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News You Might Have Missed: Court Confirms President's Dictatorial Powers

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:00 AM
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News You Might Have Missed: Court Confirms President's Dictatorial Powers
via AlterNet:



News You Might Have Missed: Court Confirms President's Dictatorial Powers

By Andy Worthington, Andy Worthington's Blog. Posted July 22, 2008.

A 5 to 4 ruling in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri legitimizes the president's right to indefinitely imprison "enemy combatants."




Wake up, America! On July 15, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled by 5 votes to 4 in the case of Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli that the President can arrest U.S. citizens and legal residents inside the United States and imprison them indefinitely, without charge or trial, based solely on his assertion that they are "enemy combatants." Have a little think about it, and you'll see that the Fourth Circuit judges have just endorsed dictatorial powers.

In the words of Judge William B. Traxler, whose swing vote confirmed the court's otherwise divided ruling, "the Constitution generally affords all persons detained by the government the right to be charged and tried in a criminal proceeding for suspected wrongdoing, and it prohibits the government from subjecting individuals arrested inside the United States to military detention unless they fall within certain narrow exceptions The detention of enemy combatants during military hostilities, however, is such an exception. If properly designated an enemy combatant pursuant to legal authority of the President, such persons may be detained without charge or criminal proceedings for the duration of the relevant hostilities."

As was pointed out by Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, who was steadfastly opposed to the majority verdict (and whose opinion was endorsed by Judges M. Blane Michael, Robert B. King and Roger L. Gregory), "the duration of the relevant hostilities" is a disturbingly open-ended prospect. After citing the 2007 State of the Union Address, in which the President claimed that 'he war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others,'" Judge Motz noted, "Unlike detention for the duration of a traditional armed conflict between nations, detention for the length of a 'war on terror' has no bounds."

The Court of Appeals made its extraordinary ruling in relation to a habeas corpus claim in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, whose story I reported at length. To recap briefly, al-Marri, a Qatari national who had studied in Peoria, Illinois in 1991, returned to the United States in September 2001, with his U.S. residency in order, to pursue post-graduate studies, bringing his family -- his wife and five children -- with him. Three months later he was arrested and charged with fraud and making false statements to the FBI, but in June 2003, a month before he was due to stand trial for these charges in a federal court, the prosecution dropped the charges and informed the court that he was to be held as an "enemy combatant" instead. .......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/rights/92329/news_you_might_hav... /





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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:03 AM
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1. Yes, I know all about it.
Such a ruling is the very definition of dictatorship. But lets carry on, because we have an election. We don't want to appear to be one of those liberals.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:05 AM
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2. This is dreadful.... If there was any other Supreme Court sitting, I would
hope that the case got appealed all the way up. But with this Court, I'm not so sure they wouldn't uphold the ruling.

Or would this be another 5-4 squeaker in our favor?
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 08:08 AM
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3. Our children's freedom is a crap shoot. It doesn't lie in our hands.
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
4. Can you imagine Obama being able to detain anyone forever based on
the assertion that they're enemy combatants?

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Karl Rove is an enemy combatant, beyond a doubt.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:16 AM
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5. Will this be taken to the SCOTUS? nt
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crimsonblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. i'm scared what may happen if it is
a ruling against the Constitution and in favor of totalitarianism would put every single american's life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in dire jeopardy.
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