Judge Joyce Hens Green Quote

“Although this nation unquestionably must take strong action under the leadership of the commander in chief to protect itself against enormous and unprecedented threats, that necessity cannot negate the existence of the most basic fundamental rights for which the people of this country have fought and died for well over two hundred years... In sum, there can be no question that the Fifth Amendment right asserted by the Guantanamo detainees in this litigation -- the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law -- is one of the most fundamental rights recognized by the U.S. Constitution.”

Ratings and Comments

Marilyn Slentz, Denver City

Guantanamo detainees should not have rights under our Constitution. This Judge did not follow the Constitution and should be taken out of the courts.

J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT

The Gitmo terrorists are not American citizens. In fact their aim is to destroy us all. Our legal system must move very carefully in this area of law, philosophy, and rights. As many of them have deprived humans of the right to live based only on some sort of fanatical creed of their own, our safety may outweigh their "rights" by a significant amount.

D E Nowels, Colorado Springs, CO

We have been given rights by our Creator to include Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Personal Property (Happyness). We, the Citizens of this Republic, have established a Bill of Rights to restrict government, any government, from infringing on these inalienable rights. The mere denizens at Gitmo would destroy the Bill of Rights as well as the Republic and us Citizens and establish their own government, Sharia Law. Therefore they have no rights under our law.

John, Richmond

It's hard to believe morons like this are actually judges...

Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA

Is this Judge an American? I sure hope not. I hope she's a communist somewhere that deserves her.....

S. Tolo, New York

The abject stupidity and ignorance of the legal and constitutional principals evidenced by this quote should be more than sufficient justification to have this Judge impeached, disbarred and terminated imediately if not sooner, and you can quote ME on this one. What a Disgrace!

J Carlton, Calgary

Wow we have people talking about being a "Republic" which isn't true and the "Bill of Rights" which has been almost totally negated. And pretty much everyone whipped into a bloody froth...I would have assume from this post that American's consider everyone who isn't American has no rights and are expendable. None of you have any way of knowing if the people in Gitmo even deserve to be there, you're taking the "Government's" word for it. And why not, they've never lied to you before right? People need to question authority at home before passing judgement on the rest of the world. People need to look at US (Corporate) foreign policy before getting too self righteous and sentencing everyone to prison, torture or death. If they are PROVEN guilty...hang em.

  • Reply
RBESRQ    7/22/09

I'm with you Carlton (what are we becoming?) Guantanamo is a disgrace to any true American or should I say human being. How dare we allow such crimes when we prosecute other countries for the same - we are such hypocrites. Due process must apply to everyone otherwise we become like our enemies - no better than mud in the street. We should rise above this gutter behavior if we are to be a great nation again. The Judge is 101% correct (that is of course if you are civilized). Mike, Archer, and the other usual bloggers, you are conspicuous by your absence. Please, please, don't tell me you agree with these first six comments.

J Carlton, Calgary

Thanks RBE, I was feeling a little lonely. :)

Waffler, Smith

Only citizens and residents have constitutional rights. Soldiers would have to arrest and read rights to enemies if it were otherwise. Enemy combatants are different than citizens although I seem sometimes to find some American citizens to be enemies of our democratic way of life also.

Waffler, Smith

D.E. Nowells equating of Happiness with Acquisitiveness or Personal Property is oh so banal and shallow. It is interesting that he did not include real property.

Al, DC
  • Reply
Al, DC    7/22/09

A Republic--if you can keep it! One fateful day(911) that has NEVER been fully examined should be used to deny our principles to ourselves(patriot act) or to those whom our leadership(no war declaration against iraq, afghanistan, paki) has decided to war against...

J. LaBrack, Dover, NH

She may well qualify for King Obama's next Supreme Court appointee! Those morons are NOT U.S. citizens and are not entitled to the rights thereof. They are enemy combatants. This judge should have been on the 90th floor of one of the twin towers!

Paul, Gig Harbor, WA

With no bleeding heart for Gitmo prisoners but strictly for objectivity, I would point out that most in this discussion seem to be saying the Gitmo prisoners have no rights under our law, ignoring that our law recognizes some rights come from "our Creator," therefore the prisoners need no sanction from our law to enjoy those rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." When such Creator-derived rights are stripped away, then you have made such people less-human-than-you in the legal process sense. Are these prisoners criminals or soldiers? Judge William Young, US District Court, in 2003 told airplane Shoe-Bomber Richard Reid he was no soldier, he was a terrorist and a plain criminal. But Reid (who demanded he WAS a soldier) did no more than what Israelis did to the 1940s British occupation of Palestine, and some of those soldiers? terrorists? later became Israeli prime ministers, recognized and honored by Britain and the US. The Israelis would call such individuals soldiers, and the US and Britain didn't hunt these fellows down for their crimes. They ceased calling them terrorists, later on, as well. It seems we play both sides of any given terrorist situation, calling them criminals when it suits the situation, and calling them "combatants" (yet not "soldiers") when we want to hold them forever. Which is it? You can't refuse a criminal his day in court, period. But we don't want to let them go, with good reason, so we call them something hazy, gray, like 'combatant,' ---yet not 'soldier'-!! I criticize no one, for there is no clear answer. But to be dogmatic that these people have no rights to a trial, counsel, etc, contradicts what we are calling them, that is, "criminals." Criminals get trials, period. "Soldiers" forces the conclusion a govt sent them, something we don't want to acknowledge. So we engage in euphemisms and verbal distortions to get what we need, and I do not overly criticize that act, but it needs to be recognized. This is how I see it, I may be quite mistaken, and I'm open to correction. Let the dogpiling begin!

Chris Morgan, Franklin , Pa.

Rights for eveyone!! everyone gets rights, no down payment, no citizenship required, we the people of the United States will just give you everything! Want health care, no problem! Welfare, no problem! Any wonder why are country is broke.

E Archer, NYC

First we must consider the proper jurisdiction of these 'detainees.' The US Constitution allows for 3 jurisdictions: common law, commercial law, and military law. This was a case of military law. If they were prisoners of war, there is a process for them. I do believe even in a military court, detainees have some rights -- all human beings have rights, it doesn't matter what country they were born in -- that is what our Declaration of Independence states. But what the hell is Guantanamo Bay military base anyway? Why is Cuba the place the military chose to detain these men? In what jurisdiction are these guys being held? Why would they be charged in non-military courts in the continental US? If they couldn't charge them with crimes either military or otherwise, then under what authority are they being held? If they are so dangerous, then why not convict them and shoot them? Sorry, it is better for a guilty man to go free than an innocent be held. BTW, Homeland Security and any police department may arrest and hold without charge indefinitely anyone who is a suspected terrorist -- this is the law that has given Gitmo it's reason to hold these guys. THE LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL -- and it does not seem that ANYONE is addressing the real problem of anyone with a badge is able to arrest you and detain you without charge indefinitely if they want to label you a suspected terrorist -- the definition of which includes anyone who mentions the Constitution or who protests against the government -- AND if the suspected terrorist has any guns, forget about it! So if you are FOR Gitmo, then you are FOR your own detainment for simply defending your rights. Wake up! BTW, health care is not a right, but the right to a speedy trial is hundreds of years old. The right of habeas corpus is a foundational principle of our free nation -- and we still don't have it back since W took it away... I wouldn't hold your breath for O to reinstate it (funny how no Democrats have asked for habeas corpus to be brought back). The vice is closing and we are being squeezed.

  • Reply
Anon    7/22/09

A fair trial by the natural law protected by our Constitution is for everyone. The problem today is that trials are not fair and really subject to the whims and desires of the judicial characters running the show. In the case of gitmo detainees yes they should be treated fairly and by the evidence judged but our courts no longer stand for justice but for the political ends that can be accomplished throught their corrupted processes. A fair trial is deserved for everyone on the planet who lives when their lives are in jeopardy at the hands of those who know no justice but their own. This is one of the intentions of our founders, that our lawful process of trial by jury be offered to people (individuals) of the world.

J Carlton, Calgary

Waffler, I take it you're aware that US Soldiers are sworn to uphold the Constitution, (which they don't do), and that they themselves do not enjoy Constitutional rights? And since when does the US Government have the right to set world policy?

cal, lewisville, tx

Never do i remember in the 20th century a time where POW's were tried until after the war. If this thing drags on like Vietnam, then the Gitmo pow's will be due a trial in 10 years. Until then, they will remain locked up!

Dr. Dale Smith, Auburn, CA

For thirty years plus we have been working in Communist countries, and this sounds just like what you would hear all the time, for those very few they want to protect. For others, forget it. There is no freedom under that system, just as there will be no freedom for Christian believers in the USA in a very short time. This so called Judge is just exactly why Obama is and will continue to win. We have sold out our most treasured American Freedom to protect people who would cut our throats in an instant. Wake up America - it may be too late already.

  • Reply
    RBESRQ    7/22/09

    You people make me laugh - most were not capture on the battlefield... who are we to say they were POW. How dare we use this as a reason to lock up ANYONE caught in its crossfire. Archer good response...

    Waffler, Smith

    Paul raises some good points. War is when one nation declares it upon another with the intent of subduing and subjugating it as long as it wishes or is able to. The US intent in Korea and Vietnam was to hold the line against aggresion. The US nor the Southern halves of those nations were intent on subduing or subjugating the North(s), thus it was a "police" action and not a war. As far as terrorists becoming rulers, yes it happens but international relations are based on recognitions between political entities of their independence and hegemony. No recognized government claims Al Qaeda or the others as their own. The way that Afghanistan got into trouble is that they gave Al Qaeda free reign within its territrory and thus became a defacto sponsor of it and in effect virtually one and the smae thing as Al Qaeda. The gitmo guys deserve humane treatment they do not deserve the treatment afforded US Citizens. The US does not control world policy it just seems that way from these shores. It is a player and has significant influence. It is an entity much bigger than the individual states of Europe, which are not much bigger than the individual American states, so it stands to reason that the US should be more influential than one Europe government etcetera.

    E Archer, NYC

    People are missing the point: the detainees in Gitmo have been arrested under the Patriot Act with the suspension of habeas corpus. With that unconstitutional act it is impossible to follow constitutional due process. Any one of us could be black bagged and dragged off to Gitmo or any of a hundred other places without any charge because of this law. Secondly, 'war' as referenced by the Constitution is declared by the Congress -- there has been no declaration of war. These detainees are not POW's as they were seized in the US -- just because they were taken out of the country onto federal territory (in Cuba mind you) doesn't mean they have no rights. They may be guilty as hell -- but if they cannot be charged and there is no evidence, then they must be freed. Hell, we have criminals roaming the halls of Congress daily -- and just like any one else, you have to prove it. When a nation's authorities do not have to follow the Constitution, they eventually can usurp all power into their hands in the name of 'emergency.' And BTW, 'al Qaeda' is not an organization -- it is Arabic for 'The List' -- if your name is put on the terrorist list, you are on 'The List', you are al Qaeda. Now imagine in an Arabic-speaking country how people feel about 'the list' -- if we used such terminology here we would know that we were livinig in a police state. Al Qaeda is not an organization -- they have no meetings or leaders, they are just those individuals who have been labelled terrorists -- granted they may have their own groups with hierarchy, but 'al Qaeda' is in fact just a list.

    Waffler, Smith

    The detainees in Gitmo were picked up on the battlefield of Afganistan in the fall of 2001. The Patriot Act was passed much later. It had nothing to do with picking up Al Qaeda terrorist on the plains of Afghan.


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