Thumbing through the online archives of Blumnerian wisdom, however, I found her praise of Stephen Abraham, who filed an affidavit intended to illustrate the injustice of the military review of status for detained enemy combatants.
Here's a representative sample:
While it is difficult to know exactly what prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse itself on the last day of its term and agree to consider the rights of Guantanamo detainees after it reconvenes in October, the impact of Abraham's filing is a good bet.
In a declaration submitted to the high court by detainees' counsel, the Army reservist, lawyer and military intelligence officer criticized the legitimacy of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. These are the hearings that the Bush administration has been passing off as reasonable due process in determining whether the Guantanamo prisoners are being properly held. Abraham's words have special resonance because for six months he was assigned to the CSRTs and has an insider's knowledge of the way they operate.
Bottom line: They are about as reliable for separating the bad guys from the innocent as a child's game of telephone is in relaying accurate information.
(St. Petersburg Times)
Blumner's editorial makes no mention of the other side of the issue, such as the Justice Department's rejoinder that Abraham appeared to misunderstand the purpose of the hearings.That view was far better represented in Andrew C. McCarthy's story on the Abraham complaint, published in National Review.
A relevant portion of the latter:
More to the point, Abraham does not appear to appreciate the purpose of a CSRT. His main complaints are that the tribunals feature (a) too much hearsay, and (b) a lack of access to exculpatory evidence. But that is to be expected, and would be standard operating procedure even in civilian courts.The bottom line, here, is the tendency of liberals and lawyers to stretch constitutional protections all over the globe. As has been amply noted, this approach to war turns the Constitution into a suicide pact rather than a blueprint for sustained human liberty.
A CSRT is not a trial; it is a wartime detention hearing. Its goal is to determine that there is a reasonable basis to believe the detainee is an alien unlawful enemy combatant who would resume fighting the U.S. if released. The purpose is not to disprove all possibility that the detainee is not a combatant, nor is it to determine whether he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of war crimes — a question that would be weighed in a military commission trial, not a CSRT.
(National Review Online)
In war, you shoot at the people who look like they're the enemy. You round them up and capture them without a warrant if they don't get killed in the fighting. It has not been a military tradition to read either lawful prisoners of war or unlawful combatants some type of Miranda warning.
And it isn't a particularly valuable idea, either.
If you're a terrorist planning an attack on the United States and your mission is to outmaneuver Blumner defenses ... then you've got to like your odds.