way innocents are treated there alone (and everybody knows there were innocents there: Osama Bin Laden did not hire 9 year old Brits living in England to be on his bodyguard) is a great argument in favor of Al Queda’s efforts to recruit talent.

    Furthermore, have you read what constitutes a domestic terrorist these days? Guess what Mr Ejertico, according to the U.S. government, I am a domestic terrorist – because I counsel people to not cooperate with the Federal Government any more than they absolutely have to. In theory, if the president ever declares martial law, and he can do that for almost any excuse at this point according to Congress, I could face a knock on my door in the middle of the night.

    Oh, I don’t think it will happen. The government has far bigger fish to fry that lil ol’ me. But according to George Bush’s interpretation of the law, he could order it. It will be the same under President Obama or President H. Clinton as well. Of course, if the FBI ever get a tip that a foreign born ex-navy nuke is trying to construct a dirty bomb my name will be on a very short list for further investigation, and once they come upon my writings, well, I can see Gonzalez breathlessly quoting some of my more intemperate posts while accusing me of wanting to destroy America.

    I spent a good deal of my childhood in a country where the government could at a whim lock someone up and torture them, where terrorism was a daily fact of life. And the terrorism was directly fueled by the government’s heavy handed attempts to enforce their will on a restive populace, to suppress dissenters. And the more the government cracked down, the more the dissenters turned to murders and bombings. Over time the cycle got worse and not better. You are far more likely to be shot dead by a government official than to be killed by a terrorist. Your enthusiasm for throwing away your freedoms for the false security of living under a state that can lock up people with impunity is very misplaced – it puts your life in greater danger, not less.

  88. *bows*

  89. Enjoy your quote “right to free speech” while you still can, losers!

  90. While not addressing any of the substantive points in the paragraph he quotes, Mr. Ejercito says this:

    So Al Qaeda terrorists who have no regard for any life, even their own, have more rights than German soldiers who fought for their homes and their neighbors?

    These Bush regime apologists are such good little compliant citizens.

    Mr. Ejercito, you just take it as a given that the people being held are “terrorists”. How do you know that? You just take it in the ass like the good little citizen you are and believe everything your masters tell you I guess.

    My god, how can you be so dense as to not realize that this is the very reason we have the Writ? How do you get along in life when you are so hobbled by circular reasoning?

  91. Well, they’re WAR criminals, . . .

    Open to interpretration, but I tend to disagree. The bastards that flew airplanes into the towers and murdered 3,000 people are not war criminals in that they are in no way combatants in an armed conflict that overstepped the rules of war. They’re just plain fucking murderers.

    I’m not opposed to pushing these criminals over to military court martials when state secrets are involved, but he first choice should always be the US criminal justice system.

  92. On the other hand, Afghanistan and Iraq are active war zones, so terrorists in these jurisdictions would clearly go straight to court martial.

  93. Maybe, kinnath. Maybe.

    But that is a quibble. Compared to the difference between these absurd Military Commission Act show trials and real courts, the differences between a court martial and a federal district court are imperceptible.

  94. foxnews reporting Tim Russert has died

  95. When in the course of human events things become bad enough to justify removing the US government by any means necessary, I could easily see shooting Bob as one of the first steps.

  96. Sorry for the interruption

  97. But that is a quibble. Compared to the difference between these absurd Military Commission Act show trials and real courts, the differences between a court martial and a federal district court are imperceptible.

    Agreed.

  98. Wait until its confirmed by a real news company before we start mourning.

  99. Tim Russert died.

  100. There you go, tarran.

  101. I’ve been thinking that McCain accidentally made a great point: if rather than locking the gitmo detainees in a hell hole we rather pampered them silly, they would neither want to leave nor be our enemies.

    I say build them nice cottages on the beach, provide them with all the women, booze, smack, whatever they would want and see how quickly they turn on their former allies just to stay!

    Seriously, if they are being held so as to provide information then this is a much better way than torture and it wont get our allies all mad at us.

  102. en Barack Hussein Obama becomes president you’ll all see what the rest of us see now. He’ll let all of his fellow Muslims out of jail and then they’ll all go and blow us up. Why else do you think he won’t wear a flag, or say the pledge? The democrat environmentalists would just love that too since they hate there own country.

    Whoops, my mistake. I was talking to you like a person capable of thought. Sorry about that.

  103. Whoops. I’ll be in the corner, talking to this guy with a bridge to sell.

  104. Number 6: That was Reinmoose trying to mock Bob. He was too successful and rather than making fun of Bob he really made us all think it was Bob.

  105. I may not be as good as Cesar was, but I’m much better than the puppeteer that is playing “Bob” today.

  106. Remember, too, that treating them as POWs means that they can be held “until the end of the war” (in this case, indefinitely), so I would hesitate before throwing them in that bucket.

    Actually, since war was never declared, we couldnt hold them at all under that standard.

  107. RC, IIRC, the Geneva Conventions have rules concerning treatment of both “regulars” (uniformed, recognizable members of a state’s armed forces) and “irregulars” like the terrorists and the Bush Admin has ignored them.

    I’m incredibly stale on what the Conventions signed by the US say on this topic. I do recall that the traditional remedy for “irregulars” was summary execution.

    One of the reasons for the Geneva Conventions was to extend its protections only to those who fought by its rules, and leave the rest at the mercy of the enemy. This ruling would appear to be contrary to that, awarding “illegal combatants” with rights far in excess of those of legal combatant prisoners/POWs.

    I tend to think that:

    (1) They are not, and should not be treated as, POWs.

    (2) The civilian courts are not a good forum for having these hearings.

    (3) We need a “third way” for dealing with these people. That’s what the tribunals that SCOTUS threw out were intended to provide.

    SCOTUS has closed off the third way with their ruling, at least for anyone the US military brings onto a military base.

    The next case will be whether simply being captured by the US out of uniform means you get a habeas hearing, or, perhaps, exactly what kind of US military facility triggers habeas protection. Drawing fine lines around another country’s sovereignty when our troops are present will be a far trickier business than SCOTUS has anticipated.

    What if, for example, we capture a foreign national stealing supplies on an Army base. Can we simply remand him to the local authorities, or does he get to go to Washington first for a habeas hearing? If not, why not?

  108. The “great writ” indeed.

    Why is McCain such a tool?

  109. “Third way?” I knew it–R.C. Dean is really Bill Clinton!

  110. Still not a big deal. The current detainment system is lenient enough that this will likely result in very few people being released by federal judges.

    Of course, if those people go on to commit terrorist acts, it will have political consequences anyway.

    So all the court has done here is help Republicans.

  111. The stench from this kettle-o-shyte is given me a headache. If I’m followin right, with the ruling from SCOTUS, the WOT just got immeasurably more FUBAR’ed

  112. Actually, since war was never declared, we couldnt hold them at all under that standard.

    That would mean we never held POWs in Vietnam. Don’t think we declared war on Korea either. Or Panama, Grenada…

  113. RC Dean,

    My understanding is that the case of someone stealing supplies from one of our bases abroad is treated by whatever law is recognized by the treaty that established the base. I am pretty sure that theft from one of our bases in Germany or Japan is treated by local law enforcement.

    But it is likely that we’ve instructed the (read “our puppet”) government in Iraq to allow us to handle most bad guys first.

  114. TallDave,

    That fact that we violated the law in past “wars” isnt a reason to continue doing it.

  115. From one Republican to another I gota say; John McCain, WTF are you thinking?! If we don’t defend our constitution, we might as well join the other side.

  116. We survived Pearl Habor, lived through 50 years of mutually assured destruction, and now we’re going to flush the constitution because where frightened by a bunch of ragheads with absolutely no fucking ability to wage a serious war against the US.

    The solution to the problem is sunshine RC, not some fucked up third way.

  117. My friends, Habeas Corpus attacked us on 9/11. So, my friends, the fact that the Supreme Court, my friends, sided with Mr. Habeas Corpus over the US just proves, my friends, that Mr. Corpus is, my friends, a threat that not enough people understand, my friends.
    When I’m elected president, my friends, I’ll make certain, my friends, that the likes of Osama bin Laden and Habeas Corpus, my friends, will never harm America again.
    The only thing more dangerous, my friends, than bombing Habeas Corpus is, my friends, allowing Habeas Corpus to obtain nuclear weapons.
    My friends.

  118. short, fat bastard,

    I think you’re missing his point. He’s not saying that their should be no due process for these people; he’s just saying that they aren’t domestic criminals or POWs. They are something else that needs some other sort of due process option. The key words are “due process” and “habeas corpus”.

  119. They have a large number of Americans shakin in their skivvies, willing to give up all kinds of freedoms to be safe. I’d say they are doin a fair job at waging some kind of war.

  120. My understanding is that the case of someone stealing supplies from one of our bases abroad is treated by whatever law is recognized by the treaty that established the base. I am pretty sure that theft from one of our bases in Germany or Japan is treated by local law enforcement.

    That makes it a treaty-by-treaty question where we have one, with an overriding question of whether the treaty denying habeas corpus rights could override the Constitutional guarantee. Offhand, I don’t think Congress can limit habeas corpus by adopting a treatyany more than it can do so by passing a law.

    It also leaves wide open the question of what is supposed to happen in countries where we have troops and/or bases but not treaties governing our bases there. Like, for instance, Iraq (that treaty is being negotiated – right now the troops are there under a UN resolution). And likely Afghanistan, too.

  121. There by God, there! I never do that! Egad.

  122. “We survived Pearl Habor, lived through 50 years of mutually assured destruction, and now we’re going to flush the constitution because where frightened by a bunch of ragheads with absolutely no fucking ability to wage a serious war against the US.”

    How can you not take serious the threat that we’re facing? al-Qaeda has already conquered the Midwest and is moving rapidly towards taking Washington. And their Navy is positioned just off the Northeast Coast. It’s just like “Red Dawn” out there now. WOLVERINES!!!!!!!!
    And McCain is playing the Patrick Swayze role. Mitt Romney will be filling in for C. Thomas Howell (rumor has it that he just killed a deer with a bow and drank its blood).

  123. I think you’re missing his point. He’s not saying that their should be no due process for these people; he’s just saying that they aren’t domestic criminals or POWs. They are something else that needs some other sort of due process option.

    You see, this has never flown with me.

    In the US system, there should not be any “something else”. It’s either/or.

    They’re either POW’s or criminals.

    If they’er criminals, they’re either criminals in a war zone subject to military law, or they’re criminals outside a war zone subject to plain old regular US law.

    The Geneva Conventions were designed to create a set of protections for soldiers and civilians in war time to replace the utter lawlessness that had accompanied wars in Europe for millennia. The status of POW was designed to prevent summary executions, torture, etc.

    But we’re the United States, and that means we shouldn’t have a “default state” of torture and murder that we need the Conventions to overcome.

    Outside of the protections of the Conventions, whatever legal system a signatory wants to employ should control.

    If you have some sort of Hitlerian legal system where you can torture and kill whoever you want, if someone you capture isn’t a POW, you can submit them to that system. But if you don’t have that kind of system, the Conventions aren’t your excuse to create one, for people who can’t be considered POW’s. And Bush – and McCain – thinks that it is, and that’s a huge problem.

  124. I think you’re missing his point.

    (3) We need a “third way” for dealing with these people. That’s what the tribunals that SCOTUS threw out were intended to provide.

    I disagree Pro Lib. Either we should not capture “terrorists” in foreign lands then bring them into US legal jurisdiction or we should us one of the two well-established processes for dealing with them when they get here. There is absolutly no reason to invent a new tribunal that ignores all existing criminal or military justice concepts.

    If terrorists are captured in a war zone, then we should use our exiting military court martial to try them. If they’re not in a war zone, I don’t see how we have any legal standing to bring them back to the US for any kind of trial — they should be turned over the local justice system. Of course I don’t see how we could capture them in some other country to start with if it’s not an active war zone where our military is engaged.

  125. How can you not take serious the threat that we’re facing? al-Qaeda has already conquered the Midwest and is moving rapidly towards taking Washington

    Downtown is under water right now. Al-Qeada has clearly created weapons that control the weather. We’re all fucked now.

  126. That would mean we never held POWs in Vietnam.

    We didn’t. We turned them over to the South Vietnamese.

  127. “Downtown is under water right now. Al-Qeada has clearly created weapons that control the weather. We’re all fucked now.”

    I actually don’t blame al-Qaeda for that. I blame “so-called” Justice Kennedy.

  128. FLP: There was never any “Bob” to make fun of

  129. Fluffy,

    The problem is that the open-ended duration of the War on Terror makes the POW classification a very bad thing. If this goes on for twenty more years, and they’re designated POWs, then they get to stay in Cuba for another twenty years.

  130. Incidentally, I’m not addressing torture or other ill treatment of prisoners. I think that’s wrong, regardless of how we classify these detainees.

  131. AGAIN I’D LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT MANY OF THE U.S. PRISONERS WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BY BOUNTY HUNTERS AND SOLD TO THE U.S. ARMY! It’s a situation rife for abuse with people who are innocent of any wrongdoing other than being a member of the wrong clan (or even being a foreigner without clan protection) being hoovered up by someone seeking easy money.

    It’s not like U.S. soldiers rushed an enemy position and the fighters surrendered. The only “evidence” that the U.S. had that many of them had carried arms against the U.S. was the word of people who stood to gain financially (bounties and rewards) and/or psychically (say anything to end the torture).

    Shit, I guess in World War II, I could have mad a buttload of money grabbing frenchmen and selling them to U.S. forces as collaborators too. And my victims should have been out of luck.

    These government officials are the same mental midgets who prosecute the war on some drugs and argue that autarky is a cost effective energy policy. Yeah, we really should give them a pass and let them continue the detentions without judicial review.

    My hat is off to all the military lawyers who have been so successful at forcing this issue into the civilian court system after their superiors decided that justice was secondary to looking good.

    And yes, if we end the solitary confinement, allow them to manage their own messing and provide them with gardening tools, books, sports equipment and access to the mails, then indefinite confinement as a POW is far less damaging than indefinite solitary confinement in a supermax style prison.

  132. They are something else that needs some other sort of due process option.

    The Protocols to Geneva address this, but we’re not signatory to them. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we can’t follow the spirit of them.
    Or we could have, you know, listened to the JAG’s ideas of what to do.

  133. “””There is absolutly no reason to invent a new tribunal that ignores all existing criminal or military justice concepts.”””

    Sure there is. To demonstrate to the world that the principles of justice and freedom which this country was founded don’t really apply when we don’t want them to.

  134. “””AGAIN I’D LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT MANY OF THE U.S. PRISONERS WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BY BOUNTY HUNTERS AND SOLD TO THE U.S. ARMY!”””

    Bush wants a court with a low enough bar to convict on hearsay alone. Someone told me he was a terrorist, our troops took in custody therefore it must be true.

  135. Just found an interesting article. Apparently, we had this argument the last time we were at war.

  136. There is absolutly no reason to invent a new tribunal that ignores all existing criminal or military justice concepts.

    I completely agree. I don’t think we should ignore all existing criminal or military justice concepts.

    I’m just not so sure its a great idea to give the full due process panoply to these people.

    For example, on the hearsay question alone: Are we really going to fly the servicemen back from Iraq to testify about how and why these people were taken into custody? Are we really going to out our informants within the militias and AQ by forcing them to testify in Washington in these hearings?

    If not, how do we grant an exception to the hearsay rule to allow this testimony in?

    I just don’t think its that easy.

  137. For example, on the hearsay question alone: Are we really going to fly the servicemen back from Iraq to testify about how and why these people were taken into custody?

    There are these newfangled devices called television cameras, satellites and televisions that allow moving pictures to be transmitted nearly instantly from one part of the world to another with sound even!

    And yes, if you are going to treat someone as a criminal you need to permit them a chance to rebut the evidence against them. It’s called the rule of law.

    The alternative, where the government locks up whomever it wishes with no recourse to the accused is far, far worse than an occasional suicide bomber getting out of custody. And, if your treat them humanely, they are less likely to strap on the vest too.

  138. “And yes, if you are going to treat someone as a criminal you need to permit them a chance to rebut the evidence against them. It’s called the rule of law.”

    To piggyback..

    The assumption of our rules are that some guilty people will go free in order to prevent innocents from being incarcerated.

    It’s a risk. That’s the price of freedom. “It’s why we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

  139. Scan this page for the word “petition” down until this comment of mine.

    John McCain is an asshole, and he’s not the only one who doesn’t understand habeas corpus.

    Any person, not just an interested party, can initiate a writ. I’m not sure what you’re point is here (although knowing the Anarchrist, I never do…)

  140. *whoops

    “your point”

  141. Mr. Ejercito, you just take it as a given that the people being held are “terrorists”. How do you know that? You just take it in the ass like the good little citizen you are and believe everything your masters tell you I guess.

    Why should we question whether or not the people detained in Guantanamo Baty are terrorists?

    No one questioned whether or not people held in POW camps on U.S. soil were really German troops.

  142. This meltdown, so called, is how market forces naturally correct people’s expectations. If oil is similarly mispriced, then a correction would be a good thing.

    Yes, it would.

    Of course, I would not enter into a futures or option contract on the assumption that oil prices will go back to the December, 2000 price any more than I would on the assumption that real estate prices would go back to the December, 2000 price.

  143. Why should we question whether or not the people detained in Guantanamo Baty are terrorists?

    No one questioned whether or not people held in POW camps on U.S. soil were really German troops.

    Ding ding ding. . . we have a winner . . you are clearly a Grade-A mother fucker.

  144. No one questioned whether or not people held in POW camps on U.S. soil were really German troops.

    There was never any reason to.

    The substantive differences between how one came to be an American-held POW in World War 2 and how people came to be American-held POWs in Afghanstan are so immense as to render such a comparison inapt.

    As the wingnuts keep saying, this is a new kind of war, and we need to come up with new ways to fight it, including in our detention policies, to reflect those changes. They are absolutely right about that – but that point cuts both ways. Even in a new kind of war, we need to fight it in a manner consistent with our principles and laws. We are not barbarians, we are civilized people who believe in the rule of law and human rights.

  145. Why should we question whether or not the people detained in Guantanamo Baty are terrorists?

    No one questioned whether or not people held in POW camps on U.S. soil were really German troops.

    Okay, I guess I need to explain this again.

    The German POW’s were caught making war. U.S. or allied troops saw them, pointed guns at them and they surrendered. The U.S. government didn’t grab people at random from a civilian population and subject them to brutal interrogation in an attempt to ferret out enemies. The U.S government wisely left that sort of behavior to the Nazis

    Guess how many of the guys in Guantanamo bay were captured in battle? Maybe 5 – 10?

    The significant portion of them were turned over by Pakistani police who said, “trust me, this man is very bad… you got my reward money?”

    The vast majority of the rest were turned over by Afghani fighters who walked up to U.S. forces and said “the man in that house is an Al Queda fighter… you got my reward money?”.

    The only evidence we have is from those bounty hunters. Oh and damning testimony from fellow fighters who helpfully explain that “Yes, I saw him in a training camp in August of 2000, and if you would be so kind as to withdraw your penis from my rectum, I would be happy to sign a paper to that effect”.

    Thus it is no surprise that Gitmo has at one time or another held as prisoners a guy who was a chef running the kitchen at at a posh 2 star restaurant in London while training as a terrorist in Afghanistan. The 9 year old kid who was simultaneously attending grade school in an English city while serving as one of Osama Bin Laden’s body guards in Afghanistan. Oh, and there was that guy who stopped one of the first tribunals dead in its tracks when he pointed out that he had never been married, and that his indictment and the affidavits of his wife and all the other witnesses against him referred to someone with a completely different name. “Don’t you guys do an identity check like we do in England whenever someone is arrested?” he asked. This guy too can prove he was in England at the time he was alleged to have been training with Al Queda.

    If I knocked you out, Mr Ejercito, and dragged your sorry unconscious ass from Long Beach CA to Pakistan and turned you in for the bounty, and you were subjected to the sort of investigation the U.S. Defense Dept and the CIA have typically conducted, they would have an equally persuasive dossier about your antiAmerican activities and you would be facing death or life imprisonment in supermax conditions. Hell, spend a few months in Morocco learning how to be a bottom and you would probably be admitting that you had actively looked into how to blow up the Coronado bridge in a manner timed to drop it on a navy ship and ratting out that fellow with the handle hb_engineer as a fellow member of the conspiracy. And you’d be especially eager to convince the nice guys with the big muscles of this fact so that they would leave you alone again.

    It is this sort of abuse that Habeas Corpus is supposed to limit. Throw it away, and I say this as someone who has lived in a fascist country as a kid, and you will be in far more danger than you are from the ineptly run Al Queda.

  146. I really hope Iran gets 100 or so nuclear warheads… and soon.

    Nuclear weapons, like widespread gun ownership, make for a polite society.

    There is no stopping John McCain if he gets elected president. He will attack Iran and insitute a military draft — unless Iran actually acquires real WMDs rather than make-believe ones.

  147. The only evidence we have is from those bounty hunters. Oh and damning testimony from fellow fighters who helpfully explain that “Yes, I saw him in a training camp in August of 2000, and if you would be so kind as to withdraw your penis from my rectum, I would be happy to sign a paper to that effect”.

    The above is the best response to the warmongers I’ve seen in a while.

  148. you all should understand that Mr. Ejercito isn’t very smart and seems to like to troll.

  149. McCain is ineligble to run-by his own argument!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/06/13/politics/fromtheroad/entry4180901.shtml

    If Guantanamo Bay is not to be considered U.S. soil for jurisdictional purposes, than neither is the military base in Panama where he was born. According to the U.S. Constitution, only “natural born” citizens are eligible to be President. Citizens born elsewhere (like California Governor Arnold Schwarzennegar) are ineligible.

    The guy is digging his own legal/political grave.

  150. Nice, Apaulogist. I hadn’t put that together.

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