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A nation of laws?

Detainees at Gitmo

Detainees at Gitmo


U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon, in the first ruling to carry out the Supreme Court’s June decision on detainees’ rights, ordered the federal government to release five Guantanamo Bay detainees “forthwith.” The judge found, however, that the government had justified the continued imprisonment of a sixth detainee, Belkacem ben Sayah.

The judge, in an unusual added comment, suggested to senior government leaders that they forgo an appeal of his ruling on freeing the five prisoners, suggesting that “seven years is enough” in captivity. He argued that the government could pursue whatever legal issues it wished to while defending on appeal his ruling in the case of ben Sayah.

As you might expect, this story has some rightwingers’ panties all twisted:

Getting judges involved in national security matters, what could go wrong?


The six prisoners were captured in Bosnia, where they had been living, although they are all natives of Algeria.

In ruling against the government as to the five detainees, Judge Leon said that the Justice Department and intelligence agencies had relied solely on a classified document, which he found was not persuasive on the government’s claim that the five had planned to travel to Afghanistan to join in hostile actions against the United States and allied forces.

I find it extremely disturbing that the United States government asserts that it has the authority to arrest and imprison Algerian nationals arrested in Bosnia for the alleged crime of planning to travel to Afghanistan to fight our troops.  Even more disturbing is the fact that our government wants to do so without providing the defendants with due process of law.

These men have been imprisoned for seven years based on a single classified document.  German and Japanese prisoners of war were released shortly after hostilities ceased in WWII (except for those accused of war crimes) but these men have been imprisoned far longer than any POW we ever held, and were probably subjected to “enhanced interrogation.”  IIRC, the “detainees” at Gitmo were all supposed to be “the worst of the worst.”

No wonder the Bush adminstration has tried so hard to deprive these people of due process.  Everytime these “dangerous terrorists” manage to get a fair tribunal to look at their cases the evidence against them turns out to be vitually non-existent.  Under these facts, I don’t see how we could assert legal authority over these men in the first place, even if the charges were true.

From Wikipedia:

Since October 7, 2001, when the current war in Afghanistan began, 775 detainees have been brought to Guantánamo. Of these, approximately 420 have been released without charge, with only one prisoner, David Hicks, being convicted of a crime.

88 Responses

  1. So like planning is equivalent to doing. Next time I plan to go to work, I will demand to get paid. I will show how I wrote in my calendar that I planned to work, and I will write a few emails stating that I cannot do anything else because I plan to go to work. I will meet with a few of my friends and tell them how I plan to go to work. That should be enough evidence to support my demand for a check from my employer. And the evidence won’t have to be secret.

  2. Sad, myiq, very sad.

  3. The psycho-in-chief’s administration arrested everyone they possibly could to further their “terrorists are everywhere” meme and further their sick agenda. I hope they’re tried for war crimes. Though he and Cheney did buy land in Paraguay, right? That’s where all war criminals go to escape punishment.

    He DEFINITELY won’t be able to leave this country (unless he’s secreted away to Paraguay) after he’s out of office or he’ll be arrested for his criminal activities…..as he should be. What a happy day that would be.

  4. I think of all the things done and un-done these past 7-8 years…

    Yes, Kim, it is so sad. These are young men who are living in captivity, no job, no education, no wife, no future and no legal protection of any kind. It pisses me off to no end that OUR government is responsible on our supposed behalf.

  5. Someone over at Reclusive Leftist posted this, bestest video ever!
    (probably not work safe)
    Old Fat Naked Women for Peace

  6. I am sure a lot of you are like me. We read
    The Count of Monte Christo and
    The Man in the Iron Mask
    but it just fiction not real life.
    It could never really happen and especially not in America.
    We have to get back to have some kind of moral compass and be a nation of laws.
    We have created more enemies in the last eight years the any I can remember.



  7. Guys, we are going to have to temper these threads with something nice at least once a day; whether it is about movies, music, books or our family. Is there ever any good news out there anymore?

    Warrantless wiretapping, rigged elections, holding people without due process, children killing their parents, parents killing their children, tent cities, foreclosures, bank closings. Do I still live in the United States of America?

  8. It was so frustrating to hear people say the 2008 election was the most important election of our lives. I always wanted to knock their heads together and yell: Wrong! The most important election of our lives was in 2000. The damage is already done kids.

  9. TRK:

    I thought my “I’m still a guy” thread was nice!

  10. myiq
    that blue eyeshadow is so eighties..

  11. planning, thinking, dreaming — we are all guilty under those standards — may as well start lining up for the hangings — I wouldn’t mind the hanging, its the waiting.

  12. The Real Kim said: “Do I still live in the United States of America?

    I have wondered that a lot lately too, Kim. 😦

  13. On the thread below we are all thinking and sharing ways to help each other in bad times.
    That is the very best of all of us and a great thing to think about.



  14. that blue eyeshadow is so eighties

    You’re just jealous.

  15. Hey- we may have to go back to the communes of the ’60s

  16. If our government can assert authority over people in another country allegedly planning to do stuff in a third, that’s one hell of a “long-arm” statute!

  17. There is a joke in Russia where some peasants are told to report the next day because they arew going to be hanged.

    One man asks “Do we have to bring our own rope?”

  18. don’t miss votermom’s vid link above.

    Old Fat Naked Women for Justice.
    I could do that.

  19. From Ace of spades:

    Ohio Inspector General Rules Joe the Plumber Digging “Improper,” Serving “No Legitimate Agency Function;” Refers the Case to Prosecutors “For Consideration”

  20. “Old Fat Naked Women for Peace”

    Aren’t my threads disgusting enough already?

  21. Oh sh!t myiq, you are an attorney and have worked in criminal law. You know as well as I do, there is no justice. It just doesn’t exist anymore. It is how much money you have, if you have very little and can’t afford a dream team, pack your crap, you are going to jail.

    Every time I call a courthouse, I get a message and sometimes these calls hinge on whether or not someone goes to jail or makes bond.

    The waiting time on a disability case here is two years for a hearing. Now do you know anyone that can go without money for two years?

    Hell it costs $800-$1000 to file bankruptcy. If you are broke, how can you pay that?

    The US has gone to hell in a handbasket. No one cares.

    Maybe us sharing info on things to do to make it through hard times is silly, but at least it was heart warming, for me anyway.

  22. Aren’t my threads disgusting enough already?
    You just naturally attract these things.

    But watch the video — it’s awesome.

  23. TRK–I enjoyed it, too. We should make a collective manual. When all the Obots die off, we’ll “brush ourselves off and try again.”

  24. Micki: If something really bad happens, I think most of us here will be fine. I don’t see an elitist in the bunch. On the plus side, most of us seem to have huge hearts and would have no problem opening our homes up to family and friends to weather the storm. Karma is a bitch, but from where I stand Conflucians deserve to have some really good karma.

  25. HelenK – looks like I just repeated what you said upthread.

  26. here, here Kim – lots of good hearts in this bunch 🙂

  27. We should all get shortwave radios so we can find each other. 🙂

  28. […] 20, 2008 at 12:10 pm (Politics) (Just Say No Deal, PUMA) Okay, I was lurking around over on the Confluence, found a link to this self-explanatory video in the comment section, and thought I’d […]

  29. Micki
    If you don’t mind me asking, where are you located?

  30. When i was working I took a class given by the LA fire department on what to do until rescue comes when there is an emergency.
    There were a lot of good ideas and common sense tips that would help in various situations.
    I am not sure if all cities have these classes but it would be good to know.



  31. Good video, votermom.

    My kids went, “eeeeewwww”. Ah well, can’t win them all over.

  32. From Glenzilla:

    The Bosnian Prosecutor who investigated their initial detention back in 2001 (which was effectuated at the behest of the U.S.) concluded they ought to be released, but the Bosnian Government succumbed to the pressure of the Bush administration and turned them over to the U.S. as they were being released (“hooded, shackled, and packed into waiting cars while their horrified families watched”), after which they were shipped to Guantanamo.

    One of the detainees ordered released today had a wife who was pregnant at the time he was shipped to Guantanamo, who then gave birth to a daughter, now 6, whom he has never met. Another of the Bosnian-Algerians had an infant daughter at the time he was put in Guantanamo who died last year of congenital heart disease at the age of 6. Another of them “suffered months of facial paralysis from a brutal beating inflicted by Guantanamo camp soldiers.”

  33. Are you in need of some giggles? (I know I was!!!)

    Go to /www.tinyurl.com/5wx8ge

  34. puget – link didn’t work

  35. wish I could get my gravatar to work

  36. By the way, most Aussies think David Hicks was detained for way too long.

  37. I just read about Napolitano as Homeland Security chief.

    Have you guys already discussed this?

  38. Catarina–sorry, had to go eat a samosa. I am in Philadelphia. In Old City.

  39. I am tentatively pleased that a woman governor will get the Dept of Homeland Security.
    I hope it doesn’t wreck her rep though the way it did ex-gov Ridge.

  40. Micki, get out. I’m a few miles west of KOP.

  41. Votermom: My good friends live right near Main Street at Exton. I’m out there all the time. Just there this weekend, actually. Went to a place called TJs. I’ve been to tons of restaurants out your way. Every other time, we switch, so I go out there as often as they come into town.

  42. I read that Napolitano has said no due to the vetting procedure.

  43. My friend calls Main Street at Exton “DisneyWorld” LOL.
    You must be single with the eating out — we stay in and feed the kids disgusting stuff like vegetables and milk. 🙂

  44. Micki, votermom:

    I’m in Bucks County.

  45. myiq2xu, on November 20th, 2008 at 3:05 pm Said:

    “Old Fat Naked Women for Peace”

    Aren’t my threads disgusting enough already?
    “Are you too body-conscious? we all have something we don’t like about our bodies. But just when does this concern become an unhealthy preoccupation? – Body Language”

    The ladies are lovely, METHINKS you are TOO body-conscious! We all don’t have a hot pic to send out, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t beautiful. True beauty is within, judging one, by ones appearance is a bit to shallow and hurtful. 😦 Was that you, or your alter ego?

  46. Votermom–no, I’m married but we (sadly) have no kids yet. I’m working on it like crazy, and so are my friends who live out there.

    mlhath: I grew up in Quakertown. Milford Square actually. The place is crawling with commuters these days, though. Its become a “commutable distance” although I would never do it on a daily basis. The north east extension and the blue route are frickin nightmare during rush.

  47. Anti-war groups realize they canot criticize Obama – so, onto Hillary

  48. You’re all in PA, rats.
    So much for my “PUMAs only” Farmer’s Market idea!
    Im in MA on the NH border

  49. Well, clearly you will have to relocate, Catarina. 😉

  50. Micki:

    I’m actually in Newtown. A bit of a drive to Qtown. But a great area.

  51. Yeah, you are on the other side. When I was a teenager, my parents drove me to the George School for orchestra rehearsal. That was a haul.

  52. seriously, Micki.
    If the shit hits the fan I want to be where the PUMAs are.
    But I’m on a farm here and grow stuff under glass in the winter.

    What is the range for those radios you mentioned? 🙂

  53. I think pretty far, actually. My best friend in college (who, sadly, is no longer with us) did ham radio for a hobby. He was always on his radio. He talked to people all over.

  54. Okay here you go:

    YOU must click on the link for some much needed giggles!!!



  55. Embarrassing Video For Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder


    Got some ‘splainin’ to do.

  56. oohhhh!
    “fai la faccia feroce!” I love that kid lol Puget!

  57. wdupray:

    What part of cops enforcing the rulings of our courts do you have a problem with?

  58. Pugetsound

    I’m trying to be serious and think about these poor bastards getting their faces bashed in at guantanamo.

    richard simmons!

  59. Has anyone else received the email warning against buying about gift cards for Christmas with the list of all the imminent store closings? The list is long.

  60. I know, I know.

    But, once in awhile Richar Simmons is required viewing! Giggles are wonderful breaks in this insanity!

  61. myiq2xu, was there a court order? The video says no. If there was a warrant, then I have no problem.

  62. Puget
    you are right about the giggles and the Richard, of course. Hehe

  63. Also, my point was that he was taken at gunpoint and Holder denied it.

  64. myiq and dupray
    i thought the point was holder’s lying statement.
    he barely flinched
    not good

  65. Puget -that was hysterical – thanks 🙄

  66. From wiki:

    Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the return of Elián to his father and set a deadline of April 13, 2000, but the Miami relatives defied the order. Negotiations continued for several days as the house was surrounded by protesters as well as police. The relatives insisted on guarantees that they could live with the child for several months and retain custody, and that Elián would not be returned to Cuba. Negotiations carried on throughout the night, but Reno stated that the relatives rejected all workable solutions. A Florida family court judge revoked Lázaro’s temporary custody, clearing the way for Elián to be returned to his father’s custody. On April 20, Reno made the decision to remove Elián González from the house and instructed law enforcement officials to determine the best time to obtain the boy. After being informed of the decision, Marisleysis said to a Justice Department community relations officer, “You think we just have cameras in the house? If people try to come in, they could be hurt.”

  67. Catarina:

    Did he lie?

  68. Holder said, “He was not taken at the point of a gun”
    AN: “We have a photo..”
    Holder made a blatantly false statement, and he did it without flinching. I f-ing hate that! Stammer, turn red, something!

    I get it about the order and I’m not sure how else they could have gone in and taken the kid without potentially jeopardizing their own safety. I have no problem with that.

  69. Catarina:

    Holder could not see the photo, he was not in the studio.

    His statement was incorrect, but was it a lie?

  70. myiq,

    I think it’s pretty unlikely that Holder wouldn’t have known that Elian was taken by officers who had their guns out.

    If he didn’t know this, he had no reason to “confirm” something he couldn’t have known one way or the other.

  71. I’m not going to believe that because Holder wasn’t able to see the picture at that moment during the interview that he did not know that those soldiers came in their with guns like that — if he didn’t know how it went down he isn’t exactly competent. It is easier for me to believe that all this video shows is that he didn’t know that FOX had the picture & thought he could get away with a flat denial that the boy was taken at gunpoint.

  72. thank you angie
    I was about to scream I need an atty! 😉

  73. catarina — LOL!

  74. lucky for me you and frankly saw myiq whip out the lawyer card 😉

  75. Those weren’t soldiers, those were federal cops.

    They did a difficult and dangerous job very well, accomplishing their mission without hurting anyone.

    Nit-picking whether Holder knew or didn’t know something during an interview with FOX News proves what?

  76. sorry, my attorney has advised me not to submit to further questioning at this time.

  77. myiq,

    I think the nit-picking here has to do with Holder’s credibility.

    I think I agree with catarina here. When people lie to me or deceive me, it makes me feel better about them when they blush when they’re caught.

  78. Oh, excuse me — federal cops not soldiers — and you want to talk about nit-picking?

    I’m not saying it proves anything — all I was saying is that your argument that he was merely mistaken because he couldn’t see the picture about the FEDERAL COPS going in there with guns drawn was a pretty weak one.

  79. I’m going home now.

    See y’all later — if you’re lucky! 🙂

  80. I remember that incident – the pictures were all over the TV and newspapers – I remember thinking how frightened that little boy must have been when they came in there with guns raised.

    As for Gitmo – the treatment of those people is unbelievable but even worse is the fact that the people perpetrating that treatment are our sons and daughters who’ve been trained to treat them that way.
    Who will that affect them for the rest of their lives?

  81. oooops, How will that affect them…

  82. Walked down to the wine store and but a few choice bottles … my sister and I were talking about how horrible our retirement plans look at the moment just as the stock market was plunging again …

  83. prizker evidently decided she couldn’t get thru the vetting and withdrew her name

  84. long day thank god the work is over! Tommorrow is friday!

  85. of course if we go into a depression then guess what oops I have to give up my disney trips!

  86. frankly

    are you making fun of me? that’s fine, you’d hardly be the first person.. 😉

    Just mho, but I think if someone lies with ease that says something about their character.
    I don’t know much about Holder. But I watched him in that vid and my yuck radar sounded. I’m creeped out by pols that are really good liars and lately there seems to be an abundance!



  88. I always said PA is PUMA country.

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