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Monday, January 26, 2009

The Executive Order From Hell #1

And so it begins, our Dear President Barack Obama has issued his first substantial and controversy turning executive order.


The order is an interesting read with all of the strong language suddenly halted with a limp wristed comment just to give President Obama a means to backpedal out of any statement made if the case should arise. This move seems to be typical of most Chicago politicians.

When I heard about the inevitable closure of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facilities the question, "Where will all the prisoners go?," came to mind.

As LeVar Burton Said, "The more you read, the more you know." So I took that advice and looked up the order on the very neat and easy to navigate Whitehouse Webpage.

First of all, the Executive Order starts off listing reasoning under the Geneva Convention.

(a) "Common Article 3" means Article 3 of each of the Geneva

(b) "Geneva
Conventions" means:

(i) the Convention for the
Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces
in the Field, August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3114);

the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded,
Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, August 12, 1949
(6 UST 3217);

(iii) the Convention Relative to the
Treatment of Prisoners of War, August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3316);

(iv) the Convention Relative to the Protection of
Civilian Persons in Time of War, August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3516).

The Supreme Court has ordered that the men who are neither part of a recognized military or a civilian are protected by both instances in the Geneva Convention. (Note to Self: If and when a revolution occurs, under the Geneva Conventions they cannot touch my ass!)

In 2006 there was a Memorandum sent out by the DoD referencing the rule of law and how it can be abided by, as well as the provisions already enforced to insure the lawful actions of the military.

Does President Obama not trust his employees much, or does he now feel the need to do another review and waste more time and taxpayer money on this issue?

Another question that begs to be answered is why the President thinks it is his duty and the duty of the executive branch to review the lawfulness of any such orders, when the Supreme Court has already had its say? Nothing irritates me more than when the lines of checks and balances become blurry.

(d) It is in the interests of the United States that the executive
branch undertake a prompt and thorough review of the factual and legal bases for
the continued detention of all individuals currently held at Guantánamo, and of
whether their continued detention is in the national security and foreign policy
interests of the United States and in the interests of justice. The
unusual circumstances associated with detentions at Guantánamo require a
comprehensive interagency review.

The executive order also states that:

c) The individuals currently detained at Guantánamo have the constitutional
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Most of those individuals have
filed petitions for a writ of habeas corpus in Federal court challenging the
lawfulness of their detention.

This is also another contentious issue, one that centers around the phrase "Subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Do these individuals indeed fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitution?

No they do not. The Constitution extends to citizens of the United States. Likewise our laws only extend to those who have a temporary allegiance or submit to them willingly, even then we must confer with their host country before applying any punishment beyond initial detainment. Of course the placement of Guantanamo Bay makes all of this very iffy. Take into consideration that all foreign American Bases are considered American Soil, but for us to remain in a foreign country there has to be a SOFA or a Status of Forces Agreement. Neither really applies to these individuals who fall through the cracks of the Geneva Conventions.

In the end the phrase 'Subject to the jurisdiction thereof' applies to only United States citizens born on United States soil, or extended citizenship by the citizenship of their parents, or become naturalized by renouncing all allegiances to other countries. On a side note: this fact can also settle the issue of Anchor Babies, but I digress.

The Executive Order also states that Gitmo must be closed within a year hence, and all the prisoners have to have trails or reviews and be dispersed or detained in other ways.

Sec. 3. Closure of Detention Facilities at Guantánamo. The detention
facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be
closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of
this order. If any individuals covered by this order remain in
detention at Guantánamo at the time of closure of those detention
facilities, they shall be returned to their home country, released,
transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States
detention facility in a manner consistent with law and the national
security and foreign policy interests of the United States.

So everyone gets to be either released to their home country, or if their home country does not want them, another country, or if that doesn't work they get a nice cushy home in a prison in the United State, but that is only if they are supposed to be detained.

The worst case scenario I can see is a guilty SOB being released as innocent under some loophole, but because his home country and other countries who are either smart or devious will deny them entrance. Are you ready for that neighbor? As if we do not have enough lawbreakers on American soil.

My last question and one that perhaps is the most pointed is, " President Obama, you promised to stop foreclosures the minute you got into office. So why do these terrorists and madmen who have three hots and cot merit swifter action than homeless and hungry citizens?"

If this interests you please visit my blog at Daughter of America