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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Enemy combatants Register and log in to post!
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The Amazing Salami
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#1 Posted on 28.4.04 0837.51
Reposted on: 28.4.11 0839.05
This is kinda scary to me. If the president can do this to these two guys...with no judge, no jury....then it can easily abused as a political power play by someone who is .....unsavory.

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http://www.cnn.com/ 2004/LAW/04/27/detainees/ index.html


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will try to sort out the legal fates of U.S. citizens Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi who've been designated "enemy combatants."

At stake is whether the Bush administration's antiterror policies will be dampened by a measure of constitutional protections for certain terror suspects.

The issue centers on whether American citizens designated by President Bush as "enemy combatants" and held in U.S. military custody can appeal their detention and defend themselves in court.

Lawyers for both men have filed habeas corpus petitions, an established protection against false imprisonment under which the government must either go before a judge and make a case for holding a person, or release him.

The two cases will test the government's power to interrogate American captives without allowing them access to a lawyer or the judicial system on the grounds that they may pose a future threat or may know about pending terrorist attacks.

The Padilla and Hamdi appeals are possibly the most important terrorism-related cases to come before the justices since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush and Congress adopted sweeping antiterror policies that critics say in many cases undermine the civil liberties of Americans.

Legal scholars say the arguments will go to the heart of citizens' basic constitutional rights.

"It's finally time for the basic questions about the scope of the president's power to hold people without the approval of the courts, that are really going to be confronted," said Thomas Goldstein, an appellate attorney who has argued dozens of cases before the high court.

"If you're on U.S. soil, do you have a right to get into U.S. courts and have a lawyer?"

Padilla was born in New York and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He is accused of -- but not yet charged with -- plotting to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States.

Padilla was arrested at O'Hare International Airport in May 2002 on a flight from Pakistan.

He has been accused of meeting with al Qaeda's former operations chief, Abu Zubaydah, and discussing stealing radioactive material to set off a crude explosive device.

Padilla's defense attorney, Donna Newman, questions why it was necessary to take him out of civilian custody.

"When he was arrested as an enemy combatant by the military, he was already in jail for almost a month -- in a civil jail, under high security," Newman told CNN.

"So he was no threat, absolutely not. What they are saying if you really read it is that he had information that they wanted. Well, that's a little scary isn't it?"

The Pentagon permitted Newman and co-counsel Andrew Patel, New Jersey and New York-based defense attorneys, to visit Padilla only after deciding in February that its interrogation of the alleged al Qaeda operative had ended.

"Most of the talking was done by me," Newman said. "My aim was simply to educate him."

The March 3 meeting was videotaped with sound by the government. A member of the military was present at all times. And all of the attorneys' notes were photocopied by the military.

Newman said the visit fell short of a standard attorney-client meeting, which is confidential, so the attorneys discussed only the legal issues of the case, not facts or allegations.

"It certainly did not comport with due process," Newman said.

The attorneys had hoped to meet with Padilla privately over five days, but the Pentagon limited the visit to the same strict conditions granted in February to the attorney for Yaser Hamdi.

Hamdi was born in Louisiana but grew up in Saudi Arabia. He was arrested on the battlefield in Afghanistan in November 2001 and has been in military custody since then.

He was transferred to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but then brought to the United States when officials confirmed his citizenship.

Hamdi and Padilla are currently being held in a military brig in Charleston, South Carolina.

Padilla won a legal round when a federal appeals court ordered him released from military custody in January, saying the president had no authority to declare him an enemy combatant.

The court said authorities could transfer him to civilian custody, where criminal charges could be filed.

Hamdi, however, has lost all his federal appeals.

Some legal experts say the government has constitutional precedent on its side.

"It's absolutely, clearly, constitutionally permissible, as a matter of international law, for an enemy combatant, lawful or unlawful, detained in the course of open hostilities, to be held on any charges proffered, for the duration of this particular conflict," said David Rivkin, a former Justice Department attorney.

"For a very simple reason: It's not penal or punitive, or designed to get info out of him, which is entirely possible. You want to make sure he doesn't go back and pick up arms against you."

Other scholars question how receptive the court will be to presidential authority in these cases.

"The difficulty with the administration's position is that, at least as applied to U.S. citizens, it poses a threat to essentially anyone who the administration chooses to call an enemy combatant," said Mark Tushnet, a Georgetown University law professor.

"They're not willing to subject their designation to the scrutiny of any outsider except under an extremely loose standard."

Rulings in the cases are expected by early July.


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Grimis
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#2 Posted on 28.4.04 0907.07
Reposted on: 28.4.11 0907.47
I've always been very uncomfortable with this for US citizens, even if they are "enemy combatants". Sure, they're scum. But they are American citizens.
DrDirt
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#3 Posted on 28.4.04 1105.24
Reposted on: 28.4.11 1105.43
    Originally posted by Grimis
    I've always been very uncomfortable with this for US citizens, even if they are "enemy combatants". Sure, they're scum. But they are American citizens.


I agree. I suppose the question is whether or not they forfeit their citizenship via their actions. Personally, no matter what they do short of renouncing citizenship, they enjoy citizenship privileges regardless of how scummy they are.

Between the "war on drugs" and terrorism, I fear greatly for our constitutional protections as individuals.
ThreepMe
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#4 Posted on 28.4.04 1112.30
Reposted on: 28.4.11 1116.50
    Originally posted by DrDirt
      Originally posted by Grimis
      I've always been very uncomfortable with this for US citizens, even if they are "enemy combatants". Sure, they're scum. But they are American citizens.


    I agree. I suppose the question is whether or not they forfeit their citizenship via their actions. Personally, no matter what they do short of renouncing citizenship, they enjoy citizenship privileges regardless of how scummy they are.

    Between the "war on drugs" and terrorism, I fear greatly for our constitutional protections as individuals.


Heck, even suspected Traitors get a fair trial.

But who needs due process anyways?
PalpatineW
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#5 Posted on 28.4.04 1437.57
Reposted on: 28.4.11 1437.58
In Hamdi's case, they caught him in Afghanistan, taking up arms against this country. So, look at it this way. They can stuff him in a brig for a few years, or they can convict him of treason and kill him outright. At least this way he gets to keep breathing, right?
eviljonhunt81
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#6 Posted on 28.4.04 1815.33
Reposted on: 28.4.11 1816.38
    Originally posted by PalpatineW
    In Hamdi's case, they caught him in Afghanistan, taking up arms against this country. So, look at it this way. They can stuff him in a brig for a few years, or they can convict him of treason and kill him outright. At least this way he gets to keep breathing, right?


I think you missed the point.
DrDirt
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#7 Posted on 29.4.04 0824.22
Reposted on: 29.4.11 0825.15
    Originally posted by eviljonhunt81
      Originally posted by PalpatineW
      In Hamdi's case, they caught him in Afghanistan, taking up arms against this country. So, look at it this way. They can stuff him in a brig for a few years, or they can convict him of treason and kill him outright. At least this way he gets to keep breathing, right?


    I think you missed the point.


Agreed. If we don't afford our citizens, no matter how rotten, their civil liberties then the terrorists have won.
TheBucsFan
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#8 Posted on 29.4.04 0945.21
Reposted on: 29.4.11 0945.45
I just don't understand these things. Bush and his administration use the "they hate us because of our freedom, but we are not going to cave in and give up our freedoms for them," propoganda to fool millions ofp eople in this country into supporting him.

So what do they do? They start taking away people's freedoms. Great.
ThreepMe
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#9 Posted on 29.4.04 1003.17
Reposted on: 29.4.11 1003.18
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    I just don't understand these things. Bush and his administration use the "they hate us because of our freedom, but we are not going to cave in and give up our freedoms for them," propoganda to fool millions ofp eople in this country into supporting him.

    So what do they do? They start taking away people's freedoms. Great.


Hmmm...Isn't taking freedoms from citizens the business of our current enemies?

I know the cliche is over done, but...

Be careful when you fight monsters...
Guru Zim
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#10 Posted on 29.4.04 1330.38
Reposted on: 29.4.11 1330.43
The problem with this line of thinking is illustrated in the following example, which is probably pretty close to why they are using the enemy combatant tag for these people.


Guy #1 has a bomb. A big nuclear bomb. We know it, the Israeli intelligence knows it, French intelligence knows it, hell - even the Russians agree.

We find guy #1 two weeks before he was going to detonate the bomb. Yay us! Oops, he doesn't have the bomb, and he's not going to tell us where it is.

Guy #1 is in jail, and there is a bomb out there that everyone knows exists, and we have no idea where it is. Maybe no one else does.


OK, so there's your scenario. An enemy of the state has a bomb somewhere in the US, and we're pretty sure that he's the only one who knows where it is.

Do you want that guy to have a chance to tell any of his cronies where the bomb is? Wouldn't you want the government to take every step to make sure that someone else doesn't set it off? After all, it's the bomb that is the real threat, not the guy in jail or whether or not he speaks.


I've got to assume that the government views these specific cases like this. I just don't know what you do. You can't unring a bell - if the suspect says something to one of his visitors, do we lock up the visitor at that point? What right would we have to do that?

Do you see why this gets complicated?

I personally don't see this as the end of our civil liberties, and I'm a pretty strong defender (at least in my mind, maybe not yours now that you read this) of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

There has to be some way for National Security to trump individual freedom when necessary, but with a check on National Security that keeps corruption out of the picture, and maintains the trust of Americans.

In summary, I don't know what the answer is.
DrDirt
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#11 Posted on 29.4.04 1424.13
Reposted on: 29.4.11 1425.54
Guru, your example is different than what the article refers to. These "gentlemen" don't have said bomb. Even in your example, the terrorist should have the right to due process. You can prevent contact with other bad people, but this is the United States and anyone has basic rights under the constitution.

"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." People who argue this is okay are often the same people who argue the slippery slope with the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

I agree with you that I am not sure what the answer is but I don't think handing powers like this to the government is the answer. I fear terrorists less than the eroding of civil liberties. Piss the administration off and become an enemy combatant. I know this isn't that but it certainly can evolve to that stage.
Guru Zim
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#12 Posted on 29.4.04 1539.35
Reposted on: 29.4.11 1539.55
People argue the slippery slope all of the time. The thing that I don't understand is why we assume that there is no level of precaution that can be taken to make the slippery slope safe.

Say, for example, you ran into an ice covered hill that you had to walk down. Couldn't you use an ice-axe to assist your path to the bottom?

Why is the slippery slope always the defense of these arguments? It seems like we need to be able to take precautions when necessary, but still be able to take the appropriate actions for national security.

I mean, it seems to me that you are presupposing that there is no situation where we need to be pragmatic and take the necessary steps to protect the country.

Surely there must be some line where national security is more important than individual civil liberties?
ThreepMe
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#13 Posted on 29.4.04 1616.12
Reposted on: 29.4.11 1616.39
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    People argue the slippery slope all of the time. The thing that I don't understand is why we assume that there is no level of precaution that can be taken to make the slippery slope safe.

    Say, for example, you ran into an ice covered hill that you had to walk down. Couldn't you use an ice-axe to assist your path to the bottom?

    Why is the slippery slope always the defense of these arguments? It seems like we need to be able to take precautions when necessary, but still be able to take the appropriate actions for national security.

    I mean, it seems to me that you are presupposing that there is no situation where we need to be pragmatic and take the necessary steps to protect the country.

    Surely there must be some line where national security is more important than individual civil liberties?


There is always an exception to every rule. Sometime even several exceptions.

But in this case, so many people's perception of liberty/rights can be askewed if this becomes public knowledge or even some precedent that you either:

a) Never do it and take the risk that the system will always work out

or

b) If you have to revoke someone's civil liberties to preserve the integrity of national security, then keep it under wraps.

The only problem with B is that if you do that too much then you run the risk of this stuff leaking out and people getting pissed.

There are times where a necessary evil has to happen to keep the greater good. If you have a situation where many people are affected by the necessary evil, then it's best to keep it under wraps.

And to be honest, I think things like that have been happening for centuries now. It just sucks when people find out about it (and also sucks for the people who get unjustly caught up in it).
Maniac
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#14 Posted on 29.4.04 2009.58
Reposted on: 29.4.11 2010.07
Totally Agree "In Hamdi's case, they caught him in Afghanistan, taking up arms against this country. So, look at it this way. They can stuff him in a brig for a few years, or they can convict him of treason and kill him outright. At least this way he gets to keep breathing, right?"

20 years minimum in the Federal Prison or take the asshole out back and shoot him. Though I have to say some kind of trial is due. It is his right to have a speedy trial. Does he really want a trial? He will be convicted.

Padilla should have a trial too. the case sounds like it's criminal as much as it is terrorist activity.
ges7184
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#15 Posted on 30.4.04 0113.17
Reposted on: 30.4.11 0114.17
A single guy with a bomb is not a threat to our national security. He's a threat to kill some people and destroy property, but not a threat to the nation as a whole. We have to get away from this idea that we can somehow prevent any attack at any time. We don't assume that we can somehow prevent all highway deaths (and we don't take every step necessary to even attempt this). We don't assume that we can somehow prevent all non-terrorist murders (and we don't take every step necessary to even attempt this). But for some reason it seems we have the idea that we can prevent any terrorist attack from occuring and need to take any step necessary to do so. I disagree with this concept.

I also think we should be careful about what we think we KNOW. We knew Iraq had WMD. We killed Saddam two or three times during the war. Sometimes intelligence is just wrong.
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#16 Posted on 30.4.04 0120.59
Reposted on: 30.4.11 0123.04
Hm.... I disagree with you when it involves irradiating large portions of a large city. I happen to believe that it's a very noble goal to try to prevent that from happening.

I'm not talking about using this kind of procedure for parking tickets. It just seems to me that there needs to be a point where something is important enough that principle isn't a good enough reason not to do it.
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#17 Posted on 30.4.04 0837.57
Reposted on: 30.4.11 0837.58
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Hm.... I disagree with you when it involves irradiating large portions of a large city. I happen to believe that it's a very noble goal to try to prevent that from happening.

    I'm not talking about using this kind of procedure for parking tickets. It just seems to me that there needs to be a point where something is important enough that principle isn't a good enough reason not to do it.


Guru in regards to your last two posts, I don't necessarily disagree except regarding the slippery slope. This one incident doesn't indicate the "slippery slope" but the actions over the last several administrations. We changed our laws regarding search and seizure, confiscation, etc. to fight the "war on drugs." Then we pass the Patriot Act. Over the last 15+ years we have allowed our civil liberties to be eroded to fight evil. The goal is laudable but the means are suspect.

We are moving to a less free society where we are willing to give up protections that have been defended for over 200 years. As much as people may disagree, I am of the philosophy that it is better for 99 guilty people to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted. There has to be a way to accomplish a reasonable level of security while maintaining the freedoms that are necessary for our country to survive with our liberties intact. It will mean more personally action and responsibility but it is possible to accomplish without the cloak and dagger stuff.
Iago
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#18 Posted on 30.4.04 1305.29
Reposted on: 30.4.11 1307.00

Now I dislike hypothetical situations, because the choices that are offered never seem to be the ones that are all available in the real world. But, I will agree with Zim's point that keeping such a person imprisoned is a matter of pragmatism. That being said, I feel scenario given does not directly apply to the two men's case. Soldiers captured during battle are not terrorists with a plan to detonate.

Using the slippery slope argument is always a poor choice, as Zim pointed out. It should also be noted that it a logical fallacy to assume that A will cause Z based solely on the factors given in the argument. There will be other influences that cannot predicted. For example the doctor assisted suicide laws here in Oregon have not resulted in any documented abuse as of yet. It would have been posted all over the newspapers and local news had it happened.

Going to how that applies to the main topic then I'll say that yes it makes me uneasy that civil liberties are being eroded. Does that mean the country is headed towards a totalitarian police state? No. Though I do not agree with the treatment given to the men, and the potential ramifications are unsettling. It makes me proud that my city rejected the Patriot Act, though the current status of where Eugene is with that isn't known to me.
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#19 Posted on 30.4.04 1326.17
Reposted on: 30.4.11 1329.02
It isn't one event Iago, there have been a series of events, not just related to terrorism, where pols scare the crap out of the public and then propose a solution which will make us safer if we will just give up some freedom. But don't worry, it wont be abused and will never effect you. As the song says: "It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees."
Iago
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#20 Posted on 30.4.04 1635.40
Reposted on: 30.4.11 1636.51

Good use of hyperbole.

Now I didn't argue that the loss of civil liberties for more perceived security was an equitable trade. What I am arguing is that the loss of civil liberties doesn't exist in a vacuum. That's all. My agreement with the scenario put forth by Zim was only in the bounds of that instance. Now if you want to steer this conversation towards the culture of fear in society, go ahead, but it seems as though you are a willing participant.
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