What do we do Now? A way forward after the unwise Supreme Court decision

Andrew McCarthy has outlined a way forward to mitigate the disaster of the Supreme Court ruling last week.  It hinges on something that I have been pushing to everyone I speak to and which I have posted prominently on this website.  Vote Victory! Read Andrew’s analysis and plan then consider ways in which we can ensure that there is a Congress in place that will work to ensure a lasting Victory in this war.  We have come too far and with too much success to let Congress allow the Supreme Court to usurp the constitution and threaten the safety and security of the American people.

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A Quick Way Forward After Boumediene

Either Congress reasserts itself, or terror-friendly bedlam ensues.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

It is difficult to single out the most outrageous aspect of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s cataclysmic Boumediene ruling last Thursday: The reckless vesting of constitutional rights in aliens whose only connection with our body politic is their bloody jihad against Americans; the roughshod ride over binding precedent to accomplish that feat; or the smug arrogance perfectly captured by dissenting Chief Justice John Roberts’s description of a “constitutional bait and switch” — a Court that first beseeches the political branches to enact a statutory procedure for handling combatant detentions, and then, once a thoughtful law is compliantly passed, invalidates the effort for its failure to satisfy the eccentric predilections of five lawyers.

What is done, however, is done.

HANDWRITING ON THE WALL

It should never have come to this. Ever since the Bush administration quite rightly called for a new enforcement paradigm after the 9/11 attacks — the criminal-justice system having proved itself grossly inadequate to protect national security during the Nineties — it has been apparent that shifting to a pure military system was problematic.

The war on terror is not like other wars. No war has a determinate end, but this one does not have a foreseeable ending scenario. With radical Islam, there will be no treaty, no terms of surrender, no conquering enemy territory. Instead, there is only vigilance until the enemy’s capacity to project power is quelled. Because of that, strict application of the laws of war — which permit indefinite detention until war’s end — strikes our influential legal elites as unduly onerous.

Our enemies, moreover, are terrorists who operate in the shadows, in civilian garb not military insignia. In a just world, that would inure to their detriment. In the world we inhabit, it perversely benefits them by sowing doubt about their status. It makes plausible the possibility that we have scooped up at least some people in error.

The public anger over 9/11 has faded. With a relentless campaign, fired by sympathetic media coverage, our legal elites have succeeded in raising popular concerns about the specter of innocents being held in perpetuity at the whim of the executive, without an opportunity to challenge their detention before an independent judge.

This was more of a political challenge than a legal one. Long ago, Congress and the administration should have joined forces to forge a comprehensive system that would answer those concerns. To their credit, the political branches did at least try to shore up the military detention system by providing, for the first time in history, enemy access to a civilian court — the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court — so jihadists could challenge the completed military proceedings. It is beyond arrogance that five Supreme Court justices did not allow that system to work; that, to bask in international huzzahs, they scrapped it before the D.C. Circuit could wrestle with a single case on a concrete record — before the tribunals could prove they were not kangaroo courts after all.

But let’s face it: The handwriting for what happened last Thursday has been on the wall since 2004. That’s when the Court, in a fit of imperious recklessness nearly the equal of Boumediene, decided in Rasul v. Bush that the jihadists had statutory habeas corpus rights. The handwriting was brought into starker relief in 2006 when, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Court selectively mined and tortured the language of the Geneva Conventions to vest the jihadists with trial rights under Geneva’s Common Article 3.

This has been coming at us like a runaway freight train. Congress and the administration should have seen it and stopped it. They failed to act, so the cure will be harder now — though we must, for the sake of our security, press ahead with a legislative cure.

Read the whole thing here.

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