Category Archives: Due Process

Another compromise? Adios due process..

When the congress critters passed the military spending bill Wednesday, they had to know that it included the following provision: None of the Gitmo detainee’s can be tried in US Courts. From Jurist:

The US Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday gave final approval to a defense spending bill that includes a provision preventing Guantanamo Bay  detainees from being transferred to the US for trial. The legislation would block Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other accused 9/11 conspirators from being tried in a US civilian court. The bill was approved by the House last week, prompting US Attorney General Eric Holder to send a letter (pdf) to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them not to include the provision in the spending bill. If signed into law, the ban will remain in place until September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Also this week, reports have indicated that the Obama administration is considering implementing a periodic review process for detainees being held indefinitely at Guantanamo.

In the first civilian trial of an ex-Guantanamo detainee, a federal jury convicted Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani last month on only one of 285 counts of conspiracy, murder and attempted murder for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of US embassies  in Tanzania and Kenya. While the Obama administration viewed the conviction and 20-year minimum sentence as a victory, opponents have cited the acquittals as evidence that civilian courts are inadequate venues for trying terror suspects. Several scholars have nevertheless maintained that federal courts are capable of serving justice. Upon taking office, President Barack Obama pledged to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010, but he has been met with strong congressional opposition to transferring detainees to US soil.

 Even Eric Holder knows that provision is bullshit on a stick. Prisoners deserve due process, instead of that fucking kangaroo court known as the military tribunals. Another good read on Gitmo is this piece at ProPublica which questions a federal court ruling and how one judge’s opinion was whitewashed so as to weaken the judge’s argument. From ProPublica:

Legal scholars and classification experts said the drafting of a second opinion was a deception. All previous opinions in Guantánamo habeas cases have noted when material has been blacked out or removed to protect security.

Stephen Gillers, who teaches legal ethics at New York University School of Law, said Kennedy may well have had a legitimate concern about “national security issues.”

“But that concern then inspired him to participate in the creation of a parallel universe that fools everyone except a small circle of judges. We don’t allow the justice system to create false impressions,” Gillers said.

ProPublica obtained the original version of Kennedy’s opinion when it appeared briefly in the court record and conducted a line-by-line comparison with what was published five weeks later. That comparison, highlighting information that was removed, can be found here.

The Obama administration ain’t a whole lot different that Bush’s when it comes to Gitmo detainees and blaming everything on National Security or those damn terrorists.

Right politicizes failed NYC bombing.

I really had hoped these fuckwits would just keep their pieholes shut…but alas..that was not to be the case. What is their biggest whine?

That law enforcement mirandized the suspect, an American citizen.

John McCain was right there, with the rightwing nutters, bitching about it. The pompous windbag really went off. From VF:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said reading Shahzad his Miranda rights would be a ‘mistake,’” according to CBS News. Quoth McCain, “Don’t give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it’s all about.” 

 It isn’t an option, mirandizing a suspect, its part of our laws and of course part of the due process every American is given. Pander much to the nutters McCain?

Next up we have that massive moron Peter King. That jackass really should keep his trap shut as he shows his ignorance every single fucking time he says anything. From HuffPo:

“I hope that [Attorney General Eric] Holder did discuss this with the intelligence community. If they believe they got enough from him, how much more should they get? Did they Mirandize him? I know he’s an American citizen but still,” King said.

Christ, more time…its not fucking optional you douche nozzle.  What part of ‘due process’ do you not understand moron?

Now, we get to Eric Cantor, scumbag extraordinaire.  In a speech to the nutters at the Heritage Foundation, Eric went batshit crazy, bitching about the Obama administration’s handling of national security, the Underwear Bomber and the Times Sq bomber. It’s obvious Cantor was pandering to the wingnut base, so why link to his bullshit? Thanks for politicizing national security you friggin, pathetic idiot.

A sane voice in the whole mess is retired General Paul Eaton. He was a guest last night on Countdown. Part of the transcript is here on the National Security Network site, of which Gen Eaton is a member. A shot from General Eaton at the fuckwitted Republicans:

OLBERMANN: If you are the FBI agent and the police officers who spent 53 hours straight on the manhunt that was successful and as Mike Sheehan pointed out, you throw in the time of the flight that they had as a pad to Dubai, they didn`t catch him at the last second before he left the country or would have gotten out of the grasp of this country. They got him about a day before and got him after about two days and a few hours` work. What would it feel like to have done this job and have lawmakers back at home of any stripe criticizing you in the job that you just did?

EATON: Well, not good is the answer. Since January of 2009, we have seen a relentless attack on our FBI, on our armed services, on our policemen by the Republican Party. Any opportunity that they can find to see a seam to get in there and lay in an attack they have pursued. And, frankly, as a retired soldier and as a guy who supports my police, who supports my FBI, I want them to cut it out.

Cut it out? M’dear Gen. Eaton….these fuckers have no intention of cutting it out. It’ all “the party of no” has…attacking and politicizing everything the Obama administration does. The best line I have heard about the Rethugs and their zest to torture and disregard due process was borrowed by Eaton and belongs to Navy Jag admiral named John Hudson:

And he said, you know, the use of torture and these techniques is — that`s the tool of the stupid, the lazy and the pseudo tough.

Bravo sir…bravo! Thank you Gen. Eaton and John Hudson. Bless you gents! Eaton’s interview below:

Federal Judge grants habeas petition to Gitmo prisoner.

This looks like a good omen to me. From Jurist:

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday granted a habeas corpus petition filed by Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Yasin Muhammed Basardh, ordering his release from the prison. His detention came under exclusive review of the court after a panel for the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] suspended its consideration of his case in light of the 2008 Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush, which it said gave the District Court sole jurisdiction over the matter. Justifications for Basardh’s release were kept classified. The US government was ordered “to take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate the release of petitioner Basardh forthwith.”

The order comes after a Tuesday stay of proceedings against fellow Yemeni detainee Ayman Saeed Batarfi and follows a call by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Sunday for the US and Yemen to agree on a repatriation plan that provides “meaningful legal process” for the nearly 100 Yemeni detainees still at Guantanamo Bay. The repatriation plan dates back to July 2008, when Yemeni officials met with a visiting US delegation to discuss the possible transfer of Yemeni detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, with the US voicing concerns that they would be freed upon their return. The stay of proceedings against Batarfi follows a January executive order from US President Barack Obama directing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility within one year and a review and disposition of all individuals held at the facility.

Lets here it for the little guy. Because if you think about it…this is who we are: fair and equitable or nightmarish dictatorial bags of batshit that torture and run kangaroo courts.

Oh…And today, m’dear reader, is the big dog and pony show in Congress on the Obama Budget. It should be a real comedy of errors and just fine slapstick comedy period.. if recent history shows us anything.

Fast-tracking death row inmates

Bush did the same thing when he ran the state of Texas. He is set to ‘fast-track’ death row inmates, removing what has been due process for an inmate sentenced to death for a crime. As the IHT article points out:

The US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales – Mr Bush’s top legal adviser during the spree of executions in Texas in the 1990s – is putting finishing touches to regulations, inspired by recent anti-terrorism legislation, that would allow states to turn to the Justice Department, instead of the federal courts, as a key arbiter in deciding whether prisoners live or die. The US is already among the top six countries worldwide in terms of the numbers of its own citizens that it puts to death. Fifty-two Americans were executed last year and thousands await their fate on death row.

Ah yes..our Decider-in-Chief will now decide who lives and who freaking ironic that Bush and his lap dog Abu Gonzales will have this power..power btw that the Democrats gave them.

Disgusting bit of record-setting by Georgie per the IHT article: President Bush has always been a death penalty enthusiast. The 152 prisoners he dispatched to their deaths in his eight years as governor of Texas set a high-water mark unmatched before or since.

I feel for the record, I should state that I have been a death penalty proponent until now. I felt comfortable that many of the checks and balances were in place to guarantee that an innocent individual was not put to death. With this new twist..I no longer feel the same.

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SCOTUS will hear Gitmo detainee cases


WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court, reversing course, agreed Friday to review whether Guantanamo Bay detainees may go to federal court to challenge their indefinite confinement.

The action, announced without comment along with other end-of-term orders, is a setback for the Bush administration. It had argued that a new law strips courts of their jurisdiction to hear detainee cases.

In April, the court turned down an identical request, although several justices indicated they could be persuaded otherwise.

The move is highly unusual.

The court did not indicate what changed the justices’ minds about considering the issue. But last week, lawyers for the detainees filed a statement from a military lawyer in which he described the inadequacy of the process the administration has put forward as an alternative to a full-blown review by civilian courts.

The White House continued to back its legal stance.

“We did not think that court review at this time was necessary, but we are confident in our legal position,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said Thursday.

The White House continued to back its legal stance.

“We did not think that court review at this time was necessary, but we are confident in our legal position,” said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

‘A stunning victory’
“This is a stunning victory for the detainees,” said Eric M. Freedman, professor of constitutional law at Hofstra Law School, who has been advising the detainees. “It goes well beyond what we asked for, and clearly indicates the unease up there” at the Supreme Court.

In February, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a key provision of a law the Bush administration pushed through Congress last year stripping federal courts of their ability to hear the detainees’ challenges to their confinement.

On April 2, the Supreme denied the detainees’ request to review the February appeals court ruling.

The detainees then petitioned the court to reconsider its denial.

Dismissing the petitions would be “a profound deprivation” of the prisoners’ right to speedy court review, lawyers for the detainees said.

The administration asked that the detainees’ Supreme Court petitions be thrown out.

Many of the 375 detainees have been held at Guantanamo for five years.

In recent months, the main arena in the legal battle over the detainees has been the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

‘The highest level of deference’
The appeals court is considering how to handle the detainees’ challenges to military tribunals that found them to be enemy combatants, which left them without any of the legal rights accorded prisoners of war.

The White House is considering closing Guantanamo and transferring some of the most dangerous suspects to a prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and a Navy brig in South Carolina.

The detainees’ attorneys want the appeals court to allow a broad inquiry questioning the accuracy and completeness of the evidence the tribunals gathered about the detainees, most of it classified.

The Justice Department has been seeking a limited review, saying that the findings of the military tribunals are “entitled to the highest level of deference.”

The White House has been weighing closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, which has brought global criticism of the Bush administration and condemnation from Democrats on Capitol Hill.

The cases are Boumediene v. Bush, 06-1195, and Al Odah v. U.S., 06-1196.

WaPo also has a writeup here. The last time this subject came up SCOTUS only had 3 of the necessary 4 Justices that wanted to review the case. True to form, Kennedy was on the fence. It is unclear if he flipflopped again. The question this time is why a Military Tribunal over our regular court system….EXACTLY..THANK YOU FOR SEEING THE ridiculousness of this situation created by the Asshat-in-Chief. This case won’t come before them until after October sadly..but its something to give us hope.

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