Speaking at a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania during the presidential campaign in June 2008, Barack Obama addressed the Supreme Court’s Boumediene decision granting Guantanamo detainees the right to challenge their confinement through habeas corpus proceedings in federal court.
Obama asserted that the “principle of habeas corpus, that a state can’t just hold you for any reason without charging you and without giving you any kind of due process — that’s the essence of who we are.” He explained:
I mean, you remember during the Nuremberg trials, part of what made us different was even after these Nazis had performed atrocities that no one had ever seen before, we still gave them a day in court and that taught the entire world about who we are but also the basic principles of rule of law. Now the Supreme Court upheld that principle yesterday.
Obama’s comments derive from “the higher wisdom” that fueled his 2008 campaign and that is now operative in his administration. Holder perfectly reflects it.
In referring Abu Ghaith for trial in federal court in Manhattan, cloaking him with the rights of criminal defendants under the Constitution of the United States, Holder seeks to give him his “day in court.” He also seeks to “t[each] the entire world about who we are but also the basic principles of rule of law.”
Right on schedule the White House released this statement on Abu Ghaith’s prosecution yesterday:
“Article 3 courts have shown that they are, in many ways, a more efficient way for us to deliver justice to those who seek to harm the United States of America and that is the consensus view of the president’s national security team and of agencies all across the federal government — that this is the best way to handle bringing Abu Ghaith to justice,” Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.
It is worth reiterating that the only appropriate response to Obama’s campaign comments on Boumediene is: “Not true.”
The higher wisdom is founded on false precepts.
The Nuremberg trial was conducted before a military commission composed of representatives of the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Obama to the contrary notwithstanding, the Nuremberg defendants weren’t brought before a federal court or cloaked with the protections of the United States Constitution.
The most prominent surviving Nazi leaders were brought for trial before the Nuremberg tribunal in late 1945. Winston Churchill had proposed, not unreasonably, that they be summarily shot. The victorious allies nevertheless subsequently agreed that they would be brought before a military commission to be convened pursuant to the London Agreement of August 8, 1945.
In Boumediene, the Supreme Court disapproved of the system of military commissions Congress had adopted at the Supreme Court’s urging. Obama to the contrary notwithstanding, the Nuremberg defendants’ “day in court” occurred before the kind of tribunal the Supreme Court found constitutionally inadequate in Boumediene.The Nazi war criminals were given no access to American courts. Their rights before the Nuremberg tribunal were governed by the charter annexed to the London Agreement.
The charter’s “fair trial” provision was extraordinarily brief. It required only the preparation of an indictment (to be translated into the defendant’s language) and accorded defendants an explanation relevant to the charges made against them in the proceedings; the translation of the proceedings into defendants’ language; the right to conduct their own defense before the tribunal or to have the assistance of counsel; the right to present evidence at the trial in support of his defense, and to cross-examine any witnesses testifying against him.
The charter provision on the appeal rights of the Nuremberg defendants was even shorter and sweeter. There were no appeal rights. The charter provided: “The judgment of the Tribunal as to the guilt or the innocence of any Defendant shall give the reasons on which it is based, and shall be final and not subject to review.”BRINGING THIS AL QAEDA TERRORIST TO A USA COURT - ONE IN NYC, NO LESS - IS AN INSANE ACT - WITHOUT ANY LEGAL PRECEDENT - WHICH MAKES US LESS SAFE.
HOLDER AND OBAMA SHOULD BE IMPEACHED FOR THIS.