June 29, 2006
Supreme Court Tosses Tribunals
The Supreme Court issued their Hamdan ruling and it's a loss for the President and his military tribunals. The most important aspect of the ruling is the Geneva Convention applies to al Qaeda even though they wear no uniform and represent no country or have even signed the convention--unless Osama has some papers stashed away in his Pakastani cave. I'm not going apoplectic because as James Joyner writes, "By and large, weíve acted as if Geneva did apply while saying that it didnít. And weíve applied Geneva to the guerrillas in Iraq without any obvious negative consequence." Also the man running Guantanamo Bay prison doesn't see the ruling as affecting his operation.
Andrew Cochran at the Counterterrorism Blog sees the President and Congress soon working on legislation to legalize the tribunals. In his opinion Justice Breyer wrote, "Nothing prevents the president from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary." Senators Graham (R-SC) and Kyl (R-AZ) have announced they're working on it.
With regards to prisoners in the Islamist War I have a question for Justices Stevens, Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg, and Kennedy: Do we hold the most dangerous terrorists for life or shoot them?del.icio.us | Digg it | Furl | reddit | Spurl | Yahoo MyWeb