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Bush can detain Americans and hold them indefinitely

by Michael Webster Investigative Reporter Friday, Jul. 18, 2008 at 6:37 PM
mvwsr@aol.com 949 494-7121

"This decision," countered Jonathan L. Hafetz, counsel for al-Marri, means the president can pick up any person in the country–citizen or legal resident–and lock them up for years without the most basic safeguard in the Constitution, the right to a criminal trial." And in effect denies Habeas Corpus to all Americans.



By Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter July 17, 2008 11:00 AM PDT

 

The New York Times reports: A federal court has issued two rulings, one favoring President Bush’s indefinite detentions of "enemy combatants," and another granting one of said "enemy combatants" the opportunity to challenge his detention in court.

The court effectively ruled that President Bush has the same right to indefinitely detain a civilian on American soil as he does an enemy soldier on a battlefield.

Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri , one of three, US citizens arrested and held without due process. Abdullah Al Mujahir, who changed his name from Jose Padilla after converting to Islam while in prison and John Walker Lindh, the American who joined the Taliban, who was given a 20-year-prison sentence, Ali one of the so called "enemy combatant’s" to be held in the continental United States, is in military custody in Charleston, South Carolina.

He was arrested in Peoria, Illinois on December 12, 2001 on charges of credit card fraud and lying to federal agents before being sent to Charleston in 2003.

A 5-4 majority of the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, said that a sworn statement from an intelligence official as the government’s sole testimony in an earlier proceeding was "inadequate."

The official, Jeffrey N. Rapp, said in a sworn affidavit that al-Marri was an al-Qaeda sleeper agent whose objective in the United States was to "commit mass murder and disrupt the banking system."

To date there has been no concrete evidence to support that statement. This statement was all that was needed to arrest and hold an American without basic American rights afforded by the constitution.  

Bail was refused, Habeas Corpus rights were denied and therefore under this current state of affairs Americans and anybody else can be arrested and held in prison indefinitely without due process and placed in indefinite incommunicado detention.

The current administration and several members of Congress have said in effect that the rule of Habeas Corpus doesn't apply to some people including some citizens. Click on or Google Restore Habeas Corpus

Due process was formerly a basic American right. The founding Fathers vision of the rights of all citizens in the new United States. A constitutional right afforded all Americans, A right that was the corner stone of American’s justice system that the rest of the world looked up to and many tried to emulate. With out these distinguishing rights that separated us and held America head and shoulders over the likes of Hitler and tyrannical governments around the world that traditionally have provided there citizens without these basic and fundamental civil rights.

The other ruling effectively reverses an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel with the same court that ordered that al-Marri be either charged with a crime or released.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse, saying that al-Marri had "already received all the process he was due," added that the decision recognize the president’s authority to "capture and detain [al-Qaeda] agents who, like the 9/11 hijackers, come to this country to commit or facilitate warlike acts against American civilians."

"This decision," countered Jonathan L. Hafetz, counsel for al-Marri, means the president can pick up any person in the country–citizen or legal resident–and lock them up for years without the most basic safeguard in the Constitution, the right to a criminal trial." This will have the effect of denying all Americans basic fundamental due process including Habeas Corpus.

Attorney Glen Greenwald previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator reported that “the Bush administration's treatment of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri ought to be shocking and horrifying. Instead, it is now not only depressingly familiar, but also something that is formally sanctioned by the U.S. Congress”.

"The criminal justice system does retain an important place in the ongoing effort to deter and punish terrorist acts without the sacrifice of American constitutional norms and bedrock values," all three judges said. See or click on: The Patriot Act and You!

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