segunda-feira, 21 de julho de 2008

Bush movimenta-se para limitar alcance de decisão da Corte Suprema a favor dos "prisioneiros" de Guantanamo

O professor Farlei Martins envia matéria publicada em 22 de julho de 2008 no jornal "New York Times" na qual a administração Bush estimula ao Congresso americano com urgência estabelecer um plano limitando o alcance do pedido de exame da detenção aos júízes federais americanos por parte dos "inimigos combatentes" de Guantanamo. Essa pressão do Presidente Bush é no intuito de limitar o carater protetivo do reconhecimento recente pela Corte Suprema americana do devido processo legal para os "prisioneiros" de Guantanamo.
New York Times
July 22, 2008
Administration Calls for Action on Detainees
WASHINGTON - After a major setback in the Supreme Court last month, the Bush
administration urged Congress on Monday to work out a plan for allowing
prisoners in Guantánamo Bay to contest their incarcerations before federal
judges - but without ever letting them set foot in the United States because
of the "extraordinary risk" they pose.
As part of the plan, the administration also wants Congress to "reaffirm,"
nearly seven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, that the United States
"remains engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda" and other terrorist
groups. The administration used Congress's original affirmation of an armed
conflict, three days after 9/11, not only to invade Afghanistan, but also to
incarcerate enemy combatants without trial and to conduct wiretaps on
Americans without a court warrant.
One month after the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners at Guantánamo had the
right to challenge their incarcerations in federal court, Attorney General
Michael Mukasey laid out the administration's intentions Monday for the
first time.
In effect, his proposal to get quick Congressional action before federal
judges begin hearing appeals later this year would put the treatment of the
Guantánamo prisoners back before Congress, rather than leaving the process
entirely in the hands of the judiciary. But with Congress on the verge of a
long summer break, it is not clear how quickly new legislation could be
Democratic leaders made clear Monday that they would not let the
administration set a timetable for rushing through legislation that Senator
Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the judiciary committee, called
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, in response to Mr.
Mukasey's speech, said that "the courts are well equipped to handle this
situation, and there is no danger that any detainee will be released in the
meantime."The high court on June 12 declared unconstitutional a provision of
the Military Commission Act of 2006, included at the request of the
administration, that stripped the federal courts of the jurisdiction to hear
habeas corpus petitions from detainees seeking to challenge their
designation as enemy combatants.
"I am urging Congress to act to resolve the difficult questions left open by
the Supreme Court," Mr. Mukasey said in a speech delivered ( at
the American Enterprise Institute. His remarks came on the day the first
trial of an enemy combatant held at Guantánamo started. After years of
delay, Salim Hamdan, who the government charges was Osama bin Laden's
driver, went on trial Monday before a military commission.
There are some 275 other detainees at Guantánamo Bay who the Supreme Court
ruled also have the right to challenge their detentions in civil court.
In laying out a six-point plan for responding to the court ruling, Mr.
Mukasey said the federal courts would become clogged with inconsistent and
unwieldy appeals from the Guantánamo prisoners unless Congress acted quickly
to set clear rules for how to proceed.
He said all the appeals should be consolidated in a single court, probably
the district court in Washington. Prisoners should not be allowed to
physically attend the appeal hearings in the United States, he said, but
they could view the proceedings from a secure video link from Guantánamo - a
comment that appeared to signal that the administration plans to keep the
base open for the time being.
The courts should also not be allowed to release a prisoner into the United
States if he is cleared, he said. And the proceedings should not be allowed
to delay the military commission trials at Guantánamo Bay, with some 20
prisoners now awaiting trial for war crimes and others expected to be tried
later. Only after those trials are completed should prisoners be able to
appeal their detentions to the civilian courts, the attorney general said.
The administration wants to begin working quickly with congressional leaders
to develop a formal legislative proposal. While Republican leaders are
likely to welcome Mr. Mukasey's plan, it is unclear how Democrats will
respond - and whether they will be willing to take on such a heated issue
less than four months before the presidential election.
Meanwhile, civil liberties advocates representing some of the Guantánamo
detainees were quick to attack the principles laid out in Mr. Mukasey's
"What Mukasey is doing is a shocking attempt to drag us into years of
further legal challenges and delays," said Vincent Warren, executive
director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has led many of the
legal challenges over Guantánamo. "The Supreme Court has definitively
spoken, and there is no need for congressional intervention," he said,
adding that the courts should now be allowed to take up the cases.
The Alliance for Justice, a liberal legal affairs group, said the
administration was trying to "conjure up a false sense of urgency to scare
Congress into passing needless legislation."

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