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McCain Applauded for Opposition to Court Decision on Guantanamo Bay

Updated 12:48 p.m.
By Juliet Eilperin
PEMBERTON, N.J. -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today decried Thursday's Supreme Court ruling granting foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts, which he called "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

McCain -- who has long maintained the federal government should close Guantanamo Bay detention center -- said Congress made a distinction between those imprisoned there and U.S. civilians in the law he helped write, the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

"We made it very clear these are enemy combatants," he said. "They have not, and never have been, given the rights of citizens of this country."

The crowd of more than 1,000 supporters, packed into a gym at Burlington County College, exploded into applause at McCain's comments.

The presumptive GOP nominee then read from Chief Justice John Roberts' dissent, and predicted the courts would now be "flooded" with habeas corpus lawsuits.

"We are going to be bollixed up in a way that's terribly unfortunate," he told the audience, adding that 30 detainees released from Guantanamo subsequently tried to attack the U.S. "Our first obligation is the safety and security of this nation, and the men and women who defend it. This decision will harm our ability to do that."

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 13, 2008; 12:16 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain  
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Poster bdubblu:

Hold up, comrade citizen. Your politically tendentious slip is showing.

"THESE PEOPLE" like me? My perspective is neither narrowminded nor as a chicken hawk sitting safely on his luxurious (?) couch while waxing patriotic.

The standard "right-winger" image you draw from the liberal playbook doesn't fly. Passenger jets flown into American skyscrapers do.

Which begs the point. It appears you've never faced the Elephant. It's axiomatic to those who have, that the enemy who aims to kill you outright, say, in the Laotian jungle, is clearly an "enemy combatant"--
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg notwithstanding.

Terrorists today may or may not be uniformed; but like the NVA, they're immutably real, wily, and determined. They're proven tough fighters who'll give no quarter, whether attacking Americans from every compass point in the dead of night--or brazenly during the light of day.

Americans may kill them and/or capture them, neither of which action changes the their status as enemy combatants. Period.

I'd tell you to wake up and smell the cordite, burning blood and overwhelming feces, but it'd be a wasted effort on someone who hasn't a clue of what constitutes an enemy. Like pornography, you know enemy action when you see it up close and personal. That's essentially the case for jailing these "innocents" at Guantanmo in the first place, not the misplaced bluster of some character engaging in right-wing histrionics.

One can only imagine how "people like you" would respond to the thousands of German POWs in camps across America during the 1940s:


Posted by: Stan S. | June 25, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Look at these people like STAN S. who from the luxury of his couch deem these detainees GUILTY, because the military has imprisoned them, and he believes information put forth by the military is truth. That's exactly the reason so many people.. let me correct myself "rational people" want G.B. shut down, and it's "detainees" at least afforded the right to SOME or ANY form of representation. It's trigger happy hypocrites like you who "fight for freedom" and in the same breath condemn people to infinite imprisonment without proof of wrongdoing. If there were American soldiers being held in some foriegn land without the ability to be heard, I'm sure you'd see it as unjust, even if the nation they were being held in considered them "enemy combatants." You know why? It's because of narrowminded nationalistic veiws. That's why.

Posted by: bdubblu | June 24, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

These brave soldiers being held fought in order to uphold their law. TO honor these brave soldiers of Islam, the US should have rewarded their courage by processing them using the justice system for which they were fighting.

A quick beheading for each one. That is the law they were fighting for. Let's give them a taste of the victory they hoped for.

Posted by: Jack | June 16, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The Guantanamo prisoners are there not because of nighttime roundups of innocents, reminiscent of the Nazi Germany and Stalin eras. They're there because they are captured foreign enemy combatants, most of whom openly engaged--and killed--our soldiers in battle.

That these same foreign nationals can actually bring a case before the Supreme Court to argue for the right to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts, and win, is an outrage beyond measure.

The high-minded deciding justices have brazenly overstepped the Court's historical role in American jurisprudence by extending to these captured killers the rights and privileges of American citizens. Moreover, the Court's ruling has grievously endangered this and future generations of Americans; it has weakened our sovereignty; it has insulted and diminished us all. Somehow, we have got to find a way to take the starch out of these justices' robes and curb such intrusions into the deadly business of our national defense and survival.

Posted by: Stan S. | June 16, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Who defines who is an 'enemy combatant'?

Posted by: deek | June 15, 2008 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Man everyone's going over board with this. McCain's not taking away their right to a fair trial he just doesn't think they have right to habeas corpus. There is no unlawful detaining since you were caught engaging in an act of terrorism against the United States. They have the authority to detain you. Frankly, I agree, it's a way to prolong the adjudication proceedings.
Article 1 Section 9 of US Constitution:
"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."
Key phrase "invasion of public safety".

And what was that stuff about McCain's wife? You sick piece of work. How about you learn to respect another person's privacy and not turn a family tragedy in manipulative campaign fodder.

Posted by: xax | June 14, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

"McCain is right by condemning the decision made by five TRAITORS on the Supreme Court who gave terrorists rights NOT countenanced by the Constitution."

What planet are nuts like this from? Educate, don't embarrass yourself.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

OK.. So before we start calling Supreme Court Justices traitors and thinking that there is some sort of political agenda on the bench let us remember a few small facts. The Supreme Court only looks back at facts not forward to possibilities. If the Bush administration had paid any attention to the constitution or even sought out a reasonably competent opinion of law then we would not be having the conversation. There are two very well defined options under law. One is that we have captured enemy prisoners and as such we do not have to convict them under law we can hold them until the war ends. But we do have to follow the Geneva Conventions and we can't abuse them. The other is that we arrest people as criminals and attempt to convict them based on evidence. In that case the accused has the rights of any accused person. It might be useful if there werenot a third classification "people we are pretty sure are bad and we want to find out why the hate us" but there isn't.

The Supreme Court simply interprets the Constitution as it is written and provides an opinion of yes or no. In this case and the previous cases on this subject the decision has been constant. The Administrative Branch (ie the President) can't make up laws on the fly, even good laws. They just are not allowed to do that under the Constitution they have sworn to defend. If Senator McCain expects to take that oath he might want to become familiar with its language.

Posted by: FM | June 14, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

McCain is right by condemning the decision made by five TRAITORS on the Supreme Court who gave terrorists rights NOT countenanced by the Constitution.

Foreign prisoners are NOT the "We the people intended by our Constitution.

Posted by: tncdel | June 14, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

And the scary subtext? McCain wrongly implies that our rights are given to us as citizens.

And I thought our Constitution protects our natural rights, i.e. human rights! I didn't realize I was "given" these rights! And all along I wrongly believed the Bill of Rights was adopted to protect those rights that the Creator gave me. Now I find out the truth, they were "given" to me by our Constitution. Wow, does that mean that what is "given" may be taken away? I must have this natural rights thing all wrong, thank you for enlightening me Mr. McCain.

Posted by: dtkny | June 14, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Should Cindy McCain's Brain Damage Be A Campaign Issue?

I don't know whether Americans care if the First Lady is mentally disabled - that's a question for McCain's pollsters. What I want to know is why McCain would even subject his poor wife to the rigors of a presidential campaign and worldwide scrutiny in the first place. The question speaks directly to McCain's personal cruelty and unbridled ambition.

Although the true extent of the brain damage has not been publicly disclosed, Cindy McCain's 2004 stroke is not a secret.

In a very flattering September 2007 interview in More, Paul Alexander wrote about the stroke damage:

"In conversation, she will occasionally have trouble remembering certain facts, especially from the recent past, and if you look closely you realize she cannot make her right hand into a complete fist, which has affected her handwriting, if not her ability to grasp a gearshift knob. "It's not bad," she says, describing the damage to her hand. "I can function. I have short-term memory loss. I can remember all the major details of my life, but I sometimes can't remember what happened last week."

I suspect that John McCain, viewed his wife's stroke more in terms of how it would affect his bid for the presidency than else.

From a January 2005 Larry King show:

"MCCAIN: I was the one at home that everyone came to to program their computers, fix their phones, do anything electrical, technical, anything on the computer. I can't get near it now. I'm overwhelmed by it.

And it's weird for me. And I might also say, I suffer from migraines also. And your last caller that called in -- and I just had an episode about a week and a half ago, where I didn't know, I thought I was having another stroke. It was a different kind of...

KING: Has the senator been very sympathetic?

MCCAIN: Yes. And I -- please don't -- let me explain that. He was very confused in the beginning. He didn't -- like everyone in the family, how could it happen to my wife? I'm 18 years older than she is. It doesn't happen to someone that's younger than you are. So on his behalf, I think he's trying to understand all this. It's a lot for him to take in."

In October 2007, Cindy McCain was hobbling around South Carolina as the result of a fall down in a Phoenix grocery store. Was her fall caused by her brain damage? Is the question any of our business?

Inevitably, the issue of the extent of Cindy McCain's brain damage will enter the public arena. So far, Mrs McCain has only had to field softballs lobbed at her by sympathetic journalists. Can the McCain campaign limit her public appearances to three-minute soundbites until November? I don' think so, not in today's political environment.

Why, Senator McCain, would you do this to your wife?

Posted by: Beth Martin | June 14, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: TERRORISTBUSH | June 14, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The first comment stated: "The fact is that non-citizens captured abroad should not be given a right under our Constitution that plainly does not exist for them." Interesting perspective. This is exactly the same perspective people of the USA and many other countries held about blacks, for example. If people are not citizens of our country, or if people belong to a different race, then they are not really human beings, therefore we are exempted from any moral laws. How can any person with moral values support such a view?

Secondly, if the reader thinks that non-citizens captured abroad do not hold any rights, how can he/she think that US soldiers could be treated humanely if they are captured abroad?

I am really surprised that McCain opposed the decision of the Supreme Court. One more reason to vote for Obama.

Posted by: Elena | June 14, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Article 1, Section 8, gives Congress the power to "make rules concerning captures on land and water." The fact is that non-citizens captured abroad should not be given a right under our Constitution that plainly does not exist for them. In a ruling that defies both the letter and spirit
So can we just shoot them? Can we torture them? Throw them in solitary for life? We seem to be able to do whatever we want then if what you say is true. They are not citizens, have no rights, are not in any place subject to any laws.

I think we should just shoot them. And we can legally do it since there are no laws to prevent us.

I'm not sure how good that will look to the rest of the world. After all we profess to be the finest example of a nation that adheres to the rule of law. We profess to have the best constitution and court system. And we berate other countries who don't have our high standard.

But due to some creative legislation and some clever rationalization, wh have found ourselves in a very unique and rare situation.

We can shoot all the enenmy combatants legally and thus resolve all of our problems in Guantanamo. And no one can touch us. It's like the perfect crime.

Yes. Let's just shoot all of them.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

I got an idea. Why don't all you people worried about the civil rights of these enemy combatants form a peace delegation to Afghanistan,or any number of the lovely countries these detainees hail from and form some protests etc. Then, when the kidnap you and film your beheading you can see how absolutely STUPID your rationale is.
I'm not worried in the least about the civil rights of enemy combatants. What I am worried about is the way the Bush administration willy nilly decides which laws they want to follow and which laws they want to circumvent. If you are dump enuff to not realize when you are losing your rights granted to us in our Constitution rest assured the rest of us will make sure you will still have them. When they start with all their Presidential Signings and their intrepretation of who the Bill of Rights doesen't apply to then we are in much greater danger than from any enemy combatants.

We are in greater danger from Bush/Cheney than from any group of armed terrorists. Remember Watergate? Remember Iran-Contra? And now we have Guantanamo. Thank god we still have 5 brave warriors on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Bob | June 14, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

According to McCain logic the only thing Hitler had to do to legalize the extermination of the Jews and make it morally acceptable was to follow the following simple steps:

1. Declare that Germany was at war with Judaism.

2. Declare that all foreign Jews were enemy combatants.

3. Build the extermination camps in Poland and not in Germany so to be out of German jurisdiction.

Posted by: Ture | June 14, 2008 3:54 AM | Report abuse

The 2008 McCain version of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are NOT created equal, that they are NOT endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, such as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And that non-Americans therefore can be imprisoned for an indefinite period of time in concentration camps and tortured
on the whim of the president ("the decider"). Foreigners can furthermore be kidnapped and killed by the president of the republic as long as he claims it is for the good of the nation.

Posted by: Ture | June 14, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

The thing with Bush/McCain supporters is that they are not only cowards but stupid cowards. They are prepared to sacrifice the basic freedoms and legal protections of Americans and non-Americans for a threat that is basically non-existent.

Message to Bush/McCain supporters: DON'T BE SCARED ! The evil foreign terrorists will not kill you and your family !

Even if one count 9-11, which was a lucky break for these religious lunatics, no more than
3000 Americans have been killed by muslim terrorists since then. During the Clinton years it was much, much less with the rightwing-nut attack in Oklahoma city being the largest atrocity.

Since 2001 there has been 4000 Americans killed by Bush in an unnecessary war,
250,000 americans killed in car accidents, 70,000 americans killed by other americans
in firearm assaults and 5,000 americans killed by falling off chairs, beds and other furniture.

How about a war on furniture ? Invade Sweden to stop IKEA anyone ?
Concentration camps for car dealers ? Waterboarding of firearm owners ?

STOP THE LUNACY ! It is nothing but treason to turn the US into a country of torture and concentration camps in order to fight a non-existent threat!

Posted by: Ture | June 14, 2008 3:17 AM | Report abuse

The Supreme Court just handed down its decision in the case of Boumediene v. Bush, involving an Algerian being held at Guantanamo. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Boumediene, an alien who's never stepped foot in the United States, has the right to a hearing before a U.S. judge. This makes it much harder for the military to hold detainees, possibly resulting in premature release of our nation's enemies.

Though there is no justification within the Constitution for conferring such rights on non-Americans, the majority in this case sure didn't let that fact slow them down.
Despite the long-held perception that these combatants are locked up and the key thrown away, major steps have been made to ensure against wrongful detention. Laws passed in 2006, at the behest of previous Supreme Court rulings, worked out rules for handling these combatants. These laws are not only well-reasoned, but constitutionally sound:

Article 1, Section 8, gives Congress the power to "make rules concerning captures on land and water." The fact is that non-citizens captured abroad should not be given a right under our Constitution that plainly does not exist for them. In a ruling that defies both the letter and spirit of the Constitution, the Supreme Court is making us less safe.

Posted by: Dante | June 14, 2008 3:13 AM | Report abuse

justadad55+ like we already had the previews. 911 remember-these are Al Queada. THEY ARE MURDEROUS TERRORISTS-THE ENEMY. It's the militaries job to seperate the cab drivers and shop keepers from the missile shooters.

Posted by: Dante | June 14, 2008 3:01 AM | Report abuse

I got an idea. Why don't all you people worried about the civil rights of these enemy combatants form a peace delegation to Afghanistan,or any number of the lovely countries these detainees hail from and form some protests etc. Then, when the kidnap you and film your beheading you can see how absolutely STUPID your rationale is.

Posted by: Dante | June 14, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

A great applaud to all that feel war criminals be treated differently by the USA. Hope you expect the same when your young heroes are captured in another country. You have seen the results. Be proud, so very proud, "NOT"

Posted by: justadad55+ | June 14, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

ok so now that we have "tied" the hands of the Military, and said these people have rights... who is going to make sure they arrive to a hearing "SAFELY" and how many will just disappear never heard from again? Who is control of the detainee list anyways oh yeah BUSH,McCain, and the Military hmmmm sounds like we just signed a death order for many unnammed detainees May the powers that be save them. One more thought what will happen to the any new detainees??? Will the American People be told of the "detainee camps" or will OUR government just hide them in the "BUSH"

Posted by: Misty | June 14, 2008 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Thozman wrote:

"...But make no mistake about it America, liberals are just as much an enemy as the taliban, hamas, or any terrorist org."

Hey, Thozman! When'd they let you out?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 14, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

For someone who goes to great lengths to make sure everyone understands how deeply he cares about honor and democracy and "the American people", McCain seems frightfully out of touch with the core principles that went into the founding documents of this nation.

For those of you who are fed intravenously by FOX News and Anne Coulter, those core principles relate directly to human rights.

Posted by: Piter | June 14, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Although I can't agree with most of Tom's statements about this particular ruling, he does have a point when it comes to the eminant domain ruling. The Court said in the Kelo v New London case that the government could condemn private property not only for public use as it states in the Constitution (such as for a road), but for public purpose. This would allow the government to condemn your property and let another private party have it because it might bring in more taxes.
Since we are the only country to allow foreigners to buy our land, infrastructure, businesses, etc., it is now possible that a Saudi corporation, say, could have your home condemned to build a resort or whatever they want. If you don't have property rights, what are you working for?

But then again, if our government can detain people, secretly and without habeas corpus, with no charges or proof that they might be guilty or innocent, then it should be held responsible to treat these by the same rules as US citizens are. That McCain is against this ruling shows that he is not fit to be President.

Posted by: connect the dots | June 14, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

While I AGREE with today's majority opinion that "all enemy combatants detained during a war, at least insofar as they are confined in an area away from the battlefield, [but] over which the United States exercises 'absolute and indefinite' control, may seek a writ of habeas corpus in federal court," I also AGREE with Chief Justice Roberts (and his fellow dissenters) that the Writ can be suspended in time of war, such as the war on terror that we find ourselves involved in right now, and that suspension power belongs to Congress, such as Congress has exercised in this case, "as the Constitution surely allows Congress to [wield]."

I guess one can REASONABLY conclude that the Court's Majority knew where they wanted to end up, and proceeded to get there, however s-l-o-w-l-y they weaved their way through precedential minefield!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | June 14, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it fun to see clueless neocons committing political suicide?

Posted by: Tracker | June 13, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Of course anyone worthless enough to actually attend a McCain rally is going to applaud when this dickless coward opens his warhole, my friends.

100-Years-McCain needs to get another dose of torture from his old friend Charlie, then maybe reconsider the merits of international civility.

Hopefully McCain will die of old age soon.

Posted by: Meghan McCain | June 13, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, knowing now how he obviously thinks of women, no matter how jovially he brushes his remarks off, and having witnessed one of his foul-mouthed and boorish temper tantrums, I would not trust this man with the future of any country. He represents a very crusty old white generation that just doesn't know when to 'give it a rest' and pass the baton onto the next, more forward-thinking generation. A nation that prejudges and condemns without even the pretense of a fair trial to underscore a person's "innocence until PROVEN guilty", may as well forget about being a democracy and just accept the fact that they've devolved into just another two-bit banana republic.

Posted by: David | June 13, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

McCain has apparently lost his faith in the Constitution - or he has abandoned yet another of his values to play the fearmonger for votes.

He and his followers do not understand that the only real justice is justice for everyone. Those who are held for legitimate reasons at Guantanamo will not benefit from this ruling. Those who are held on hearsay, and/or were sold to us for a bounty, will after years of imprisonment, finally have a hearing.

I applaud Mr. Obama for supporting this decision. I believe in our system of laws - its time we had leaders who do.

Posted by: ArmyBrat68 | June 13, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I am quite conservative, shading towards libertarian.

I fear a government that asserts special war time powers, and then claims this war can never end.

I fear a government that holds people, any people, in their jails for years without charge or access to courts.

I fear a government that employs secret evidence and testimony gained from torture.

The Supreme Court merely (re)asserted that we are a country where the rule of law, not the rule of a few, prevails.

These are not liberal values, rather they are bedrock conservative values.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

John McCain never condoned what amounted to questioning under duress; specifically, the "non-injurious, non-fatal" procedure known as waterboarding. Instead, McCain was among the first to speak out against it while Obama and his racist friends were making other news. As a POW in North Vietnam, McCain was kicked, clubbed and beaten into unconsciousness more times than Jane Fonda fantasized about a date with Ho Chi Min. What John McCain endured for an ungrateful nation was certainly "real" torture.

Since many of you don't understand the holding of enemy combatants outlined by the Geneva Convention and international law; the answer is; no, prisoners of war are not entitled to habeas corpus today any more than Nazi and Japanese POW's were during World War II. They are enemy combatants entitled to adequate shelter, diet, exercise, medical care, and non-injurious treatment by their captures; period. The Guantanamo Bay prisoners were getting that and much, much more. Any errors of who is a combatant, and who is not, should be worked out by military investigators ...not Judge Judy.

The courts have once again decided to legislate from the bench; and once again, a future Congress will have to correct the Court's mistakes.

Posted by: Back from Iraq | June 13, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The straight-talk express has lost a wheel.

The 2000 version of John McCain would have lauded this decision, which clearly states that the president - any president - is not above the law.

The 2008 model, however, feels he must throw red meat to the frothing wing of the Republican party, the wing that divides the nation into "Republicans" and "traitors."

All that made McCain so appealing years ago, the thoughtfulness and independence, has been sacrificed at the altar of electoral ambition. We were never able to lump McCain in with the reactionary crowd - the "agents of intolerance" - of Limbaugh, Rove, Cheney, Coulter, et al. Now we can. How depressing.

Courage and conviction? No way. Pandering of the most blatant sort? Yep.

Has the small-minded wing of the GOP moved so far to the right that "the rule of law" is now considered merely a part of a liberal conspiracy?

Thank you, Justice Kennedy, appointed by that well-known, flaming liberal, left-wing, America-hater - RONALD REAGAN.

Posted by: godblessusa | June 13, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

So much for McCain. Someone should tell him that the American people are voting for a president in November, not a fuhrer.

Posted by: nazcalito | June 13, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

That a way, Johnnie Boy, the Hell with what the Majority of the Court Decided. That is why there are 9 members and G'd is the 10th. All of your noise will not change the Decision of the last court of recourse. You of course can do what Bush did three times already, ignore the Court. Just be careful that You, Bush, Chaney, Rumsfdeld, Rove, Wolferritz et. al are not standing in front of the Court. Like it or not, it is what they say that goes. That is what we pay them for, to enact the Law. Exonerate the innocent and punish the guilty. It is called Rule of Law and it is what we live by, to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. As a Senator you can always file a Senate Petition (Writ) of Certiorari if you are serious in your disagreement. You can argue that the Majority doesn't know what it is doing, and you can presents the Facts to show why.

Posted by: Fareed | June 13, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Foreign Nationals are always held accountable to the laws of the host country. The only question is whether or not the America is the host country at Guitmo. Alternately, you could assert that the laws of Cuba apply at Guitmo.

What you cannot assert is that the Government can use a military parimiter to establish an area that is free of laws, except as they choose to make-up.

I'm equally not impressed by the fear of attack and effort for the courts argument. We as a country should do what is right, not what is easiest.

Posted by: dullard | June 13, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Abortion rights are not enough. We need "Termination without Request or Consent" just like the Dutch have. When murder is fully legalized, the hospitals will be mistake free and we can regain the lead for best healthcare in the world. More liberal judges! Vote Obama '08!

Posted by: Kevorkian | June 13, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"Bottom line, I do not want a 3rd Bush term."
Obama went with Bush on the 2005 Energy Act. McCain did not.
Who's in lockstep with W?
Why don't we let the Guantanamo prisoners have voting privileges this coming November? We know they won't vote for McCain. Neither should you.
We should continue to declare W guilty without giving him a free trial. After all, mob justice is above America.

Posted by: Michael Moore | June 13, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in Waziristan, Osama bin Ladin is pleased with his work. Why should he bother bringing down Western democracy and freedom when Republicans are doing his bidding from the inside?
It's not the bee sting that killed the victim, it was his allergic reaction...

Posted by: Smoke_Jaguar4 | June 13, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

As an American living abroad I find myself constantly on the defensive - and for good reason. The policies carried out by my government in my name over the past 8 years are absolutely reprehensible. While we have a long way to go, I must say that decisions such as this one have allowed me to walk with my head just a bit higher.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

How can we advocate for lawful society if we don't have one?

How can we say that countries who violate human rights are wrong if we do that?

How will we be able to protest any kind of ill treatment, like torture, of our soldiers and citizens who are detained or arrested by another country when that is exactly what we are doing to non-citizens?

America has been tarnished by Bush and McCain long enough.

Posted by: Mike | June 13, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Sally -

Well said! Thanks for a clear and concise rebuttal to McBush and his ours and theirs approach to prisoners.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | June 13, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

John McCain forgets that in Viet Nam *he* was an "enemy combatant." Our kids in Iraq and Afghanistan are "enemy combatants." Does he think it was a good thing that he was confined in a Viet Cong prison for five years? Would it have been even better if they'd subjected him to religious and sexual humiliation (a la Abu Ghraib)? Should our young soldiers in the Middle East who might be captured be held for years with no ability to protest or prove their innocence?

Allowing the detainees in Guantanamo to have a habeas corpus hearing does NOT mean they will automatically be released. But the US will have to provide some evidence that they actually have done what they've been accused of -- that they *are* a danger to our country. If they are, then they should be tried and jailed. If not, they should be sent home. The presumption among so many of the fear- and hate-mongers that they are all guilty, without hearing any evidence at all to that effect, is scary.

If there is ANY reason to vote Democratic in this upcoming election it's the Supreme Court. It is essential to maintain some balance there. If a Republican President can come in and name any more Justices in the Scalia/Thomas/Alito/Roberts tradition, we can all kiss our civil liberties good-bye. It's not an abortion issue for me, it's about basic human rights, and about ensuring that our country doesn't slip any farther down the slide to the level of all the other governments that don't respect those rights at all.

Posted by: Sally1860 | June 13, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The crowd "exploded" into applause?

That is a lie.

Posted by: Jack | June 13, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing un-American or unpatriotic about a decision that says the government has to provide these people (some of whom were not captured on the battlefield) with some opportunity to be heard in a meaningful judicial process. Due process and the rule of law (which require a role for the courts to exercise meaningful review) are exactly what we are fighting to protect. And those rights have long extended not only to citizens. The Supreme Court did the right thing--and McCain should be smart enough to realize it. The alternative--that the executive branch can lock up anyone (even any non-citizen) essentially forever based on secret evidence--that's un-American.

Posted by: Alan | June 13, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Will the quivering right please try to grow a pair? I know you've been terrified ever since 9/11 but really Peanut, we loose 3,000 people to a Gas and Electric smokestack in Baltimore every year (fly ash causes cancer). Try to get a little perspective here, yes it was a tragedy, no we don't need to toss the constitution into the garbage because of it.
This isn't World War II, that happened a long time ago, in a different place, involving different people for different reasons. It's different, got it?
Just, go watch a scary movie and try not to cry in your popcorn. If you start to get an itching sensation near your crotch, it's probably working and your testicles are about to make an appearance (either that or you need to see a doctor, you got crabs.).

Posted by: Dijetlo | June 13, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"I suspect most posters desiring letting enemy combatants have the rights of a US citizen have never served in the military nor have they seen a loved one die for no reason except a group of fanatics wants us dead."

Um if someone, you know, murdered you in cold blood on the street somewhere, they still a have right to a trial. This isn't even that. It is a right to ask to be heard before a court.

Posted by: Julian | June 13, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

We cannot just keep people locked up indefinately. What scares me is they may not have been a terrorist going in but now who knows what they have been through and how they feel. I think no I know if someone did this too American citizens we would be livid and sicken with grieve and disgust. I think it is time as American we start respecting the rest of the people who share this earth with us and stop thinking we are above everyone and everyone is beneath us. Because we all share this planet.

Posted by: bridgette | June 13, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans continue to present candidates for the Presidency that simply aren't up to the intellectual requirements of being the chief executive of the world's most powerful country. Because they feed their dogmatic base constituencies on emotional red meat, decrying elitism and championing government-by-good-ole-boy, they're forced to offer up guys that squeaked through college, at the bottom of their class, appearing to owe it all to daddy the admiral, or grandfather the senator.

So although McCain would never believe it, he's too stupid to realize that he argues in favor of the same treatment he experienced at the hands of the North Vietnamese. He fails to appreciate that admissions of computer illiteracy absolutely divorce him from any claim to understanding the modern world. He's absolutely ignorant of the fact the Constitution distinguishes between citizens and all people, and contains specific language that affords protections to anyone faced with the coercive powers of the American government. Surely anyone from a border state like Arizona, who is not a dimwit, understands why you can't just drive down to the day-labor pickup to enslave the first illegal alien you find.

You'd also think that he could find someone to explain that 200 or so motions filed in federal court are not going to swamp a judiciary which entertains thousands of motions a year -- as if convenience determines questions of right-and-wrong. Robert Gates makes the same arguments, demonstrating that as an observer of the federal judiciary he needs to hold on to his day job. And unfortunately for McCain and his special-bus supporters, being a war hero does not automatically endow a mediocre intellect with the capability to make well-reasoned judgments regarding "the safety and security of this nation, and the men and women who defend it."

Posted by: Phil | June 13, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

steve, you are retarded!

Posted by: Dino | June 13, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Tom, but Bush and McCain have no ground to stand on. Their argument is that these are the worst of the worst terrorists. If they are, how hard would it be to simply provide evidence enough to allow them to be held? Holding them is not the problem... holding them without charges is. Unless they are allowed to challenge their detention, there is no way for anyone to know if they really are bad guys.

Posted by: steve boyington | June 13, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

This is another in a string of bad decisions. All of those who disagree with the holding of Gauntanamo dtainees need to remember two things, 1 had the detainees been killed in battle, this would not be an issue. Killing terrorists is OK but not detaining them? 2 they are not American citizens. Thos who argue that Bush wants to arrest YOU without trial are missing the point. He wants to detain terrorists who were caught trying to kill YOU and YOUR family! The ignorance is astounding. According to many we are giving up our liberties if we detain these people. These people are not American citizens so AMERICAN LIBERTIES are NOT at stake. Furthermore, these people were caught attempting to kill AMERICAN CITIZENS. I suppose the left would be happier if we just killed them in the field and made no attempt to gather intelligence from them. Again, killing these people in battle is acceptable but detaining them is not? These people have declared war on us. Under what logic do foreigners who declare war on us have access to our civilian courts when captured on the battlefield in a foreign country? Logic and common sense interpretation has evaporated in place of an ultra liberal ideology whereby nothing actually exists. All realities are reduced to absract concepts and the real world implications of doing so are ignored. Our laws and our constitution were written to encompass the real world not ignore it in favor of the abstract concepts contained in the document.

This is the same supreme court that somehow came to the conclusion that the government has the right to take your house, not just for "public use" as identified in the constitution, but for any "public purpose", including taking it from you and giving to someone else who will pay higher taxes on the land. The court determined that pubblic use and public purpose were the same thing. How can this be? How can we sit by while the court fritters our fundamental rights away while extending protections to people who were not intended to be protected by the document?

We sit idely by while the court extinguishes our fundamental rights while granting rights to those who's primary purpose in life is to destroy the constitution. Lunacy. We are in big trouble if people buy into this. These things are irreversable.

Posted by: Tom | June 13, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I suspect most posters desiring letting enemy combatants have the rights of a US citizen have never served in the military nor have they seen a loved one die for no reason except a group of fanatics wants us dead. Undertand people, there is no debating with a fanatic who "loves deathe more thane we love life" I am for anything that helps save American lives and I'm sorry for any unjustly accused but better a few should suffer than the masses die.REmember also, that a number of those released went right back to war against us.

Posted by: Richard | June 13, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

People like Antonin Scalia, Thozman, and "BALLS FLOTARD" are lucky they live in a "FREE" democracy where the law ultimately rules. They get to have their say and parade their neofacist, hate-mongering comments in full public view. As much as they embarrass me, I'm still proud to be an American.

Posted by: KL | June 13, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

This country has to do things that are justice and in this country the judiciary is the arbiter of judicial proceedings. The president, who in most cases is an honorable person, is part of the executive branch and therefore not in a position to be the final arbiter.

The people favoring the decision have the greatest concern that we will be no different than the enemy combatants and those who are opposed are more concerned that someone will escape our revenge even if it means that we short cut on justice. Those favoring the system want to maintain strict balance between the branches and those opposed want a supreme executive.

Balls Flotard 1:42PM thinks that he is the final arbiter of who is patriotic and who is not. I submit that our system of justice is supposed to be blind to who is the defendant and it is only in the penalty phase of the trial that who we can make any judgement about the perpetrator. I must conclude that Mr Flotard is in fact the one giving comfort to the enemy because he wants to drag our system down to the level of theirs.

Balls Flotard wants to administer revenge but our system is only set up for retribution.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 13, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.This was Ben Franklin's admonition to those who would disdane the rights of individuals in a free society.

Posted by: T.C> | June 13, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding, this is news. People clapped for McCain so the wapo covers it. This paper is becoming a joke.

LAZY JOURNALISM. Cover policy, i really could care less how many times a room full of people who already support him clap for him. What an idiotic article. GET A CLUE

Posted by: GIVE ME A BREAK | June 13, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

In Bush/McCains America:
The US government should be able to arrest you and not tell you why. They should be able to claim they have evidence that you're dangerous and hold you in jail forever and not show the evidence. They can convict you of Being "the enemy" with evidence that they don't have to show you. Sorry, That's not my America and the SCOTUS agrees.

Scalia, in this decision, demonstrated that he is nothing but a neofascist shill. There was no 'law' in his argument, just fear mongering. He should be impeached for incompetence!

Posted by: thebob.bob | June 13, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

And this man brays like a jackass that he offering change, vote for him. His idealogical twin invaded and occupies another country without validity, and McCass is for staying the course. His twin trampled all over the rights of citizens and foreigners in the name of patriotism against terrorism, and now that more rational people have said that isn't right, he is against that. We need McCain as president like we need cancer!

Posted by: tydicea | June 13, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

So McCain is saying that the Boumediene decision means that the sky is falling, now we'll all be killed by terrorists. I'm confused.

(1) Where is it written that habeas is a get out of jail free card? Don't most habeas petitions go nowhere, merely adding more procedural time-consumption to the process a defendant goes through? Precisely because most defendants are, like, guilty?

(2) If these people are so effing dangerous, what makes McCain think that sane federal judges will release them? [sarcasm] I take it federal judges are this special species of America-hating, terrorist-loving hippies that would sooner destroy the world than not side with long-haired anti-Christian, anti-American murderers? Or is that only Democrat appointees? [/sarcasm] The assumption that the habeas petitions will be granted just because they're made, given the grave national security implications of releasing dangerous terrorists shows that McCain has zero confidence in the integrity and objectivity of the federal judiciary, or at least finds it politically expedient to pretend that he does.

(3) If a federal judge would release them because the government can't possibly prove that they are dangerous, what makes them think that they *are* dangerous? Telepathy? Divine revelation? Racial profiling? Hysteria?

Here's the thing: suppose that a US citizen were held by virtue of mistaken identity. The agents of the executive branch won't listen. Wouldn't you *want* such a person to be able to have their detention reviewed by a neutral party? Why not? Because the administration, which was unable to prevent 9/11, unable to anticipate the Iraqi insurgency, that was unable to do squat after Katrina NEVER MAKES MISTAKES?

I don't get it. Have conservatives really become the pro-tyranny, pro-prejudice (in the broad and literal sense, as in "I *just* *know*, don't bother me with evidence"), pro-hysteria faction? The faction that doesn't trust the rule of law to deliver justice? The Pinochet Party? If the cases are solid, the administration has nothing to fear. They just present the same evidence that informs their own assessment, and if they and the judge are both reasonable they should converge on the same reasonable result. If that doesn't happen, shouldn't they be grateful that an injustice was rectified and a wrongly held individual was released? Not if federal judges are evil. But what reason do we have to think that?

This is about paranoia, and power, not national security. We have nothing to fear from reviewing these cases to make sure that the people really should be held except the fear that another bid by the Bush administration to usurp unnecessary powers against the other branches has failed. McCain had the opportunity to make this not a campaign issue and further differentiate himself from Bush by praising the ruling, thus weakening the Democrat claim that he's nothing but a third Bush term. Well, public statements like this suggest that maybe he is.

--a former Republican

Posted by: R. Kevin Hill | June 13, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

With his outspoken support of these particular dissenting opinion holders, it seems McCain has just shot himself in the foot in regards to his puported desire to appoint judges who won't legislate from the bench and will uphold the constitution and the rule of law.

Posted by: mammyyel | June 13, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I was thrilled when I heard the news because I strongly believe that either ALL people have basic human rights, or no one does.
To deny even one human their rights is to deny that we are just, reasonable, or free.

Posted by: CherieL | June 13, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I am stunned that so many Americans would advocate the destruction of my country, family, and friends.
But make no mistake about it America, liberals are just as much an enemy as the taliban, hamas, or any terrorist org.
They play the propaganda card as a wing of terrorist ideaology and want the destruction of myself and my country (America), as much if not more than muslim extremists, so they can set up a government based of liberal ideaology, i.e. legalized use of any drug, including heroine, crack, and so on.
Legalized (in your face) homosexuality, and pedophilia.
And to appease any and all of those who want to see us destroyed.
Thank God most of the left-wing nutjobs (the minority), only post on the internet.
I think the time (as far fetched as it may SEEM), for civil war against these enemy asskissers is close at hand.

Posted by: Thozman | June 13, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I am disappointed that McCain prefers to make a distinction between those in Gitmo vs any other person. Human rights is human rights regardless how one government classifies you.

McCain is very lucky that he is running against Obama. If he were running against anybody else, I would support the other person. Obama has not shown anything to be considered seriously. Even in his criticisms of McCain, he is just pure slogan and no substance.

Posted by: CP Cook | June 13, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I need to see a response to the ruling from Obama. However, each time McCain does something like this, he helps Obama pick up the additional voters who previously supported HRC. Justice Kennedy said it right... the Constitution applies both in war time and peace time.

Posted by: mcrochip | June 13, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

As a former prisoner of war, you would think that he would be more sympathetic. Isn't our laws what separated us from the rest of the countries. Having access to what you are being tried for, and a lawyer, seems to me to be fair. This "enemy combatant" thing that the "neocons" espouse, just doesn't seem right to me. As a veteran of Vietnam, if captured, I would like a light at the end of the tunnel, and Not be listed as a whatever. Even though the SCOTUS ruled, I am sure this administration will do whatever to thwart it's implementation. And he expects to get some "legislation" passed in this congress,good luck, these morons should be in Gitmo them selves


Posted by: Hmmmm | June 13, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has no appreciation for the rule of law in this country, just as Bush doesn't.

Destruction of the Constitution.

Labeling ANYONE THEY SO CHOOSE as an enemy combatant is a violation not just of our law but of human rights laws.

If they have something against someone, take it to court! A real court, not these kangaroo courts which don't allow the enemy combatant to an attorney or allowance to even know what charges have been leveled against them.

Anyone who is not in favor of this decision has no understanding or appreciation for what America is about. That is blatant unAmerican thinking and is unpatriotic to the Nth degree.

Get a clue. Read the constitution!

(On a side note: Are you a first class snarker? I am looking for YOU! You're gonna love this! Come join the fun and tell us why YOU are voting Republican.)

Posted by: MsJoanne | June 13, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

All McCain represents is continued confused strategic thinking, if you can call it that, on terrorism. He's a war monger and a fear monger. The Presidency is more than being a victim of war as he was as a POW, it involves strategic thinking and analytical abilities. More importantly, it requires a knowledge of world history. Like Bush, McCain is another C student.

Posted by: Debra | June 13, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Only leftist lunitics, bent on the destruction of America by its enemies, could support the decision of the Supreme Court on this one. Unpatriotic fools like the ones posting comments above are the best friends our worst enemies could ever have.

Posted by: Balls Flotard | June 13, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

This is just another indicater that John McBush is in lockstep with George Bush. Like George, he has no respect for the law. He believes in an Imperial Presidency.
If George and John really wanted to avoid this mess, they never should have brought them to American soil. As in most pryor wars, they should be kept in the countries they were detained in and brought under the rules and laws of that country. Unfortunately, they were so anxious to torture them that they brought them to Guantanamo and created this mess for all of us. They can't even release the innocent ones because no other country will take them.
Who would you rather have figure out this mess; two party-boy under-achieving college grads or one magna cum laude, Harvard Law Review editor, constitutional lawyer and college instructor?

Posted by: Veteran1 | June 13, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Straight Talk Express?" McCain should change that to " The BS Express" because that's what he serves up every day. McCain says that Obama will "tax and spend" America to death. Obama wants to repeal the Bush Tax Cuts (which only help the wealthy), and give the middle class a tax credit. McCain wants to keep the Bush Tax Cuts going, after all, he has voted with Bush 95% of the time last year, so why we he change now.

Bottom line, I do not want a 3rd Bush term. I also will never vote for anyone who is so archcaic as to be pro-life. JOHN MCCAIN IS PRO-LIFE AND WOULD APPOINT JUDGES TO DENY A WOMEN'S RIGHT OVER HER OWN BODY.

Posted by: Mike | June 13, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

It's another flip flop from McCain. He is doing a surprisingly poor job of balancing his shift to the right to shore up the conservative party base and staying on the moderate straight-and-narrow for swing voters. His is a campaign in disarray.

Posted by: matt | June 13, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Most of those people there have never been charged with anything.
What are going to do now, begin arresting people because we think they may commit a crime? It is so contrary do who we are it is a joke. I am not saying they should just all be let go but find out if they should be held in the first place. We do that with courts. That is what makes us different then much of the world. Guantanamo is what people like Saddam Hussein does, not us.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 13, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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