Saturday, June 14, 2008

Scalia Drinks The Koolaid

In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court ruled that the prisoners at Guantanamo have a right to challenge their imprisonment in the federal courts. For a good explanation go here.

I found Justice Scalia's dissent most interesting.

"America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy began by killing Americans and American allies abroad: 241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole in Yemen. See National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 60–61, 70, 190 (2004). On September 11, 2001, the enemy brought the battle to American soil, killing 2,749 at the Twin Towers in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon in Washington, D. C., and 40 in Pennsylvania. It has threatened further attacks against our homeland; one need only walk about buttressed and barricaded Washington, or board a plane anywhere in the country, to know that the threat is a serious one. Our Armed Forces are now in the field against the enemy, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week, 13 of our countrymen in arms were killed."

The attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon happened in 1983 and this is when a war with radical Islamists began? And if you're going to go there, don't forget there are two sides to every story. If a country had a battleship lobbing shells the size of VW Beetles into your cities and then landed some troops afterwards, which would be the easiest target to strike in retaliation? For some reason he neglects to include the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. That attack would fit within the war Scalia back dates by 18 years.

He goes on to describe how some 30 detainees released by the military "returned to the battlefield" after the military determined they were not enemy combatants. How could someone who wasn't a combatant return to the battlefield? (There was no mention of the possibility that they became enemy combatants as a result of their well-known harsh treatment at Guantanamo.) So even though the military determined those men were not enemy combatants, we should have held them indefinitely just to make sure? Perhaps we should add that to the "Ways to Promote Democracy" list. Right under Invasion.

I wonder what flavor Justice Scalia prefers.

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