Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo military tribunals

Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:05pm ET
By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a sharp rebuke of President George W. Bush's tactics in the war on terrorism, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down as unlawful the military tribunal system set up to try Guantanamo prisoners.

By a 5-3 vote, the nation's highest court declared that the tribunals, which Bush created right after the September 11 attacks, violated the Geneva Conventions and U.S. military rules.

Full Story Here
Bob's Comment:

Since congress has had a yellow spine (except John McCain) when it comes to calling the Bush Administration to account for its violations of Geneva Conventions at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, I guess it's up to the Supreme Court.

Bush says will take Guantanamo court ruling seriously
Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:21pm ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Thursday said he had not fully reviewed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found the current military tribunal system to try Guantanamo prisoners unlawful, but promised it would be taken seriously.

Bush said he would consult with the U.S. Congress to attain appropriate authority for the military tribunals the high court said violated U.S. military rules and the Geneva Conventions.

"We take the findings seriously," he said at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "We will work with the Congress" on a way forward.

See this story here.

Bob's Comments:
1. Can we believe Bush when he says this? He certainly did not "work with the congress" in order to attain appropriate authority when it pertained to spying on American's phone calls and bank records. Why should he now change his MO?

2. What should be a Christian stand on the situation at Guantanamo Bay?

Here’s the spectrum:

Amnesty International demands the closing of Guantanamo Bay

Sojourners’ Jim Rice also thinks Guantanamo Bay should be closed

Gary Haugen, of International Justice Mission, wrote an editorial in Christianity Today asking the question, "Where are the voices from the Christian community on cruel and degrading treatment of detainees?"

But, the Religious Right, represented by groups like the
Christian Coalition, shockingly say that human rights do not pertain to certain human beings. In a Press Release, they say, and I quote, “Christian Coalition agrees with the Bush Administration that terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay do not deserve prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions.”

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Anonymous said...

We'll see what comes of it.

Too many USAmericans have too short of an attention span that this might easily be forgotten or spun away by this coming fall.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes Bob. I'm chagrined by the Administration's handling of this situation. And even more taken back by the evangelical right's response. I guess we're more American and Republican (not myself) than followers of Jesus?

Anonymous said...

I must have missed this in the news day, but Bob Robinson covers it well: Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo military tribunals. Bob’s report is fairly linkified, so there’s extra reading available by starting with his summary. In short though, it sounds like the US Supreme Court has ruled that ol’ GW’s kangaroo court (and I’m being charitable) at Guantanamo are “unlawful.” This is the euphemistic way of telling the US President, “Dude, you ignorant putz! You’re breaking the law here and violating people’s basic rights under US Military rules (law) and the Geneva Convention.” For his part, Bush says he’ll take this new ruling “seriously.” Uh, yeah. What happens to other when they violate the Geneva Convention? This is the biggest abuse of power and position since, uh, O.J. Simpson. Those who were tortured in the name of the Bush Vendetta will probably get just about that much justice, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid the Christian Coalition's response simply reinforces many (but, unfortunately not all) non-American evangelical/reformational Christian's perceptions that many American evangelical Christians are, in fact, Americans and Republicans before being Christian. The unwillingness of so many American evangelical Christians to criticise the deceit and illegalities of the Bush administration (and, worse, to defend them!) is simply appalling. It's bad enough that our Australian Prime Minister, John Howard (whom Bush described as "a man of steel"!) is such a craven sycophant re: Bush that he has failed -- and continues to fail -- to call for the return of our Gitmo detainee David Hicks.

Bob Robinson said...

Thanks, Geoff W. (of Australia) --

For those who want to learn more about David Hicks, see the Wickipedia article on him.

Ted M. Gossard said...

...yes myself.

I just meant I'm not a registered Republican. But I'm sure more whatever than Christian than what I think.

Bob Robinson said...

Here on the Fourth of July, America's Independence Day, we American Christians must remember that Christianity knows no borders. We ARE, indeed, Christian before we are Americans.

If we ever forget that, we begin to place jingoism in front of Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is made up of all tribes, all nations, all colors, all tongues.

Let's not forget that.

And let's allow that to be a motivation to call our nation to account for things that are outside the will of God. No matter what nation we are in, we need to stand for Shalom Peace, Righteousness, and Justice.

Marcguyver said...

Are terrorist covered under the Geneva Convention? Or are only 'recognized' armies and their soldiers applicable?

Bob Robinson said...

Are you saying that certain humans should NOT be given basic human rights? Which ones? And where does one draw that line? Is it really just with those "'recognized' armies and their soldiers?" Is this the real purpose of the Geneva Convention?

And how is it that we can have our cake and eat it too--when it suits us, we call this a "war." But when it does not suit us, we call our prisoners "terrorists" and not "prisoners of war."

Byron said...

Except that that is not what Christian Coalition said, Bob (not that I consider myself a huge supporter); they did not say that certain human beings do not have basic human rights, but rather that terrorists do not fall under the Geneva Convention. I'm just sayin'...

Bob Robinson said...

As I sees it, there is no difference between affirming the Geneva Conventions and affirming basic human rights. That is, the very reason we have these conventions is that, in times of war, we recognize the need to be extra careful to protect the human rights of people, combatants and non-combatants alike. If we try to skirt around this, we are not following the spirit of Geneva to start with.

Bob Robinson said...

And, if this war is indeed unlike any other war we've fought, then we must be willing to re-define the Geneva Conventions to fit into this kind of war.

...and that does NOT mean (as the neocons want it) to strip humans of human rights, but to apply the spirit of those conventions to a new type of war.

Byron said...

No, you're right, we don't strip human beings of the basic rights of human beings.