Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Catching Up On The News...
Last year while teaching at Hunter College I had my seminar look at the actions of the Bush Administration and Congress regarding the writ of habeus corpus and its denial to enemy combatants. I was please to note in yesterday's NYT the following:
Judges Say U.S. Can't Hold Man as 'Combatant'
The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled yesterday that the president may not declare civilians in this country to be “enemy combatants” and have the military hold them indefinitely. The ruling was a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism.
A civilian must be tried as a civilian, in other words. You just can't take anyone off the street and declare him an unlawful enemy combatant with or without a hearing and then hold them indefinitely.
Here's the money quote:
“To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians,” Judge Motz wrote, “even if the president calls them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country.”
Read it all. The Court of Appeals got it exactly right. There is a rule of law in this country, no matter what the President thinks.