Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Confusing Developments Senate-Side on GTMO Detention, Commissions and Habeas
(Cross-posted in part at SCOTUSblog.)
"Four Republicans for (Chafee, Smith, Spectre, Sununu)"
Who would have expected Blofeld to vote for habeas? (Linked here.)
"this is a blunderbuss solution that cries out for careful and deliberate consideration and debate ... where experts can weigh in and various questions can be examined and answered."
This is an excellent suggestion when compared to the current situation where 300+ court cases have been filed before dozens of judges producing dozens of decisions that directly contradict each other on the same set of laws and facts. Article 3 is even worse at solving these problems than Article 1.
"Lawyers for Jumah Dossari, a detainee held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, filed a motion in federal court yesterday asking for improvements in the conditions of their client's confinement, arguing that his nearly complete isolation from human contact has led him to become suicidal." (Washington Post, Nov 5).
The failure of the courts to reject out of hand grandstanding motions to impose judicial supervision of a military POW facility based on staged "suicide" attempts and hunger strikes has produced a backlash. It would be better if there was more deliberation in the response. However, there has been over three years now for these matters to be discussed. If there are only ideological rants and no meaningful analysis in the papers and journals, it is not just Congress that has been asleep on this question.
After 9/11 Congress authorized "all necessary and appropriate
force against those nations, organizations, or persons
he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the
terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001" Then they went back to passing Highway bills and giving out farm subsidies. If we are left with a bad law, it will be because appropriations is the only thing Congressmen want to do any more. The history books may call this the War on Terror, or they may call it the "War on somebody Congress was too lazy to name carried out by means that Congress was too lazy to define."
Shocking! Among the many quite legitimate court challenges (see, e.g., here, there are some questionable ones.
As to the fact that Congress is more concerned with monetary matters than things of this nature, yeah, that's distressing.
Not new though. James Madison had to pressure the House of Representatives to act on his motion to consider a bill of rights, a matter a majority of the states expected when they ratified the Constitution. One matter dealt with searches and seizures.
Meanwhile, the Congress dealt with setting up shop ... and revenue measures, including duties involving search and seizure concerns.
As to the final question, oy.Post a Comment
Why, oh why, are these the only alternatives? It is important for Congress to actually practice its power and duty to clarify this issue.
But, why the rush? Your questions, and you aren't alone, just cry out for some special care. But, care seems to be the opposite of what is being shown here.
If this is what it takes to bring the torture provision, it reeks of coercion, and I don't like it at all. And, what will be gained? How will those not tried gain review?
I think a moment is upon us where there is actually some agreement that something has to be done. I don't see it disappearing next week. I say risk demanding some time.
This is sadly in some ways 10/02 all over again.