Friday, September 09, 2005

Oh, and one other thing

I heard on NPR that a Federal Appeals court has given Bush to detain American citizens on American soil as enemy combatants...
Nothing about it elsewhere though. Strike that:

"The exceedingly important question before us is whether the president of the United States possesses the authority to detain militarily a citizen of this country who is closely associated with al Qaeda," wrote Judge J. Michael Luttig in the opinion for the three-judge panel.

"We conclude that the president does possess such authority," wrote Luttig, a conservative whom the Bush administration has been considering for a possible Supreme Court nomination.

The ruling by the court based in Richmond, Virginia, was a major victory for the Bush administration. Andrew Patel, an attorney for Padilla, said he thought it would be appealed to the
U.S. Supreme Court.
"It is very troubling that a court would be willing to uphold executive detentions in a democracy. Terrorism does not change over 200 years of legal tradition," he said in New York.

He acknowledged in a footnote that Padilla cannot be held indefinitely. But he can continue to be detained for the duration of hostilities and Luttig said the United States remained engaged in the conflict with al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Fortunately, there is one voice of sanity:

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff said the ruling required congressional action to set out standards on what constituted an enemy combatant and what review should be mandated.

"The executive cannot have the unilateral authority to designate an American citizen as an enemy combatant and lock them up for life without meaningful standards and judicial review," the California Democrat said.

All I can say is be afraid, be very afraid.