As Senate Blocks Guantanamo Closing Funding, Habeus Hating Judge Allows Indefinite Imprisonment There May 20, 2009Posted by rogerhollander in Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Torture.
Tags: aclu, al-Qaeda, detainees, Guantanamo, guantanamo prisoners, habeus corpus, john bates, judge bates, rob kall, robert gibbs, Robert Mueller, roger hollander, senate, senators, Taliban, valerie plame
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www.opednews.com, May 20, 2009
90 senators who are afraid of being accused of allowing Guantanamo prisoners into their states opposed funding the costs for closing Guantanamo.
Judge Who’s Allowing Unlimited Imprisonment of Guantanamo Prisoners Also Scuttled Plame Lawsuits and Opposes Habeus Corpus
Late Tuesday, District Judge Bates ruled that the President of the United States may indefinitely detain, without charges, al-Qaida and Taliban members and terrorist suspects held at Guantánamo Judge Bates added a few caveats which may help some of the prisoners, as the Guardian reported he stated that,
“Detention based on substantial or direct support of the Taliban, al-Qaida or associated forces, without more, is simply not warranted by domestic law or the law of war,” Bates wrote. “The court can find no authority in domestic law or the law of war, nor can the government point to any, to justify the concept of ‘support’ as a valid ground for detention,” he wrote. It is unclear whether the distinction will allow some prisoners to go free, however. “If the evidence demonstrates that an individual did not identify himself as a member, but undertook certain tasks within the command structure or rendered frequent substantive assistance to al-Qaida … then a court might conclude that he was a ‘part of’ the organisation,” Bates wrote. The case was brought by six Guantánamo prisoners who challenged their detention. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jonathan Hafetz said the opinion defies a ban in the US Constitution on indefinite detention. “The decision wrongly concludes that terrorism suspects at Guantánamo may continue to languish in military detention rather than being prosecuted in our civilian courts,” Hafetz said. “Like the president’s recent decision to revive military commissions, this ruling perpetuates rather than ends the failed experiment in lawlessness that is Guantánamo.”
District Judge John D. Bates, appointed by George W. Bush in 1991. He.was appointed to serve as a FISA judge on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts. The judge was also involved in decisions rejecting efforts by Valerie Plame to bring Dick Cheney to trial. Wikipedia reports that the judge is an avid opponent to habeus corpus. This was a win for the Obama administration, which claims to be seeking to close the Guantanamo facility, especially since, today, the senate refused to provide the funds Obama requested, which were to cover the cost of closing the facility. The 90 to 6 vote against funding sent a resounding message that both Dems and Republicans insist upon a more well defined plan before they will fund the closing. FBI Director Robert Mueller, appointed by George W. Bush in June 2001, warned congress that there could be risked associated with moving Guantanamo prisoners to the US, apparently sabotaging Obama administration efforts to fulfill Obama’s promise to close the facility,or giving him cover to not follow through on the promise. The New York Times reports
Administration officials have indicated that if the Guantánamo camp closes as scheduled more than 100 prisoners may need to be moved to the United States, including 50 to 100 who have been described as too dangerous to release. Of the 240 detainees, 30 have been cleared for release. Some are likely to be transferred to foreign countries, though other governments have been reluctant to take them. Britain and France have each accepted one former detainee. And while as many as 80 of the detainees will be prosecuted, it remains unclear what will happen to those who are convicted and sentenced to prison. At the White House on Tuesday, the press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said the administration expected that Congress would eventually release the money to close the camp, and he suggested that the concerns of lawmakers would start to be addressed on Thursday, when Mr. Obama will present a “hefty part” of his plan. At the Pentagon, a spokesman, Geoff Morrell, said Tuesday that he believed that the administration remained on track to meet the deadline for closing the prison. “I see nothing to indicate that that date is at all in jeopardy,” Mr. Morrell said.
In both houses of congress, both parties are calling for a clearer plan. And so, we wait, as have the prisoners at Guantanamo, 80-90% of whom were arrested based on bounties of $5000 to $20,000 paid to Afghans earning, in many cases, less than $1000 a year.