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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bush Fails the Fascist/Monarch Test

President Bush has failed the fascist/monarch test by submitting to the Supreme Court's recent ruling:

The Bush administration, bowing to court edict and political pressure, guaranteed the basic protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives in the war on terrorism and asked lawmakers Tuesday to restore the military tribunals now in limbo.

Team Bush's reasoning in a nutshell:

The administration has refused to grant Geneva status to the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere, saying they were not from a recognized nation, were not captured in uniform and did not observe traditional rules of war.

That pretty much lines up with the Third Geneva Convention, Art 4:

Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

Some dispute the court's decision (LA Times via Powerline):

What makes this war different is not that the president acted while Congress watched but that the Supreme Court interfered while fighting was ongoing. ... The court displays a lack of judicial restraint that would have shocked its predecessors. In World War II, the Supreme Court established precedents directly to the contrary. To evade these previous rulings, the court misread a law ordering it not to decide Guantanamo Bay cases, narrowed the very same authorization to use military force that it had read broadly just two years ago, ignored centuries of practice by presidents and Congress on military commissions and intruded into the executive's traditional national security prerogatives. Justices used to appreciate the inherent uncertainties and dire circumstances of war, and the limits of their own abilities. No longer.

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