Sunday, July 31, 2005


Rather than take up too much room on Michael's blog, here is my post answering jim about reality vs NY Times.
U.S. Supreme Court Guantanamo Bay Cases: Brief Resource Center

In November 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two appeals filed on behalf of some of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who are being held as part of the United States’ war on terrorism. Below are links to many of the documents currently before the Court in this case, including amicus briefs.

Rather than posting just a link to the SCOTUS decision, here are a few of the main points.
The petitioners contend that they were being illegally held at Guantanamo Bay.

From page 19 of the SCOTUS decision:
“In the end, the answer to the question presented is clear. Petitioner contend that they are being held
in federal custody in violation of the laws of the United States. No party questions the District Court’s
jurisdiction over petitioners custodians. Cf Braden, 410 U.S. ., at 495. Section 2241, by it’s terms, requires nothing more. We therefore hold that 2241 confers on the District Court jurisdiction to hear petitioners’ habeas corpus challenges to the legality of their detention at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.”

Come up for air for a minute. Without getting too technical, a lower court, the Court of Appeals, had ruled against the Bush Administration, proclaiming that the detainees were being held illegally, and ordered a stop and desist order for the military tribunals-I’m not a lawyer, but I believe they are referring to the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. People tossing around habeas corpus should know what it means.
“habeas corpus
Lat. "you have the body" Prisoners often seek release by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody. A habeas corpus petition is a petition filed with a court by a person who objects to his own or another's detention or imprisonment. The petition must show that the court ordering the detention or imprisonment made a legal or factual error. Habeas corpus petitions are usually filed by persons serving prison sentences.” Definition from

The petitioners were of the opinion that the CSR Tribunals were illegal, as they, the petitioners were not under the jurisdiction of U. S. Law.
The Supreme Court affirmed here that they were, as their custodians-the U.S. Military, were under the jurisdiction is U.S. Law, and could be served-that is, called into account.

Back to the summary, page 20
“What is presently at stake is only whether the federal courts have jurisdiction to determine the legality of the executives potentially indefinite detention of individuals who claim to be wholly innocent of wrongdoing.
Answering that question in the affirmative, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand for the District Court to consider in the first instance the merits of petitioners claims. It is so ordered.”

This was a great win for the Bush administration, but you wouldn’t know it from reading the New York Times. Neil A. Lewis, the journalist who wrote the article jim pointed me to, had written about the SCOTUS decision on July 17th. So... what was in the article that jim was pointing to as proof, what was the basis of his beliefs? He seemed to think that just now the Bush Administration was being forced to begin tribunals-so obviously jim didn’t know that there had been CSR Tribunals ongoing at Guantanamo Bay, until the Court of Appeals stopped them. Why didn’t he know that? We’ll have to ask him. But it could be because he gets his information the NY Times and main stream media which are extremely partisan against the Conservative Right, and especially President George Bush.
The article jim pointed me to: A number of dissenting opinions from some of the highest level military lawyers. They were compelling arguments, and would have been news,if they weren't 2.5 to 3.5 years old.
Granted that those were the sincere and serious thoughts of those top lawyers in 2002-2003; it would have been ethically and journalistically honest of Neil A. Lewis, if he were going to use their quotes, to follow up in the same article and ask those same lawyers of their opinion now in light of the SCOTUS decision. Without the followup, the quotes serve only as fuel for the ill-informed's unreasonable bias against the Administration of George Bush, and the military's mission in Guantanamo Bay.

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