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Enemy Combatants

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NEWS
December 5, 2003 | By Shannon McCaffrey INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The Bush administration is softening its hard-line strategy for prosecuting those detained in the war on terror after increased pressure from the courts, allies abroad, and even former top Justice Department officials. Within 48 hours this week, the government gave two terror suspects access to lawyers, reversing its long-held stance that the enemy combatants were beyond the court's reach. Legal experts attribute the sudden shift to judges' growing willingness to give the administration's tactics a hard look.
NEWS
August 20, 2002 | By Charles Krauthammer
Yaser Hamdi, once a hapless Taliban soldier, has made the trajectory from captivity in Guantanamo to legal celebrity in the Norfolk Navy brig. With any luck, Hamdi, like the small-time thug immortalized in the "Miranda rights," may soon ascend to the status of legal adjective. Hamdi has already had some considerable luck. He is enjoying the amenities of the Norfolk brig because it was discovered that he may be a U.S. citizen, having been born in Louisiana to Saudi parents. The U.S. military has classified him as an "enemy combatant" and the Bush administration refuses the demands of a judge who would like him to enjoy the usual rights of American citizens: a lawyer and the presentation of evidence in court to justify his detention.
NEWS
September 23, 2004 | By Shannon McCaffrey INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
A U.S. citizen picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan almost three years ago and jailed as an enemy combatant without ever being charged will be released under a deal announced yesterday by the Justice Department. Yaser Esam Hamdi will be flown to Saudi Arabia - where he grew up - as soon as transportation can be arranged. Hamdi became a symbol in the government's larger campaign against terrorism, prompting a debate over the constitutional limits of President Bush's wartime powers.
NEWS
December 14, 2006 | Inquirer wire services
A federal judge in Washington yesterday threw out a challenge by Osama bin Laden's former driver, who was fighting his detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The judge ruled that the new Military Commissions Act barred federal trial courts from hearing such cases. U.S. District Judge James Robertson dismissed the petition by Salim Ahmed Hamdan. The law enacted in October takes away trial-court jurisdiction to hear detention challenges by so-called enemy combatants. Hamdan has no separate constitutional right to challenge his detention through a petition for habeas corpus, Robertson wrote.
NEWS
November 23, 2005 | Daily News wire services
The Bush administration brought terrorism charges against Jose Padilla in a criminal court yesterday, after holding him for 3 1/2 years in a military brig as an enemy combatant. The decision to remove Padilla from military custody and charge him in the civilian system averts what had threatened to be a constitutional showdown over the president's authority to detain him and other U.S. citizens as enemy combatants without formal charges. However, absent from the indictment were the sensational allegations made earlier by top Justice Department officials: that Padilla sought to blow up U.S. hotels and apartment buildings, and had planned an attack on America with a radiological "dirty bomb.
NEWS
July 19, 2005 | By Andy Borowitz
Bowing to congressional critics who have pushed for a shutdown of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo, the White House yesterday announced that the facility would no longer house enemy combatants but would instead be used to hold reporters who refuse to identify their sources. Vice President Cheney made the announcement, calling the decision to reinvent Guantanamo as a detention center for journalists a "win-win situation. " "For weeks, people have been calling for us to stop holding enemy combatants at Guantanamo, while at the same time the jailing of journalists has raised the specter of prison overcrowding," Cheney said.
NEWS
September 29, 2006
New arrivals at Guant?namo Bay, Cuba, detention camp look up from their chained wrists and ankles as the official greeting crackles over the loudspeakers: "Welcome to the American gulag. "You have been declared 'unlawful enemy combatants' by President Bush. As such - and with the full consent of the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress - you can be imprisoned indefinitely. Until death. "Your interrogations will begin almost immediately. Remain standing. You may be subject to harsh 'alternative' tactics by CIA personnel or U.S. military.
NEWS
June 29, 2003 | By Rose Ciotta INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Has the government trampled on civil rights in its push to prevent terrorism since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001? Critics argue that government tactics violate constitutional safeguards, and they anticipate that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately weigh in. While the high court has not yet agreed to hear any of the cases arising from the government's treatment of prisoners and its aggressive pursuit of evidence, the holding of suspects as...
NEWS
July 23, 2007 | By Brian J. Foley
Closing the prison for "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay now seems possible. Bills are pending in Congress. Even President Bush is discussing it. The politicians' motive, however, is that Guantanamo is bad public relations for the "war on terror," which can erode political support and embolden enemies. For the most part, they propose a PR solution: Move the prisoners. They aren't seeing the larger danger. The policy of indefinite detention, coercive interrogation and rigged trials impedes investigations necessary to prevent terrorist attacks.
NEWS
May 9, 2007 | By KEN BELDON
YEARS AGO, I read "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin about a utopian society where everyone is happy, educated and satisfied. Everyone, that is, except for one. What Omelasians know is that their well-being comes about only through the infliction of deprivation and pain on an innocent child kept in a lonely cell. The bargain: One must suffer so the rest can be at peace. But for some citizens, the price is too steep. Their conscience won't accept it. I've thought about Omelas recently, the meaning of justice and the call of conscience.
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NEWS
February 28, 2013
By Grant Calder Reading Woodrow Wilson's 1917 war message to Congress in our American history class reminded my students and me of the ongoing debate over the use of drones by the American government to target suspected terrorists. In the early 20th century, submarines were useful primarily as hit-and-run weapons. They would sneak up on much bigger ships and hope to remain undetected long enough to launch a torpedo or two and get away. In his speech to Congress, the president expressed his outrage at the German government's policy of using submarines to sink any vessels (many carried passengers and cargo)
NEWS
February 20, 2013 | By Peter Mucha, Breaking News Staff
Concerned about violations of privacy by drones, State Rep. Angel Cruz of Philadelphia is proposing that law-enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania get court approval for any unmanned aerial surveillance. The bill, which has nine cosponsors, including Republicans and Democrats, is likely to be introduced next week, said Cruz, a Democrat. The amendment to the state's criminal code, similar to one he first proposed a couple of years ago, would limit drone use to investigating serious crimes, where the penalty could be year or more in prison.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2011 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
The truth, the real truth, veteran journalist Martin Fletcher says, isn't told in news reports, but in fiction. It's hardly what you'd expect to hear from a war-hardened, five-time Emmy award-winning foreign correspondent whose 27 years of experience reporting on Israel for NBC News are distilled in a 2010 memoir, Walking Israel: A Personal Search for the Soul of a Nation . But Fletcher isn't simply a reporter. His first novel, The List , was released this month and has been chosen as the 2011-2012 selection for the fifth annual One Book, One Jewish Community literary program.
NEWS
May 22, 2010 | By Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON - Prisoners held in a war zone, such as Afghanistan, don't enjoy the constitutional rights extended by the Supreme Court to detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a key appellate court concluded on Friday, rejecting a challenge brought by three men held at Bagram Air Base near Kabul. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a trial court's decision that the Bagram detainees who sought the right to challenge their imprisonment in American courts - two Yemenis and a Tunisian - were constitutionally similar to those held at Guantanamo.
NEWS
March 11, 2010 | By David H. Schanzer
The Obama administration did the right thing in trying to close the Guant?namo Bay prison and establish a clear, justifiable legal framework to deal with terrorist suspects. But the apparent reversal of its decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his coconspirators in civilian court has left the policy in shambles. It's time to hit the reset button. If these issues were easy, the bright people in the prior and current administrations would have solved them long ago. But they aren't, and a highly charged, hyperpartisan environment makes it even more difficult to choose and implement a policy.
NEWS
June 20, 2008 | CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS
TO PARAPHRASE our only (at least for now) President Clinton: "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid. " We can talk all we want about the economy, the subprime crisis, the spike in unemployment, $5-a-gallon gas and the millions of Americans without health insurance. We can talk about the situation in Iraq, which is showing marked improvement since the surge. We can even talk about things like the character of the candidates, their churches, wives or book rankings on Amazon.com.
NEWS
June 20, 2008
TO PARAPHRASE our only (at least for now) President Clinton: "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid. " We can talk all we want about the economy, the subprime crisis, the spike in unemployment, $5-a-gallon gas and the millions of Americans without health insurance. We can talk about the situation in Iraq, which is showing marked improvement since the surge. We can even talk about things like the character of the candidates, their churches, wives or book rankings on Amazon.com. But all this pales in comparison to who gets to pick the next Supreme Court justices.
NEWS
September 18, 2007
There's no word yet on whether President Bush has chosen one of his renowned nicknames for his nominee to succeed former Attorney General Alberto R. "Fredo" Gonzales. Good thing. One key strength of retired New York federal judge Michael B. Mukasey would be that he's from outside the Bush administration's inner circle of yes-men with pet presidential names. After being nominated yesterday, Mukasey quickly took on the appearance of someone who could be confirmed by the Senate.
NEWS
August 1, 2007
When the White House decides to eavesdrop on Americans' overseas communications without court approval, it doesn't take much to launch new conspiracy theories about greater erosions of civil liberties. So a recent presidential executive order expanding the Treasury Department's authority to target the assets of groups aiding the Iraqi insurgency had the blogosphere buzzing in mid-July. The order's potential reach includes U.S. citizens in this country, and anyone regarded as at risk of aiding or committing violent acts "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq.
NEWS
July 23, 2007 | By Brian J. Foley
Closing the prison for "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay now seems possible. Bills are pending in Congress. Even President Bush is discussing it. The politicians' motive, however, is that Guantanamo is bad public relations for the "war on terror," which can erode political support and embolden enemies. For the most part, they propose a PR solution: Move the prisoners. They aren't seeing the larger danger. The policy of indefinite detention, coercive interrogation and rigged trials impedes investigations necessary to prevent terrorist attacks.
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