Friday, June 30, 2006

Supreme Court blocks Bush, Gitmo war trials

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"The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees, saying in a strong rebuke that the trials were illegal under U.S. and international law.

"Bush said there might still be a way to work with Congress to sanction military tribunals for detainees and the American people should know the ruling 'won't cause killers to be put out on the street.'

"The court declared 5-3 that the trials for 10 foreign terror suspects violate U.S. military law and the Geneva conventions."

Court rejects military tribunals
High Court Blocks Gitmo Tribunals :: World reacts with skepticism, optimism :: News 8 Austin
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Commentary from Lindsay Beyerstein's blog at AlterNet:

"Marty Lederman of SCOTUSblog sees huge implications for this decision:
More importantly, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and
shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. See my further discussion here.
"This almost certainly means that the CIA's interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the Administation has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes)."

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