Court Rules: Bush can detain ANYONE indefinetely

President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.

Link to New York Times story HERE.

The decision was a victory for the Bush administration, which had maintained that a 2001 Congressional authorization to use military force after the Sept. 11 attacks granted the president the power to detain people living in the United States.

The court effectively reversed a divided three-judge panel of its own members, which ruled last year that the government lacked the power to detain civilians legally in the United States as enemy combatants.


This decision means the president can pick up any person in the country – citizen or legal resident – and lock them up for years without the most basic safeguard in the Constitution, the right to a criminal trial,” Mr. Hafetz said.

And, from the AFP:

The US Justice Department welcomed the Richmond court’s decision upholding Bush’s power to jail terrorist suspects indefinitely.

“We are pleased with the court’s en banc decision today … that authority is backed by the support of Congress and is a vital tool in protecting the nation against further terrorist attacks,” it said in a statement.

And more from UPI:

RICHMOND, Va., July 15 (UPI) — A U.S. appeals court in Virginia ruled that President George Bush can order the open-ended military detention of civilians arrested in the United States.

The Bush administration had argued that a 2001 congressional authorization to use military force after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks allowed the president to detain people living in the United States, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported. Tuesday’s decision — a 5-4 vote of the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, one of the most conservative in the country — reverses a decision by a three-judge appeals court panel, which ruled the government couldn’t hold civilians indefinitely as enemy combatants.

Wow. Words escape me, while I try to digest what this means. I just wanted to get this up, and hope that someone who understands this and it’s legal implications will comment. It appears to me (IANAL) that Bush has the court’s OK to pick up US citizens, as well as foreign nationals within our borders, without charges, and hold them as long as he wants to.

Banging head against wall now.  


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  1. this — first of all, it’s not astounding — Bush has placed so many acts, albeit “illegal” (insofar as our Constitution is concerned) in place heretofore.  The “Military Commissions Act,” for example, I believe, covers this.  In reality, Bush has enacted every conceivable law possible (although, most probably, not legal, as in accord with our Constitution), so as to set up and premise a perfect setting for a “police state.”  

    All of the laws he has enacted were NOT designated for an “exclusivity” of peoples — it was general in doctrine — thus, the dangers and dangerous to ALL CITIZENS!  

    Lisa, these people have well thought out their “plot(s) prior, I believe, even to being in office — the rapidity with which things have happened within this Adm. is incredible, and, we, Americans, wind up the next day trying to pick up the pieces of what has happened the day before.  This has been the scenario from the very beginning.

    IMPEACHMENT — INDICTMENTS — America’s only hopes!

    • pfiore8 on July 16, 2008 at 10:25 am

    where are the voices of those in Congress who need to be upholding the Constitution? why are they not screaming?

    this completely pisses me off. and no one seems to understand that, as your fabulous and horrible headline says… ANYONE, including Americans born on American soil.

    fuck. fuck. fuck. fuck. fuck. this whole fucking system needs to be undone.

  2. won’t pull on bush’s “superterrist fighter” cape!  Apparently the cave-in Dems in general and the “leadership” and House Judiciary Committee in particular understand where they may end up if they give bush/cheney/rove, et al just a bit too much lip.

    There’s nothing to see here, move along…

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