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Court Reverses Ruling Bringing 17 Detainees to U.S.

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  • Court Reverses Ruling Bringing 17 Detainees to U.S.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...021801324.html

    Court Reverses Ruling Bringing 17 Detainees to U.S.
    By Del Quentin Wilber
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009; 1:09 PM

    A federal appeals court this morning blocked the release into the United States of a small band of Chinese Muslims held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    In a decision released this morning, the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that ordered the transfer.

    The 17 Chinese Muslims, all Uighurs, have been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. In October, a federal judge ordered the men released into the United States after the government presented no evidence to justify their detentions. The government no longer considers the Uighurs to be enemy combatants and has been unsuccessfully trying to find other countries to accept them for years.

    The Uighurs and scores of others held at Guantanamo Bay are challenging their confinements in a federal lawsuit under the legal doctrine of habeas corpus.

    P. Sabin Willett, an attorney representing the Uighurs, called today's decision "one of the darkest days in the history of our judiciary." He said he was reviewing the opinion and considering the Uighurs' next legal step. Some Uighurs have applied for asylum in other countries. Meanwhile, Willett said he and other attorneys have been pressing the Obama administration to accept the Uighurs into the United States.

    "Barack Obama now owns this personally," Willett said. "He is either for this or against it. It's all up to the president now."

    Justice Department spokesmen did not immediately return e-mails seeking comment.

    In today's decision, the panel ruled that U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina erred in ordering the release of the Uighurs into the United States.

    Two of the judges, Karen LeCraft Henderson and A. Raymond Randolph, found that Urbina overstepped his authority in ordering such a remedy. Only the Executive Branch and Congress have the power to allow people to enter the United States, they ruled.

    "The question here is not whether petitioners should be released, but where," Randolph wrote in an 18-page opinion. "Never in the history of habeas corpus has any court thought it had the power to order an alien held overseas brought into the sovereign territory of a nation and released into the general population."

    In an opinion concurring with Randolph and Henderson, judge Judith W. Rogers wrote that Urbina had the right to order the release of the Uighurs into the United States but had acted "prematurely."

    Urbina first needed to assess whether the men might be excludable under immigration laws, Rogers wrote.

    Government lawyers have said the men would likely be barred from entry because they received military training at camps run by a group later determined to be a terrorist organization. They said immigration laws prohibit people who received such training from entering the country.

    Another federal judge, Richard J. Leon, has ordered the government to engage in diplomatic efforts to transfer six detainees to other countries after he determined there was not enough evidence to justify their confinement. The government has transferred three of them.

    The others, however, remain at Guantanamo. They include Lakhdar Boumediene, the Algerian whose name is associated with the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that granted detainees the right to challenge their confinements in federal court. Susan Baker Manning, an attorney representing the Uighurs, said today's ruling made the June Supreme Court decision "meaningless."

    "You win and can't get out," she said. "Boumediene won, and he is still there. The government didn't even try to justify our clients' detentions."

    The Uighurs present a tough problem for the U.S. government. The men cannot be sent back to China, where they are viewed as terrorists and might be tortured and killed.

    The U.S. government has been trying to transfer them to a third country. Albania accepted five Uighurs in 2006, but other nations have been reluctant to accept others and risk angering Beijing, which wants the men returned to its soil.

    In ordering their release into the United States last year, Urbina noted that diplomatic efforts appeared to have stalled and the Constitution "prohibits indefinite detention without cause."

    He ordered the men released into the care of volunteer Uighur families in the Washington area, home to the country's largest concentration of refugees from the men's ethnic group, until a more permanent solution could be found. The appeals court ordered the case back to Urbina to reconsider his ruling.

  • #2
    Drop them off where they picked them up, or kill em. That was pretty easy to take care of. Does anyone want me to solve anymore of this nations problems?
    ~Lyon~

    Comment


    • #3
      :D Lyon, you are using WAY too much common sense. That solution is just too simple for our people in authority to ever consider.

      Some would call it a clue that no other country wants them, but not our government, oh no. :rolleyes: Though, I am proud that these judges reversed the ruling. I am curious to see what Obama does with it now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lostinoz View Post
        :D Lyon, you are using WAY too much common sense. That solution is just too simple for our people in authority to ever consider.

        Some would call it a clue that no other country wants them, but not our government, oh no. :rolleyes: Though, I am proud that these judges reversed the ruling. I am curious to see what Obama does with it now.
        He will probably invite them to the White House for dinner!
        ~Lyon~

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cudalyon View Post
          He will probably invite them to the White House for dinner!
          And feed them steak while we peasants/consumers eat bologna. :mad:

          :D I'm not bitter at all.

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          • #6
            Don't forget appoint them to some of his cabinet positions.
            He who lives with the most toys, wins.

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            • #7
              The "send them back to China" option sounds fine with me.

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              • #8
                Cudalyon,

                I'm with you, man. In a war with Islamofascists, taking prisioners just makes them martyrs that can milk the sympathy of appeasing moonbat moral inversionists.

                Make our War an official, Constitutionally declared one and take no prisoners. Cut 'em when they stand and shoot 'em when they run!

                In the age of Google Earth and even more sophisticated technologies, there are a million better ways of getting information on terrorists anyhow besides holding them captive.
                "Apocalypse is by no means inevitable." --Jim Rice.

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