Friday, July 15, 2005


The courts get it right:
WASHINGTON - A Guantanamo detainee who once was Osama bin Laden's driver can be tried by military tribunal, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, apparently clearing the way for the Pentagon to resume trials suspended when a lower court ruled the procedures unlawful.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled unanimously against Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni.

More broadly it said that the 1949 Geneva Convention governing prisoners of war does not apply to al-Qaida and its members. That supports a key assertion of the Bush administration, which has faced international criticism for holding hundreds of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay without full POW protections.
In Friday's ruling, the three judges said the commission itself is...a competent tribunal, and that Hamdan could assert his claim to prisoner of war status at the time of his trial before a military commission.
The Pentagon has said it is developing charges against others, and it maintains that those not charged could be held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay.
Naturally, just like as is usual with enemies in wartime. This court understands this is a war.


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