The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 today that al Qaeda is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions -- seriously. Terrorists who wear no uniform and purposefully target civilians are covered by the Geneva Conventions.
What's troubling is that the Court did this in the face of the Detainee Treatment Act passed by the Congress in December. The act "stripped federal courts of jurisdiction over habeas corpus petitions from the Guantanamo Bay detainees 'pending on or after' the date of its enactment." Open and shut, right? Wrong. The Court's liberal majority didn't like that law, so found lame excuses to ignore it.
I'll be spending some serious time reading the opinion, for a prescient analysis on what happened, check out former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy over at National Review online.
*UPDATE* This might be a boon for Republicans in the 2006 election if this is any indication.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today following the United States Supreme Court decision that trying Guantanamo detainees before military commissions violates U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision reaffirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system. This is a triumph for the rule of law.
“The rights of due process are among our most cherished liberties, and today’s decision is a rebuke of the Bush Administration’s detainee policies and a reminder of our responsibility to protect both the American people and our Constitutional rights. We cannot allow the values on which our country was founded to become a casualty in the war on terrorism.”
Do Democrats really want to run on the proposition that terrorists captured on the battlefield should get criminal trials with all of the protections that go along with that? This may play well with the left-wing base, but the majority of the Americans know better.
On the bright side, if the Bush administration takes the tack described by Captain Ed, then I suppose I can live with it.