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Friday, July 15, 2005

A Big Win For the Good Guys

This is most definitely a win for the fight on terrorism:
A federal appeals court put the Bush administration’s military commissions for terrorist suspects back on track Friday, saying a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison who once was Osama bin-Laden’s driver can stand trial.

A three-judge panel ruled 3-0 against Salim Ahmed Hamdan, whose case was halted by a federal judge on grounds that commission procedures were unlawful.

“Congress authorized the military commission that will try Hamdan,” said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The protections of the 1949 Geneva Convention do not apply to al-Qaida and its members, so Hamdan does not have a right to enforce its provisions in court, the appeals judges said.

What a great decision!

Here's part of the decision that relates to The Geneva Convention:

Another problem for Hamdan is that the 1949 Convention
does not apply to al Qaeda and its members. The Convention
appears to contemplate only two types of armed conflicts. The
first is an international conflict. Under Common Article 2, the
provisions of the Convention apply to “all cases of declared war
or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or
more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is
not recognized by one of them.” Needless to say, al Qaeda is
not a state and it was not a “High Contracting Party.” There is
an exception, set forth in the last paragraph of Common Article
2, when one of the “Powers” in a conflict is not a signatory but
the other is. Then the signatory nation is bound to adhere to the
Convention so long as the opposing Power “accepts and applies
the provisions thereof.” Even if al Qaeda could be considered
a Power, which we doubt, no one claims that al Qaeda has
accepted and applied the provisions of the Convention.
The Geneva Convention DOES NOT apply to enemy combatants. Never has, and hopefully, never will.

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