Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Now Only Zero Days Since Our Last Geneva Convention Violation

Those cursed bleeding-heart judges are still trying to uphold the rule of law. Don't they realize the people voted to overturn the Geneva Convention and all other such tired, obsolete notions?

From the New York Times
November 9, 2004
U.S. Judge Halts War-Crime Trial at Guantánamo

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba, Nov. 8 - A federal judge ruled Monday that President Bush had both overstepped his constitutional bounds and improperly brushed aside the Geneva Conventions in establishing military commissions to try detainees at the United States naval base here as war criminals.
The administration reacted quickly, saying it would seek an emergency stay and a quick appeal.
Judge Robertson ruled that the administration could not under current circumstances try Mr. Hamdan before the military commissions set up shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks but could only bring him before a court-martial, where different rules of evidence apply.

In the 45-page ruling, the judge said the administration had ignored a basic provision of the Geneva Conventions, the international treaties signed by the United States that form the basic elements of the laws governing the conduct of war.

The conventions oblige the United States to treat Mr. Hamdan as a prisoner of war, the judge said , unless he goes before a special tribunal described in Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention that determines he is not. A P.O.W. is entitled to a court-martial if there are accusations of war crimes but may not be tried before a military commission.

The United States military did not conduct Article 5 tribunals at the end of the Afghanistan war, saying they were unnecessary. Government lawyers argued that the president had already used his authority to deem members of Al Qaeda unlawful combatants who would be deprived of P.O.W. status.

But Judge Robertson, who was nominated to be on the court by President Bill Clinton, said that that was not enough. "The president is not a panel," he wrote. "The law of war includes the Third Geneva Convention, which requires trial by court-martial as long as Hamdan's P.O.W. status is in doubt."

The government is in the midst of conducting a separate set of tribunals here at Guantánamo, similar to those required by the Geneva Conventions, to determine whether detainees were properly deemed unlawful enemy combatants. Those proceedings, called combatant status review tribunals, were quickly put into place by the Bush administration after the Supreme Court's ruling in June that the Guantánamo prisoners were entitled to challenge their detentions in federal court. Judge Robertson said, however, that those tribunals were not designed to satisfy the Geneva Convention requirement and were insufficient.

Monday, November 08, 2004


America's Future

Here's a vision of what the future holds for women subject to El Busho's "values."

From the BBC
Her ordeal began four months into her fourth pregnancy.

One fateful afternoon, feeling sick and dizzy, she swallowed some paracetamol tablets to cure a nagging migraine.

"I knew instinctively that I was miscarrying, and I had lost my baby," she recalls. "My underclothes were drenched in blood."
Because Shanti's pregnancy was so far advanced, the authorities suspected she had had an abortion.

She was arrested while recovering in hospital and four armed police stood guard by her bed. "I was so sick there was no reason for them to guard me, I could not run anywhere," she said.
Her husband had paid a lawyer around $20 (1500 Nepalese Rupees) to defend her, but unable to read or write she found it difficult to understand the proceedings.

"I didn't know what was going on, I was very confused. They said I had an abortion. The police made me sign a piece of paper. I did not know it was a confession."

Shanti was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

I'm sure Chief Justice Scalia (or Thomas) would have no problem upholding a conviction based on a signed "confession" from someone unable to read what they signed, even if signed under duress.


Will Florida and Louisiana be Underwater in 2008?

Probably not, but I'll bet voters in low-lying states will curse Mr. Bush's name by 2050:
From the NY Times
Climate experts and geologists say the consequences of glacial ice melting on this scale are far-reaching. The most important long-term threat, perhaps, is to the low-lying coastal cities around the world - places like New York and New Orleans...
New Orleans' problems may become tragically clear in the next few hurricane seasons:
Unfortunately, each year about 100-120 square kilometers of Louisiana's coastal wetlands are lost to open-water or nonwetland habitats because of natural and human causes (Johnston et al. 1995). Especially critical is the erosion of the barrier islands that serve as the first line of defense against hurricanes and storms and which help prevent destruction of freshwater wetlands by saltwater intrusion.
Source: USGS

Just as it took the Titanic disaster before ship designers decided lifeboats were a good idea, it will take a big disaster hitting Florida and/or Louisiana before people react to global warming. However, its never too early to start talking about how ignoring environmental damage can kill us (and our grandchildren.)

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