Terrorism

Truth and the Gitmo Detainees

Is every prisoner at Guantanamo really a terrorist?

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"Islamic terrorists have constitutional rights," lamented one conservative blog when the Supreme Court said Guantanamo inmates can challenge their detention in court. "These are enemy combatants," railed John McCain. The court, charged former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy of National Review, sided with foreigners "whose only connection with our body politic is their bloody jihad against Americans."

The operating assumption here is that the prisoners are terrorists who were captured while fighting a vicious war against the United States. But can the critics be sure? All they really know about the Guantanamo detainees is that they are Guantanamo detainees. To conclude that they are all bloodthirsty jihadists requires believing that the U.S. government is infallible.

But how sensible is that approach? Judging from a little-noticed federal appeals court decision that came down after the Supreme Court ruling, not very.

The case involved Huzaifa Parhat, a Chinese Muslim who fled to Afghanistan in May 2001 to escape persecution of his Uighur ethnic group by the Beijing government. When the U.S. invaded after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Uighur camp where he lived was destroyed by air strikes. He and his compatriots made their way to Pakistan, where villagers handed them over to the government, which transferred them to American custody.

You might think you would have to do something pretty obvious to wind up in Guantanamo. Apparently not. The U.S. government does not claim Parhat was a member of the Taliban or al-Qaida. He was not captured on a battlefield. The government's own military commission admitted it found no evidence that he "committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition partners."

So why did the Pentagon insist on holding him as an enemy combatant? Because he was affiliated with the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a separatist Muslim group fighting for independence from Beijing. It had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks but reputedly got help from al-Qaida.

But the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, after reviewing secret documents submitted by the government, found that there was no real evidence. It said the flimsy case mounted against Parhat "comes perilously close to suggesting that whatever the government says must be treated as true." And it ruled that, based on the information available, he was not an enemy combatant even under the Pentagon's own definition of the term.

Is this verdict just another act of judicial activism by arrogant liberals on the bench? Not by a long shot.

Of the three judges who signed the opinion, one, Thomas Griffith, was appointed in 2005 by President Bush himself. Another, David Sentelle, was nominated in 1985 by President Reagan—and had earlier joined in ruling that the Guantanamo detainees could not go to federal court to assert their innocence (a decision the Supreme Court overturned).

The administration could hardly have asked for a more accommodating group of judges. Yet they found in favor of the detainee on the simple grounds that if the government is going to imprison someone as an enemy combatant, it needs some evidence that he is one.

Parhat may not be an exceptional case. Most of the prisoners were not captured by the U.S. in combat but were turned over by local forces, often in exchange for a bounty. We had to take someone else's word that they were bad guys.

A 2006 report by Seton Hall law professor Mark Denbeaux found that only 8 percent of those held at Guantanamo were al-Qaida fighters. Even a study done at West Point concluded that just 73 percent of the detainees were a "demonstrated threat"—which means 27 percent were not.

The Parhat case doesn't prove that everyone in detention at Guantanamo is an innocent victim of some misunderstanding. But it does show the dangers of trusting the administration—any administration—to act as judge, jury, and jailer. It illustrates the need for an independent review to make sure there is some reason to believe the people being treated as terrorists really deserve it.

If any particular detainees are as bad as the administration claims, it should have no trouble making that case in court. But there is nothing to be gained from the indefinite imprisonment of someone whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Keeping innocent people behind bars is a tragedy for them and a waste for us.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  1. Steve Chapman finally turns out an interesting article.

  2. Keeping innocent people behind bars is a tragedy for them and a waste for us.

    I don’t think this statement goes far enough. It’s a tragedy for us as well because it leads those who might otherwise be positively disposed towards the U.S. to really question us. I have an American friend who lives in Turkey (she married a Turk). Her family and friends, who used to like the U.S., have been horrified at Abu Gharaib and Gitmo. She has tried to tell them all along that the U.S. isn’t above these sorts of things. Her husband’s response is, “yes, but we really wanted the U.S. to be what it claims to be.”

    For all the talk about winning hearts and minds, we can’t do it unless we are what we claim to be. And imprisoning innocents in Gitmo with no recourse to real justice shows to the world that we aren’t what we claim to be.

    So it’s far more than a waste.

  3. So it’s far more than a waste.

    Beyond foreign relations, it is a violation of some of our most basic beliefs about justice. It’s corrupting and very damaging.

  4. For once, I agree with Chapman AND Untermensch AND Episiarch.

    Huh. Weird day.

    Then again, you’d have to be a hollow morally vacuous idiot to not understand how terrible this fiasco is for everyone involved.

    Here’s lookin’ at you, Guy Montag.

  5. Exactly, Untermensch. This is the direct opposite of “hearts & minds” and we’re doing it to ourselves, for some reason. Try to imagine being the Chinese separatist guy. You may not have cared much about the USA one way or the other before, but now…
    JMR

  6. But, but, but, we’re at WAR!

  7. From some 18th century document with a recent anniversary:

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation . . . . For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury . . .
    For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses.

  8. From some 18th century document with a recent anniversary:

    Oh, come on. Who pays any attention to that old thing.

  9. Steve Chapman finally turns out an interesting article.

    Really? You think so? While I am in complete agreement with Steve on this, of all the ink spilled over this decision, I don’t see that Chapman adds anything to the discussion.

    Is he Matt’s bastard child? Why does he get so many column inches here? Does the rest of the staff have nothing to say? Or just too busy attending cocktail parties, book signings, and appearing on Red Eye?

  10. LOL, Just because the Supreme Kangaroo Court gave them, does NOT mean they will actually GET them. Gitmo is a LONG ways away from the Kangaroo Court!

    JT
    http://www.an0n.mirrorz.com

  11. yeah, mch. You start talkin’ like that, they might throw you in jail!

  12. Warren,

    These are Chapmans columns for the Chicago Tribune so Reason probably gets them cheap. His Sunday column is always here on Mondays.

    Chapman pens pretty fluffy stuff, but at least libertarian ideas get some airing in a major daily. Work on the minds and hearts may follow.

  13. It’s a tragedy for us as well because it leads those who might otherwise be positively disposed towards the U.S. to really question us.

    I’m sure there’s some element of this, but I tend to believe that most of the time its a pretext – that while some (very few) people have actually changed their minds about the US because of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, most who take this line were never favorably disposed, and use it as a convenient, additional line of attack.

    I agree that some kind of determination is needed that internees are indeed illegal combatants, although I continue to have serious doubts about extending Constitutional rights to them.

  14. I continue to have serious doubts about extending Constitutional rights to them.

    You do realize that those are human rights merely enumerated by the Constitution, right?

  15. So just out of professional curiosity, which libertarian-leaning newspaper columnists do folks around here prefer to Chapman?

  16. I continue to have serious doubts about extending Constitutional rights to them.

    You’re looking at it upside-down. The Constitution applies to the Government of the United States.

  17. I’m sure there’s some element of this, but I tend to believe that most of the time its a pretext

    Not in the case of Turks. This was the country that a few years ago sold a local Cola as “fulfilling the American dream.” These guys liked the U.S., but increasingly they are distancing themselves from the U.S. because of these things. I’m not getting this through government channels but through people who live there. They genuinely wanted the U.S. to be something special, and many of them really believed it was, so they are gravely disappointed when the U.S. starts looking like any other country in the world.

  18. Or think of it this way. Suppose you like the Brits and they start tossing Americans in jail for no real reason. How long would keep a favorable opinion of Britain?

  19. You’re looking at it upside-down. The Constitution applies to the Government of the United States.

    I wish more people realized that.

  20. Speaking of the Turks, how much of their current rejection of secularism is a direct reaction to the Global War on Scary Islamism?

  21. You do realize that those are human rights merely enumerated by the Constitution, right?

    Habeas corpus is a specific legal procedure. I would hesitate to conflate a specific hearing with a basic human right. I do think, as I noted, that some kind of hearing/determination is needed to confirm the illegal combatant activities of detainees. However, by extending one Constitutional right to the detainees, Boumediene opens the door to extending other Constitutional rights to detainees and, perhaps, illegal combatants.

    The Constitution applies to the Government of the United States.

    I understand that quite well, but it doesn’t address the questions of jurisdiction and standing that are opened by Boumediene, that I think are potentially quite troubling in the context of war-fighting, an area where Constitutional limitations traditionally understood to apply to the government have not been imposed.

    It is also quite well-settled that only US citizens can claim at least some Constitutional protections. No one seriously argues that the right to vote should be extended to non-citizens, for example, or that legislative districts should be drawn to assure non-citizens equal representation in the legislature.

    Even on the issue of due process, a foreign national cannot insist on a jury trial in US courts, even when arrested and detained by US civilian authorities and held on US soil, but instead can be extradited according to the terms of whatever treaty applies.

    Consider, also, that the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment applies only to citizens of the United States.

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

    While the remainder of Section 1 applies to any person:

    nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Its not so simple, in other words.

  22. “any person” is a citizen of the United States?

  23. Nice summary article.

  24. R C Dean: Its not so simple, in other words.

    Isn’t it? This is what you quote directly above it:

    …nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    How is that not a clear statement of law that non-citizens under U.S. jurisdiction are protected by due process and equal protection under the law?

    For some reason you’re willing to recognize that we need some sort of hearing to determine whether or not someone is an enemy combatant, but you “have serious doubts about extending Constitutional rights to them”. Well, if we have the hearing ordered by the Constitutional laws protecting non-citizens, and they’re determined to be enemy combatants, you realize they don’t just go free then, right? Respecting human rights doesn’t mean freeing enemy combatants, it means demonstrating that the people you’re holding actually are enemy combatants. There’s no need for serious doubts here.

  25. And, BTW, I disagree that Habeas Corpus represents only “a specific legal procedure”. The right to have one’s detention challenged in front of a neutral arbiter is a non-specific *human right*. It just so happens that in the common law context, that right takes the specific procedural form of Habeas Corpus.

    Your mistake is like conflating all nose tissue with Kleenex, and then not seeing Kleenex printed on the side of a tissue box declaring “it is clearly not nose tissue!”

  26. The constitution does not give the government the right to initiate wars in foreign lands. Artuckew I, section 8, clause 11 provides that Congress shall have the power

    “To declare War, grant letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

    Article II, section 2, clause 1 states, in pertinent part, that:

    “The President shall be COmmander in Chief of theArmy and Navy of the United States..”

    Thus, before one considers the legal status of the Gitmo detainees, shouldn’t one consider the propriety of the capture of the detainees in the first instance?

  27. Thus, before one considers the legal status of the Gitmo detainees, shouldn’t one consider the propriety of the capture of the detainees in the first instance?

    That’s a non-starter. Congress authorized the invasion on September 18, 2001. Public Law 107-40.

  28. “any person” is a citizen of the United States?

    You’re not that stupid, Nigel, so why are you pretending to be?

    How is that not a clear statement of law that non-citizens under U.S. jurisdiction are protected by due process and equal protection under the law?

    Well, first, because it applies by its terms to people in the custody of a state, not the feds and (most importantly) not the military.

    Second, and more importantly, it begs the question of where US jurisdiction extends. Does it extend overseas? Can we have jurisdiction where we don’t have sovereignty? (Boumediene provides a potentially very troubling answer.)

    The right to have one’s detention challenged in front of a neutral arbiter is a non-specific *human right*.

    Therefore, every prisoner of war is entitled to having his detention reviewed by a neutral arbiter? Really?

    What I am trying to talk about here is the extent to which civilian concepts can and should be extended into a warfighting situation.

    If you think that anywhere that a US soldier sets foot is under US jurisdiction, and that every person who has contact with a US soldier can and should have the full panoply of rights and protections as a US citizen sitting in her living room in Kansas, then I think you are shockingly naive. If you think US jurisdiction and Constitutional rights have a somewhat more limited scope, then I invite you to discuss their limits.

  29. R C Dean —

    the “war-fighting situation” is a moot point in this circumstance; U.S soil is not going through the convalescence of war, the battlegrounds are *literally* half a world away, and there is *no* danger of civilian courts being rendered non-functional by the conduct of battle.

    It comes down to “a war’s on, so we can do what we want!” which even the founding fathers thought was awfully stupid and question-begging besides.

    And given that the so-called enemy combatants (‘so-called’ being particularly appropriate in this situation since we don’t know of whom we scooped up *is* a combatant; we never checked) are nowhere near the zone of battle, a neutral arbiter (i.e. a court of an independent judiciary, such as the one ours occasionally pretends to be) is just what the doctor ordered. If the military would like, it may present in camera evidence to a judge that this or that detainee is dangerous. But of course they won’t do this *because they can’t*, their evidence is a joke, as the first of these Habeas hearings quickly revealed.

  30. Abdul-

    1. Public Law 107-40 is not a formal declaration of war.

    2. Do you have reliable info to the effect that all of the Gitmo detainees were captured in Afghanistan?

    3. Is there an affirmative, unequivocal grant of power to the government to make war on foreign lands contained within the four corners of the constitution?

  31. Therefore, every prisoner of war is entitled to having his detention reviewed by a neutral arbiter? Really?

    I’m going to go out on a limb, and say yes. Despite your attempt to muddy the water with your bogus “battlefield capture” reference, I’m going to say any prisoner deserves the right to be honestly accounted for, to be able to contact his family, and to have access to some form of due process. Does that mean I believe we must have a courtroom on the “battlefield” to hold hearings as each individual is captured?
    No; but these people are now far, far, removed from the “battlefield” and have been held, incommunicado, without charge, for more than five fucking years. If that doesn’t make you ashamed, I don’t know what could.

    I have work to do.

  32. that every person who has contact with a US soldier can and should have the full panoply of rights and protections as a US citizen sitting in her living room in Kansas

    you say this like it’s a bad thing.

  33. Of course not every detainee in Guantanamo is a terrorist. Just as I’m sure we held prisoners in the Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War who were not enemy combatants. Nobody is perfect. But the prosecution of war is not about protecting the innocent. That’s the job of civilian courts. The prosecution of war is about defeating the enemy so we continue to have civilian courts. It will never be perfect. Non-combatants die. Non-combatants get held as prisoners. The military has done a fantastic job of limiting how many non-combatants get killed or captured in this ugliest of wars where the enemy never wears a uniform and uses human shields. The numbers of detainees are tiny compared to historical standards.

    The mistakes are no excuse for the Supreme Court unconstitutionally butting into the handling of detained enemy combatants – a war power granted to the president by the Constitution, which grants none to the Court. Bush should refuse to allow the detainees access to the Courts. The Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of government, not the boss of the Executive Branch. Each co-equal branch is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the Constitution, and Bush should not surrender his responsibility to deal with the detainees to the Courts.

  34. the “war-fighting situation” is a moot point in this circumstance; U.S soil is not going through the convalescence of war, the battlegrounds are *literally* half a world away, and there is *no* danger of civilian courts being rendered non-functional by the conduct of battle.

    The danger that I am concerned with is the imopisition of civilian due-process requirements on our war fighters.

    I am also very concerned with the implications of the Boumediene decision on a number of more arcane points, including sovereignty, standing, jurisdiction, separation of powers, and the like.

    If that doesn’t make you ashamed, I don’t know what could.

    Hey, how many times do I have to say that there needs to be some kind of determination that these people really are illegal combatants?

    I’m going to say any prisoner deserves the right to be honestly accounted for, to be able to contact his family, and to have access to some form of due process.

    The first two are available to POWs, and have nothing to do with due process.

    The last, I’ll file under “shockingly naive.” Even the Boumediene fans on this board have generally agreed there is no need for due process for bona fide Geneva Convention combatants.

  35. Well, first, because it applies by its terms to people in the custody of a state, not the feds and (most importantly) not the military.

    Are you seriously arguing that due process, et. al. is only enshrined in law as protecting individuals from individual states, not the federal government? The 14th Amendment was passed to make sure that human rights respected by the federal government are also respected by individual states. I’m not sure what to make of the last part (“most importantly, not the military”) except that you believe that because the military is fighting a war, legal restrictions don’t apply to them. Just because the military happens to be the agency technically holding these detainees doesn’t change the legal reality.

    Second, and more importantly, it begs the question of where US jurisdiction extends. Does it extend overseas? Can we have jurisdiction where we don’t have sovereignty? (Boumediene provides a potentially very troubling answer.)

    Boumediene says that since we are the de facto absolute authority over the Guantanamo Bay naval base, we can’t use it as a legal grey zone to set up off-shore prisons where rights don’t apply. They’re not saying that U.S. jurisdiction extends to the rest of Cuba, only the part that we completely control. That’s not troubling, that makes perfect sense. What’s very troubling is the fact that the Bush administration was so determined not to respect human rights that they deliberately shipped detainees to an off-shore prison to try to ensure that they can never challenge their detention.

    But let’s get to Luedtke:

    Of course not every detainee in Guantanamo is a terrorist. Just as I’m sure we held prisoners in the Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War who were not enemy combatants. Nobody is perfect.

    “Nobody’s perfect” is not an excuse for keeping people in prison indefinitely on flimsy evidence when there’s no pressing practical reason (i.e. the courthouse is on fire, or, we’re still in the middle of a firefight) to not give them a hearing.

    But the prosecution of war is not about protecting the innocent. That’s the job of civilian courts. The prosecution of war is about defeating the enemy so we continue to have civilian courts.

    So we have to violate human rights to make sure our human rights are protected? What’s all this self-contradicting bullshit rationalizing?

    The prosecution of war is about defeating the enemy so we continue to have civilian courts. It will never be perfect. Non-combatants die. Non-combatants get held as prisoners.

    What’s your point? Do you hear anyone on this board arguing against fighting back against al Qaeda? We’re aware that things that are out of our control happen in a war. BUT THIS IS COMPLETELY IN OUR CONTROL. This is not collateral damage. This is not an unavoidable consequence. This is us holding people forever without a hearing when it would take almost no effort on our part to hold hearings. Don’t pull out this, If you want to make an omelette you have to smash a few eggs, stuff. The government isn’t even making an omelette right here, they’re just smashing eggs for the hell of it.

    The military has done a fantastic job of limiting how many non-combatants get killed or captured in this ugliest of wars where the enemy never wears a uniform and uses human shields. The numbers of detainees are tiny compared to historical standards.

    Person A: Hey, you have innocent people in that prison. Why don’t you hold hearings to sort out the innocent from the guilty?
    Person B: What’s the problem, only a few dozen are innocent. That’s our best record yet!
    Person A: Good! So how about those hearings?
    Person B: Didn’t you hear me? The number of innocent people being held for the rest of their lives in an off-shore prison is really small! Why do we need to do anything?

    The Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of government, not the boss of the Executive Branch. Each co-equal branch is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the Constitution, and Bush should not surrender his responsibility to deal with the detainees to the Courts.

    Yeah, Bush should assert his power, already.

  36. Liberty Mike,
    1. Public Law 107-40 is not a formal declaration of war.

    So, if Congress doesn’t use the words “formal,” “declaration,” and “war,” the government has no authority to take military action despite overwhelming legislative approval?

    2. Do you have reliable info to the effect that all of the Gitmo detainees were captured in Afghanistan?

    Don’t need it. The AUMF allows capture both inside and outside Afghanistan, in anticipation of the fact that many of the terrorists could slip across the borders into the other “-stans.”

    3. Is there an affirmative, unequivocal grant of power to the government to make war on foreign lands contained within the four corners of the constitution?

    Wha? Do you really think the government has no constitutional authority to make war in foreign lands under any circumstances?

  37. I’m not sure what to make of the last part (“most importantly, not the military”) except that you believe that because the military is fighting a war, legal restrictions don’t apply to them. Just because the military happens to be the agency technically holding these detainees doesn’t change the legal reality.

    I was merely pointing out that the military is generally not subject to Constitutional due process requirements, either when dealing with its own personnel or with hostile forces. That is a legal reality unaffected by the 14th Amendment.

    Boumediene says that since we are the de facto absolute authority over the Guantanamo Bay naval base, we can’t use it as a legal grey zone to set up off-shore prisons where rights don’t apply. They’re not saying that U.S. jurisdiction extends to the rest of Cuba, only the part that we completely control.

    I never said anything about Boumediene extending to any part of Cuba outside of Gitmo. Try not to pretend I say things I don’t; other people here can read plain English, you know, and you’ll just embarass yourself.

    I merely pointed out that Boumediene extended Constitutional rights to non-citizens who are outside of US sovereign territory, based on a pretty undefined notion of “control”. There are lots of ways a rule like that can cause trouble.

    Since that is a Constitutional right, that means it can’t be abrogated by treaty, including those treaties governing the conduct of war or our overseas military bases. I don’t see how, for example, our military can arrest a foreign national for committing a crime on one of our bases and turn that person over to the local authorities, without first giving a Boumediene hearing (whatever that turns out to be). For that matter, I don’t see how we can hold any POWs without giving them a Boumediene hearing.

    Yes, I’ve read the opinion, BTW. It leaves a lot to the imagination. Unlike a regular case, which can be decided narrowly, this was very much (and pretty explicitly) a rebalancing of the separation of powers, so I think they had an obligation (which they failed to meet) to explain how their decision would change current practices in other areas.

  38. So, if Congress doesn’t use the words “formal,” “declaration,” and “war,” the government has no authority to take military action despite overwhelming legislative approval?

    How hard is it, honestly, for those congressmonkeys to slip three really easy-to-understand terms into such a momentous bill? As usual, people are looking at this backwards; perhaps because we have come to expect so little from our government.

    I agree with the rest of your post, though. I think liberty mike is taking the literalism thing to absurd ends.

  39. I don’t see how, for example, our military can arrest a foreign national for committing a crime on one of our bases and turn that person over to the local authorities, without first giving a Boumediene hearing (whatever that turns out to be). For that matter, I don’t see how we can hold any POWs without giving them a Boumediene hearing.

    And I’m having trouble envisioning how either of these things could be problematic. Please, provide a reasonable situation in which these will lead to disaster.

  40. Elemenope-

    Why is it so absurd to hold the gvt. to a literal standard? If there is not explicit, unequivocal language supporting the action of the gvt. contained in the constitution, why should we exclude as “absurd” the school of thought that would forbid the action in question for want of such absolute, unequivocal language?

    Viewed through the prisim of the framers’ experiences, why shouldn’t we demand that each and every action of gvt. be explicitly authorized by the constitution? Of course this approach is absurd to those who have a stake in the warfare/welfare state and those foolish enough to believe that the existence of nation states and their subdivisions are a prerequisite to a decent, civilized and prosperous life.

  41. liberty mike —

    Besides the obvious point that we don’t live in the same political world that the Founders did, such a bald appeal rings as hollow and unsubstantial.

    Words admit of themselves multiple meanings. Get two bible scholars in a room and ask them what they think the Bible literally says. They’ll be shouting at each other inside fifteen minutes.

    I find the ability to wage war (even against *gasp* foreign powers) to rest fairly unambiguously within the text of the Constitution. So did most of the founders, who would live to see a few such wars and did not complain overmuch.

  42. “It will never be perfect. Non-combatants die. Non-combatants get held as prisoners”

    This from the guy that links to a blog entitled “Freedom is always the answer”. So you’re idea of freedom is the freedom to hold people without presenting evidence for as long as one person decides to hold them?

    “The mistakes are no excuse for the Supreme Court unconstitutionally butting into the handling of detained enemy combatants – a war power granted to the president by the Constitution, which grants none to the Court.”

    Where in the Constitution is the right to detain enemy combatants granted to the President?

    “Each co-equal branch is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the Constitution, and Bush should not surrender his responsibility to deal with the detainees to the Courts.”

    And when these co-equal branches interpret the same Constitution differently, they do what – rock, paper, scissor?
    I don’t think that you thought that sentence thru before you wrote it. You probably were just looking for a way to work “surrender” into the argument.

  43. “Second, and more importantly, it begs the question of where US jurisdiction extends. Does it extend overseas?”

    Yes, it can. (see below)

    “Can we have jurisdiction where we don’t have sovereignty? (Boumediene provides a potentially very troubling answer.)”

    Sure we can. If a CIA officer is stationed overseas and plans or participates in the assasination of a foreign leader on foreign land, he/she most certainly can be held to stand trial in the US for breakinbg federal law, even if the offense did not take place on US soil. So, its pretty obvious that the US can have jurisdiction in certain instances regarding events overseas.

  44. Chapman doesn’t seem to know that 500 of “the most dangerous terrorists alive” have been quietly released from Gitmo and that the Unipower with all its intelligence was able to manufacture cases only against 7-14 of the remaining detainees, cases that collapsed under scrutiny, requiring the Unipower to ask the court for a chance to “redo the cases.”

    Gitmo was a propaganda show to make Americans think the world was overflowing with terrorists in an effort to keep public and congressional support for the Bush Regime’s wars of criminal aggression. To achieve this aim, the Exceptional Americans had no qualms about ruining the lives of 770 people.

  45. Once we finish releasing all the people who’s only crime was “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” we can start releasing all the people who’s only crime was defending themselves from murderous invaders.

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