First time in history

June 23, 2008

by Roz Kohls

The US Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the Boumediene case grants foreign terrorists detained in Guantanomo access to federal courts and the right of habeas corpus.

This is the first time in the history of the United States that a foreign enemy combatant, captured on the battlefield in a foreign country, will have the same rights to a trial as a US citizen.

With this decision the Supreme Court expanded its power to rule over the military, and took power away from the president and Congress to defend our country from its enemies.

The Supreme Court left itself open on how it will rule in future military matters. If another liberal judge is appointed to fill the post of one of the now very elderly court justices, I guarantee enemy combatants will be given a full panoply of US rights.

What does this mean in practice? Every enemy combatant captured on the battlefield will be allowed to have an attorney of his choosing. He is allowed to have an al-Quaeda lawyer if he wants, or else the enemy combatant must immediately be released upon the decision of the first district court judge who hears his habeas petition.

The second, third, or next district court judge also must immediately release him if he doesn’t get the lawyer he wants, according to novelist Dafydd ab Hugh’s in his June 12 blog post in Big Lizards.

Each enemy combatant will have the right to demand all intelligence information, no matter how heavily classified, be handed over to his attorneys or he must be released immediately, Hugh said.

Terrorist attorneys of every enemy capture on the battlefield will have the right to endlessly subpoena military commanders up to and including Gen. David Petraeus, commander of CENTCOM. These commanders will need to drop everything and return to America to testify in the hearing, or else the enemy combatant must immediately be released, he said.

There will be endless appeals and reappeals of any decision that goes against any enemy combatant captured on the battlefield. Think of what happens whenever a death-row murderer gets close to his execution date, Hugh pointed out.

Please consider this when you vote in November. Whoever gets elected will be choosing the next Supreme Court judges.