Bush defies Supreme Court ruling (!)

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  • #1
Rach3
Incredible! On the proposed military tribunals, ruled illegal and unconstitutional by the supreme court (ruling), now effectively re-submitted by the executive (emphases are mine):

Proposal for New Tribunals Would Hew to the First Series

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 — Under the measure that President Bush proposed on Wednesday, Khalid Shaik Mohammed and other major terrorism suspects would face trials at Guantánamo Bay in military tribunals that would allow evidence obtained by coercive interrogation and hearsay and deny suspects and their lawyers the right to see classified evidence used against them.

The proposed tribunals would largely hew to those that the Supreme Court rejected in June. The measure says Congress would, by approving the proposed tribunals, affirm that they are constitutional and comply with international law, which the Supreme Court said they did not.
The proposed legislation deals with the objections by saying Congress stands by the president in deeming them in compliance with Common Article 3. In effect, the legislation, if enacted, would pit Congress and the executive branch against the court in interpreting what was meant by the laws that say the United States will comply with Common Article 3.

To inoculate officials and civilian interrogators from the potential of being charged under the War Crimes Act for what they may have done, the bill has a provision making it retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/w...0f113405104&hp&ex=1157688000&partner=homepage

Unbelievable! Not only does this executive want a justice system with hearsay evidence, evidence obtained under torture, and a defendant barred from seeing the evidence against himself, he's willing to create a constitutional crisis to get it...
 
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  • #2
Rach3
A shrew political calculation, according to one:

A Challenge From Bush to Congress

By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: September 7, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 — In calling for public war-crime trials at Guantánamo Bay, President Bush is calculating that with a critical election just nine weeks away, neither angry Democrats nor nervous Republicans will dare deny him the power to detain, interrogate and try suspects his way.

For years now, Guantánamo has been a political liability, regarded primarily as a way station for outcasts. By transforming Guantánamo instead into the new home of 14 Qaeda leaders who rank among the most notorious terror suspects, Mr. Bush is challenging Congress to restore to him the authority to put the United States’ worst enemies on trial on terms he has defined...
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/w...&en=4232fc565b4e597b&ei=5094&partner=homepage
 
  • #3
Rach3
Happily, it seems Bush has no friends left:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — The Bush administration’s proposal to bring leading terror suspects to trial met stiff resistance Thursday from key Republicans and top military lawyers who said that some provisions would not withstand legal scrutiny or do enough to repair the nation’s tarnished reputation internationally.
...
“It would be unacceptable, legally, in my opinion, to give someone the death penalty in a trial where they never heard the evidence against them,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has played a key role in the drafting of legislation as a member of the Armed Services Committee and a military judge. “ ‘Trust us, You’re guilty, We’re going to execute you, but we can’t tell you why’? That’s not going to pass muster, that’s not necessary.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/07/w...&en=8b158fdbfe180297&ei=5094&partner=homepage
 
  • #4
Astronuc
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Interesting -

Military Lawyers Balk at President's Tribunal Plan
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5783523
All Things Considered, September 7, 2006 · Less than a day after President Bush sent his proposal for military commissions to try suspected terrorists, the judge advocates general of all four branches of the military pointed out what they say are serious flaws in the plan.

In particular, the military legal experts say they object to the use of evidence obtained under coercion -- and the possibility that a defendant would not be allowed to confront secret evidence used in military trials.

The House Armed Services Committee held a long-planned hearing on the proposed legislation today.

The White House was forced to revise its scheme for military tribunals after the Supreme Court rejected the original plan in June. In its ruling, the high court suggested that Congress, not the executive branch, should devise such tribunals. Still, the Bush administration, not lawmakers, drafted the latest plan.

Steven Bradbury, the assistant attorney general who testified before the Senate panel for the Bush administration, assured lawmakers that this time, the White House got it right.

"These military commission procedures would provide for fundamentally fair trials," Bradbury said. But he also pointed out one provision that is unheard of in courts of law, that "classified evidence may be considered by the commission outside the presence of the accused."

In explaining the policy, Bradbury said that, "In the midst of the current conflict, we cannot share with captured terrorists the highly sensitive intelligence relevant to some military commission prosecutions."

For Gen. James Walker, staff judge advocate of the U.S. Marine Corps, that provision is a major problem.

"I'm not aware of any situation in the world where there is a system of jurisprudence that is recognized by civilized people," he said, "where an individual can be tried without -- and convicted without -- seeing the evidence against him. And I don't think that the United States needs to become the first in that scenario."

The judge advocate generals of the Army, Navy and Air Force who also testified all agreed with Walker. Some also objected to the commissions' admissibility of evidence obtained under coercion that falls short of torture.

In its remarks about the military commission plan, the administration has insisted that it needs congressional approval for the plan this month.
 

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