Category Archives: Habeus Corpus

Obama planning to try Gitmo detainees in US courts?

From FindLaw:

President-elect Obama’s advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.

During his campaign, Obama described Guantanamo as a “sad chapter in American history” and has said generally that the U.S. legal system is equipped to handle the detainees. But he has offered few details on what he planned to do once the facility is closed.

Under plans being put together in Obama’s camp, some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts.

A third group of detainees – the ones whose cases are most entangled in highly classified information – might have to go before a new court designed especially to handle sensitive national security cases, according to advisers and Democrats involved in the talks. Advisers participating directly in the planning spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans aren’t final.

The move would be a sharp deviation from the Bush administration, which established military tribunals to prosecute detainees at the Navy base in Cuba and strongly opposes bringing prisoners to the United States. Obama’s Republican challenger, John McCain, had also pledged to close Guantanamo. But McCain opposed criminal trials, saying the Bush administration’s tribunals should continue on U.S. soil.

The plan being developed by Obama’s team has been championed by legal scholars from both political parties. But it is almost certain to face opposition from Republicans who oppose bringing terrorism suspects to the U.S. and from Democrats who oppose creating a new court system with fewer rights for detainees.

Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor and Obama legal adviser, said discussions about plans for Guantanamo had been “theoretical” before the election but would quickly become very focused because closing the prison is a top priority. Bringing the detainees to the United States will be controversial, he said, but could be accomplished.

“I think the answer is going to be, they can be as securely guarded on U.S. soil as anywhere else,” Tribe said. “We can’t put people in a dungeon forever without processing whether they deserve to be there.”

The last line really says it all…”We can’t put people in a dungeon forever without processing whether they deserve to be there.” There must be a rule of law used to process these individuals, not the very people that ‘captured’ them also running the trials. There must be habeas corpus, there must be evidence hearings, our rule of law must be applied across the board to all these individuals…some of whom have been sitting in cells for over 5 years and have never been charged.

Update: Obama’s top brass tonight, per Olbermann’s show, said they do want to close Gitmo however, they have no concrete plans in place yet on how to deal with the prisoners there. The ACLU is also pressing Obama to close Gitmo on day one of his administration.

Federal Appeals court shoots down ‘enemy combatant’ label on a detainee

I could of found a better word than ’shoots’ probably, but none the less this is an important ruling. From McClatchy:

A federal appeals court for the first time has rejected the military’s designation of a Guantanamo detainee as an enemy combatant.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned as “invalid” a military tribunal’s conclusion that prisoner Huzaifa Parhat is an enemy combatant.

The court directed the Pentagon either to release or transfer Parhat or to hold a new tribunal hearing “consistent with the court’s opinion.”

The status review tribunal is bullshit. The whole military tribunal is bullshit. With the SCOTUS ruling recently and now this from last month, which went largely ignored by the MSM, the courts seem to be slowly chipping away at BushCo’s kangaroo court. There are still 270 people being held at Guantanamo.

SCOTUS rules FOR detainees at Gitmo

In a ruling that is sure to send shivers down the spine of every loyal Bushie, The Supremes ruled this morning that detainees at Guantanamo have the right to appeal to US civilian courts. From the MSNBC writeup:

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

In its third rebuke of the Bush administration’s treatment of prisoners, the court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The court’s liberal justices were in the majority.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.

For once they got it right..the Constitution must survive even the attacks on it from within. Justice Kennedy, was the swing vote, I would bet my last devalued dollar on it. A key piece of the ruling after the jump.

To Continue reading, click here.

J. Edgar Hoover wanted to suspend Habeas Corpus.

Newly declassified documents from the 1950’s show that Hoover also wanted to imprison over 12,000 Americans he considered disloyal per an IHT article I perused this evening.

That’s a sobering friggin thought. From the IHT article:

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.

Hoover wanted President Harry Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The FBI would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.

The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years. “The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven percent are citizens of the United States,” he wrote. “In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus.”

Check it out. Seriously..The plan called for “the permanent detention” of 12,000 suspects at military bases as well as in federal prisons.

Court rulesBushCo must reveal data on Gitmo Prisoners

This morning’s NYT has a read that made me feel somewhat gratified:

A federal appeals court ordered the government yesterday to turn over virtually all its information on Guantánamo detainees who are challenging their detention, rejecting an effort by the Justice Department to limit disclosures and setting the stage for new legal battles over the government’s reasons for holding the men indefinitely.

The ruling, which came in one of the main court cases dealing with the fate of the detainees, effectively set the ground rules for scores of cases by detainees challenging the actions of Pentagon tribunals that decide whether terror suspects should be held as enemy combatants.

It was the latest of a series of stinging legal challenges to the administration’s detention policies that have amplified pressure on the Bush administration to find some alternative to Guantánamo, where about 360 men are now being held.

Hope the bastards in the Executive Branch are pissing down both legs over this one. Fuckers..

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