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Supreme Court: Hamdan vs Rumsfeld

John Simkin

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Interesting article by Andrew Sullivan in yesterday’s Sunday Times. He discusses the Supreme Court’s decision that military tribunals to try suspects at Guantanamo Bay are illegal. As Sullivan points out: “In a series of actions and decisions after 9/11, President George Bush in effect broke the law, violated his oath of office and pushed the limits of his power beyond the permissible… The lesson is that even in times of war America is run, not by a president, but by a constitution.”

However, Sullivan points out: “The decision was written by the most senior member of the court – and the one most likely to retire next. Bush’s own appointees, Samuel Alito and John Roberts, favour the notion of an untrammeled executive power in wartime. The vote was essentially 5-4 and Bush is one nominee away from reversing it.”

Sullivan points out that the dominant right-wing ideology in America has changed. He argues that the “conservative intelligentsia” in the United States has changed from a conservatism that protects the individual from government towards a conservatism that wants to impose democracy abroad and enforce morality at home.”

Do you agree?

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Wait to appoint another conservative justice? Why bother? Bush will simply take the Court's advice and get authorization for the tribunals from the Republican-held Congress. Very few Dems will object because it's an election year and the tribunals are popular with most US voters (and vastly more popular than US civil trials or releasing these cretins back into the wild, which will never happen). You may be rid of Bush in two years, but the evil of Islamofascism will remain. And judging by Blair's admonishment of the all-too-passive Muslim community in the UK, he "gets it" too.

St. Andrew? I used to be a devoted reader of his blog. Then he defended Sen. Durbin's Nazi allegory vis-a-vis US troops, and that was the end of that. Nowadays he spends the bulk of his time comparing Christian conservatives to Islamists, accusing Bush of being some latter-day monarch, taking potshots at Pope Benedict, bewailing attempts to codify marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman, denying links between homosexuality and recent spikes in new HIV infections, and going batxxxxcrazy whenever the war on terror isn't waged to his satisfaction or sense of propriety. He piously acts as a self-appointed internet scold, dishing out insults to all corners of the blogosphere. He may be a fiscal conservative, but that's about it.

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