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  1.    #1  
    Terror and Power: Bush Takes a Step Back



    By SCOTT SHANE
    Published: July 12, 2006

    WASHINGTON, July 11 — From the outset, President Bush declared that the battle against Al Qaeda would be a war like no other, fought by new rules against new enemies not entitled to the old protections afforded to either prisoners of war or criminal defendants.

    But the White House acknowledgment on Tuesday that a key clause of the Geneva Conventions applies to Qaeda detainees, as a recent Supreme Court ruling affirmed, is only the latest step in the gradual erosion of the administration’s aggressive legal stance.

    The administration’s initial position emerged in 2002 only after a fierce internal legal debate, and it has been revised in the face of international opinion, Congressional curbs and Supreme Court rulings. Two central ideas of the war on terror — that the president could fight it exclusively on the basis of his constitutional powers and that terrorist suspects had few, if any, rights — have been modified repeatedly.

    Scholars debated the meaning of a Defense Department memo made public on Tuesday that declared that the clause in the Geneva Conventions, Common Article 3, “applies as a matter of law to the conflict with Al Qaeda.”

    Administration officials suggested that the memo only restated what was already policy — that detainees must be treated “humanely.” But what was undeniable was that the president’s executive order of Feb. 7, 2002, declared that Article 3 did not apply to Al Qaeda or to Taliban detainees, and that the newly released memo, written by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, said it did.

    After the Pentagon released the memo, the White House confirmed that it had formally withdrawn part of the 2002 order and accepted that Article 3 now applied to Qaeda detainees. That article prohibits “humiliating and degrading treatment” of prisoners and requires trials “affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”
    Last edited by theBlaze74; 07/12/2006 at 08:41 AM. Reason: No Comments and Newer article
  2.    #2  
  3. NRG
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    #3  
    Ah, checks and balances.
  4. #4  
    I'm fine with this, but:

    1) Do we (USA) have to pay for their defense?
    2) What flies as “humiliating and degrading treatment”. Who decides?
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by aairman23
    I'm fine with this, but:

    1) Do we (USA) have to pay for their defense?
    2) What flies as “humiliating and degrading treatment”. Who decides?
    w who else?
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    w who else?
    Good answer, he is the Commander in Chief
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  7. #7  
    I don't blame the President (and the executive branch) from picking a position from the far end of the spectrum. Prosecuting this war on terror is difficult enough. Now that the courts have weighed in, the position is changing. He (and the exec. branch) are still charged with keeping us safe. Its a difficult position to be in.
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  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by aairman23
    I'm fine with this, but:

    1) Do we (USA) have to pay for their defense?
    2) What flies as “humiliating and degrading treatment”. Who decides?
    Without knowing for sure, my first instinct is that if the detainees have no resources, they would be assigned a public defender at taxpayers expense. Determining what is humiliating and degrading is probably not that difficult, there have been cases on international law and there are probably standard operating procedures and other manuals that offer what it is and what it isnt.

    The real key though is “affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”
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  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    The real key though is “affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”
    The reason given by those here that did not want to afford those guarantees was that they could result in acquitall.
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Good answer, he is the Commander in Chief
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    The reason given by those here that did not want to afford those guarantees was that they could result in acquitall.
    I think the better conservative argument is that we don't want to risk revealing secret information sources in prosecuting terrorists.

    Acquitals are unlikely if there is truly evidence to support holding them indefinitely.
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    The reason given by those here that did not want to afford those guarantees was that they could result in acquitall.
    Who said that? I do not remember anyone making that claim, but I may have missed it.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Ahhh, one sarcastic remark deserved another one. If you don't want em directed back to you, don't make em.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
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  14. NRG
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    #14  
    Easy
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Acquitals are unlikely if there is truly evidence to support holding them indefinitely.
    The President wasn't required until now to provide evidence in order to hold them indefinitely was he?

    Furthermore, if there was such a great deal of evidence, why the reluctance to bring them to trial?

    You are honestly saying that it was the president's concern about national security being leaked in the trial? Or do you simply mean it would "make a better conservative argument"?

    Are you saying the president has the power to detain indefinitely anyone for whom the evidence needed for conviction is a matter of national security? And you think this is the case with every single one of the detainees? All of them?
  16. #16  
    Sorry that I haven't responded to this earlier...I have clicked on 'new posts' and this has never come up.

    Also, Ive said this before, I may not personally agree with this position but I do enjoy debating the issue and offering a different perspective. It gets a little boring in here if everyone chants to the same drum. (And if anyone remembers back, I debated with Phurth over this very issue and took the 'liberal' side of the argument. )

    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    The President wasn't required until now to provide evidence in order to hold them indefinitely was he?
    My limited understanding is that because they were classified as enemy combatants, he needed no evidence to hold them (other than the fact that they were collected from the battlefield.)

    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Furthermore, if there was such a great deal of evidence, why the reluctance to bring them to trial?
    I thought I mentioned this before...the evidence that would be needed to bring conspiracy type charges would likely require witnesses of which the government does not want revealed (or surveillance methods that they don't want revealed.) Because the war on terrorism is ongoing, its fair to say that they witnesses and methods are still being used. The counterargument is that we could have 'secrect' courts to try them...you still run the risk of things being leaked. Sometimes the less people that know, the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    You are honestly saying that it was the president's concern about national security being leaked in the trial? Or do you simply mean it would "make a better conservative argument"?
    I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. IMHO the President does care about the security of this country. I can't imagine that he is sitting back hoping that another 9/11 attack occurs? Couple that with the fact that it does make a better conservative argument to use national security reasons for not prosecuting these individuals in open court.

    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Are you saying the president has the power to detain indefinitely anyone for whom the evidence needed for conviction is a matter of national security? And you think this is the case with every single one of the detainees? All of them?
    I wouldnt frame the issue so narrowly. I would say that the courts are going to allow the President large lattitude over 'executive' powers per the seperation in the constitution. I think the court also recognizes that we are in difficult times and realistically, we may need the Executive to have this kind of power.

    The key to your question though is that we aren't talking about 'anybody'. We are talking about people who are not US citizens and who are not on US soil. Once one of those to factors kick in, then the analysis changes (at least this was the major factor the court looked at prior to the most recent Hamdi case.)

    I would hope that the military and the executive branch have a bonafide good faith belief that all the detainees are there because they have done something to further terrorism guided against the US. Are there examples of people being there who truly weren't a part of Al Queda? Yes...so to answer your last question, I would say No that every single one of the detainees needs to be there or needs to be tried.
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