Saturday, September 10, 2005

Roberts Ruled On Guantanamo

John Roberts, who has been nominated for the Chief Justice position of the United States Supreme Court favored unchecked government power in a Gauntanamo Bay ruling. Bet ya didnt know that. Why didnt you know that? Cuz no one in the media has bothered to report it. Till now the worst we have heard of him is that he worked pro bono for homosexual activists.

Nat Hentoff wrote an opinion piece that brought this to light.

Hentoff writes, "Significantly, in a key decision on the president’s view of his powers as commander in chief, Roberts joined with two of his colleagues in the recent Hamdan v. Rumsfeld; the ruling gave this and succeeding presidents the unreviewable power to bypass civilian courts in the treatment of prisoners suspected of involvement in terrorism.

Salim Ahmed Hamdan has been a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for three years. He is now being put before a military commission, which prevents Hamdan from being in the room during crucial parts of the hearing. In addition, his attorney cannot see secret evidence against Hamdan. Moreover, the presiding officer can admit previous evidence extracted by torture. Most crucially, the final appeal is only to Bush or his designee.

As Emily Bazelon — a legal issues writer for Slate and contributing editor to Yale’s Legal Affairs magazine — emphasizes: “Roberts signed on to a blank-check grant of power to the Bush administration to try suspected terrorists without basic due process protections.

Hentoff also point out the New York Times reporter Neil Lewis disclosed on Aug. 1, that some of the military prosecutors involved in Hamdan’s proceedings were so concerned at its lack of fairness (the very definition of “due process”) that they charged “the chief prosecutor had told his subordinates that the members of the military commission that would try the first four defendants (including Hamdan) would be ‘handpicked’ to ensure that all would be convicted.”

I dont know about you, but that sure gives me warm fuzzies about Big Brother.