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GITMO Legal Procedures Increasingly Weird

LowDown

Curmudgeon
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The Commander-in-Chief has a free hand in deciding how to deal with foreign combatants detained. This is because no limits are put on the role of CiC by the Constitution and the Courts and the Congress do not have the authority to override his decisions.

So what we have going on is the desire on the part of the Obama administration to have the appearance of treating these men fairly by charging them and giving them trials when in fact the CiC could handle them in any way that seems best. The President could have them summarily executed, he could decide to release them, he could detain them indefinitely, he could put them in front of a military tribunal, and so on. Normal legal procedures don't necessarily apply to these men; it's whatever the President decides.

I'm not saying it’s ethical, but, historically and constitutionally, that's the way it is. The Obama administration clearly agrees with me on the legal aspects of it considering how they have been treating those men. I know I'm supposed to get the vapors about the President's authority, but, just as the President can't over-reach with his authority we can't dream up restrictions on that authority that can be imposed by the courts or the congress because those can't exist. That's the doctrine of co-equal branches of government as applied to war powers.

What is happening is that when detainees are trotted out to face trials invariably problems crop up having to do with military intelligence and national security, so it becomes impossible to carry it off as a “fair” trial. So we have this awkward kabuki act instead.
 
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