Six years ago, we were presented with an interesting situation that had our old buddy President George W. Bush ready to bust a nut. In June of 2008, roughly five months before President Obama defeated Senator John McCain to become our Commander-In-Chief, the Supreme Court opened the door for Guantanamo Bay terror detainees to have their cases heard in our civilian court system. It was then that candidate Senator Barack Obama sided with the move, and repeated his admonition that GITMO be closed and abandoned.
While President Obama obviously reneged on his vow to mothball the Cuban-based installation, it appears his belief that these “detainees” be treated like other American lawbreakers also mysteriously evaporated. In releasing five seriously dangerous Taliban operatives in exchange for Taliban prisoner (and documented nutbag deserter) Bowe Bergdahl, the president has exhibited amazingly brazen hypocrisy.
Here was what I had to say in 2008 about then Senator Obama’s rather bizarre take on the issue,
The case, well documented and discussed, was supported by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“Obama Sides with Terrorists and ACLU in Supreme Court Case”
There are already lists of lawsuits that have been filed by the terror suspects in custody, most of whom are being held at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO).
Courtesy of Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) here are just a few that may well proceed with last week’s ruling:
“Al Odah — Motion for Dictionary Internet Security Forms” — Kuwaiti detainees seek court orders that they be provided dictionaries in contravention of GTMO’s force protection policy and that their counsel be given high-speed internet access at their lodging on the base and be allowed to use classified Department of Defense telecommunications facilities, all on the theory that otherwise their “right to counsel” is unduly burdened.
“Paracha — Motion for Preliminary Injunction re Conditions” — Motion by high level al Qaeda detainee complaining about base security procedures, speed of mail delivery, and medical treatment; seeking an order that he be transferred to the “least onerous conditions” at GTMO and asking the court to order that GTMO allow him to keep any books and reading materials sent to him and to “report to the Court” on “his opportunities for exercise, communication, recreation, worship, etc.”
“Motion for Preliminary Injunction re Medical Records” — Motion by detainee accusing military’s health professionals of “gross and intentional medical malpractice” in alleged violation of the 4th, 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments, 42 USC 1981, and unspecified international agreements.
“Abdah — Emergency Motion re DVDs” — “emergency” motion seeking court order requiring GTMO to set aside its normal security policies and show detainees DVDs that are purported to be family videos.
“Alladeen — Motion for Temporary Restraining Order re Transfer” — Egyptian detainee who Combatant Status Review Tribunal adjudicated as no longer an enemy combatant, and who was therefore due to be released by the United States, files motion to block his repatriation to Egypt.
“Petitioners’ Supplemental Opposition” — Filing by detainee requesting that, as a condition of a stay of litigation pending related appeals, the Court involve itself in his medical situation and set the stage for them to second-guess the provision of medical care and other conditions of confinement
“Al Odah Supplement to Preliminary Injunction Motion” — Motion by Kuwaiti detainees unsatisfied with the Koran they are provided as standard issue by GTMO, seeking court order that they be allowed to keep various other supplementary religious materials, such as a “tafsir” or 4-volume Koran with commentary, in their cells.
Folks, this is just the beginning.
Never in the history of American warfare, and make no mistake, we are at war, have prisoners been allowed such silly use of the American court system.
Aside from the fact that such access for non-citizens should offend the sensibilities of every thinking citizen in this country, keep in mind that American civilian courts are in no way set up, logistically or otherwise, to handle the work that has always been done in these cases by military tribunal.
We are in uncharted territory here to be sure, but the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision is Exhibit “A” in the case for the best presidential candidate to appoint conservative judges in the next four years. And his name ain’t Barack Obama.
Hopefully, the GOP will seize this opportunity to show the world just how far to the left the country can go if the Dems take over all three branches of government.
Barack Obama on the side of the ACLU and detained terror suspects. It has all the makings of a rotting albatross, if the McCain team has the stones to use it.
Sadly, they did not. McCain notoriously made the decision to become Casper Milquetoast in his handling of his neophyte opponent, lest anyone accuse him of being a racist or an Islamaphobe. His ass was kicked as a result.
Amazingly, this week’s “thugs for nut” exchange seems to validate the conservative’s steadfast belief that these people were in fact “prisoners of war.” After all, an American president would have no authority to trade common accused criminals for a genuine POW, would he?
I mean, that would be like trading foreign suspects (Mexican drug cartel leaders, for instance), not yet tried or convicted for any specified crime, mind you, for an American soldier held by a foreign government for some reason, right?
He couldn’t do it. Unless of course, the suspects in question always were prisoners of war. Just like we said they were.