US Supreme Court Scalia to Detainees - No Rights for You
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dismissed the idea that Guantanamo detainees have constitutional rights and called European concerns over the issue hypocritical, Newsweek magazine reported on Sunday.
"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts," Scalia said in the talk at the University of Freiburg, according to Newsweek. "Give me a break."
Scalia, asked at Freiburg whether detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have protections under international conventions, gave the suggestion short shrift.
"If he was captured by my army on a battlefield, that is where he belongs. I had a son on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son, and I'm not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it's crazy," he said. Scalia's son Matthew served with the U.S. Army in Iraq
It said Scalia added that he was "astounded" at "hypocritical" reaction in Europe to the Guantanamo prison.
First, I do not think Scalia should have made these remarks public on a case that would be coming before the US Supreme Court and he would probably be hearing. I agree that it shows a lack of impartiality that the Judges should have when hearing a case, and it more than "seems" he has made up his mind, he has. There is no question as to his stance on this and that is not good when a judge makes up his mind before he hears the case.
Second, I also happen to agree with Scalia on one thing, and that is, if a foriegn enemy combatant is captured fighting our troops, planting bombs to hurt our troops, ect, then he does NOT have any Constitutional Rights to a trial by his peers, he is not a US citizen and therefore not subject to the Laws of our Constitution or the Bill of Rights for the US.
I do believe each case needs to be thoroughly investigated and a Military Tribunal be held in each case that should go over the information garnered, and determine a threat assessment on the foriegn enemy combatant and what involvement he had as a terrorist.
As for Europe and it's reaction to the Guantanamo prison, they have thier opinion and we have ours, these are foriegn enemy combatants that were captured. While I firmly believe that they should be investigated by a Military Tribunal as quickly as possible and if not enough evidence is found then released, I also believe that Europe has enough of it's own problems that they should be worrying about at the moment. We will not become like the French, our cities will not burn.