Former Vice President Richard Cheney fired back last night on President Barack Obama and his administration during a Center for Security Policy speech:
Full text here.
There are flaws within these passages from what President Obama said yesterday:
Indeed, the legal challenges that have sparked so much debate in recent weeks in Washington would be taking place whether or not I decided to close Guantanamo. For example, the court order to release seventeen Uighur detainees took place last fall – when George Bush was President. The Supreme Court that invalidated the system of prosecution at Guantanamo in 2006 was overwhelmingly appointed by Republican Presidents.
In 2006, I did strongly oppose legislation proposed by the Bush Administration and passed by the Congress because it failed to establish a legitimate legal framework, with the kind of meaningful due process and rights for the accused that could stand up on appeal.
First off, our Supreme Court has yet to afford Constitutional due process to foreign enemies; in 2006, it said Congress must create the Commissions for the President to use. In addition Tom Joscelyn, on The Blog at The Weekly Standard, points out that Judge Urbina’s order to bring the 17 Uighurs at Guantanamo into the United States and release them was invalidated in February by a higher court, “We are certain that no habeas corpus court since the time of Edward I ever ordered such an extraordinary remedy.” (also see this report)
As a friend put it yesterday:
They are hiding behind the courts. Obama again today made it sound like some flunky federal judge, some lower court judge ordered him to release Uihgurs into the US. As if a lower level judge can tell the president of the US what to do on matters of warfare and national security. Ridiculous. He pulled the same thing with the EIT memos … as if there is no right of appeal, as if there is no executive privilege, as if there is no national security argument. He hides behind the courts, as if they are superior to the Executive Branch. That’s how liberals think. It’s undemocratic … it’s how they circumvent the People.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs twice this week said the Supreme Court has (Boumediene v Bush) “largely” found Military Commissions to be un-Constitutional. Yet Boumediene only invalidated the detention review provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act and Section 7 of the Military Commissions Act. In addition, some have stated that the Supreme Court ruled detainees cannot be held indefinitely. In fact, in its 2004 Hamdi v Rumsfeld decision, the Court expressly ruled enemy detainees could be held indefinitely; in Boumediene it only held that detainees must be granted a “meaningful opportunity” to challenge their detentions.