Thursday, September 16, 2004

What the hell?

Stealing the entire post from Mat. This is unconscionable.

Ok, you historians. Has there ever been a person forced to renounce his American citizenship as part of a plea bargain to a crime for which he was never charged?

The first U.S. government-declared “enemy combatant” in the war on terror will soon be released from a military prison in South Carolina under an agreement that will allow him to fly home to Saudi Arabia as a free man, administration officials tell NEWSWEEK. The agreement to free Yaser Esam Hamdi represents a stunning reversal for the Bush administration, which argued for more than two years that the former Taliban fighter was potentially so dangerous that he had to be detained indefinitely in solitary confinement with no access to counsel and no right to trial.
But in a landmark ruling last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that Hamdi, an American citizen, be allowed to consult with his lawyer and challenge the basis for his imprisonment. This pushed the case back into federal court and forced the Justice Department to mount a hasty retreat.

The result, officials say, is a highly detailed agreement that is expected to be made public later this week. It will result in Hamdi being flown back to Saudi Arabia on a U.S. military aircraft without ever being charged with any terror-related activity—a symbolic victory for critics who have long pointed to the case as a prime example of what they see as the Bush administration’s overreaching in combating the terrorist threat.

Let me quote Atrios’ summary:

So, our government keeps a guy locked up for 3 years without trial because he’s too dangerous to let go. When he was allowed to challenge his imprisonment, the JD backed off. And, then, to end the whole thing they’re going to require that he renounce his citizenship.

Paging John Kerry. The way Democrats lose elections is by letting this un-American shit pass unmentioned. If the guy was a threat, why the hell are we flying him back to Saudi Arabia? For more terrorist training?

Oh, right. That doesn’t happen there. [Mathew Gross]

More on this later.


  1. I would not be surprised if we later find out that this guy *IS* a terrorist threat and *WILL* receive terrorist training in Saudi Arabia.. It wasn't President Bush that released him it was the liberals crying fowl.

    Now you guys have to hope and cross your fingers that you were right. We have to hope you are correct as well.

  2. Bleh, mis-spelled foul.. oh well.

    While you guys release the suspected terrorists will keep capturing them. And the world goes round and round.

  3. One last comment if I may.

    Historians!? Has there ever been 3000 deaths of American Innocent Lives in a Terrorist, Act of War, like September 11th, 2001 before in America?

    Historians? Look it up! And e-mail your answer to Rick Klau:-)

  4. Rick,
    I am quite disappointed in your post. On one hand, liberals (like the ACLU)fight this detention tooth and nail. Then, on the other hand, you post something like this blaming the administration for letting the guy go... the very result your side wanted and fought for.

    Look at it this way, the JD realized the Left is fighting mad to let anarchists and terrorists alike enjoy the same freedoms as law-abiding citizens. Knowing there's a chance a liberal judge could decide to let this terrorist walk free INSIDE America, the JD decided to send him home and fight to keep him from coming back.

    It's like catching an alligator in your back yard. If you don't kill it immediately, you call Animal Control to take care of it. Now is it smart for them to just release back into your backyard, or should they take him out to a remoted swamp far away from your home? Which is safer for the inhabitants of your property?

  5. Sorry for disappointing, Jason. Here's the deal: he was an American citizen, and the administration tried to hold him without charging with a crime nor allowing him access to counsel. That's patently un-American, un-Constitutional, and any other un- you want to throw at it.

    Fortunately the Supreme Court called them on it. And yes, the JD made a hasty retreat, recognizing they had no case.

    But rather than drop the case altogether, they then proceed to force him to renounce his citizenship - even though there were still no charges filed.

    Now there's a legit issue as to whether he was fighting with the Taliban of his own accord. (Were he, then it's entirely appropriate to take legal action.) But we have an entire system of laws in this country that start with the presumption of innocence. And our Justice Department attempted to do an end-run around that presumption. And if he was doing something wrong, that same legal system is designed to prosecute those wrongs. We should have faith in our system that it can identify those threats and resolve them, within its boundaries.

    If it makes me a liberal to be worried when our government starts blindly violating the Constitution, revoking citizenship in spite of no charges being filed and no finding by a court of treason, then call me a liberal.

  6. Jeff and Jason, you guys have completely missed the point.

    If he was a terrorist, then CHARGE HIM WITH A CRIME! This is elementary school Constitutional law. You know, unlawful searches and seizures, due process, etc... That sort of stuff. Sheesh.

  7. I consider citizenship revoked when one is captured fighting against the U.S. military during war. Since he chose to renounce his citizenship by joining the opposition in war, he's no longer afforded the rights American citizens enjoy. It's absurd to think one can actively engage in war against the U.S. then try to seek protection under the very freedoms against which he was fighting. It makes a nice little tidy case for the ACLU crowd, but as far as I'm concerned, if you're fighting against the U.S. military, you ought to consider yourself lucky to only get banished to Saudi Arabia.