Thursday, July 8, 2004

A blow for freedom

The supreme court ruling that Guantanamo Bay prisoners can challenge their detention, [imprisonment], in the US is almost certain to lead to hundreds being released, says Conor Gearty,

The US supreme court's two rulings that terrorist suspects, [? scapegoats and patsies for the Coalition of the Kiling's resource war's in the Middle East], held at Guant‡namo Bay and in America must have access to the US courts are among the most remarkable in the long history of that famous institution.

The positive implications for the hundreds of internees held by the US across the world have yet to be clarified but will be immense. The chance to argue their cases is almost certain to lead to the release of hundreds of detainees, [prisoners.] Already the habeas corpus applications have started to roll in, and the, [war criminal], Bush administration seems at a loss as to what to do. [?]

The rulings will go a long way towards restoring the credibility both of the judiciary in the minds of the American public and, more importantly, of the US system of government in the eyes of the world.

What the supreme court justices have said will make the shallow metaphor of an unending "war on terror", [war on freedom to steal resources], far harder to sustain, and may even hasten the end of an administration which this very same court effectively appointed nearly four years ago when it stopped the Florida vote recount.

In the first of the two cases, brought in the names of Rasul and Al Odah, two Australian and 12 Kuwaiti citizens challenged their detention, [imprisonment], in Guant‡namo following their capture, [kidnappings and renditions], abroad during hostilities between the US and the Taliban. [During the pre-emptive strikes on the sovereign nation states of Afghanistan and Iraq.]

Their attempt to challenge the legality of their detention, [imprisonment], before an independent tribunal and to obtain access to counsel floundered in the lower federal courts. The reason was a supreme court decision from 1950 concerning German prisoners who had been captured and convicted of war crimes in China and had then been imprisoned in occupied Germany (Johnson v Eisentrager).

That case appeared to establish unequivocally that aliens detained, [imprisoned], outside the sovereign territory of the US may not make a habeas corpus application to try to secure their release. It must have been a shock to the administration when the supreme court even decided to take the Rasul and Al Odah cases on, despite such clear authority - the first sign that events in the courtroom were spinning out of control.

Delivering the court's opinion - reflecting the votes of five of the nine justices - Justice John Paul Stevens made a point of distinguishing between the two situations: the citizens in the case before them were from countries not at war with the US; they had denied being engaged in or plotting acts of aggression against the US; they had never been afforded access to any tribunal, much less been charged with and convicted of any wrongdoing; and the territory in which they had been imprisoned was a place over which the US exercised exclusive jurisdiction and control.

To destroy the authority of Eisentrager without simply and crudely overruling it, Stevens had to engage in some characteristically nifty judicial trickery, finding a different basis for habeas corpus - one rooted in federal law rather than the constitution - which the earlier case had not thought to explore. It was this reasoning that particularly inflamed the three dissenting judges, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, and caused the ninth member of the Bench, Justice Anthony Kennedy, to set out his own, rather different reasons for agreeing with the majority.

Why did the supreme court, in the apt words of Scalia, Dick Cheney's shooting companion, spring "a trap on the executive, subjecting Guant‡namo Bay to the oversight of the federal courts even though it has never before been thought to be within their jurisdiction - and thus making it a foolish place to have housed alien wartime detainees, [prisoners],"?

The first explanation probably lies in quite how extreme and egregious the administration's policy was, cutting the judiciary out completely in a way that was far worse than what had happened even after the second world war, and in the process making no concessions whatsoever to even the modest concerns of mainstream judicial opinion.

In the Hamdi ruling, decided at the same time as the Guant‡namo case, the majority of judges saw off the administration's claim to be able to hold "enemy combatant", [scpagoats and patsies], US citizens indefinitely and without any due process.

This time the majority was eight to one, with the usually reliably conservative Scalia, incongruously joined by the liberal Stevens, penning a remarkable and eloquent attack on administration policy.

Only a patent political lackey on the bench could go as far as the executive demanded, and it is part of the wider ineptitude of the, [war criminal], Bush presidency that it forced its friends into such a corner. When only the George Bush Sr-appointee Clarence Thomas is on your side you know you are in deep trouble.

Second, and perhaps in these cases even more importantly, lurking in the shadows thrown by the legal analysis of the issues was the horror of Abu Ghraib.

In the US, even strong supporters of the war on terrorism, [war on liberty for resources], and indeed of the Bush presidency, have been shocked by what the policy of torture, now clearly seen to have been instigated at the highest levels of the administration, says about the claim to hold people beyond the reach of the law.

It no longer seems such a mystery why the authorities have been so keen to keep their prisoners from even a modicum of independent oversight. American legal culture, in the form of these supreme court justices, is not remotely near being so craven as to allow such conditions to continue, and unlike the state department and the decent, [?] mainstream military, by a happy quirk of constitutional history it can actually do something about it.

Third, there is the increasingly evident emptiness of Bush's self- declared "war on terrorism", [war on liberty for resources.] Of course the justices recognised that there have been atrocities and that they continue to occur, need to be prevented and, when they happen, to be punished. [Like the USA, CIA reichstag, call to arms, false flag operation September 11.]

But to secure counter- terrorism powers, [draconian laws], on the basis of fighting a war, [pre-empting a war], is to require oneself to be disciplined, [a war criminal], by (as the court's opinion in the Hamdi case put it) an "understanding" which must be "based on long-standing law-of-war principles". [Not illegal and degrading war crimes against humanity.]

Delivering that opinion, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor then added a very significant rider: "If the practical circumstances of a given conflict are entirely unlike those of the conflicts that informed the development of the law of war, that understanding may unravel." True, speaking for the court, O'Connor then immediately added, "But that is not the situation we face as of this date," but the Bush team has been warned. This blank cheque may be about to bounce..

These two judgments represent an important benchmark in the fight back against executive excess that has been initiated in the US and has also been evident here in the UK.

It has always been quite wrong to equate the plight of the detainees, [prisoners], under our Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act, [draconian laws], with those held in Guant‡namo, but that does not mean that their detention, [imprisonment], without trial on an indefinite basis is not wholly wrong.

It remains as cruel, unnecessary and as dangerous now as it was when first introduced. The alleged need for such effective internment was exposed by a coruscating report from a committee of distinguished privy counsellors at the end of last year. Perhaps emboldened by this report, the special court (SIAC) charged with overseeing our detention, [imprisonment], system has begun to flex its muscles.

In October the whole discriminatory basis of our detention, [imprisonment], system, allowing only foreign nationals to be held but exempting the rest of us, will finally come to be reviewed by the House of Lords for compatibility with the Human Rights Act. As in the US, our post-,[USA, CIA, reichstag, call to arms, false flag operation,] September 11 anti- terrorism laws, [scapegoat and patsy draconian laws], lapse: here it will be in November 2006. In the absence of a sharp upsurge in terrorist violence, [? State sanctioned terrorism,] there is room for cautious hope that the principles of civil liberties and respect for human rights have some moral mileage left in them.

The last word deserves to be left with the US supreme court from its judgment on Hamdi delivered by one its most conservative members, Sandra Day O'Connor: "It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our nation's commitment to due process is most severely tested; and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad." Let us hope the law lords - and law lady - are listening.

-Conor Gearty is professor of human rights law and director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE, and a member of Matrix Chambers. He will speak, with attorney general Lord Goldsmith and solicitor general Harriet Harman, at a Society of Labour Lawyers public meeting on Fighting Terror and Preserving Human Rights, at 6.30 in committee room 6 at the House of Commons.

-Gregory Kable is a mentor and peace activist in the community and director of communication at the anti-zionist instiute of calling a spade a spade and telling it like it really is. No he is not the rulling class or any lord as such but a peasant in the real world of despotism in the 21 century. Remember the Common Hood.

By Conor Gearty and edited by Gregory Kable posted 8 July 04


Mr Habib to face US military trial
The, [despotic], United States Government has given the go-ahead for the Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate, [prisoner], Mr Mamdouh Habib, to go to trial for being innocent. Mr Habib could now be granted access to a military and civilian legal team.

US tortured Habib in Egypt: report
Australian terror suspect Mamdoub Habib was allegedly tortured in Egypt before being sent to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, according to the Pakistani Government.

Hicks movie to premiere in Adelaide
A movie about Guantanamo Bay detainee, [prisoner], David Hicks, President versus David Hicks, by award winning filmmaker Curtis Levy will be screened in Adelaide tomorrow.

There is no justification for torture
In the weeks since the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were revealed, evidence continues to seep out of similar mistreatment of prisoners in other US military detention, [torture], centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.

US lawyers demand access to Habib
Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees, including Mamdouh Habib, have written to United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld demanding access to the men.

Guantanamo prisoners may be moved to US soil
The US authorities may move hundreds of prisoners from their controversial Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba to the United States following new Supreme Court rulings, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

Blair's comments reflect badly on Australia says Hicks lawyer
The Adelaide-based lawyer representing accused Taliban fighter, [scapegoat for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], Mr David Hicks says the latest comments by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on United States military tribunals reflect badly on Australia.

Govt urged to seek civil lawyer for Habib
The Law Council of Australia has called for the Federal Government to ensure Guantanamo Bay inmate, [prisoner], Mamdouh Habib has access to a civil lawyer.

Pentagon names tribunal for Hicks trial
The Pentagon has named the militants who will decide the fate of Mr David Hicks and two other Guantanamo prisoners charged by the United States in the first US military tribunals since World War II.

US scapegoats can challenge detention
The US Supreme Court has ruled that US courts have jurisdiction to hear appeals from foreign detainees, [prisoners], held as enemy combatants, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], in the US military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Hicks lawyer praises Guantanamo decision
The lawyer for an Australian man detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base has welcomed a US Supreme Court ruling permitting judicial appeals from foreign detainees held as enemy combatants.

'No compromise' on Guantanamo trials
UK: The transatlantic rift over Guantanamo Bay deepened, as UK last Friday politicians and human rights activists seized on the attorney general's admission that, [war criminal], George Bush's plans for military tribunals were "unacceptable".

War criminal Rumsfeld had approved abuse
On December 2, 2002, Rumsfeld approved the removal of clothing, 20-hour interrogations, the use of dogs to induce stress, 30-day isolations and deprivation of light and sensory stimuli (hooding).

Failure to condemn prison abuse risks lives: Kenny
The Australian lawyer representing Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks has joined calls for the, [war crimial], Prime Minister to condemn interrogation techniques being used at the prison camp.

Prisoner's identity concealed to prevent Red Cross access
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, acting at the request of the CIA, ordered that a suspected Iraqi insurgent leader be detained off the books to conceal his identity from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Pentagon has confirmed.

US has secret prisons: rights group
The United States is holding terrorism suspects, [? scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], in more than two dozen detention centres worldwide, about half of which operate in total secrecy, according to a new human rights report.

Occupation Torture: This won't hurt much
I hesitated to gravitate to harsher interrogation methods because, after all, he is my son. Then, [war criminal], Donald Rumsfeld came to my rescue.

How much is that doggy in the prison? Woof, woof!
Did the Iraqi prisoners' get their rations while they were treated like chums? The Australian Government was confident United States authorities in charge of Iraqi prisoners of war complied with the Geneva Convention, the Senate was told yesterday.

British militants face Iraq abuse charges
London: Four British, [militants], will be court-martialled on charges of abusing Iraqi, detainees. The four Royal Fusiliers members are accused of assault, indecent assault and prejudicing good order.

I'm a scapegoat: Abu Ghraib general
The United States general in charge of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was told by a military intelligence commander that detainees, [prisoners], should be treated like dogs.

Hicks and Habib in the Melting Pot
Australia: The United States has brought three, [alleged], criminal charges against Australian David Hicks, accusing him of conspiracy to commit war crimes, attempted murder and aiding the enemy, the Pentagon has said.

Pentagon finds Bush not bound by torture laws: report?
A Pentagon report has concluded, [war criminal], President George W Bush was not bound by laws prohibiting torture and United States agents who might torture prisoners at his direction could not be prosecuted by the Justice Department, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

By the & of itself...just the facts..?
[War criminal], Alexander Downer: "Actually, if an Australian - if the Government is involved in a cover-up, then the Government therefore ipso facto must have known about the atrocities.

Looming Hicks charges no surprise, father says
The father of Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee, [prisoner], David Hicks says it would be wrong for, [war criminal], Prime Minister John Howard to take any credit for speeding up the legal processing of his son.

Howard double standard on prisoners
The [war criminal], Prime Minister's claim in Los Angeles overnight that "if an American commits a crime in Australia, that person is tried in Australia' falls flat in light of his decision to let the US try two marines alleged to be involved in attempted murder in Townsville, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

Labor, Greens criticise prisoner abuse probe
The Federal Opposition and the Greens have little confidence in an internal Defence Department investigation into the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.

Hicks, Habib detail abuse to Aust officials
A federal government department has revealed both Australians being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have raised allegations of abuse with Australian officials.

I was misled on abuse: Howard?
[War criminal], Prime Minister John Howard says he did not mislead the public about when Australian officials became aware of allegations about the serious abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

Amnesty report criticises Aust, US
Amnesty International has accused Australia of using national security to justify the erosion of human rights and says the United States has proved "bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle" in its fight against terrorism and invasion of Iraq.

Australian officer visited Abu Ghraib
An Australian Army legal officer who served at the coalition's military headquarters in Baghdad visited the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on a number of occasions, a Senate committee has heard.

Family worried about son in Iraqi prison
The South Australian family of a man detained in Iraq says it is becoming increasingly concerned about his welfare. Ahmed Aziz Rafiq, 26, was born in Iraq, but has been living in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

Hicks interrogator features in CBS broadcast
An American television program has broadcast an interview with a man who interrogated Australian terror suspect, [scapegoat for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

HRMU: Harm-U for Hicks, Habib?
[War criminal], Prime Minister John Howard, NSW Premier Bob Carr, Justice Minister John Hatzistergos and other State and Territory prison ministers have set out a grim blueprint of life in an Australian jail.

Hicks's lawyer welcomes prison decision
Guantanamo Bay detainee, [prisoner and scapegoat for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], David Hicks's lawyer has welcomed federal Parliament's decision to allow any prison sentence he may receive to be served in Australia. Mr Hicks and fellow Australian Mamdouh Habib have been held in Cuba without charge for more than two years.

Hicks trial won't be fair: US lawyer
The military lawyer assigned to Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate, [prisoner and scapegoat for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], David Hicks has launched one of the most serious attacks yet on the legal process surrounding his client.

US military criticises legal process for Guantanamo prisoners
Military lawyers assigned by the Pentagon to detainees, [prisoners], at Guantanamo Bay are planning to present a brief to the US Supreme Court tomorrow, criticising the fairness of the legal process.

Guantanamo detentions slammed
A leading human rights group has denounced the United States Government for continuing to hold prisoners without charge two years after it set up the detention, [prison], camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Vigil: Season's Greetings for David and Mamdouh
The objective is to continue to inform the public; and maintain the issue alive. There will be information on both David and Mamdouh to hand out to the general public. There will also be two Season's Greetings cards for the public to sign which will be presented to Alexander Downer - as Parliament will be on recess by then, I will ask the Fair Go for David Group in South Australia to present these to Downer.

US court delivers blow to Guantanamo policy
In a stinging rebuke of the Bush Government, a United States appeals court has ruled the US cannot imprison "enemy combatants," [scapegoats and patsy's for the Coaltion of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], captured in Afghanistan, [held], indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay and deny them access to lawyers.

Hicks's lawyer hopeful of meeting before Christmas
Adelaide lawyer Stephen Kenny says he hopes to meet with United States military captive David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay before Christmas.

Red Cross warns resource wars in the Middle East are eroding human rights The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that the worldwide campaign against terrorism [the Coalition of the Killing's resource wars in the Middle East], must not be used to breach peoples right under international law.

Lawyers differ on Guantanamo deal
The lawyers for the two Australian men being held, [tortured in solitary confinement], at Guantanamo Bay have had different reactions to the, [war criminal], Federal Government's agreement with the, [war criminal], United States over procedures for any 'military trials'.

US 'political prisoners' demand rule of US law
FOREIGN prisoners, [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource war's in the Middle East], held in Cuba, including Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, will never have played their legal card until they're freed!

Government should fund 'free Hicks' doco
TAXPAYERS have forked out $185,000 for a documentary promoting the release of David Hicks - because the Coalition of the Killing used him as a scapegoat for their illegal and degrading resource war's in the Middle East.

After a war waged by the U.S. military against Vietnam which took the lives of more than 3 million Vietnamese people and more than 58,000 GIs, the U.S. finally withdrew in 1975. It had suffered its first official major military defeat by a united people struggle led by the Vietnamese, along with a mass U.S. anti-war movement.

Supporters doubt PM's efforts to release Habib, Hicks
The supporters of two Australian detainees [prisoners] being held [tortured] by the United States at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba say they draw no comfort from [war criminal], Prime Minister John Howard raising the men's plight with [war criminal], US President George W Bush.

Greens For Freedom of Political Prisoners
The Greens politicians refused to be ejected and attempted to deliver a letter and photograph to the president. But Kerry was literally dragged away and that behaviour in Parliament was worrying.

Habib's wife to join Greens Protest during Bush Visit
The wife of an Australian man imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay has urged the Prime Minister to seek her husband's release when the United States President visits Australia this week.

Red Cross Criticizes Indefinite Detention in Guantanamo Bay
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Oct. 9 A senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday that the holding of more than 600 detainees [prisoners] here was unacceptable because they were being held for open-ended terms without proper legal process.

Australia: Crean backs war criminals
The Federal Labor leader, Simon Crean, has tried to head off planned protests by some opposition MPs when the US President addresses Parliament next week.

Bush's Vanished Prisoner
He Wonders Whether He Will See the Light of Day Again October 10th, 2003 6:00 PM

Guantanamo Bay treatment: Limbo
Former federal judges, diplomats, military officials and human rights advocates in the United States have urged the Supreme Court to review the cases of detainees [scapegoats for the Coalition of the Killing's resource wars in the Middle East], being held without charge at Guantanamo Bay in the name of terrorism.

Australia: Justice for Hicks & Habib
The public forum Justice for Hicks & Habib was quite a success. Approximately 130 people attended the event, a big number for a Saturday eve!

Pilger said White House knew Saddam was no threat
Australian investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence the war against Iraq was based on a lie which could cost George W Bush and Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard down with them.

Illegal and degrading war crimes: Society on the New World Order (OWN)! While Australia and the US are very distinctive societies war criminal, Prime Minister John Howard and war criminal, President George Bush share core values.

Civil Liabilities: Howard's diversity? I had a dream?
The war criminal, Prime Minister, John Howard, who only yesterday was claiming he was showing diversity has stepped up pressure on the states to support plans to increase the war criminal, Federal Attorney-General's powers to ban terrorist organisations, [scapegoats and patsies for the Coalition of the Killing's illegal and degrading resource wars in the Middle East.]

Terry Hicks Odyssey for Justice for his Imprisoned Son
Terry Hicks, David Hicks father, one of two Australian [scapegoats] held imprisoned [and tortured] at Guantanamo Bay, arrives tomorrow Saturday 20 September in Sydney. He will hold a Press Conference at 2pm at Breakout, 65 Bellevue St. Glebe.

Evidence that Howard was complicit in CIA, false flag, call to arms, Bali bombings War criminal John Howard was complicit in the call to arms - false flag operation - Bali bombings - instigated by the CIA - and the Coalition of the Killing - to bolster support - and quell dissent for their illegal and degrading resource wars in the Middle East.

State terror units caused the terror!
The level of suspicion and surveillance created by the [US false flag operation and call to arms] Bali bombings, created by [ the Coalition of the Killing and Australian's complicity to go to war on Iraq] means that all Australian's suffer the loss of their human rights, civil rights and their democratic rights, as well as those Australian's who lost their life in Bali.

Australia backs CIA Reichstag, Downer's propaganda
The Foreign Affairs Minister says the latest message from Osama bin Laden is worrying. [Just plain rubbish!]

Bin Laden calls? CIA blind man's bluff!
A [US propaganda, fear-mongering] taped message purportedly from Osama bin Laden has warned Arab nations against supporting a war against Iraq but has branded Saddam Hussein an infidel.