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Federal Court Demands Release of ‘Enemy Combatant’

Posted on Jun 11, 2007

In a move that sets limits on the Bush administration’s power to detain suspected “enemy combatants” without going through customary channels of the criminal justice system, Judge Diana Gribbon Motz called for the release of Quatari citizen Ali al-Marri, held since his arrest in December 2001.

New York Times:

“We refuse to recognize a claim to power,” Judge Motz added, “that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.”

The ruling was handed down by a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., in the case of Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar and the only person on the American mainland known to be held as an enemy combatant.

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By cyrena, June 12, 2007 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment


This is an EXCELLENT suggestion. One I’ve made myself. Let’s just put them all over there, lock ‘em up together, in one big room, and we’ll watch them “try” themselves. We can install these props that my neighbor has just constructed for a “torture scene”, and with the appropriate camera’s and other equipment installed, (maybe Michael Moore can lend give us the stuff he used on his latest documentary), we can watch them all, (inside the compound) from the privacy (?)of our own technical networks, (like C-Span)as they eventually destroy each other. We don’t have to do a thing more. They will self-destruct in less than 30 days. We don’t have to send special guards, or security, or interrogators, or any of that stuff. Just lock them up together, and let them “try” each other. If there are any of them still standing at the end of 30 days though, we’ll have to lock them up over here, and try them in a REAL criminal justice system, just because at some point in time, we will have to return to the rule of law. Once the Executive criminals have departed, that will be easier to accomplish.

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By lawlessone, June 12, 2007 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There might be a perfect way to end Gitmo as a detention center.  Let’s declare that any politician convicted of ethical or criminal violations must serve his time there.  Better yet, let’s insist that we are permitted to use Gitmo “enhanced interrogation techniques” to question politicians as to whether they have committed any ethical or criminal violations. 

Bet that prison and its torture rooms would be closed the following day. The best way to protect human rights is to threaten to deprive politicians of them.

[more irreverence at]

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By Jessica, June 11, 2007 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

As a citizen of the United States, I cherish my civil rights and cannot image life without them.  All people deserve these rights.  We are all humans and we form one world.  We face common problems and must work together as a world community to fight them.  The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, which call for cutting world hunger in half by 2015 and eliminating it altogether by 2025, are a good place to start thinking and acting with a global mindset.  It is estimated that the expenditure of a mere $19 billion would eliminate starvation and malnutrition worldwide.  In a time when the United States’ current defense budget is $522 billion, the goal of eradicating world hunger is clearly well within reach if we act together as one world.

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By PatrickHenry, June 11, 2007 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

A little democracy via the bill of rights restored.

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By cyrena, June 11, 2007 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

A -P.S.- to my own comment below…I’m worried about the perception of the word “release” in the comments. If I read the ruling correctly, the point is that this individual citizen should not be held in a military brig as an “enemy combatant”, because there is NO SUCH THING as an “enemy combatant”.

If I read it correctly, the government has several options. They can hold him as a “material witness” in the regular civilian court system, or they can charge him with crimes and prosecute him in the regular civilian court system, or they can just let him go home, (to his house in Illinois, or back to Qatar). I think the point is that he cannot be indefinitly held as a civilian in a military detention facility. So, they have to “release” him from that facility in South Carolina. It doesn’t mean that they can’t put him somewhere else.

It DOES mean that our own chances of being targeted as “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” and thrown in a military jail with no chance of ever seeing a court of law is hopefully reduced. This “ememy combatant” language has given the Mob the “authority” to designate ANY ONE OF US as such.

So, keep that in mind the next time you need to purchase fertilizer, or an alarm clock. They might not be as inclined to snatch you up as an “enemy combatant” using these purchases as “proof” that you were planning to make a bomb.

Might even make you want to “thank the judge”!!

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By cyrena, June 11, 2007 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

For Dog, digging just a little bit deeper, I believe that the objection to the Pledge of Allegiance (as being unconstitutional) applied ONLY to the TWO WORDS that were “added” to in, sometime around the beginning of the assult on Korea. (around 1953 if I remember correctly.)

Those two words of course, are “Under God”, since those two words were not part of the original composition of the Pledge. Aside from that, I don’t think she or anyone else has considered it to be unconstitutional.

And, just as a thought, how necessary are the words, “under God’ to the pledge anyway? Can we still be ....“one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL”, even if we aren’t “under God”, or on the left side of God, or the right side, or maybe just sort of “diagonal”?

Just a thought

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By Dog, June 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you actually “dug” into the truth instead of echoing what some hack at the Times has written, you would also report that Judge Motz once suggested that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance could be considered unconstitutional.

For the Judge, I suppose it’s a short activist jump from trying to protect us from ourselves to trying to protect the poor ol’ terrorists from us.

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By cyrena, June 11, 2007 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Well finally, some significant response to all of this law-breaking of the past several years. Seems simple enough to just ignore all the changes and “embellishments” that the Mob has scribbled into the language of our Constitution as they’ve put it on fire at the same time.

Judge Motz gets back to the basics. Too bad we can’t just format/re-format and return our constitution to its “original configuration” from before 2000, just as easily as we can re-format our hard drives. Because, this has been a whole lot of work and misery, to reverse the effects of something (in this case the “enemy combatant” category) that was never in the constitution to begin with.

Now for Tom, I really do get your point about our officials “arming both sides’ of the alleged civil war in Iraq. Clearly, this is problematic, since I simply cannot believe that any of our own people can tell any group from the other in Iraq. So, in short, we’ve been arming ALL of them since the beginning. That’s how they managed to get into a “civil war”. None of those people had any “arms” (other than Saddam and his crew)before we sent so many of them over there to fight them.

Since the U.S. is STILL the greatest/largest/almost only small weapons exporter in the world, I’m willing to wager than any of the small arms used in that place have been supplied by US.

Very sad, but par for the course these past 6 years.

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By Tom Doff, June 11, 2007 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope we’re not just going to free ‘enemy combatants’ and expect them to survive in our violent society unarmed. The least we could do is provide them, as we’re doing with our Sunni combatants in Iraq, with sufficient firepower to hold up their end of any contretemps they may get into with some of our troops, who may have trouble discerning the fine-line distinctions between ‘friendly’ terrists, and ‘combatant’ terrists.

Or better yet, perhaps we should arm both the ‘enemy combatants’ and our ‘highly placed government officials’, who apparently have no trouble making the distinctions, and let them fight it out on the streets of Baghdad.

Or D.C.

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By Lindsey, June 11, 2007 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Check out this awesome site that allows you to hold a discussion with Richard Esposito, a reporter who focuses on the CIA, crime and criminal justice, national security, and investigations of abuses of official authority.  Check it out on Tuesday June 12th at 5pm EST at  Enjoy!  It should be intense….

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