Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How to get into military-prison construction without even trying

Here's a neat trick: pretend, for a moment, that you work for BushCheneyCo. and you want to build a $125 Million permanent facility at Guantanamo Bay. Word has it that you want the new digs to hold up to 1200 souls. You want primo kangaroo courts. You want it built yesterday but will settle for July '07. You wannu build it so bad:
  1. Your contractor friends have neatly affixed their bibs and they're pulling up to the gilded trough (a man can't live on no-bid Katrina pork alone);
  2. You know you've been keeping 400+ men in captivity (some for nearly 5 years) and the Supreme Court's been a-hasslin' ya to "try" them (or sumpin' fruity like that);
  3. You can't very well 'try' them in the garish light of a real US court-system, what with all the nosy people with steno-notepads (Seymour Hersh) or Blackberrys (CNN).
And time's running out. Pesky new Congress and that Henry Waxman dude with his 'subpoena' power. Heh heh heh...subpoena power. Sorry...that was a joke, right?
So what do you do? Clearly, you gots to get your new GTMO. Well sir, you'll get it but it won't be easy....you're gonna need to pull a mighty big rabbit outta yer 10 gallon hat. C'mon now...think! You're the DECIDER!
Pentagon Puts Guantanamo Court Project On Fast Track [Miami Herald, Monday, December 4, 2006]
The Pentagon is invoking emergency authority to expedite funding of a war-crimes-court compound at its Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England has informed Congress.
Defense spokesmen would not say when, if ever, the Pentagon had last invoked similar authority. Nor would they specify which military construction already approved by Congress would be frozen to fund the court project, which could cost as much as $125 million, according to U.S. government documents.
[...] England's letter cited "Section 2808 of title 10, United States Code" as authorization for the fast-track authority. The Pentagon would not elaborate, but it appears to be relying on a National Emergency Construction Authority Executive Order, which President Bush signed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Emergency Construction? That's it?! That's all you got, Decider-man? Frankly, I'm not sure you can pull this one off again. They're on to you with that "9/11 Executive order" shit. It is so played. Congress knows all your tricks and this time the House--or the Senate, as it were--isn't gonna stack the deck for you.
What's this? I believe Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) has your card...
US cancels Guantanamo complex plan
The Pentagon will not try to use emergency powers to build a compound to hold war-crimes trials at Guantanamo Bay, according to a member of a Senate panel that oversees funding for military construction projects.
The US defense department notified senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, on Sunday that it cancelled a contract order to build the new courthouse complex at the isolated base in southeast Cuba.
The US defense department said that the cancellation was because of concerns about the location and funds for the facility, according to a statement from Feinstein's office
She said in a statement late on Friday: "I thank the department for postponing plans to build a permanent courthouse at Guantanamo Bay. It's important this courthouse proceed through regular order, with public hearings, so that there is full knowledge of what is intended."
Smooth move, Feinstein. [/sarcastic clapping]
Decider: Rebuttal?
Will you 'see' her Congressional-oversight and 'raise' her your Executive Order #[indecipherable]?
Why not convene your crack team of Gonzales, Bybee & Woo. The torture brain-trust hasn't had anything juicy to work on in ages. They're gagging for it!
Better ante up, tough guy: They're makin a monkey outta you!
[/fantasy]

Ok. I know the Congress will cave. I know they'll give him his shiny new GTMO. Of course they will. But a gal can fantasize, no? Ah hell...
Moonwhile....here in America Jr., three "security detainees" are still held in a small trailer at Millhaven (~Kingston, ON): "Canadian prison being called Guantanamo North"
A small trailer with six cells surrounded by razor wire and fencing on the grounds of Millhaven Prison is being called Guantanamo North by human rights activists.
Mahmoud Jaballah, who has been detained for more than five years without being charged, is one of three men being held in the trailer compound in the Kingston penitentiary on security certificates based on secret intelligence.
Jaballah said all he wants is a fair trial. "If I go to a fair trial ... I will have freedom," he told CTV News. Jaballah arrived in Canada in 1996. He was detained in August 2001 on a second security certificate after the courts rejected the first one as unreasonable.
Ottawa can use a security certificate to determine whether a foreign citizen poses a security threat. Under the certificates, the person can be held indefinitely without being charged, and without being told the reason for the detention.
Brian has much, much more background & updates on these men and their legal challenges at his site. Two of the original five men have been released on bail (Mr. Harkat and Mr. Charkaoui) but their status is still unresolved and they are far from 'out of the woods.'
[h/t to The Rachel Maddow Show for the "Emergency" GTMO Construction news]

2 Comments:

Blogger skdadl said...

Great post, GDKitty.

12/13/2006 7:02 AM  
Blogger Godammitkitty said...

Thanks, Skdadl!

12/13/2006 9:53 AM  

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