Through the Looking Glass: Wrongly
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down lots of good news for President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Congressman Tom Delay and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Yet the Sinistra Media not only soft-pedaled the good news, they went out of their way to report it as bad news.
For example, in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Court ruled that the Bush Administration can not only keep the detainees at Club Gitmo, it can throw away the keys “until the end of hostilities.” What the Bush Administration cannot do is bring the terrorists, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan, to trial using military tribunals. Instead, any detainees brought to trial must be tried under our civilian judicial system unless Congress passes a law specifically authorizing the Bush Administration to use military tribunals which, of course, Congress is about to do.
The only troubling part of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld is that the Court ignored the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 which states flat-out that “no court, justice or judge” has jurisdiction to hear applications for habeas corpus from any prisoner detained at Guantanamo. So, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld should have been dismissed out-of-hand in the court of first instance.
Clearly, the more liberal justices were straining to make “soldiers” out of the Club Gitmo thugs and afford them Geneva Convention status. That’s rather odd since the detainees are already living under better than Geneva Convention conditions.
As one who served at various times as a defense counsel, as a prosecutor, as a Summary Court Officer and as the Presiding Officer for several General Courts-Martial, all under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), I think the UCMJ affords the accused more protections than does our civilian judicial system.
An intriguing philosophical aspect of the UCMJ is that those charged with its administration are supposed to try very hard to get those convicted by UCMJ due process to come to understand that they have done wrong and that the punishment administered is commensurate with the wrong they have done. Moreover, once guilt is acknowledged and the punishment is served, the slate is wiped clean and, assuming future good behavior, redemption is at hand.
For some reason, I don’t think that concept will work with the Club Gitmo detainees, some of whom spit and throw their feces at the guards. Apparently, despite being afforded the most luxurious living conditions of their entire miserable lives, none of them are striving to become Prisoner of the Month. Bottom line: Hamdan (Osama bin Laden’s former driver and bodyguard) v. Rumsfeld is a defeat for Hamdan and the ACLU and a win for Bush.
From the Sinistra Media coverage, one would have thought that the Texas redistricting boundaries engineered by former Congressman Tom Delay and put into effect by Texas Governor Rick Perry had been repudiated by the Court. Not so. In Lulac v. Perry, the Delay/Perry redistricting was allowed to stand – the only exception being Texas 23d District where Delay/Perry gerrymandered the boundaries in order to keep (drum roll) LATINO Congressman Henry Bonilla in Congress. Did I mention Rep. Bonilla is a Latino?
Moreover, the Court ruled it is okay to redistrict any time the majority in any state legislative body wants to do so. No longer must such redistricting be done immediately after each ten-year census.
As both Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and Lulac v. Perry were handed down, Fox News Channel (FNC) had its legal reporter on hand. She faithfully reported both Court rulings. Moreover, Fox News Channel had former Judge Andrew Napolitano analyze the rulings. Thus, the FNC lawyer on the scene and the FNC judge back in the studios came to the same conclusions: sweeping victories for the Bush Administration.
Meanwhile, the reporters and analysts for the Sinistra Media were reporting just the opposite of what the two rulings actually meant. I honestly don’t know how those involved with the Sinistra Media can look themselves in the mirror. Suppose reading the decisions would help?
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2006. William Hamilton.