The United States Supreme Court has ruled that President George W. Bush overstepped his authority in denying terror war detainees civilian trials...
The Court has ruled that U.S. detainees--classified by the Bush Administration as "enemy combatants"--cannot be considered exempt from the Geneva Convention. The administration had attempted to argue that the "combatants" had no rights under U.S. or international law, or that only certain rights under each applied.
The Supreme Court disagreed.
The trials had been challenged by Salim Ahmed Hamdan, former bodyguard and limo driver for Osama bin Laden. Hamdan has been held at Guantanamo Bay for four years, eventually being charged with conspiracy. The court pointed out that there is no international law against conspiracy.
The ruling is not likely to result in the release of Hamdan, or other Guantanamo prisoners. In fact, it may result in longer detentions, while the United States attempts to put another system into place.
The 5-3 decision overturns a lower court ruling in the government's favor by Chief Justice and Bush appointee John Roberts. Roberts did not participate in the decision.
A complete overhaul of the system for Guantanamo Bay detainee trails is now expected.
In the odd event that you would actually like to read the opinion of the SCOTUS, you can find it here, but there is one sentence that I liked best:
For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the military commission convened to try Hamdan lacks power to proceed because its structure and procedures violate both the UCMJ and the Geneva Conventions.So, basically, we see laid bare, the degree to which the W, Rove and Co. will go to violate the laws in order to acheive their aims. With no law to high to violate, what will they do next? There are a lot more gems in the opinion of the court briefing, but I don't have time to look deeper. May get to it later. Stay posted as all eyes are on the whitehouse becuase they now have the "guidance" from the courts they have been waiting for to "close Guantanamo." Of course, the President is busy entertaining the Japanese delegation and taking the prime minister to Graceland, but hey, what's more important?