US specialized court systems (e.g. Military, Foreign Intelligence)
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jan 25, 2012 No jail for marine? Haditha massacre verdict stuns Iraqis.
QUOTE: Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich will receive only a demotion to the rank of private for involvement in the 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha.
Christian Science Monitor Jan 07, 2012 My Guantánamo Nightmare (OPINION)
QUOTE: Some American politicians say that people at Guantánamo are terrorists, but I have never been a terrorist. Had I been brought before a court when I was seized, my children’s lives would not have been torn apart, and my family would not have been thrown into poverty. It was only after the United States Supreme Court ordered the government to defend its actions before a federal judge that I was finally able to clear my name and be with them again.
New York Times Nov 12, 2011 Deportations Under New U.S. Policy Are Inconsistent
QUOTE: A new Obama administration policy to avoid deportations of illegal immigrants who are not criminals has been applied very unevenly across the country and has led to vast confusion both in immigrant communities and among agents charged with carrying it out.
New York Times Jul 11, 2011 Immigrants May Be Fed False Stories to Bolster Asylum Pleas
QUOTE: A shadowy industry dedicated to asylum fraud thrives in New York, where many of the country’s asylum claims are filed. Immigrants peddle personal accounts ripped from international headlines, con artists prey on the newly arrived and nonlawyers offer misguided advice.
New York Times Jul 05, 2011 U.S. to Prosecute a Somali Suspect in Civilian Court
QUOTE: The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would prosecute in civilian court a Somali accused of ties to two Islamist militant groups. The decision to fly the man to New York for trial, after interrogating him for months aboard a United States naval vessel, is likely to reignite debate about the detention and prosecution of terrorism suspects.
New York Times Apr 22, 2011 ‘Veterans court’ faces a backlog that continues to grow
QUOTE: Veterans whose claims had already spent years in the VA system often wait several more years for the court to rule on whether they will receive disability payments and free health care. Some have abandoned their appeals. Others, including soldiers from as far back as World War II, have died before a decision was issued.
Washington Post May 21, 2010 Detainees Barred From Access to U.S. Courts
QUOTE: A federal appeals court ruled Friday that three men who had been detained by the United States military for years without trial in Afghanistan had no recourse to American courts. The decision was a broad victory for the Obama administration in its efforts to hold terrorism suspects overseas for indefinite periods without judicial oversight.
New York Times Jan 09, 2010 Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in Jail
QUOTE: thousands of pages of government documents, including scathing investigative reports that were kept under wraps, and a trail of confidential memos and BlackBerry messages that show officials working to stymie outside inquiry....107 deaths in detention counted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since October 2003...
New York Times Sep 02, 2009 Report Details Misbehavior by Kabul Embassy Guards
QUOTE: Private security contractors who guard the U.S. Embassy in Kabul have engaged in lewd behavior and hazed subordinates, demoralizing the undermanned force and posing a "significant threat" to security at a time when the Taliban is intensifying attacks in the Afghan capital, according to an investigation
Washington Post Aug 21, 2009 Detainees Said to Be Shown Photos of C.I.A. Agents
QUOTE: he Justice Department is investigating whether three military defense lawyers for detainees at the Guantánamo prison illegally showed their clients photographs of C.I.A. interrogators...
New York Times Aug 17, 2009 Officials Say Detainee Fatalities Were Missed
QUOTE: More than one in 10 deaths in immigration detention in the last six years have been overlooked and were omitted from an official list of detainee fatalities issued to Congress in March, the Obama administration said Monday.
New York Times Aug 09, 2009 Tomgram: Jamail and Lazare, Lost in Military Limbo
QUOTE: For soldiers who have gone AWOL (Absent Without Leave) and then voluntarily turned themselves in or were forcibly returned, the detention conditions here in Echo Platoon only serve to reinforce the inescapability of their situation. They remain suspended in a legal limbo of forced uncertainty that can extend from several months to a year or more, while the military takes its time deciding their fate.
TomDispatch Jul 10, 2009 Immigration Judges Found Under Strain
QUOTE: Surging caseloads and a chronic lack of resources to handle them are taking a toll on judges in the nation’s immigration courts...
New York Times May 22, 2009 President’s Detention Plan Tests American Legal Tradition
QUOTE: ...the concept of preventive detention is at the very boundary of American law, and legal experts say any new plan for the imprisonment of terrorism suspects without trial would seem inevitably bound for the Supreme Court.
New York Times Jan 21, 2009 Obama Orders Halt to Prosecutions at Guantánamo
QUOTE: the order came from the Secreatary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, “by order of the president.” It described the halt in all proceedings as designed “to permit the newly inaugurated president and his administration time to review the military commission process, generally, and the cases currently pending before the military commissions, specifically.”
New York Times Dec 21, 2008 Extradition Of Terror Suspects Founders: Al-Qaeda Suspects Remain in Britain Years After Arrests
QUOTE: a decade later, none of the defendants has moved any closer to a U.S. courtroom....Britain and other allies have long complained about Guantanamo, the tribunals and extralegal U.S. tactics used to fight al-Qaeda. At the same time, however, they have often blocked or resisted efforts by the U.S. government to prosecute accused terrorists in federal court.
Washington Post Dec 09, 2008 Five 9/11 Suspects Offer to Confess:But Proposal Is Pulled Over Death Penalty Issue
QUOTE: Five of the men accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said Monday that they wanted to plead guilty to murder and war crimes but withdrew the offer when a military judge raised questions about whether it would prevent them from fulfilling their desire to receive the death penalty.
Washington Post Dec 02, 2008 Guantanamo 'a stain on US military'
QUOTE: The tribunals used for putting suspects on trial at Guantanamo Bay are a "stain on America's military", a former military prosecutor has told the BBC in his first interview since resigning.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Jul 22, 2008 Guantanamo Judge Blocks Use of Some Statements: 'Highly coercive' conditions are cited
QUOTE: Prosecutors in the trial of Osama bin Laden's former driver cannot use as evidence some statements the defendant gave interrogators because they were obtained under "highly coercive" conditions while he was a captive in Afghanistan...
Washington Post May 24, 2008 270 Illegal Immigrants Sent to Prison in Federal Push
QUOTE: The prosecutions, which ended Friday, signal a sharp escalation in the Bush administration’s crackdown on illegal workers, with prosecutors bringing tough federal criminal charges against most of the immigrants arrested in a May 12 raid.
New York Times May 10, 2008 Judge Drops General From Trial of Detainee
QUOTE: Critics of the military commission system said Friday that the judge’s decision would provide new grounds to attack the system that they say was set up to win convictions.
New York Times May 06, 2008 In One Flaw, Questions on Validity of 46 Judges (Sidebar)
QUOTE: The problem Professor Duffy identified at least arguably invalidates every decision of the patent court decided by a three-judge panel that included at least one judge appointed after March 2000.
New York Times May 06, 2008 Justice System For Detainees Is Moving At a Crawl: No Sept. 11 Trials Likely Before Bush Leaves Office, Officials Say
QUOTE: "Some of the detainees haven't even seen their lawyers yet, there's incredibly complicated issues about access to evidence and discovery, and as we've seen with every single case to date, it's incredibly hard to move through a system that lacks established rules and precedent,"...That new system, set up by Congress's Military Commissions Act of 2006, so far has been entangled by numerous motions that challenge its fairness and constitutionality. Military officers presiding over the cases have had to make critical decisions on the fly, including some appealed to another new court created by the same legislation.
Washington Post Feb 26, 2008 Sidebar: The Right to Counsel, in the Right Situations
QUOTE: Both sorts of restrictions are unusual, and they give rise to this question, as framed by Mr. Moussaoui’s appellate lawyers: “Are federal courts willing to compromise or eliminate core constitutional protections if the indictment arises in the context of a terrorism case?”
New York Times Feb 16, 2008 Moussaoui Deprived of Constitutional Rights, Attorneys Say: Appeal Seeks to Overturn Guilty Plea, Life Sentence Because of Evidence Kept Secret, Counsel Choice Denied
QUOTE: "[Zacarias]Moussaoui faced the choice between pleading guilty and facing a fundamentally unfair trial in a death-penalty case. This was an unconstitutional choice, and his plea was involuntary as a result,'' [his attorneys say]...
Washington Post Feb 13, 2008 Rules for Lawyers Of Detainees Are Called Onerous: Fair, Adequate Defense Questioned
QUOTE: Months before the trials of some of the detainees are set to begin, some of the attorneys say the Defense Department's regulations for their work [defending detainees at Guantanamo Bay] are so onerous that they will be unable to provide a fair and adequate defense of their clients.
Washington Post Feb 06, 2008 A 2nd Case on Detainees Complicates Deliberations
QUOTE: ...[the first case] the Supreme Court heard on Dec. 5, challenges Congress’s withdrawal of the federal courts’ jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions from detainees contesting their open-ended confinement. [The new case]...is as deep in the weeds of Congressional intent as the [first] case is high up in the realm of constitutional principle.
New York Times Oct 31, 2007 Appeals court weighs who's an enemy combatant: Enemy combatant Marri says the US can't hold him without charge indefinitely.
QUOTE: At issue before the appeals court is who can validly be held by US forces as an enemy combatant in the war on terror. The law of war permits the military to take war prisoners and hold them in detention facilities to prevent enemy combatants from rejoining the battle.
Christian Science Monitor Oct 20, 2007 Naming Names at Gitmo
QUOTE: Diaz had printed the document from his own computer, bought the valentine at the base exchange and left his fingerprints on the list. This past May, Matthew Diaz became the only United States serviceman to be convicted and imprisoned for an act of insubordination directed at the Bush administration’s detention policies.
New York Times Oct 10, 2007 Judge Orders U.S. Not to Transfer Tunisian Detainee
QUOTE: A federal district judge has ordered the government not to transfer a Tunisian detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to his home country, over fears that he would be tortured or killed. The move marks the first time a court has prevented U.S. officials from making such a transfer and is the first ruling in favor of an individual detainee's rights at the detention facility since Congress restricted court oversight of the detainees.
Washington Post Sep 04, 2007 In Padilla interrogation, no checks or balances: Oversight of the executive branch regarding treatment of terror detainees remains inadequate, say legal analysts.
QUOTE: The difference between Mr. Mohammed's experience and Padilla's experience highlights a near total lack of independent oversight involving the secret military detention and interrogation of a US citizen on American soil.
Christian Science Monitor Sep 01, 2007 Legal Battle Resuming on Guantanamo Detainees
QUOTE: The legal battle over the rights of the hundreds of men held as enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay has lasted more than five years, including two rounds in the Supreme Court. Now, as the parties prepare for their next Supreme Court confrontation later this fall, the arguments have come full circle to where they began: over the role of the federal courts.
New York Times Aug 29, 2007 Colonel Is Acquitted in Abu Ghraib Abuse Case
QUOTE: Colonel Jordan’s acquittal on most charges means that no officers have been found criminally responsible for the abuses at the prison. Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the military intelligence officer who ran Abu Ghraib, was punished administratively...Janis Karpinski, the brigadier general who was the military police commander at Abu Ghraib, was reprimanded and demoted.
New York Times Aug 24, 2007 Padilla sues US officials over confinement: Despite his conviction on terror conspiracy charges, his lawyers say he suffered 'psychological abuse' during military detention.
QUOTE: Convicted Al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla is seeking to hold former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and 59 other US officials responsible for what his lawyers say were abusive and unconstitutional tactics used against Mr. Padilla while he was held in military custody as an enemy combatant from 2002 to 2006.
Christian Science Monitor Aug 01, 2007 A Push to Rewrite Wiretap Law: White House Seeks Warrantless Authority From Congress
QUOTE: The Bush administration is pressing Congress this week for the authority to intercept, without a court order, any international phone call or e-mail between a surveillance target outside the United States and any person in the United States… [But] Civil liberties and privacy groups have denounced the administration's proposal…
Washington Post Jul 30, 2007 Some Immigration Bills Aim for Little Victories: Individual Remedies a Controversial Last Resort
QUOTE: For those whose requests have been denied by federal officials and rejected by immigration judges, Congress is the court of last resort. Touched by their stories and convinced of the need for occasional flexibility, lawmakers have introduced more than 500 private immigration bills since 1996.... Some immigrant advocates call it special treatment for people with common problems.
Washington Post Jul 21, 2007 No Time in Prison for Marine Convicted of Kidnapping Iraqi
QUOTE: Military law experts said Corporal Thomas’s sentence was an unusually lenient punishment for crimes as grave as those the same jury convicted him of committing.
New York Times Jul 19, 2007 Without a plot, is Padilla guilty? Prosecutors say they don't have to link the US citizen to a specific terror plan.
QUOTE: [Although] government lawyers argue that a series of shady phone calls and a few documents are enough to establish the existence of a terror conspiracy .... [defense lawyers] voice similar complaints that the government has presented no evidence linking their clients to a specific murder conspiracy.
Christian Science Monitor Jul 18, 2007 Witness Testifies Marine Knowingly Shot Children in Haditha
QUOTE: One of the Marines charged with murdering civilians in Haditha, Iraq, in 2005 knew that only women and children were huddled in a back bedroom in a house there, but he opened the door and shot them anyway, a squadmate testified Tuesday.
Washington Post Jun 24, 2007 Ex-Surveillance Judge Criticizes Warrantless Taps
QUOTE: A federal judge who used to authorize wiretaps in terrorism and espionage cases criticized yesterday President Bush's decision to order warrantless surveillance after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Washington Post Jun 12, 2007 Judges Say U.S. Can’t Hold Man as ‘Combatant’
QUOTE: [a US Court of Appeals] said a fundamental principle is at stake: military detention of someone who had lawfully entered the United States and established connections here, it said, violates the Constitution.
New York Times May 31, 2007 Big Disparities in Judging of Asylum Cases
QUOTE: Asylum seekers in the United States face broad disparities in the nation’s 54 immigration courts, with the outcome of cases influenced by things like the location of the court and the sex and professional background of judges, a new study has found. .... In one of the starker examples cited, Colombians had an 88 percent chance of winning asylum from one judge in the Miami immigration court and a 5 percent chance from another judge in the same court.
New York Times May 15, 2007 Guantánamo Detainees’ Suit Challenges Fairness of Military’s Repeat Hearings
QUOTE: The military system of determining whether detainees are properly held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, includes an unusual practice: If Pentagon officials disagree with the result of a hearing, they order a second one, or even a third, until they approve of the finding. These “do-overs,” as some critics call them, are among the most controversial parts of the military’s system of determining whether detainees are enemy combatants, and the fairness of the repeat hearings is at the center of a pivotal federal appeals court case.
New York Times May 01, 2007 The Right To Remain Silent: Silence is about the only right the Guantanamo prisoners have left.
QUOTE: It's not simply that the detainees have fewer and fewer rights. It's become almost impossible to determine what rights they do have, beyond the right to wait for some vestigial other right to be snatched away.
Slate Apr 03, 2007 Little redress in US courts for detainees: The Supreme Court avoided a test of Bush's terror-fighting powers Monday, letting stand a ruling denying Guantánamo detainees access.
QUOTE: A sharply divided US Supreme Court has declined to take up one of the thorniest legal issues in the Bush administration's war on terror – whether detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are entitled to federal court hearings to challenge their open-ended detention...the court refused to wade into the controversy at all. Instead, the detainees must now exhaust the legal and other avenues established by Congress and the military at a federal appeals court in Washington before bringing their cases to the nation's highest court.
Christian Science Monitor Feb 16, 2007 Was Jose Padilla tortured by US military? The accused terrorist's lawyers hope to use a competency hearing to show alleged mistreatment
QUOTE: Now, Padilla is facing an April trial in federal court here on charges that he became a willing Al Qaeda recruit in a violent global jihad. But his lawyers complain that Padilla's harsh treatment during nearly four years of military detention and interrogation has left him so psychologically damaged that he is unable to help wage his own defense.
Christian Science Monitor Feb 14, 2007 Bill Would Restore Detainees' Rights, Define 'Combatant'
QUOTE: The bill would also prevent the executive branch from making blanket determinations about who is an enemy combatant and would restrict the president's authority to interpret when certain human rights standards apply to detainees. The legislation would limit the label "enemy combatant" to a person "who directly participates in hostilities in a zone of active combat against the United States" or who took part in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Washington Post Jan 19, 2007 Gonzales Questions Habeas Corpus
QUOTE: Under the cloak of setting up military tribunals to try al-Qaeda suspects and other so-called “unlawful enemy combatants,” Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress effectively created a parallel legal system for “any person” – American citizen or otherwise – who crosses some ill-defined line...Attorney General Gonzales doesn’t even believe that the Constitution grants them habeas corpus rights to a fair trial.
Baltimore Chronicle Jan 16, 2007 Some at Guantanamo Mark 5 Years in Limbo: Big Questions About Low-Profile Inmates
QUOTE: In the administration's effort to obtain raw intelligence, officials said, it was easier to ship hundreds of men with unclear allegiances to a naval base in Cuba in early 2002 and ask the hard questions later. But with a government focused on interrogations, a bureaucracy lacking tolerance for risk and a detention policy under legal attack, the United States has found it difficult to free many of the detainees, regardless of the information it has on the threat they pose.
Washington Post Jan 15, 2007 New Law Could Subject Civilians to Military Trial: Provision Aimed at Contractors, but Some Fear It Will Sweep Up Other Workers
QUOTE: Private contractors and other civilians serving with U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan could be subject for the first time to military courts-martial under a new federal provision...intended to close a long-standing loophole that critics say puts contractors in war zones above the law. But the provision also could affect others accompanying U.S. forces in the field, including civilian government employees and embedded journalists.
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