Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Oh, We Have To Do This Legally. Well, Why Didn't You Say So In The First Place?

OK, this is getting serious. We really have to do something about activist judges in this country. We mean, how is the U.S. going to go about ridding the world of evil doers if we have to constantly be starting over because we forgot one little thing, like finding a law they broke. Isn't it enough that they're brown?

The US government defended its effort to try Guantanamo Bay "war on terror" detainees by military commission despite judges throwing out two early cases. "We don't agree with the ruling," White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters. "I told that to the judge and he said the law is more important than my opinion. The nerve!"

"The system is taking great care to be within the letter of the law," he added. "Which, as you know is new and uncharted territory for this administration."

His comments came after cases against Toronto native Omar Ahmed Khadr, 20, and Osama bin Laden's ex-driver Salim Ahmed Hamdan were thrown out by two judges. "Two judges," Fratto said. "Two judges. It wasn't enough that one judge threw the cases out, but another had to come along and join him. Now that's just piling on."

In both cases, the judges found they had no jurisdiction to proceed with military commission trials, as neither Khadr nor Hamdan had been classified as an "unlawful enemy combatant" as required by a recent US law. "Details, details, details," Fratto said.

Fratto maintained that "in no way do those decisions affect the appropriateness of the military commission system," adding the Defense Department had asked for time to study the rulings to consider an appeal. "Well, actually we're considering getting some different judges. We've asked the folks at the Department of Justice to help us find the right people."

So far only three people have faced hearings at Guantanamo Bay since the Military Commissions Act (MCA) was rushed through Congress in September after the US government's old procedure was overturned by the Supreme Court. "Hey, three out of 517 isn't bad if you consider most of the lawyers have been pulled off the case to defend Tom DeLay."

The only Guantanamo trial to proceed was that of 31-year-old "Australian Taliban" David Hicks, jailed for nine months in March under a plea bargain deal. "That's right evil doers," Fratto said. You mess with America and you'll be doing hard time. Libby gets 30 months, you get nine. What do you think...wait. Is that right?"

"This entire exercise serves as an indictment of US law and policy regarding the detention and trial of foreign nationals in Guantanamo and elsewhere," said Amnesty International's observer Jumana Musa. "Yeah, but it keeps the mouth breather vote in line," Fratto responded. "Did I say that out loud?"

The ruling triggered calls for the release of Khadr, who was just 15 when captured in Afghanistan. "If we lose the appeal, our fall back position is to charge him with being out after curfew," Fratto said.

No comments: