For those who may not have followed the ammendment that went out with the DOD budget, the results are clear enough.
The Bush administration notified federal trial judges in Washington that it would soon ask them to dismiss all lawsuits brought by prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, challenging their detentions, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.The interesting comedy there is that these 'detainees' have been detainees for over three yearrs now without any effort to resolve if they are POW's, or are they 'illegal combatants' as IS required by american law implemented to address the Geneva Convention.
The action means that the administration is moving swiftly to take advantage of an amendment to the military bill that President Bush signed into law last Friday. The amendment strips federal courts from hearing habeas corpus petitions from Guantánamo detainees.
The administration had selected Guantánamo as the site for a detention camp for terrorism suspects in the expectation that its actions would not be subject to review by federal courts. But in June 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that the naval base at Guantánamo was not outside the jurisdiction of United States law and that the habeas corpus statute that allows prisoners to challenge their detentions was applicable.
Administration critics have complained that the tribunals at Guantánamo, in which panels of three officers decide whether a prisoner is an enemy combatant, are unfair in several respects. The prisoners are not represented by lawyers and they often may not see evidence used against them for national security reasons.
"We are aware of no other country that has provided their enemies with such extensive legal review during an ongoing conflict," Ms. Scolinos said. "Detainees are entitled to legal review both within the military system and to the highest civilian courts in the country."
[ cf AmerikanPravda ]
That the Administration's FAILURE to understand that the American Military IS subject to American law, their excuse for sending hostages, let us call them what they are until the court can resolve what REAL LEGAL STATUS they are otherwise afforded, to GitMo in the first place. IF the government had followed the American Laws Of Land Warfare, then any armed person detained on the battlefield MUST be treated as a POW until the appropriate Judicial Review establishes that they are not covered as Lawful Combatants. American LAW does not religate this to the unilateral policy of any member of the American Armed Forces, up to and including the Commander In Chief.
Any person who was kidnapped outside of the battlefield area is in a totally seperate space, since they are clearly merely hostages as they are not currently being held under any restraint of law.
Given the recent restraining order from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal with regards to the Transfer of Padilla to 'justice department' detention, has clearly raised the spectre that the current administration is continuing to undercut it's own credibility before that Court.
That the current effort to circumvent the Constitutionally Protected Writ of Habeus Corpus can be laid at the feet of an ammendment from congress, clearly does not change the type and nature of that Offense. The President could have vetoed the bill, so as to protec the Constitutional Protection, but of course has not.
So clearly this is a matter that MUST find it's way to the US Supreme Court. My hope is that the Supreme Court, conservative body that it is, will decide that the obligations under the American Constitution outweigh any of the expediency desired for strictly domestic political advantage. We can likewise hope that the current administration will decide that the US Constitution was not put together for light and transient reasons, and that perchance our Founding Father's were cautious for very sound and conservative reasons!