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babsbunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:34 PM
Original message

Stephen C. Webster
Published: Saturday March 7, 2009

However, Obama administration's argument simultaneously quashed challenge to and extended assumed powers

The US Supreme Court Friday dismissed a constitutional challenge brought by alleged Al-Qaeda sleeper agent Ali al-Marri as to whether "enemy combatants" can be held indefinitely on US soil.

After U.S. Government attorneys argued the case against Marri is "moot" because he's been finally been charged in a civilian court, the justices issued a one paragraph order knocking down both Marri's challenge and a lower court ruling supportive of Bush's controversial detainee policies.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:31 PM
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1.  please do read Glen Greenwald today..
please do read Glen Greenwald today.. ...

Glenn Greenwald
Saturday March 7, 2009 08:08 EST
Preventing a judicial ruling on the power to imprison without charges

But there were numerous steps the Obama administration could have and should have taken to prevent a repeat of the Padilla travesty, including: (a) explicitly renouncing the Bush administration's view that the President possesses this radical power (the super-transparent Obama DOJ refuses to comment on its view in that regard even though Candidate Obama explicitly rejected a similar theory -- see Questions 5 and 10); and (b) urging the Supreme Court to resolve the question notwithstanding Al-Marri's indictment, as Al-Marri's lawyers requested, on the ground that it meets one of the judicially established exceptions to the "mootness" doctrine. The Obama administration did neither: instead, it explicitly refused to renounce this power while simultaneously ensuring that the Supreme Court would -- once again -- refrain from ruling on its constitutionality:

While the government did not defend its power to detain Mr. Marri at present, it left open the possibility that he or others might be subject to military detention as enemy combatants in the future. Any future detention were that hypothetical possibility ever to occur would require new consideration under then-existing circumstances and procedure, the Justice Department told the court in a brief filed Wednesday.
This action means not only that Obama could imprison legal residents or even American citizens as "enemy combatants," but could even re-declare Al-Marri himself to be an "enemy combatant" if he's acquitted in his trial.

It's disturbing that this question remains unresolved particularly given that key Obama appointees -- including Solicitor General Elena Kagan and White House Counsel Gregory Craig -- have openly suggested that, at least with regard to foreign nationals, the "War on Terror" paradigm empowers the President to view the world as a "battlefield" and thus imprison people without charges as "enemy combatants." This action by the Obama administration should also (at least in a rational world) put to rest the painfully sycophantic claim that the only reason the Obama DOJ is embracing radical Bush-era legal positions is because they secretly hope to lose in court and thereby create good judicial precedent. If that were really their secret, noble goal, then they would have urged the U.S. Supreme Court here to rule on Al-Marri's claims (which many legal observers expected would end in Al-Marri's favor) -- not urged the Court to refrain from ruling, thus shielding this asserted power from ultimate judicial scrutiny.

There's no reason to assume that the Obama administration intends to exercise the power to imprison legal residents or U.S. citizens without charges, as the Bush administration did. Unless and until they do that, they haven't done it. And with Al-Marri's indictment, there are now no U.S. citizens or legal residents being held as "enemy combatants," so that's an important step.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 07:05 PM
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2. I don't think tha there is any good face to put on this. The rule of law has NOT been restored.
And we can only wonder why. Personally, I think it's "The Deal" that I have posited, whereby Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and perhaps other principles of the Bush Junta, and a few "made men" (Rove?), were given immunity from impeachment (which is where Nancy Pelosi's strange statement--"Impeach is off the table"--came from) and from future prosecution, probably in exchange for no nuking of Iran, and for Bush/Cheney leaving peacefully when the time came (and likely included ousting Rumsfeld from power).

Thus, the Obama administration's hands are, in a sense, tied, on the restoration of the rule of law. If they do anything to violate The Deal--such as acting to establish that the law was broken--there may be consequences, and we don't know what they are, and/or, the group that brokered The Deal is such that they cannot be defied. I think Obama being permitted to be elected may have been contingent on his agreement to The Deal. I don't think that Leon Panetta is a civilian--I think he is deep CIA, of the kind you never hear about because he doesn't want you to--and was one of the brokers of The Deal. I think Daddy Bush was part of it, too. (Panetta was a member of his Iraq Study Group). And I don't know who else, Pelosi, possibly. Certainly members of the military and the intelligence community, and maybe a few other big, insider politicos and corpos. I think we almost suffered an outright fascist putsch and a nazi state (circa late 2006). This group acted to prevent it. If true--and I think it makes a lot of sense--I'm glad that the Middle East and our planet didn't suffer the nuclear end-game. And I'm glad that we are not under martial law now--at least not directly. But we are in a very perilous situation--especially with the voting system the way it is (virtually every voting machine in the country run on 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY programming code, owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite corporations, with virtually no audit-recount controls), so that the Bushwhacks can easily--EASILY!--be re-installed.

And all these extrajudicial powers will be waiting for them, to be used again, in massive violation of our Constitution and international law, and quite possibly against us--if a planned scenario of civil disorder via this induced Depression is carried out.

All I can say is...

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