Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ray of Sunshine

I just knew that something good had happened today. Call it a distrurbance in the force if you are so inclined... The Supreme Court -- yeah, the one packed with conservatives and one crazy (you go Clarence! Wheee!) -- rules that the President in name only has clearly overstepped his authority with military war crimes trials for foreigners held at Guantanamo Bay. While the statement from the court is not a blank check to stop the neocons (who are the true burners of the American Constitution by the way), this does raise a rare ray of sunshine in a deep, dark time in U.S. history. The case involves a former driver for Osama bin Laden who more than likely did not know anything but the neocons love those trials that are not trials that deny things like civil rights.


ATTA J. TURK here adding his two cents to what DeDurkheim added, I hope he won't mind.

The best and most remarkable part of this rebuke of Bush comes in it's effect on Bush's policy of skirting the Geneva Convention when it comes to "torture". The Bush Administration while denying it "tortures" has constantly proclaimed that these individuals are NOT subject to the protections of the Geneva Convention.

By a 5-3 vote the Supreme Court has said bullshit! From ScotusBlog:

More importantly, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. . . . If I'm right about this, it's enormously significant."

I should also note Ernest T. Bass's comments to this:

Indeed. At the very least, this should serve as a rebuke to those who have been proclaiming that we live in an era of lawless fascism and rubberstamp courts.

Well, yes, and no. If one of the majority leaves, this decision goes the other way, and Thomas in the dissent says,

the court's decision would "sorely hamper the president's ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy."

The court's willingness, Thomas said, "to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous."

What Thomas said, of course, was wrong both legally and historically -- however, contra to what Reynolds asserts, we are pretty damn close to fascism and rubberstamp courts.

Live Stevens, Live!

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