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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Doing the prison circuit

According to this report supposed secret CIA transport planes carrying unknown persons to secret prisons seems to give lie to the notion that it has been anything but secret, at least at the top levels of many governments
Sweden, Spain, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Rumania, Poland, the Baltic states and Morocco.
Everyone is staying shtum and claiming ignorance, for instance
Swedish intelligence service S├Ąpo said on Tuesday that it had no knowledge of CIA planes landing in the country.

The Prime Minister refused to comment except to say he was looking into the matter.
So there must be a lot of not so secret stuff going on. I'm guessing it'll come out fairly soon. My pick, probably wrong, is a bunch of countries quietly removing the dodgiest characters that have got in over the years that they'd now like to be shot of. You can bet your arse that not every single European PM or President has been ignorant of whatever is going on.

Meanwhile the US forces looking for a missing teenager have turned up Iraqi Interior Ministry abuse of prisoners. This report says it is Shia on Sunni violence, but with some Shia spokesman saying the Americans are trying to blame them for what they have been doing. Whatever it is, hopefully ex-Saddamites lurking round the ministries, it gets stomped on quick smart because really it ain't much point deposing Saddam and Sons Inc. if you're just going to allow another cancer to grow.

Back in America the NYT, God bless their souls, are getting upset (login required there) because foreign fighters are denied habeas corpus. Problem is, foreign fighters have never enjoyed that right, as Q and O succinctly say
Foreign participants engaged in an armed conflict do not, and never have, fallen under the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts. Dealing with such combatants, or suspected combatants, is a purely military matter, and the detentions associated with the conflict are not punitive, therefore, habeas corpus does not apply.
Although I doubt that the NYT is actually interested in proper legal proceedings as much as getting to use Latin phrases in print. Maybe they should hire Ally McBeal to read their copy to make sure they get the legals right before they write.

Posted by Chefen | 11/17/2005 04:14:00 am


Blogger Graeme Edgeler said...

QandO may say this succintly, but it doesn't mean they're accurate:

"the detentions associated with the conflict are not punitive, therefore, habeas corpus does not apply."

Habeas corpus does not only only to punitive detentions. For example, it is used in cases involving the custody of children (by the state or a parent); also following arrest or detention by the police; or remand in custody awaiting trial.

11/17/2005 09:57:00 am  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

True, but then that situation doesn't exactly apply to foreign fighters over. Perhaps they filtered out every reason unlikely to be applied to members of the Taliban/Al Qaeda etc?

11/17/2005 10:40:00 am  
Blogger Chefen said...

The rest of the article, which I clipped for clarity, goes into the detail that detentions of foreign combatants are always dealt with by military tribunal and have never come under the oversight of civilian courts, for obvious reasons.

11/17/2005 09:30:00 pm  

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