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Ok folks, here is more ammo for the "counterpunch" as LithiumCola so eloquently put it in his diary.  There has been much coverage of the implications from the SCOTUS ruling on Hamdan as well as the fallout, the "next steps" in terms of how Dear Leader is planning on all efforts to get around the ruling and the barrage of "Capitol Hill Democrats Advocate Special Privileges for Terrorists" nonsense that we will be getting.

However, lost in all of the rush to have the rubber stamp Republican Congress rush to find a way to authorize the continued egregious acts by this administration is the fact that changing the laws to fit within the scope of the Hamdan decision would likely require that parts of the Geneva Conventions no longer apply to OUR troops.

So, Congressional Republicans, are you for protecting our troops or are you against protecting our troops?

Is it THAT important to endanger our troops and remove whatever protections that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions provides to our troops?

So, Lindsay Graham decides that it would be feasible for Congress to bend over backwards once again for the war criminals in charge of running this country into the ground, and Dear Leader hops all over the opportunity to continue to torture, detain without trial and wield his dictatorial powers.  But, there is a potentially sane Republican voice in the Senate, as John Warner (VA), who is Chairman of the Armed Services Committee voiced his concern:

Mr. Warner, who will preside over hearings on the issue in July, said he was concerned that new tribunals, even if authorized by Congress, might not withstand judicial scrutiny.

"We're going to do this extremely carefully and accurately, or we're going to end up with a solution that once again ends up being the subject of litigation, and possibly being overturned," Mr. Warner said in an interview in his office.

What's more is that legal experts have weighed in on this, and thanks to the good folks at thinkprogress there is a video of Georgetown Law Professor Carlos Vazquez discussing why a change to the laws would most likely require that the entire Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions would be abrogated, thereby removing these protections for our very troops who are in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the Georgetown University Law Center Faculty Blog (emphasis is mine):

Common Article 3 applies to the conflict against Al Qaeda. This is huge. Only 2 justices agreed with the administration's interpretation of Common Article 3; Scalia didn't join that part of Thomas's dissent.

Three points: (1) On the blogosphere, some critics have stated that the Court considered Common Article 3 to be relevant and binding only because incorporated into a statute that authorized the creation of military commissions but included a requirement of compliance with the laws of war. Thus, Common Article 3 would not be binding beyond the statute relating to military commissions. Congress could simply amend the statute. Vázquez thinks this is wrong. The Court did say it was reserving the question of whether the Geneva Conventions were enforceable by Hamdan directly as opposed to through the statute. But that was the nature of the debate: the Court didn't have to reach the issue.

Whether or not the Conventions are judicially enforceable by individuals in courts is separate from whether the Conventions bind the US and the president. Nothing in the case sets the president free from the Conventions. The administration relied on Eisentrager, but in that case the Court made clear that the Conventions were binding (even if they couldn't be enforced by a court). All of the OLC opinions written in reliance on the administration's interpretation will have to be revised.


(3) Can Congress change the result? Most commentary has said yes, because statutes and treaties are of equal stature and the statute can make the treaty no longer valid as domestic law. But there are significant limits on how Congress can act after Hamdan. Look at the opinion from the previous day: Sanchez-Llamas, in which the Court made the point, quoting Marbury, that the Supreme Court itself is the authoritative interpreter of treaties. Thus Congress can't do what Yoo advocated, "restore the correct interpretation of the treaty" through a law stating Congress's interpretation of the treaty. Congress can pass a statute inconsistent with the Geneva Conventions, but it would have to do so by repudiating the Conventions. Congress has the raw power to authorize military commissions that violate Common Article 3, but Vázquez thinks and hopes that it would not do so overtly because the Conventions are of tremendous importance to our troops abroad.

So for starters, it is interesting to note that even Scalia isn't as crazy as Alito and Thomas in that he wouldn't even join their dissenting position with respect to their agreement with the Administration on Common Article 3.  For reference, here is the text of the General Provisions of Common Article 3:

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed ' hors de combat ' by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) taking of hostages;

(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

Hmmmm...It seems to me that these are pretty important protections for our brave soldiers who are already fighting for a cause proven to be a lie.  Do we really want to strip these protections from them?  Especially after two of our own were kidnapped and tortured a few weeks ago?  ESPECIALLY at a time when we should be remembering the Declaration of Independence and its significance to today?  

Glenn Greenwald has an interesting take on this as well, where he says that Congress could alternatively pass a law that could amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to exclude Al Qaeda or certain other military commissions from the existing rules.  Either answer is not a good one, but certainly it would be on par with the other short sighted and dangerous things that the Republican Congress has done or condoned over the past 5 years or so.

It is also interesting that someone like Lindsay Graham, one of the few Congressional Republicans with military experience, not to mention being one of the few Republicans that isn't always batshit insane, would be so gung ho to line up behind a failure of a president whose approval ratings have been below 40% for many months now.  But here we are, with Graham leading the charge to undermine the troops by parroting the following sad talking points:

"The court is telling us that we can create a court," Mr. Graham said in an interview. "The court said the defect was that Congress never blessed it. We'll correct that defect."

"It's highly inappropriate to use civilian courts to try enemy combatants," he said. "This is a war. It's dangerous, it's a joke. The military tribunal has been the convention in the time of war."

Yes, Senator, it is a joke.  Congress never declared war.  Hundreds of prisoners have been held indefinitely without being charged with anything other than having the wrong color of skin or wrong name.  A Supreme Court that had 7 of the 9 justices appointed by Republicans is even calling bullshit on this.  But you and your Republican cohorts are more interested in trying to score political points with grandstanding and cheapshots at the expense of protecting those who are serving abroad.

So what is it, Republican Congresscritters?  Are you for supporting and protecting our troops or are you against it?  Do you think that the Geneva Conventions should apply when it comes to our troops' safety, or is it still "quaint"?  Your past actions overwhelmingly show the latter.  And my guess is that you will most likely try to do the same once again.

Originally posted to clammyc on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 07:35 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  We know the answer (6+ / 0-)

      So, Congressional Republicans, are you for protecting our troops or are you against protecting our troops?

      Just look at the appropriations for armored vests and vehicles for your answer ... oh, yeah and they sent our kids to fight an unprovoked war against the innocent people of a country that posed no threat.

      Democracyfest July 14 - 16, 2006: The toolkit for taking back our democracy, disguised as a fun-filled weekend.

      by mataliandy on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:16:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  clammyc-a bit of info (5+ / 0-)

      I don't believe that Lindsay Graham was ever on a battle field during his time in the military, which may have some bearing in his inability to more fully appreciate the dangers our soldiers face.

      The senator began his Air Force career on active duty in 1982 and served as both a prosecutor and defense lawyer. In 1988, he transferred to the Reserves before serving a five-year stint in the South Carolina Air National Guard. Graham went back to the Reserves in 1995, after he was elected to the House of Representatives.

      •  wasn't sure of that, so (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, goodasgold

        I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

        Silly me.....

        •  You may still be correct (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peraspera, grayslady, clammyc

          but the 80's were relatively quiet for US armed conflicts:

          1982 - 1984 US Marines are sent to Lebanon as part of the Multinational Force in Lebanon.
          25 October 1983 US invasion of Grenada.
          15 April 1986 US warplanes bomb Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya.
          18 April 1988 strikes against Iranian naval and air forces.
          1989 US invaded Panama and arrested Manuel Noriega.

          What is interesting, is that Graham was born in 1955 and didn't join the military until he was about 27.  My guess, not being as kind as you in giving him the benefit of doubt, is he did so for his resume.  

          Disclosure:  I don't like y Lindsay Graham personally or professionally. He has treated the Constitution like a rag and took a personal pot shot at John Dean during the televised hearing on Feingold's censure motion, in which he said (my own words) he has a hard time listening to the opinion of a convicted crook.

    •  for no reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clammyc, mango

      except CYA.

      The myth of Republican Patriotism is dead. the result of war between two rival groups of Programmers

      by buhdydharma on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 11:17:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i am Sorry , Mr, LINDSAY GRAHAM can shove (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zzyzx, clammyc

      his chickenhawk words up his ass!  My SSG son is on his way home from his year in Afghanistan.  We have FUCKED the poor citizens of Afghanistan and our soldiers with Bushco corporate corruption.  Namely, KBR, (Haliburton). On top of of our soldiers and the people of Afghanistan being fucked by our own government (stealing American tax-payer money) , the Afghani people are also, fucked by their own and neighboring governments.  Our soldiers are not re-enlisting and the Afghani teen-agers are throwing rocks!  Can't blame them!  Our soldiers, are not re-enlisting, they wonder where in the HELL our congressional oversight and media outrage is with stolen monies!

  •  Excellent. How do I 'recommend' a diary? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Endangerment or Idealism? (11+ / 0-)

    I'm a progressive who believes in the Geneva Conventions... but -- this isn't the way to package this, I think. It's too easy for joe-blow-red-state to counter back w/ essentially what Alberto Gonzales said as WH Counsel -- that the Geneva Conventions are "quaint," and therefore de facto do not protect our troops to begin with.

    Def'n "quaint" from M-W: pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar. Quaint.

    Basically, neocons don't believe that our enemies will be afforded any "breaks" (again, a perception) to our prisoners, particularly in a "post-9/11" war of worlds (again, perception).

    I think this shows the Democratic problem with this position. I think it's best to argue that the President and armed forces ALREADY can do whatever they need to do to protect us -- but they can't do it by BREAKING THE LAW. If Clinton didn't even break a law and got impeached, we need to pull back the cover on ALL the law-breaking this administration has been up to in the name of an ill-conceived, ill-prosecuted war on terror (nothing they've done has helped). It would not have been a hinderance just to follow the rule of law.

    And a rubber stamp congress shouldn't sweep criminal acts under the rug just to appease their white house masters by enacting new laws to protect the past/current white house breaking of laws.

    DEMS '06/'08: The American Restoration

    by TX Unmuzzled on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 08:12:20 AM PDT

    •  yes. It is a tough question (8+ / 0-)

      it is really a complex issue and a fine line, even though some things are very clear.  Take Hamdan for example - do you really think that he was THAT much of a threat or knew THAT much just b/c he was a driver?  And even if so, as you say - couldn't they still do what they needed to do legally?

      plus, this kind of breaking the law is way worse than lying about a blowjob....

    •  It's true... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grayslady, lcrp, clammyc, jorndorff, lgmcp

      ... that the Geneva Convention isn't currently protecting our troops, since the insurgents do not observe it. However, the implications of disregarding it could be very negative in future conflicts.

      •  No doubt about it, but (0+ / 0-)

        But I'm just saying that being "right" doesn't equal "political expedience." I think Dems/Progressives fall down too often by arguing what is "right."

        It's not what's "right" we should be arguing. We should be arguing whatever it is that takes down the evil empire of the other side.

        Then we can do what's right. We need the bully pulpit back.

        If Republicans have taught us anything, it's that nothing matters more than winning elections. That should be the frame through which we view our positions, because the ends justify the ends. We can't do what's right if we don't have the institutional power to put the statesmen back in charge and kick the cronies out on their asses.

        DEMS '06/'08: The American Restoration

        by TX Unmuzzled on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 08:27:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The combination... (5+ / 0-)

          ...of the political left and an "ends justifies the means" attitude does not have a very illustrious history.

          Call me a fuzzy headed liberal, but I still believe you can reach the right ends by being right. Not just by being right, but I'm not willing to give that up to achieve some temporary political gain. And they are all temporary.

          What does it profit a man...yadda, yadda.

          "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

          by Mad Dog Rackham on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:21:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ends justify the means? (9+ / 0-)

          Sorry, can't go there.  That would make us no better than them.  

          So everybody would have to take on trust that we'd go back to what's right LATER, after we're in charge, or maybe later still, when things get enough better ... according to us.

          Wiretapping, suspension of habeus corpus, torture, pre-emptive war ... all these means were justified, according to them, by the ends.

          That's not the company I'd like to keep.  

          The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

          by lgmcp on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:48:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The question is... (0+ / 0-)

            ... what do you think we actually should do with the inmates at Guantanamo? All options have a downside, so I think casting it as expediency vs "doing what's right" is a bit of an oversimplification.

            •  Legally, they have to be released if we (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              can't prove their guilt by untainted evidence. Some of them can be held until the end of the conflict, if we can prove they were actual combatants, not just people we paid money for.

              History will not forgive us if we do not try and convict the neocoms for their crimes, every last one of them...

              by Jesterfox on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 03:09:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The implications (11+ / 0-)

        for US standing within the world community would be huge, if the US would repudiate part of the Geneva Conventions. Many of the disagreements between the European Union and the US already involves questionable military and cia actions by the US.

        Being a signatory to the Geneva Conventions is a basic requirement of belonging to the so called "civilized world".

        I think the outrage in Europe would be so great, that any continued military coöperation with the US is out of the question. And how about NATO?

        I just can't see this happen. If it does I foresee a real global crisis.

        •  True. Even Afghanistan is a signatory to the GC (10+ / 0-)

          How big an ass will we look like if we suddenly repudiate the Conventions just so that Bush and his administration don't look like war criminals?

        •  This is the issue of real significance. (7+ / 0-)
          From the moment that GWB was given the presidency, the issue was (to me) how far are these assholes gonna have to go before Europe stands up to us? What kind of rock bottom are we about to hit as a nation? I hated thinking about what that was going to look like, knowing it would be hideous.

          We've been there for quite a while now, but the SCOTUS just pushed the point back hard. If Congress doesn't let the SCOTUS decision simply stand, we will hit that moment of truth.  

          Maybe I'm just a bizzaro combo of idealism and cynicism, but I never truly believed that America would stop these boys.  I've always believed that it would take international intervention.  That's an awful thing to believe, but now I think that the SCOTUS just threw the hanky.  What sort of dawn will it be....

          "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

          by Unduna on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:38:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  European mainstream conciousness (5+ / 0-)

            would wake up to the fact how much the US has changed.

            The GC is also a symbol for the post WWII era. I think if the US were to withdraw from the GC, that would be the official end of this period. And with it America's roll in the world community.  

            •  Yes. I think, however, that both the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grayslady, clammyc, BarbaraB
              European and general international view of America and America's role in the world community have undergone a seismic shift already.  The shift seems to have created a sort of shocked paralysis for the moment.  They are going to have to snap out of  it and ACT.

              Tricky. Very tricky.

              "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

              by Unduna on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 10:10:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think the average European (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zzyzx, grayslady, clammyc, Lepanto, goodasgold

                still thinks(hopes) that this period in the US is just one of America's lapses just like Vietnam, and they are still waiting for it to bounce back. Most Europeans are not aware of the internal seismic shift which has taken place. We all hate Bush, but mostly for his foreign policy.

                I think Europeans still have a hard time readjusting to the idea that the post war romance is over and that we have to reassess our own position in the world community.

                •  Curious-what time is it in Amsterdam? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                •  Do you think it is hope or denial? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  I think of Europeans as having more information than Americans.  For me, it then logically folows that most Europeans would know that the the gig (for lack of a better word) is up. Is that true, or am I the one with the wrong idea? So totally possible... :)

                  At any rate, I see a sort of universal paralysis in the face of the facts.  That includes Americans, Asians, Europeans, etc.  To me, and at this time, it appears by all that is known that Americans aren't  up to the job of stopping these fuckers.  And they must be stopped and (here's the trick) they must face justice.  Given that, I've always assumed that outside forces would have to snap out of it, step up and assert international law.

                  My assumption was that the general European populace really would be willing to support and motivate such a stance. What think you?

                  "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

                  by Unduna on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 11:01:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Part denial, part helplessness (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    The intricacies of the powergrab that is taking place is hard to grasp for the average American I think, and  the same for the average European.

                    The world wars have left such a huge scar on European society that anything remotely associated with war and millitary makes us feel very uncomfortable. So in someways I think it was convenient for the European psyche to have America play the part of the strong armed benevolent friend. Now we have to face the fact that we may have aided in creating this monster.

                    Europe is also going through a seismic shift. A strong unified European Union may help in restoring some of the imbalance in power that came into existence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But to accomplish that we will have to overcome our own differences. And what will the Union look like. I don't believe we will ever become the United States of Europe and I believe there is little desire to become a millitary power.

                    So how do we stop the US.

                    by the way I am a big fan of Jung's work

                    •  Trying to find cosmos in this chaos (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      is a troubling and wild adventure, but I can't stop looking and learning, you know? :)

                      I really appreciate your input.  All that you say is, of course, so very, very true and the variables are endlessly complex. It is all very worrisome. Thanks again for the input.

                      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

                      by Unduna on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 01:07:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  History is a tool (4+ / 0-)

      We've never deemed it necessary to abrogate Geneva since its passage. Not during any number of conflicts has this been necessary. It isn't necessary today, either.

      This debate should be about "post-9/11" hysterics, going after terrorists smartly and lawfully and not giving up our rule of law which this society is founded upon.

      (As Congress moves forward it'll realize, if it hasn't already, that this is far more complex than simply needing their "ok." We'll see if that nuance is heard over all the rhetoric and partisanship.)

      'You can't begin to imagine how effective the Big Lie is.' N. Mailer 'TNatD'

      by jorndorff on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 10:40:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  every single thing this administration has ever (11+ / 0-)

    done is so rife with obvious "law of unintended [by idiot BushCo minions]consequences" material that I am convinced they are mentally incapable of dealing with 1+1.

    The whole anti-international law vendetta they have been on has always been noted by those of us with a brain as obviously rife with the likelihood of blowback on our troops, as well as the rest of us.

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 08:34:19 AM PDT

    •  Can we be sure it is unintended? (9+ / 0-)

      I'm starting to lean towards the theory that the GOP's unconstitutional political aggrandizement is the goal; the real consequences of their actions on others is not even an afterthought: they don't care about the welfare of the troops in this environment of international lawlessness.

      •  I would agree (7+ / 0-)

        about the political aggrandizement, but there is a lot of other stuff that just doesn't seem to fit that meme.  

        So many things they have done on the international front just pissed people off, and set us up for various sorts of retribution, fiscal and/or military, without any apparent real benefit to the US, or even any corporations. There is a disconnect between BushCo and the most patent levels of reality.

        It doesn't seem to matter to them how vulnerable to verbal and/or physical attack taking a particular position or action leaves us as a country, they just let 'er rip.

        And I just can't listen to our so-called Secretary of State any more. She sounds like an imbecile, no matter what she's talking about. Say what you will about Madeleine Albright, at least you knew she was intelligent ! And today moreso than ever.

        Let's get some Democracy for America

        by murphy on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:41:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If these people had half a brain, they would (8+ / 0-)

    turn these prisoners over to the Hague and let them deal with the problem. Any trials would have a lot more credibility than the US going it alone and could go a long way in improving support among nations whose populations are turning against the US in permanent ways.

    -6.38/-3.79::'A man is incapable of comprehending any argument that interferes with his revenues.' Descartes

    by skrymir on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 08:38:31 AM PDT

    •  I think the issue... (7+ / 0-)

      ... whether they were tried in the Hague or in a US Court, is how to make a legal case against members of terrorist organizations without compromising sources of intelligence. That can be used too often as a crutch for the administration, but it is a genuine issue, as well. The military tribunals, with their ability to present secret evidence that the defendant doesn't see, would address that, but they are fundamentally unfair to the defendants.

      Ultimately, it comes down to whether we are willing to risk letting some al-Quaeda defendants go free in order to ensure they (and the very unlucky innocents that were rounded up along with them) receive a fair hearing. The political truth is that the American people haven't shown much inclination to do so.

      •  Security secrets can't be preserved (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mataliandy, Unduna

        at the Hague?  I do not know nearly enough about the Hague, but is there truly no way to thoroughly vet tribunal members and take other measures to ensure security, while gaining the advantage of the Hague's international reputation?

        •  I don't actually know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I can see how a secret tribunal would have more legitimacy in the eyes of the world if it was international in nature, but I don't know if the international court operates that way. At any rate, the administration isn't going to let people they think are dangerous terrorists be potentially released by a UN organization, so it's very much a theoretical question.

      •  The only security problem here is that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clammyc, Lepanto

        the U.S. doesn't want the prisoners giving testimony that they were tortured.

        History will not forgive us if we do not try and convict the neocoms for their crimes, every last one of them...

        by Jesterfox on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 01:23:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you think... (0+ / 0-)

          ... that everyone at Guantanamo is innocent? And that there is no real threat from al Quaeda? Because I think if you take al Quaeda seriously, and consider it likely that at least some of the inmates really are high level terrorist threats, then I think it logically follows that trying them the way you would try a conventional criminal does pose real risks. It could compromise ongoing operations, and it could also lead to the release of suspects who have plenty of bad intentions and plans, but who have not yet done much beyond planning (which would be hard to get much of a conviction for from a normal jury). I'm not necessarily saying that funnelling the inmates into the normal US justice system is not the right way to go, but it does have a very real downside, which could increase the risks to the United States.  

          •  You cannot use evidence produced by torture in (0+ / 0-)

            a court of law. I don't think everyone in Guantanamo is innocent, but our government's use of torture has tainted any evidence it has aquired. It's use of secrecy has poisoned any testimony it gives suggesting that evidence it uses in court, secret or public, is truthful. There is no way to trust them.

            We may have to let 'bad people' go because they were tortured. Add another charge to Bush's indictment. He has 'increased the risk to the United States'. We bear no responsibility for Bush's bad acts, except to punish them.

            If you are going to convict people based on bad intentions and planning, you can start with the Bush administration, although I'm not sure that you cou prove the planning.

            History will not forgive us if we do not try and convict the neocoms for their crimes, every last one of them...

            by Jesterfox on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 03:04:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  How do you know that there are any (0+ / 0-)

        'sources of intelligence' apart from what was tortured out of people? Screw the 'secret evidence' at military tribunals. We're not having any 'star chambers' here. That just allows the government to dispose of their 'embarrassments' out of the public eye.

        History will not forgive us if we do not try and convict the neocoms for their crimes, every last one of them...

        by Jesterfox on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 03:15:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

          ... if you want to assume that those are the only sources of intelligence, I can't tell you that you are wrong. But it's certainly possible that they are not. And while erring on the side of releasing guilty terrorists rather than convicting innocent suspects (or guilty ones against whom the only evidence was improperly acquired) might be the moral high ground, it's a guaranteed political loser for the Democrats.  I think the question is how to put in enough safeguards without excessively weakening the ability to go after the guilty.

          Personally, I think that there is more integrity in the military justice system than other people routinely assume. Military lawyers are lawyers, and they've pushed back at the administration's excesses on several occasions in the past.

    •  That seems a good solution, but I don't (2+ / 0-)
      think that this war criminal filled administration is likely to even look sideways at the Hague, let alone do anything that grants them any formal recognition of legitimacy, you know? I imagine that they might see that as a bad precedent to set right now.

      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

      by Unduna on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:45:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  outstanding diary n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

    by MarketTrustee on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:10:46 AM PDT

    •  Outstanding professor. (7+ / 0-)

      And I'm not just saying that because I go to Georgetown Law.  Here's his bio:

      After graduating from law school, where he was Articles and Book Reviews Editor of the Columbia Law Review, Professor Vazquez served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then practiced law with Covington and Burling in Washington, DC, before joining the law school faculty as a visiting professor of law in 1990, and then as an associate professor in 1991. From 2000 to 2003, he was the United States member of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, the organ of the Organization of American States responsible for juridical matters and for promoting the progressive development and codification of international law in the Americas. Professor Vazquez has written and taught primarily in the areas of international law, constitutional law, and federal courts.

      Four hundred years ago, we were all illegal aliens according to the Comanche.

      by DC Pol Sci on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 10:50:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are becoming a terrorist nation (13+ / 0-)

    so that we can spread democracy? If we continue to rob citizens of rights, ignore our laws and international ones to which we are signatories, and operate as moral and economic tyrants -- well, compared to our current government, a benevolent monarchy looks good.

    It's like me becoming a hooker to stop prostitution.

    Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else? - James Thurber

    by JuliaAnn on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:30:59 AM PDT

  •  Ya know what else is quaint? (5+ / 0-)

    The entire judicial system. With sagacious "seers" like Peter King and John Gibson, who needs courts anyway? Everyone at Guantanemo is cleary guilty, deserves to be tortured and killed. Geez...why waste time on all this nonsense like evidence and due process.

    In the beginning there was nothing...which exploded.

    by lucysdad on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 09:45:19 AM PDT

  •  EN FUEGO!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mediaprisoner, clammyc

    Another excellent effort, clammyc!  Great analysis that I probably would otherwise have missed.

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 10:23:56 AM PDT

  •  What if we just declare our troops magic? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clammyc, make a difference

    Would it help for George W. Bush to declare himself Emperor of All Space and Time and that all our soldiers are protected by magic fields of power and anyone who touched them would die.

    Because if everyone believed it, you wouldn't need all these complicated 'laws' and 'treaties' and 'international agreements' and other such useless stuff.

  •  The torture at Guantanamo and other (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Jesterfox, clammyc, BarbaraB

    locations is past the point of gathering intel.  These detainees have been held for as long as four years in many cases.  They couldn't be more out of the loop.  The focus now must be to get confessions from these men, there by eliminating the requirement for trials of any kind.
    "Detainee A has confessed"

    "Confessed to what?"

    "Can't say, National Security."

    "From discord find harmony." Einstein

    by Friend of the court on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 10:47:07 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely correct but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clammyc, Lepanto

    The average American will fall 100% for the Republican BS on this issue... they will say that those who do not support the Republican side are on the side of the terrorist... average Joe will get all riled up and pull the republican lever again... just wait.  

    Little Karl Rove will use this issue to win elections in 2006.  Do you think he or the rest of the Republicans in power in Washington care what is best for the troops?  


    •  I'm afraid (and depressed) that you are right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a bit of the old "patriotism" BS and the average American will indeed...
      nothing easier to bamboozle on such issues than the average American (who couldn't find Iraq on a map of the world, no doubt=

      we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

      by Lepanto on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 01:39:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In my view, our troops are still dying (0+ / 0-)

    because Republicans aren't able to win a war by following the Geneva Conventions. Republicans just have very little incentive to end wars at all, so for those who are informed here, it comes as no surprise that they are fanning the flames of hatred and prolonging this illegal military action via torture.

    If America wants to stick with a party that can't govern, can't protect us (from terrorist attacks and the weather), and can't win wars...

    that's up to them.

    But Republicans aren't the only choice on voting day, and there's a nother party I've heard about that seems to win it's wars in a humanitarian way and gain the respect of the world at the same time.

    I think somebody called them Democrats once.

    Bush and his Republican bootlickers are the reason we stopped investigating the Saudi financing of terrorism. He's the reason we were attacked on 911 (the Saudis knew they could now get away with it, and they did).

    If Americans care about their children, eventually they will have to face the fact that electing Republicans puts us all in direct danger of being blown to hell.

  •  They are ALL batshit crazy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the sense that, although they mostly only hint at it or talk about it in coded language, these people, i.e. these so-called "conservative" "Republicans" (the first of which they're absolutely not, and the second of which they're in name only), do not really believe in our democracy, as spelled out in the constitution, as envisioned by its framers and agreed to by its signers, and as has existed, evolved and weathered storm after storm over the past 200+ years.

    They literally do not believe in it, and to the extent that they follow it, or pretend or profess to follow it, it's only because, for now, they have no choice, as it's the necessary temporary "evil" (as they see it) that must be endured as they slowly, deliberately and diligently work to undermine and unravel it, with the aim of ultimately destroying it, and replacing it with a political and legal system of their liking, namely an American-style version of fascism.

    All discussion about these people, their motives, their strategies, their words, and their actions--and how to deal with them--must begin with an understanding and acknowledgment of this ugly reality. These people might be Americans, in a technical, legal sense, but they do no believe in what America is really about--not as the majority of Americans see and have seen it throughout its history, and as our founders saw it--and, as such, are not, in my opinion, loyal or true Americans--let alone the patriots that they always claim to be.

    Sorry, I had to say it. It is the very people who continually accuse the rest of us (which includes a far broader spectrum of Americans than the liberal and progressive "left", e.g. genuine, principled conservatives, libertarians and centrists) of being traitors, unpatriotic and un-American, who are themselves all of these things--and much, much worse. Anyone who doesn't see this just doesn't get it, and just hasn't been paying attention. These people are the political version of cancer, and must be dealt with as such, or else they'll kill our Democracy.

    Which is precisely what they want and have been trying to do.

    And THAT is batshit crazy.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by kovie on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 01:04:17 PM PDT

    •  I would only amend this to add (0+ / 0-)

      that not ALL of these Repubs are equally if at all motivated by the common goal of destroying our Democracy. Some are motivated by other things, e.g. greed, ambition, megalomania, fear, stupidity, "cultural erosion" bullshit, etc.

      After all, not all Nazis (and yes, I believe the comparison is quite apt, Godwin's rule be damned because it simply does not apply to situations in which the evidence overwhelming validates the comparison) truly believed in the Aryan nonsense, yet were nevertheless very effective and vigorous proponents of that movement.

      But to the extent that they all, for one reason or another, willfully and deliberately participate in a process expressly aimed at and aggressively working towards destroying our Democracy, and aid and abet those who are most ardently leading this effort, they are ALL, in my opinion, crazy, because they are helping madmen achieve their goals. And THAT, I firmly believe, is just as crazy. Batshit crazy.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by kovie on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 01:26:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My guess is that the Republican leadership (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jesterfox, clammyc

    could give a damn about the people serving in Iraq.  If they cared at all, they would never have engaged in torture in the first place.

    Based on what I have seen of these "thinkers" through their actions to date, they see the troops as expendible.

    At least LBJ was tortured by the Vietnam War casualties.  There isn't anyone now, who could argue that the death toll in Vietnam was not a huge burben for LBJ.

    GWB on the other hand, is having a "funtime" weekend in Memphis singing Elvis songs with the Japanese Prime Minister while our guys and gals are fighting for their lives.

    Oh also clammyc - keep your eye out for the possibility that Congress will do nothing at all and GWB will pull an Andrew Jackson on the court by simply challenging them to enforce their ruling and continue to hold these people without any trials at all.  

  •  Congress can do it, and do it right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What we have here is the second of two decisions repudiating the unitary executive concept, and it must be viewed in that big-picture, long-term manner.

    As much as anything it simply reminds the President, and future presidents, that courts are created by the Congress (Constitution Art. III, Sec. 1), but no one in Congress or the Administration thought when passing the Patriot Act that we were going to actually capture people then have to figure out what to do with them in a forum other than federal or state criminal court, and the idea that those courts are not appropriate is based on reasoning that is lost on me.

    So let's go with it: We need a special court for captured civilian combatants. Then the President ought to do what he should have done in the first place--ask Congress to establish a special court, just like the FISA courts, the federal Bankruptcy Court, Court of Federal Claims, Tax Court, and so yawn, with a purely federal purpose in mind and making sure that the court observes the minimal standards of Geneva Convention Article 3. That this should constitute the "floor" beneath which the accused protections cannot go is implicit in the Court's decision. Establishing a "Terrorist Court" created by Congress that dips below Article 3 of the Convention would violate a treaty that Congress itself adopted (as it had to for it to become U.S. law) and so would simply be ruled unconstitutional again.

    Having Congress "strip jurisdiction" from the legal system over "enemy combatants" was just a butthole stupid idea, easier and cheaper than doing the real work: Designing and funding a court to try cases against individuals who the administration would rather not have in the U.S. military, criminal or civil justice systems, and--here's the money shot--accepting the possibility that some defendants might be acquitted.

    Dubai-ya took the easy way out, cheap and dirty, just why we are "losing the peace" in Iraq. Now, the question is, will Congress do the right thing? Given that the GOP needs something to run upon, I think it actually might this time since we've got the lamest duckest president ever.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

    by The Crusty Bunker on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 03:07:07 PM PDT

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