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SCOTUS Gives Gitmo Detainees Court Trials

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Supreme Court blocks Bush, Gitmo war trials

By GINA HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday’s ruling overturned that decision.

Bush spokesman Tony Snow said the White House would have no comment until lawyers had had a chance to review the decision. Officials at the Pentagon and Justice Department were planning to issue statements later in the day.

The AP’s photo of Salim Ahmed Hamdan shows him passing out cake, which surely was one of his duties when he worked with Osama Bin Laden.

What a great victory for the Communists at the Center for (Invented) Constitutional Rights and the (Anybody Who Isn’t) American Civil Liberties Union.

Now these America-hating groups will get millions of taxpayers dollars and these trials will be dragged out for decades. That’s justice, all right.

  Update!

Here’s a reaction from the victors in today’s ruling, via the terrorist enablers at Reuters:

Ruling won’t close Guantanamo camp: Pentagon

GOAL TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO

…Michael Ratner, president of a New York-based group representing about 200 detainees, said the ruling was "another building block in our ultimate goal to shut down Guantanamo, and a very big one."

Ratner, of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the ruling appeared to allow detainees to press forward with individual federal court challenges to continued detention…

And who is Michael Ratner?

Here is his rap sheet from Frontpage Magazine’s Discover The Networks:

MICHAEL RATNER

  • President of the Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Former president of the National Lawyers Guild
  • Open Borders advocate
  • Leftist critic of U.S. and supporter of Communist adversaries of U.S.
  • Agitates for the expansion of rights for suspected terrorists

Michael Ratner is the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which was co-founded in November 1966 by longtime members of the Communist and radical left. Today the CCR characterizes itself as an organization that "uses litigation proactively to advance the law in a positive direction, to guarantee the rights of those with the fewest protections and least access to legal resources." Among those whom the CCR counts as largely "unprotected" are terrorist organizations and illegal immigrants. The CCR is a core activist organization in the Open Borders Lobby, which seeks to eliminate all restrictions on immigration across U.S. borders. In the wake of  9/11, the CCR has focused its efforts heavily on reining in the U.S. government’s newly implemented anti-terrorism measures, which the CCR depicts as having "seriously undermined civil liberties, the checks and balances that are essential to the structure of our democratic government, and indeed, democracy itself."

In March 2002, Ratner explained his views on the origins of anti-American terrorism. "If the U.S. government truly wants its people to be safer and wants terrorist threats to diminish," he said, "it must make fundamental changes in its foreign policies . . . particularly its unqualified support for Israel, and its embargo of Iraq, its bombing of Afghanistan, and its actions in Saudi Arabia. [These] continue to anger people throughout the region, and to fertilize the ground where terrorists of the future will take root." He further condemned America’s post-9/11 attack on Afghanistan – stating that thousands of refugees were being forced to flee, and citing a UN prediction that some 100,000 Afghan children would die as a result of U.S. "aggression." He suggested that, as an alternative to war, the U.S. ought to "treat the attacks on September 11 as a crime against humanity, establish a UN tribunal, extradite the suspects, or if that fails, capture them with a UN force, and try them."

Prior to serving as president of the CCR, Ratner was president of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). The NLG, which originated as a Communist front, and remains, an organization that supports the Communist regimes in North Korea and Cuba, and agendas indistinguishable from Communism domestically, is today one of the chief groups championing the "rights" of illegal immigrants and terrorists, and works in close association with the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights on these issues. Also in the vanguard of those fighting to weaken America’s intelligence-gathering agencies, the NLG has launched a campaign to repeal the Patriot Act, claiming that it tramples on people’s civil liberties. In addition, the NLG opposes the Domestic Security Enhancement Act and the use of military tribunals for captured combatants in the War on Terror.

According to Ratner, Attorney General John Ashcroft "crystallizes for me what this administration does wrong. What Ashcroft has done is essentially take the courts out of our system of government, in not having reviews of immigration cases, not having reviews of people that are jailed . . . and . . . allowing Americans to be surveilled by the FBI and to have our privacy really invaded in terms of our political speech, our religious affiliation, and he’s done that without any criminal predicate."

Ratner recently served as co-counsel in the Supreme Court case of Rasul v. Bush, where he sought to prevent the Bush Administration and the U.S. military from detaining captured Taliban and al Qaeda fighters at Guantanamo Bay while the war on terror continues. Ratner has said, "Guantanamo represents everything that is wrong with the U.S. war on terrorism. The Bush administration reacted to 9/11 with regressive and draconian measures worthy of a dictatorship, not a democracy." In his lectures to law students around the country, Ratner dons a baseball cap that reads, "Guantanamo Bay Bar Association."

Ratner’s opposition to American policies is longstanding and cuts across Party lines. He sued President George Bush Sr.’s Administration – to stop the Gulf War in 1991, and the Clinton administration – to end the U.S. bombing of Kosovo.

Ratner’s support of expanded terrorist rights and his pro-Communist worldview are made apparent in the books he has authored, which include: (1) Che Guervara and the FBI: The U.S. Political Police Dossier on the Latin American Revolutionary; (2) Against War with Iraq: An Anti-War Primer; and (3) Guantanamo: What the World Should Know.

Regarding the capture and eventual prosecution of Saddam Hussein, Ratner says, "If you’re going to have any kind of criminal trial here, if you want any sense of legitimacy or fairness, you cannot go after Saddam Hussein. After all, the U.S., as is well known, has a war of aggression that they just fought against Iraq, a violation of any international law."

These are the people who won today.

Everyone on our side in the war against terrorists lost.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 29th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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