Daily Archives: June 4, 2007

Guantanamo “Justice” system falls apart.

sic semper bogus unconstitutional ad hoc made up nonsense:

The chief of military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay, Marine Col. Dwight Sullivan, said the ruling in the case of Canadian detainee Omar Khadr could spell the end of the war-crimes trial system set up last year by Congress and President Bush after the Supreme Court threw out the previous system.

But Omar Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured after a deadly firefight in Afghanistan and who is now 20, will remain at the remote U.S. military base along with some 380 other men suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The judge, Army Col. Peter Brownback, said he had no choice but to throw the Khadr case out because he had been classified as an “enemy combatant” by a military panel years earlier — and not as an “alien unlawful enemy combatant.”

The Military Commissions Act, signed by Bush last year, specifically says that only those classified as “unlawful” enemy combatants can face war trials here, Brownback noted during the arraignment in a hilltop courtroom on this U.S. military base.

Sullivan said the dismissal of Khadr case has “huge” impact because none of the detainees held at this isolated military base in southeast Cuba has been found to be an “unlawful” enemy combatant.

“It is not just a technicality — it’s the latest demonstration that this newest system just does not work,” Sullivan told journalists. “It is a system of justice that does not comport with American values.”

Sullivan said the judge hearing the case of the only other Guantanamo detainee currently charged with crimes is not bound by Brownback’s ruling but that he expected the judge would make the same decision.

That other detainee is Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who is accused of chauffeuring Osama bin Laden and being the al-Qaida chief’s bodyguard. His arraignment was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Brownback’s ruling came just minutes into Khadr’s arraignment, in which he faced charges he committed murder in violation of the law of war, attempted murder in violation of the law of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying.

“The charges are dismissed without prejudice,” Brownback said as he adjourned the proceeding.

Only three detainees held here have been charged under the new military tribunal system. The third, Australian David Hicks, pleaded guilty in March to providing material support to al-Qaida and is serving out a nine-month sentence in Australia.

A prosecuting attorney said he would appeal the dismissal of the case.

Under the new war-crimes trial system, the prosecution has 72 hours to appeal, but the court designated to hear the appeal — known as the court of military commissions review — doesn’t even exist, Sullivan noted.

The prison at Guantanamo Bay was established there specifically to be beyond the reach of any law in the world.   Bush/Cheney’s geniuses got to make up their own laws. And surprise, they couldn’t even do that right.  Guantanamo Bay, like Abu Ghraib, is nothing more than a place where Americans can show off how nasty they can be.

Like that wins hearts and minds…..


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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, Politics

Ms. Clinton: where will you lead this country?

I just don’t get it. I don’t know what she stands for, where she wants to go, what she wants to do, what she thinks is wrong, how to fix it. I didn’t perceive any leadership in the Congress…am I wrong? what issues has she been out in front on? what bills? what hearings? what confirmations? a book? a rousing speech? I don’t think she’s very likeable or charismatic. I don’t think she is a leader, frankly, of the magnitude that is needed. Can she get out there on the TeeVee and sell sacrifice to combat global warming? are you kidding? Can she stop the militarism? no sign of that… Will she stand up to the magichristians? ha, you jest. Will it help to have Bill leering over her shoulder? not for me.

A couple of years ago she seemed like she was becoming a good public speaker. But it seems like that fizzled out. She’s just a downer. Now, there is a lot in this country to be concerned about; but a president can’t be a downer. It’s not that she really seems angry all the time…but she just doesn’t have a positive message. When she tries to get all inspirational she sounds really fake. She doesn’t appeal to the left and she certainly doesn’t appeal to the right, but if she were a great orator she could capture enough of the center to win. But she isn’t, and she can’t. Besides, the center is now about 5% of the vote.

I don’t think she can win the nomination, and if she does, I don’t think she can win the election.

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The Sopranos: Chase is losing it

I must say, this season of the Sopranos has been one disappointment after another. Virtually every show has seemed contrived, disconnected, and highly improbable. Tony’s huge gambling problem: where did that come from? his desert “tripping”…Meadow does an about face on her life plan; The dinner party discussion of Tony’s psychotherapy; Dr. Melfi booting Tony; AJ’s bizarre suicide attempt…the botched attempt on Phil Leotardo seemed just weird….I could go on and on.

Very disappointing.

What will be the “final” chapter? Chase has several “been there, done that” endings to chose from. Will he keep Tony alive, in prison, for a sequel/movie? that would risk real criticism, but so will any other choice….will he chose something that smacks too much of Goodfellas, a Godfather film, Scarface, or one of the other famous mob films?

or will he pull it out with something creative?

The remaining interesting issues are all related to whether any of the family can escape Tony’s toxic touch. Will Meadow become a mob lawyer? Will AJ make it into the restaurant business? Can Carmella make it as a real estate agent? I don’t think we care to see Tony get shot down. It may happen, but not on camera.
I think that some kind of “ten years down the road” scene would be a creative ending. The family (minus Tony) gets together….

It’s tempting to hope that Chase comes up with something that ties together a whole bunch of the loose ends: the asbestos, the Russian in the forest, the feds, the Middle Eastern “terrorists,” and so on….but based on what we have seen so far, I am not optimistic. I do think that Chase will show the family’s financial collapse, which has been pretty heavily foreshadowed. But that isn’t enough.

I didn’t particularly like the last episode of Seinfeld, because it wasn’t very funny…but at least it provided some kind of closure.

Incidentally, speaking of Seinfeld and the progressively fatter George Costanza, several Sopranos characters really chunked up this year. Sil? geez…Of course, that seems compatible with their lifestyle, but Dr. Melfi? she must have put on 15 pounds. The notable exception is Carmella.


Filed under The Sopranos