[Vision2020] End of Habeas Corpus?

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed Sep 20 11:19:05 PDT 2006

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 *
ipa at accuracy.org

PM Monday, September 18, 2006

End of Habeas Corpus?

While the Warner-Graham-McCain bill has gotten substantial attention with
regards to its Geneva conventions provisions, the Center for Constitutional
Rights has criticized both the bill and the administration's proposal as
gutting habeas corpus.

McCain and Graham were questioned separately about this yesterday, by Sam
Husseini of the Institute for Public Accuracy, as they left the studios of
Sunday morning talk shows in Washington. McCain replied that he was not
familiar with those provisions of the legislation.

When Graham was asked if the bill, as the Center for Constitutional Rights
has charged, "would prevent anyone taken into U.S. custody -- anywhere in
the world, past, present or future, innocent or not -- from ever having
their case heard in a court of law," the South Carolina senator replied:
"That is a complete false statement."

Graham added: "Every person tried as a war criminal will now be able to
appeal their conviction if there is one through our federal court system.
... Everywhere we hold someone there are rules in place to appeal their
status as enemy combatants."

For video and transcript of the remarks by McCain and Graham, see: <

MICHAEL RATNER, via Mahdis Keshavarz,
mahdis at riptideonline.com<http://by106fd.bay106.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/compose?curmbox=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&a=a7e5a3abeb5b6a0625bb45e354a7149ae20fc32b2405e6c199ec9b9e25664cc1&mailto=1&to=mahdis@riptideonline.com&msg=5B7C922F-67D2-4EE4-B545-CFF0845A3927&start=0&len=7621&src=&type=x>,
http://ccr-ny.org <javascript:ol('http://ccr-ny.org');>
   President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner said today:
"The Warner-Graham-McCain bill denies habeas corpus to all aliens held
outside the United States and currently in U.S. custody. And 'outside'
includes Guantanamo.
   "However in the case of those who have been found to be unlawful enemy
combatants by Combatant Status Review Tribunal (combatant status review
panels used at Guantanamo) it gives a meaningless court of appeals 'review'
-- a review that examines whether or not the U.S. complied with its own
procedures -- but not ... a real court hearing with factual development as
habeas corpus requires.
   "For those aliens detained outside the U.S. that have not had CSRT
hearings -- the high majority -- in facilities like Bagram in Afghanistan,
the Warner bill simply abolished habeas or any other court review.
   "The consequences are breathtaking. The U.S. can pick up any alien, even
a legal permanent resident in the U.S., and take them to an off-shore prison
and hold them forever without any kind of court hearing.
   "While all the attention on this legislation has focused on Geneva
conventions and military commissions, the Warner alternative, like the
administration bill, authorizes lifelong detention without habeas or any
genuine review whatsoever."

sabin.willett at bingham.com<http://by106fd.bay106.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/compose?curmbox=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&a=a7e5a3abeb5b6a0625bb45e354a7149ae20fc32b2405e6c199ec9b9e25664cc1&mailto=1&to=sabin.willett@bingham.com&msg=5B7C922F-67D2-4EE4-B545-CFF0845A3927&start=0&len=7621&src=&type=x>
Willett is a partner at the law firm Bingham McCutchen. One of his clients,
Abu Bakker Qassim, who was imprisoned at Guantanamo from 2002 to May 2006,
had an oped in the New York Times on Sunday; see: <

   Willett said today: "Sen. Graham refers to a provision in the Senate bill
that gives the court of appeals a review of 'enemy combatant' findings made
by the military's Combatant Status Review Tribunals. But the devil is in the
details. The Senate bill limits the court's review to whether the CSRT [has]
followed its own rules. ... The irony of the new bill is that it would give
more rights to Khaled Sheikh Muhammed, who stands accused of murdering
nearly 3,000, than to men who've never been charged, and never will be
charged, with anything.
   "Judge Hens Green, the only judge to have looked closely at these CSRTs,
roundly condemned them as arbitrary more than a year ago. The CSRTs branded
as 'enemy combatant' not just enemy soldiers taken on the battlefield, but
all kinds of people who were never soldiers at all. They based their
findings on secret evidence and reached contradictory and inexplicable

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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