Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What's In A Word?

Justice, perhaps. AP (06.05.07):
"With one word — 'unlawful' — the only two war-crimes trials against Guantanamo detainees fell apart in a single day, marking a stunning setback to Washington's attempts to try dozens of detainees in military court.

Judges at Guantanamo Throw Out 2 Cases

"In both of Monday's cases, the judges ruled that the new legislation says only 'unlawful enemy combatants' can be tried by the military trials, known as commissions. But Khadr and Hamdan previously had been identified by military panels here only as enemy combatants, lacking the critical "unlawful" designation.

"Prosecuting attorneys in both cases indicated they would appeal the dismissals. But the court designated to hear the appeals — known as the court of military commissions review — doesn't even exist yet, said Marine Col. Dwight Sullivan, chief of military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay."

"The distinction between classifications of enemy combatants is important because if they were 'lawful,' they would be entitled to prisoner of war status under the Geneva Conventions."

Scott at No Comment, thinks "these two decisions are best understood from a somewhat more distanced perspective" (06.06.07):

"I think for instance of Edmund Burke’s Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, a minor masterpiece which is not read and appreciated as it should be today.

And reading Judge Allred’s opinion [ed. - link via National Security Advisors], for some strange reason, I kept hearing the words of Edmund Burke in the background, growing louder and louder with each subsequent paragraph."

The Gavel of Liberty Falls Again



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