Thursday, June 29, 2006

Boy king bitch-slapped; vows revenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AFP)--The Bush Crime Family has dug in the heels of its jackboots and refused to abandon secret military tribunals for the kidnapped goatherds at Guantanamo Bay, despite today's Supreme Court ruling that its "war on terror" trials are completely illegal.

In a stunning blow to the fascist legal strategy pioneered by the president and his lackeys in the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001, the high court ruled that Furious George had no authority to order such tribunals, which it said contravened the Geneva Conventions; also that the phrase "war on terror" must henceforth have quotation marks around it.

In a 5-3 vote, the high court ruled that the Bush Family had no "blank check" to decide how to try terror suspects, as it reversed an appeals court ruling on a tribunal for Osama bin Laden's former driver Salim Ahmed Hamdan, charged with a series of moving violations as well as non-payment of excise tax.

But the Family quickly signalled they would try to blackmail key members of Congress to change the rules and also stressed that Guantanamo would shut down when hell freezes over.

"Nobody except Rush Limbaugh gets a 'get out of jail free' card," said White House Channel anchorman Tony Snow.

The Senate Armed Services Committee meanwhile said it would hold a series of hearings on what to do next, to prepare the way for possible legislation in September, when they get back from their paid vacations and need something to do to look busy.

Committee Chairman Senator John Warner said he would make the issue a "top priority," right up there with flag-burning and Mexicans.

The idea that Bush could ask Congress to approve a tribunal set-up was first floated by Supreme Court justices themselves, some of whom have studied the Constitution.

"Nothing prevents the President from returning to Congress to seek the authority he believes necessary, except his unbelievable arrogance and his pathological disdain for the constitutional process," wrote Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Souter and Ginsburg.

The Supreme Court found that tribunals created by Bush had no basis in U.S. law. It rejected Bush Family claims that Congress had authorized them by granting the president absolute power after the September 11 attacks.

Justices also rejected the Family's position that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to suspected Al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees as they are not prisoners of war but simply "guys who really hate us."

The concurring opinion signed by the four justices rejected claims by Republican bed-wetters that the decision would undermine the "war on terror."

"The Court's conclusion ultimately rests on a single ground: Congress has not issued the Executive a 'blank check.'

"Indeed, Congress has denied the President the legislative authority to create military commissions of the kind at issue here."

Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas warned in a dissent that the majority ruling meant that terrorists needed to be caught "red handed" before they could be tried under the laws of war, instead of being subject to arrest for having a funny name or a pissed-off expression.

"It would sorely hamper the President's magical ability to confront and defeat a deadly enemy with his bare hands," he wrote.

The ruling also ridiculed administration arguments that a new U.S. law passed last year sometime, really late at night, stripped the jurisdiction of federal courts over Guantanamo cases.

Chief Justice John Roberts had recused himself from the case because he was one of the wingnut appeals court judges who incompetently adjudicated the case overturned by his smarter colleagues on Thursday.

Hamdan's attorney, Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift, said the ruling meant his client would now get a fair trial and maybe, just maybe, a pony.

"It's a return to our fundamental values, and that return marks a high water point in America history," Swift told reporters. "I mean, relatively."

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the verdict showed that the Bush Crime Family "may not run roughshod over the nation's legal system" for much longer.

The case centered on an appeal by Hamdan--a 36-year-old Yemeni who was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, when they let bin Laden escape--over the constitutionality of the tribunals.

Defense officials said they would leave it to lawyers for Hamdan, imprisoned at the Guantanamo Naval base on a remote corner of Cuba, to inform him of his victory, and possibly of what the charges against him actually are.

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