I'm Pablo Kickasso.
This is my blog.


Supreme Court Finds Detainees Have Rights . . . Again

The US Supreme Court ruled today that "detainees" being held by the US military in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have the right to challenge the legality of their detention in civilian federal court.

The justices' ruling seemingly missed the entire point of Guantanamo Bay. Gitmo was born out of the necessities of a post 9/11 world. After all, in the War on Terror™, it was inevitable that some prisoners would have to be taken. Not that they should be considered "Prisoners of War", because that would just grant them all kinds of "rights" and "humane treatment" under those total buzzkill treaties called the Geneva Conventions. But we wouldn't want to let them fall into the US legal system with all its bullshit "due process" either. The solution was elegant, nay, beautiful. Step 1: create a meaningless designation like "enemy combatant" after all, "enemy combatants" can't possibly have rights if you just made the term up. Step 2: House them on land leased by the US government on Cuban soil, and which is therefore a legal gray area. It was the perfect loophole. And the damn Supreme Court had to go and fuck it all up.

This isn't the first time the high court has stuck their collective gavel where it didn't belong in regards to Guantanamo. Back in 2004, they ruled that detainees had the right to appeal their unlawful detention (otherwise known as the right of habeas corpus) just because of some obscure law called The United States Constitution (article one, Section 9).

Then again in 2006 the court just HAD to get involved and ruled against the trial-ish "tribunals" (starring an all US military cast) set up by the Bush administration, effectively saying "Uh, this shit ain't legal".

Naturally Bush did the honorable thing and took advantage of the Republican majority in both houses of congress to push through legislation countermanding the Supreme Court's findings, most notably the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which effectively said "Uhh, yeah it is. No takesy backsy."

The Military Commissions Act solved the habeas corpus issue by stating that detainees, could challenge the legal basis of their imprisonment, but only before a panel of US military personnel. It also reaffirmed trying detainees by military tribunal, because dammit, it was a good idea in the first place.

One only has to look to the recent trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several other suspected terrorists to see the brilliance of the system. Brilliance that was apparently lost on the defendants who elected to represent themselves. Why would they do that when a perfectly good system had been set up with the US military acting as judge, prosecution and defense? I mean it was so aboveboard, the media was even allowed to watch! Ok, so the media was technically watching in another room, hearing everything on a 20 second delay which seemed to cut out whenever the defendants made any reference to being tortured or being put on psychotropic medication. And admittedly, a sizable part of the audio may have actually been an episode of "Dora the Explorer". But to be fair, all the reporters could count to twenty in Spanish by the end of the day.

The point is, a system was set up to handle the detainees and their "rights": letting the US military decide everything. But did that appease the Supreme Court? Noooooooooooooooooo. They just kept clinging to their precious Constitution.

Which brings us to today's ruling. Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion on the case said, "The laws and constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law."

Boo freaking hoo. Somebody call the "Waaah"mbulance.

President Bush knows that the constitution is like an instruction manual for our nation. But the president is also a Real Man, and he knows when a Real Man is building something, be it a new entertainment center from Ikea, or a strategy for dealing with suspected terrorists, a Real Man doesn't look at the instructions. That's for sissies. A Real Man just follows two simple laws:

Law One:
If it doesn't fit, force it.

Law Two:
If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Of course with the Democrats in control of congress, the ruling might actually stick this time, upholding the constitutional principle of habeas corpus as well as about half of the Bill of Rights. Ugh. Today is indeed a dark day for democracy.

1 offerings of praise:

JJC1138 said...

Haha! I think you win again.