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December 30, 2008



Guantanamo has been a bit of a legal clusterf*ck from the very beginning. The government has created a zoning legal black hole. It has been asserted that the American legal procedures, habeas rights, and general protections afforded to traditional terrorists such as Timothy McVeigh do not apply to Guantanamo detainees because they are not being held on American soil (instead Guantanamo is an American lease on Cuban soil, which the Cubans want absolutely nothing to do with - really, we've created something militarily that even the Cubans find to be reprehensible..?), and at the same time, the international legal procedures and general human rights protections afforded by the Geneva Convention are not applicable because the government has created an arbitrary distinction between enemy combatant and prisoner of war, and Geneva protects only one of those classifications. Additionally, the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force has allowed the Executive the use of "all necessary and appropriate force"... all of which just opens the door for the Executive abuses that are now becoming more and more apparent. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the last few days of the Bush administration, what determinations the Supreme Court makes in evaluating the 200-plus habeas petitions currently before them, and what the Obama administration will do to right this nightmare, and restore our international reputation.

Bill from Fairfax

“I’m disappointed based on just how slim the government’s case was,” said Cori Crider, one of Sliti’s lawyers. “If that’s the kind of evidence that can be used to hold someone for what could be an indefinite period of time, it’s discouraging.”

Cori doesn't get it, nor, quite frankly, do most of the courts and commenters. If you are captured on the battlefield bearing arms against the US, you are a prisoner of war, and can be held for the duration of the hostilities without further "evidence." Last time I checked, US soldiers are still dying in Afghanistan.

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