No doubt everyone has heard about the Supreme Court decision on Hamdan today. The press is calling the decision by the Court a rebuke of the Bush administration's attempts to use military tribunals to try the detainees at Gitmo. It seems to me the media by and large is getting a kick out of it all too. Bad news for Bush is good news for them. Some dictator that Bush turned out to be.
Members of Congress are already looking at ways to fashion legislation to deal with the Constitutional questions. However, if the Captain is right they might be better off leaving well enough alone:
In reviewing the opinions of the Supreme Court in their Hamdan decision today, it seems pretty clear what action the Bush administration will take in the future with the detainees of the war on terror. More to the point, we know what action they will not take, at least if we rely on Justice Stevens' opinion. On page 80, in section VII of his opinion, Stevens writes:
We have assumed, as we must, that the allegations made in the Government’s charge against Hamdan are true. We have assumed, moreover, the truth of the message implicit in that charge—viz., that Hamdan is a dangerous individual whose beliefs, if acted upon, would causegreat harm and even death to innocent civilians, and who would act upon those beliefs if given the opportunity. It bears emphasizing that Hamdan does not challenge, and we do not today address, the Government’s power to detain him for the duration of active hostilities in order to prevent such harm. But in undertaking to try Hamdanand subject him to criminal punishment, the Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in thisjurisdiction.
Shorter Stevens: Don't attempt to hold trials at all for GWOT detainees, and you will have no problems with us. That affirms the treatment of these detainees as POWs in some sense, but in that effort, it makes clear that these detainees have no rights to any court. Stevens only says that if the government wants to try them, then the government must use civil courts, a strange ruling nonetheless when one reviews the relevant articles of the Geneva Convention.
I'm satisfied with that agreement. Lock all of them up until Islamofascists surrender or die. When the Islamist terror networks give up their war on the United States, then we will release them. Until then, they can remain in Guantanamo Bay or wherever we set up detention facilities for them.
In other words the Left whined that we could not hold these people without a trial and now the Supreme Court says we can hold them but can't try them, at least not in the venue Bush wants. I don't think that AlQaida and its enablers should be planning any coming home parties just yet.
But I think maybe Bush is looking for away out of either keeping them forever or turning them loose. It reminds me of a story I heard about Lincoln years ago. Someone asked him why he did not just end the war. He answered with a story. Once there was this farmer who chased after a pig that had escaped its pen. The farmer grabbed that pig's tail and held on for dear life. After he awhile he called out for help saying, "Someone come help me let this pig go." Like Lincoln, Bush can not just let that pig go.
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