Nine Years After 9/11, US Court Concedes that International Laws of War Restrict President’s Wartime Powers

by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
8 September, 2010

Under President George W. Bush, a small group of advisors tied closely to Vice President Dick Cheney argued that neither Congress nor the judiciary should attempt to prevent the President from doing whatever he felt was appropriate as the Commander-in-Chief of a “War on Terror” that was declared after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As Sidney Blumenthal explained in an article for Salon in January 2006, the President and his advisors believed in the “unitary executive” theory — “the idea that the President as Commander-in-Chief is the sole judge of the law, unbound by hindrances such as the Geneva Conventions, and possesses inherent authority to subordinate independent government agencies to his fiat.” Blumenthal added, accurately, that this concept was “the cornerstone of the Bush legal doctrine.”

The extreme position taken by John Yoo regarding Presidential power

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Appeals Court Extends President’s Wartime Powers, Limits Guantánamo Prisoners’ Rights by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.andyworthington.co.uk
12 January 2010

On the eighth anniversary of the opening of the “War on Terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the implications of a ruling last week in the Court of Appeals (PDF) have added another layer of uncertainty to the prisoners’ future, in a week that was notorious for a barrage of lies and misinformation, and a promise by President Obama that he was freezing the release of all Yemeni prisoners until further notice.

The Appeals Court ruling dealt with the case of Ghaleb al-Bihani, a Yemeni who lost his habeas corpus petition, challenging the basis of his detention, in January last year, seven months after the habeas petitions resumed, following the Supreme Court’s ruling, in Boumediene v. Bush, that the prisoners had constitutionally guaranteed habeas rights.

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