On Guantanamo, Torture, and Military Commissions

I don't think I can put it any better than mcjoan just did.  You should definitely go read her take on the Hamdan decision, and the likely fallout from it in Congress, and in the midterms.  I want to take a slightly different approach.

It's Saturday and I'm lazy and hardly anyone is going to read this, so I won't bother with getting all the statistics and will just work with generalities.  The Bush administration decided to use Guantanamo Bay for legal reasons.


A Military Order issued by President Bush on 13 November 2001 (1) set out the conditions by which such prisoners would be held and tried under military law. This order specifically rules out an appeal to any court, whether state, federal or international, in the United States or anywhere else in the world...

...A challenge to this in the American courts failed with a ruling that prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay do not have the protection of American domestic law. They are not American citizens and are not (and in most cases have never been) on American soil.

There's more...

Supreme Court Talking Points: Victory for the American Way is a Blow to bin Laden, Hearts and Minds

From http://ralphlopezworld.com/

Hamdan thought his goose was cooked. A conservative court no less. Some of these men (though many are innocent) are hardened fighters, no wimps, who gave no quarter and expected none. Hamdan's lawyer reported that his client was "awestruck" that the court would "give a little man an even chance."

The Supreme Court decision on military tribunals is the light of democracy.  Not the invasion of Iraq. Never in a million years did a guy like Hamdan think a "little guy" would get a fair break in this world of powerful and ruthless men.

Behold America. It's not perfect, but yes, it is a great country.

Before the Nuremburg Trials some people were in favor of saving the expense,and summarily hanging Nazi war criminals or lining them up along a wall and having them shot, just like they would have done to us. But our message to the world was: We're not like them.

What rights did the prisoners at Gitmo win? The right to see the evidence against you. The right to be present at your trial. Real controversial stuff.

George Bush has been checked in his drive to do whatever he wants to anyone of us, including locking us up on his say-so and throwing away the key. The system works. Whatever truly increases our security, like securing ports and chemical plants, he's not interested in. Iraq is a trainwreck.  Whatever increases his power in the name of 9/11, he pursues with a vengeance.

The Dueling Banjos Wing of the Republican party is positively foaming at the mouth, clueless that the rights upheld are their rights too. They would love nothing more than kangaroo courts with hooded judges to try these prisoners, stupidly unaware that someday, they could be the ones on the wrong side of the bar.

A conservative court! On this July Fourth, 2006, I have never been prouder to be an American.

"Justices, 5-3, Broadly Reject Bush Plan to Try Detainees" (New York Times)

From http://ralphlopezworld.com/

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American Workers' Freedom to Form Unions Threatened Under Bush NLRB

This is a crosspost from Daily Kos.

A few nights ago, a group of New Jersey nurses in contract negotiations with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital held a candlelight vigil. The nurses are seeking contract language that will protect them from an expected anti-worker decision by the Bush-packed National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB is set to rule on three cases collectively known as "Kentucky River"--and the ruling literally could take away bargaining rights from hundreds of thousands of employees.

And not just nurses. If the NLRB agrees to alter the definition of "supervisor," building trades workers, newspaper and television employees, port workers and many others could be prohibited from forming unions.

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Why The Redistricting Decision Is A Win For Progressives

There will no doubt be much griping over the Supreme Court's decision in Perry, the Texas redistricting case.

This case, however, is a win for progressives. Not because the Court held invalid one of the districts in Texas, but because keeping redistricting forces in the hands of state legislatures  is the best bet for a long-term revival of so-called "people powered politics." More after the jump.

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OK, Fine. Let's Draw Some New Maps

From an article on today's ruling:On a different issue, the court ruled that state legislators may draw new maps as often as they like -- not just once a decade as Texas Democrats claimed. That means Democratic and Republican state lawmakers can push through new maps anytime there is a power shift at a state capital. We have a pretty good chance to take the trifecta this year in California, Colorado, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. We already have the trifecta in Illinois. After the 2006 elections, Democrats need the guts to wake up and realize that the public will not revolt in the face of Republican power grabs, and that Republicans will not play nice because we decide to do so. Redrawing the maps in those states will make it all but impossible for Republicans to hold the House after the 2006 elections. Further, we can take out several committee chairs and even the Speaker of the House out in so doing. If these are the tactics Republicans want to use, and if their Supreme Court say these tactics are legal, then its time we use these tactics to decapitate the most of Republican leadership. Let's see them whine and squirm when their own strategies are used against them. Failure to do so is a failure to fight the conservative movement's long march toward theocracy and totalitarianism.

For you wonks out there, Adam B has a more in-depth review of the SCOTUS Texas decision, as does Election Law Blog.

Update: Off the Kuff writes about the electoral implications fo the decision.


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