[Marxism] US Asserts Broad Power To Detain Enemy Combatants

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 2 11:02:37 MST 2004

While the State Department and editorial presstitutes
revile Cuba for human rights abuses while the island's
been busy releasing prisoners ten to twenty YEARS ahead
of the end of their sentences, the Bush administration
is in court asserting the right to hold anyone it wants
in prison without charge indefinitely "even if they 
aided terrorists unintentionally and never fought the
U.S." as the Associated Press summarizes it. Here we
can see laid out in precise detail what Washington has
in mind for the rest of Cuba if it could get its hands
on any more Cuban territory than it occupies right now.
GUANTANAMO HRC: http://guantanamohrc.org

US Govt Asserts Broad Power To Detain Enemy Combatants

December 1, 2004 7:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP)--Under detailed questioning by a federal
judge, government lawyers asserted Wednesday the U.S.
military can hold foreigners indefinitely as enemy
combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba , even if they aided
terrorists unintentionally and never fought the U.S.

Could a "little old lady in Switzerland" who sent a check
to an orphanage in Afghanistan be taken into custody if
unbeknownst to her some of her donation was passed to
al-Qaida terrorists? asked U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens

"She could," replied Deputy Associate Attorney General
Brian Boyle. "Someone's intention is clearly not a factor
that would disable detention." It would be up to a newly
established military review panel to decide whether to
believe her and release her.

Boyle said the military can pick up any foreigner who
provides support to terrorists or might know of their
plans. And the foreigners held on the U.S. naval base in
Cuba "have no constitutional rights enforceable in this
court," Boyle told the judge.

"That's really shocking," Thomas B. Wilner, attorney for 12
Kuwaiti detainees, told reporters after Green's hearing.
"People throughout the world will fear the United States is
asserting the power to pick up little old ladies and men
who made a mistake."

Green presided over an initial skirmish in what promises to
be a long battle to flesh out the meaning of the Supreme
Court's historic June 28 ruling that the Guantanamo
prisoners can ask U.S. courts to see to it that they have a
proceeding to challenge detention.

In an effort to streamline the proceedings, Green heard
arguments in 12 cases involving 54 detainees. A colleague,
District Judge Robert J. Leon, who declined to have his
cases coordinated with the others at this stage, will hear
almost identical arguments over two cases involving five
other detainees on Thursday.

The government has asked the judges to throw out the cases.
Boyle said combatant status review tribunals, or CSRTs, set
up by the U.S. military since the Supreme Court decision,
and a subsequent annual administrative review by the
military provide "more than sufficient due process" to
satisfy the high court.

Wilner and other attorneys for detainees called the CSRT
process inadequate. They said the panels, which consist of
three military officers, have orders to presume the
government's evidence is accurate, accept statements given
under torture and don't allow the detainee to have a lawyer
or see secret evidence against him.

"The world is waiting to see if American justice will
work...whether these men will see their day in court,"
Wilner told Green. He said that 440 of the 550 detainees
have been through the process and only one has been
declared a noncombatant and released even though the
government has charged only a few with crimes.

Green asked how the government defined an enemy combatant
who aided terrorists or Afghanistan's now-toppled Taliban

"It is not limited to individuals who carried a weapon and
shot at American troops," Boyle replied. They don't have to
be on the front lines; they can be strategic advisers,
intelligence informants, or supply workers including cooks,
he said.

Green asked if a hypothetical resident of England who
teaches English to the son of an al-Qaida leader could be
detained. Boyle said he could because "al-Qaida could be
trying to learn English to stage attacks there," and he
compared that aid to "those shipping bullets to the front."
Some detainees have been picked up in Bosnia and others in

Noting the Supreme Court said detention was to keep
combatants from returning to the battlefield, Green asked,
"What and where is the battlefield the U.S. military is
trying to detain the prisoners from returning to? Africa?

Boyle: "The conflict with al-Qaida has a global reach."

Green asked if detainees are told how long they might be
imprisoned. "When will this end?" she asked. "Can
hostilities last as long as Muslim fundamentalists vow
attacks on the United States?"

Boyle replied that was "a question for the president," not

Attorneys for the detainees asked Green to deny the
government motion to dismiss the cases, to declare the CSRT
panels invalid for lack of due process, to require the
government to justify detentions in District Court under
standard U.S. court rules or in some other process overseen
by the federal courts and to order that Guantanamo
conditions meet Geneva Convention standards.

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