Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Let's hear it for the 4th Circuit

One 3-judge panel, at least, a panel that rejected the Bush administration's Star Chamber claims to hold "terrorists" without charge.
"For a court to uphold a claim to such extraordinary power ... would effectively undermine all of the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution."
Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri may be a very bad guy. He may have been an al-Qaeda operative. As reported in the Chicago Tribune,
Although not charged with a terrorism offense, al-Marri was tied by authorities to Al Qaeda because he allegedly placed calls to a phone number in the United Arab Emirates linked to one of the paymasters for the Sept. 11 operation. His computer contained more than 1,000 apparent credit card numbers and instructions on making hydrogen cyanide.
So let's CHARGE HIM and TRY HIM. Try him in the courts that try criminal matters EVERY DAY. I don't care at all what happens to Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri. I care what his treatment does to our constitutional liberties. A legal U.S. resident, he has been held IN MILITARY CUSTODY WITHOUT CHARGES for almost four years. That is horrifying.

The Bush administration, desperate to hold on to their power to make people disappear, will seek en banc review of this three-judge decision, i.e., consideration by all 12 circuit judges. It rarely is granted, but this is a very conservative circuit. If the court denies an en banc review or affirms, then the Supremes are next. If this court, as conservative as it is, desires ANY institutional integrity, they cannot reverse this ruling.

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