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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 04:30 AM
Original message
White House disagrees with Guantanamo trial ruling
Edited on Tue Jun-05-07 04:35 AM by maddezmom
Source: Reuters

PRAGUE, June 5 (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday said it disagreed with rulings by U.S. military judges to drop all war crimes charges against two Guantanamo prisoners facing trial, and that the Defense Department was considering whether to appeal.

"We don't agree with the ruling on the military commissions," White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters in Prague where President George W. Bush is meeting with leaders of the Czech Republic.

The judges on Monday said they lacked jurisdiction under the strict definition of those eligible for trial by military tribunal under a law enacted last year.

The Defense Department "will make a determination as to whether it's appropriate to file an appeal or not," Fratto said. "It does show that the system is taking great care to be within the letter of the law."

Read more:

US: Rulings Show Guantanamo Experiment Failed
05 Jun 2007 05:57:12 GMT

Guantanamo Bay, June 4, 2007) - The dismissal by military judges of two cases before military commissions should persuade the Bush administration to end its failed judicial experiment at Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 4, 2007 the judges dismissed charges against Omar Khadr, who was only 15 when he was apprehended in Afghanistan, and Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who was allegedly Osama bin Laden's driver, saying the government had failed to establish jurisdiction over the cases. The military commissions, established by Congress last year, are empowered to try "unlawful enemy combatants," but Khadr and Hamdan ? and almost 400 other detainees at Guantanamo ? have been classified only as "enemy combatants."

"If the Bush administration had any sense, this ruling would signal the death of the military commissions," said Jennifer Daskal, US advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. "Today's decisions show that Washington's effort to create a parallel justice system in Guantanamo has failed."


Guantanamo war crimes trials screech to halt

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba, June 4 (Reuters) - U.S. military judges dropped all war crimes charges on Monday against the only two Guantanamo captives facing trial, rulings that could preclude trying any of the 380 prisoners held at the U.S. base in Cuba any time soon.

The judges said they lacked jurisdiction under the strict definition of those eligible for trial by military tribunal under a law the U.S. Congress enacted last year.

"It's another demonstration that the system simply doesn't work," said the tribunals' chief defense counsel, Marine Col. Dwight Sullivan.

The rulings did not affect U.S. authority to indefinitely hold the 380 foreign terrorism suspects detained at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in southeast Cuba.

But it was the latest setback for the Bush administration's efforts to put the Guantanamo captives through some form of judicial process. It was forced to rewrite the rules last year after the U.S. Supreme Court deemed the old tribunals illegal.

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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 04:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. according to a news story yesterday on NPR
Edited on Tue Jun-05-07 04:49 AM by radfringe
the crux of the ruling rested on the terminology. Only UNLAWFUL enemy combatants could be charged, these two and about 400 others were just classified as enemy combatants

as far as appealing goes - there's no higher tribunal/court for appeals in place. All that exists is this current military court.

It also doesn't mean these prisoners are set free - they are still enemy combatants (POWs), just not unlawful ones.

In order to proceed with charges, the prosecutors will need to reclassify and recharge them as UNLAWFUL enemy combatants and this is sure to bring up the question of double jeopardy and how much of our rights relating to the law/courts will be allowed to apply. Look for habeaus corpus to also be brought up again.


Two Guantanamo Detainees' Cases Thrown Out

The rulings hinged on a military decision to designate every detainee at Guantanamo Bay an enemy combatant. But a new law drawn up by Congress last year requires that the prisoners must be unlawful enemy combatants if they are to be tried in a military tribunal.

"Unlawful" is only one word, but one judge said it was a more exacting standard than the military definition. Still, the ruling does not mean Hamdan or Khadr will walk free from Guantanamo


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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Well I highly doubt that double jeopardy applies.
You don't start up a kangaroo court in a "non-US jurisdiction" in order to apply the rules of the US constitution. Duh.

However, even though Cheney etc. have long claimed these are unlawful enemy combattants, the military never stuck its neck out to formally agree. I'd assumed they'd have quietly classified these prisoners properly before the start of these trials; I'm stunned they couldn't be bothered. I had forgotten but I was well aware at one time that none of them had been formally declared by the military to be unlawful enemy combattants.

So how far will the US military go in backing that formal declaration of unlawful combattant status? This is for the permament record in the annals of the laws of war. The world's watching.
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pinkpops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I believe the judge in the case said, as you stared, that appeals
cannot be made. Funny how Bush et al have tried so hard to keep civilian courts out and now will have to argue that appeals (to civialian courts?) may be sought.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. the message I get from this is,
Edited on Tue Jun-05-07 07:12 PM by policypunk
The US Military is saying it will not serve as a lynch mob for Bush,

In all fairness the US Military justice system is very good and internationally respected, those who administer it don't want any part of this freak show, it looks to me as though they intend to stall and stall until the process falls apart completely.

As for Khadr, why wasn't this clown turned over to the Canadians in Afghanistan?, it would seem more appropriate for the Canadians to try him for treason, than for us to try him for killing a soldier in combat.
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Boswells_Johnson Donating Member (526 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. Well, if G.W. and Dick say so, who are mere mortals to disagree. n/t
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Just be sure they keep the names of everyone involved in the camp.
Let Madame Defarge continue her knitting . . .
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
7. Fratboy Fratto and the Fratboy in Chief do not agree
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