Author Topic: Legal Issues in the War w Islamic Fascism and Epidemic & Quarantine  (Read 224268 times)

ccp

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all but on repub votes to limit Trump on war with ISIS
« Reply #500 on: July 03, 2017, 09:15:47 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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G M

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Re: Canada to pay Omar Khadr big bucks for ten years in Guantanamo
« Reply #502 on: July 04, 2017, 11:02:20 AM »
http://globalnews.ca/news/3573070/omar-khadr-apology/

If only there were a way to convince the Clintons that he was a witness to some of their crimes...

Crafty_Dog

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AQ suspect brought to US instead of Guantanamo
« Reply #503 on: July 22, 2017, 01:38:36 PM »


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/world/europe/al-qaeda-suspect-court-trump-sessions-guantanamo.html?emc=edit_na_20170721&nl=breaking-news&nlid=49641193&ref=cta

But note

"Mr. Damache, 52, was arrested in Ireland in 2010, but he was released after an Irish judge rejected a request from the United States to extradite him. He was arrested again in 2015 in Spain. Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department began seeking his extradition, and that effort continued under Mr. Trump"

In other words not only is this not a battlefield capture, we may well have had to agree to US federal courts instead of Gitmo in order to get the extradition.  Do I have this right?




Crafty_Dog

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War Powers Resolution
« Reply #507 on: December 16, 2018, 02:25:50 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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John Walker Lindh getting out.
« Reply #508 on: March 26, 2019, 04:58:09 PM »
John Walker Lindh Should Not Be Released Early
by Patrick Dunleavy
IPT News
March 26, 2019
https://www.investigativeproject.org/7869/john-walker-lindh-should-not-be-released-early




Crafty_Dog

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #512 on: April 26, 2019, 05:31:20 PM »
Ummm , , , because we hold ourselves to the core understandings of the Geneva Convention?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #513 on: April 26, 2019, 07:19:00 PM »
Ummm , , , because we hold ourselves to the core understandings of the Geneva Convention?

They are illegal combatants. They are outlaws. The fact that we even have to discuss this is why we are losing the war.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #514 on: April 26, 2019, 09:55:16 PM »
Sounds like you are advocating something that the Russian tried , , , Do I misunderstand?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #515 on: April 26, 2019, 10:21:59 PM »
Sounds like you are advocating something that the Russian tried , , , Do I misunderstand?

I advocate winning. Whatever it takes. Remember when we used to win wars? China laughs at our spinelessness.

Right now, those scumbags in Gitmo are getting better medical care than the average vet who lost limbs in Trashcanistan.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #516 on: April 27, 2019, 10:52:38 AM »
And how would killing these prisoners help our cause?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #517 on: April 27, 2019, 11:44:04 AM »
And how would killing these prisoners help our cause?

It’s an old concept, but in war, you kill the enemy. Not adopt them as permanent dependent class.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #518 on: April 27, 2019, 01:12:53 PM »
So, no more prisoners of war?

G M

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Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism
« Reply #519 on: April 27, 2019, 01:45:11 PM »
So, no more prisoners of war?

Not jihadists, fighting outside the laws of war. Treating them like legitimate soldiers of a nation-state is beyond stupid.



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Quarantine: NY vs RI
« Reply #524 on: March 30, 2020, 12:40:20 PM »
   

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS has begun to take on a predictable quality. President Trump on Sunday renewed the CDC’s social distancing guidelines through the end of April, papering over the cracks in his resolve that began to show last Sunday when he publicly questioned whether the coronavirus “cure” might be worse than the disease. But just as the administration seems to have cemented its approach, the states have begun to diverge in their responses to the crisis based on varying threat levels in their jurisdictions and the inclinations of their respective governors.
 
A nation that has been obsessed with the Washington show for the last three years is being reminded, seemingly overnight, that state laws matter and that state borders have consequences. In Rhode Island, governor Gina Raimondo has earned the respect of her year-round constituency by dealing harshly with New Yorkers who flock to the state’s coastal communities to spend their summers (and wait out international pandemics). On Friday, Raimondo signed an executive order establishing checkpoints along the state’s borders and instructing state troopers to pull over New York drivers to remind them of their duty to self-quarantine for 14 days. The troopers also ask the drivers for the address of their destination to ensure that they will comply with the order; those who are caught ignoring it can be fined up to $500 or sentenced to up to 90 days in jail. On top of the highway and public transit checkpoints, Raimondo dispatched state troopers and national guardsmen to go door-to-door in the state’s coastal communities looking for cars with New York plates. One woman who received such a visit told National Review the men who appeared on her door step on Saturday afternoon “couldn’t have been nicer” despite the menacing implication of armed men appearing on one’s door step. They did not ask her when she arrived in the state or whether she had left her home since; they simply asked her to stay inside save for visits to the local grocery store and pharmacy. But, since the grocery store and pharmacy are the only businesses open, what exactly necessitated a visit from agents of the state? Perhaps they serve as a warning to other New Yorkers considering making the drive to their vacation homes. If that was Raimondo’s motivation, anecdotal evidence suggests it may be working: one Westchester County, N.Y., resident told National Review she was planning to make the trip to her summer home but began to reconsider after hearing from friends and family that New Yorkers were receiving a less-than-neighborly reception from the locals. She finally decided against making the trip after learning that she might also receive a visit from uniformed men intent on keeping her and her children in their home under threat of a fine.
 
New York governor Andrew Cuomo initially called Raimondo’s executive order an “absurdity” — but struck a slightly more conciliatory tone on Sunday after speaking with Raimondo over the phone.  “I don’t think the order was called for, I don’t believe it was legal, I don’t believe it was neighborly,” Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing on Sunday. “I understand the point, but I thought there were different ways to do it, and the governor of Rhode Island was very receptive.” He was joined in criticizing the state government by the ACLU of Rhode Island, which objected to the decision to pull over New York drivers absent probable cause. “While the Governor may have the power to suspend some state laws and regulations to address this medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution," said Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island. “Under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be,” he said.
 
Sending armed men door-to-door and pulling over cars simply because of the color of their license plates seems extreme — right now. But Raimondo’s lockdown approach may become commonplace in states that manage to keep their coronavirus numbers relatively low as their neighbors are overwhelmed. Already, Texas governor Greg Abbott has taken a similar approach, ordering police to collect the information of drivers entering the state from Louisiana and requiring all new arrivals from certain hot spots around the country to self-quarantine for 14 days. Before it is over, this crisis may test interstate solidarity and remind Americans that they live in a federal system as the nation becomes a patchwork of jurisdictions, some of which remain under quarantine as their hospitals are pushed to the limit and others that begin to return to relative normalcy.
 







Crafty_Dog

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FBI agent on the Blackwater Pardons
« Reply #527 on: December 27, 2020, 05:41:21 AM »
FBI team leader: How I know the Blackwater defendants didn't deserve a pardon from Trump
Opinion by Thomas O'Connor

Updated 2:16 PM ET, Thu December 24, 2020

An Iraqi looks 24 September 2007, at a burnt car on the site where Blackwater guards who were escorting US embassy officials opened fire in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Yarmukh,  a shootout which left, 16 September 2007,  nine civilians and a policeman dead. Iraq said today that it will await the outcome of an investigation into the killing of 10 people during the shootout before taking any action against the company. AFP PHOTO/ALI YUSSEF (Photo credit should read ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images)

An Iraqi looks 24 September 2007, at a burnt car on the site where Blackwater guards who were escorting US embassy officials opened fire in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Yarmukh,  a shootout which left, 16 September 2007,  nine civilians and a policeman dead. Iraq said today that it will await the outcome of an investigation into the killing of 10 people during the shootout before taking any action against the company. AFP PHOTO/ALI YUSSEF (Photo credit should read ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images)



Thomas O'Connor served for 23 years as an FBI special agent before retiring in 2019. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion at CNN.

(CNN)The President of the United States has the power to grant a pardon to anyone he believes deserves one. This is an incredible power when used for good. There are cases where the US justice system gets it wrong and cases where the defendants had served their time and were now doing good things. However, none of those fact patterns are present in President Donald Trump's pardon of four Blackwater security guards serving time for their involvement in the killing of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad on September 16, 2007.

I know that these men were undeserving of pardons because I was a member of The FBI Evidence Response Team that traveled to Iraq and investigated the site of these killings.
Thomas O'Connor
Thomas O'Connor

I am not a writer, an academic or one who has frequently spoken out publicly on political issues. I am a 35-year law enforcement professional. I retired on September 11, 2019, after 23 years as FBI special agent.

I was a team leader on the FBI's Washington Field Office, Evidence Response Team for more than 20 years. I have investigated many violent crimes and acts of terrorism around the world, including the bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1998, war crimes in Kosovo in 1999, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 and the attack at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

The most important rule for me during these deployments to major crime scenes: Don't look at the crime and fit the forensic evidence to match a perceived narrative; instead, look at the forensic evidence that will show the story of the event. By letting the evidence lead the direction of the investigation, the FBI Evidence Response Teams and the FBI Laboratory have an important role of speaking for the victims who cannot tell their story.

On September 16, 2007, Baghdad, Iraq, was a dangerous place. No one will dispute that fact. On that day, a bombing took place a few miles from a busy traffic circle called Al Nisour Square, which is used by Iraqis to access major roadways across Baghdad.

A security detail from the private government contractor Blackwater was protecting a US official attending a meeting at a government building when the bomb was detonated. When bad things happen, it is the security team's job to get the protectee "off the X" and away from danger. The security detail called the command center in the US Green Zone and advised that they were leaving with the US official.

Survivors of Blackwater massacre in Iraq slam Trump's pardons for US guards behind killing
Survivors of Blackwater massacre in Iraq slam Trump's pardons for US guards behind killing
At a place called "Man Camp," Blackwater Team Raven 23 sounded the alarm that they might be needed to assist the exfiltration of the protectee from the scene and back into the US Green Zone.

The team leader of Raven 23 called the command center and requested permission to leave the protected US Green Zone and go to assist the incoming Blackwater team. This request was denied.

The team leader then chose to violate the orders and left the US Green Zone anyway. The four Blackwater armored trucks were captured on video leaving the green zone. They drove out to Nisour Square, turned left and entered the traffic circle, blocking the northbound traffic, the southbound traffic and the traffic entering the circle from the west.

Two Iraqi traffic officers stopped the traffic going toward the four armored vehicles. One of the first cars in that stopped traffic was a white KIA occupied by a woman and her son. The woman was a local doctor and the son, who was driving the car, was going to medical school to follow in his mother's footsteps.
What happened next began the Nisour Square shootings.

A sniper on the Raven 23 team placed his rifle out a porthole of the Bearcat armored vehicle and fired at the driver of the white KIA. The man was struck and killed by the bullet. The car began to roll forward slowly, bumping into a red vehicle. The two Iraqi traffic officers physically tried to stop the movement of the car.

The defendants said they feared the white KIA was a car bomb as it moved ahead. The car rolled forward after the sniper, a security guard, shot the driver and his foot came off the brake. This is why the sniper was charged with, and convicted of, first-degree murder.

At that point gunfire erupted from a small number of the Raven 23 Blackwater operators. The gunfire was directed into the white KIA, killing the women seated in the front passenger seat. These rounds were from a rifle and a large turret gun. A grenade was fired from the turret gunners' rifle mounted launcher. The grenade skipped off the ground under the driver's door exploding and causing the gas line to rupture and set the car ablaze.

Here are the high-profile pardons and commutations Trump has granted during his presidency
Here are the high-profile pardons and commutations Trump has granted during his presidency
How do I know this? During the forensic evidence recovery later conducted by the FBI team, the bumper of the white KIA was removed and paint transfer was matched to the red vehicle, which was also processed. The blast fragment under the door showed a pattern, which was determined by FBI explosives experts to be from an M203 grenade.

In examining the white KIA, I was able to count 38 bullet entry points, and that does not account for the numerous rounds that entered through the windshield that no longer existed. We recovered a black steel tip rifle round from the steering wheel of the white KIA. This type of ammunition is against the rules of engagement in a US sanctioned war zone and in violation of US Military and Blackwater regulations.
A few cars back in the traffic was a blue Suzuki Trooper and inside were two families. The driver was Mohammed and his 9-year-old son Ali sat in the rear seat behind his father. In the front passenger seat was Mohammed's sister. Ali's two young female cousins sat next to him in the back seat.

Gunfire erupted and everyone in the car laid down in his or her seats as bullets hit the front of the trooper. At a break in the gunfire, likely during reloading, one of the little girls in the back seat yelled that "Ali has no hair."

When the shooting stopped and the Blackwater team began to move, Mohammed exited the driver door and opened a rear passenger door. Ali, who had been slumped against the door, fell into his father's arms. Ali had been struck with a Blackwater round, which entered the rear driver side door and hit the boy in the head. As his father reached for his 9-year-old son, Ali's brains fell out onto the street and onto his father's feet.

How do I know this? I spoke with Mohammed while I was procuring his car from him for forensic evaluation. When a grieving father tells you the story of his son being shot, you don't forget. Mohammed asked me one thing, bring justice for his son, tell the story. I responded to him with "Inshallah" (God willing). While witnesses are not always 100% accurate, the bullet holes in the rear driver's door which entered into the seat where Ali sat don't lie. What was indisputable is the brain matter, which we had to clear to complete the trajectory analysis and recovery of fragmented rounds.


A white VW Caddy used to transport ice was also stopped in that traffic. Two men sat in the driver's area of the truck. When the shooting began numerous rounds entered the driver's compartment. The man in the driver's seat was struck by gunfire. He tried to crawl out the passenger's door to safety.

A grenade then struck the driver's door, blowing a 10-inch by 10-inch hole in the outer metal of the door and sending fragmentation into the vehicle. A second explosion hit the roof over the driver's compartment. The blast also sent fragmentation raining into the truck. These two victims were not terrorists; they were businessmen trying to sell ice in a place where electricity frequently went out. One man was killed, the other injured.

How do I know the grenade was the cause of that explosion? I processed this vehicle and took hundreds of photographs of the damage and the bloodstains left in the driver's compartment of the vehicle. FBI Explosives experts analyzed the damage and confirmed the M203 grenade fragmentation pattern.

While this shooting was taking place on the roadways of the traffic circle, a boy was seated on a bench on the other side of a wall at a nearby children's school next to a makeshift playground. A grenade fired from a Blackwater rifle came over the wall and landed next to the bench. The grenade exploded, injuring the boy. The fragmentation in the metal bench was documented photographically.

I could go on with each of the 17 victims killed and 20 seriously injured in this incident. Same story, sitting in traffic waiting to get somewhere, anywhere but Nisour Square. In each case the vehicles were processed methodically and forensic evidence was recovered.

The Blackwater Raven 23 defendants claimed that they responded to gunfire aimed at them while stopping traffic in Nisour Square that day. I believed this to be the case before we deployed to Iraq for this crime scene investigation. I had worked with Blackwater operators on previous deployments to Iraq and they were good people doing a difficult job in a dangerous environment. That said, I would let the evidence lead the investigation and assist the agents in finding the truth.

One of the first things we did once we were in Baghdad was to ask to see the Blackwater vehicles, which, we had been told, sustained firearms damage. This would be very important evidence of a reason for the shooting incident.


I know that as a career law enforcement professional, if I had been involved in a shooting, I would do everything in my power to protect the evidence of bullet impacts coming toward me and show that I was defending myself. If you know the FBI Evidence Response Team is on their way to review the vehicles in the shooting, lock them up, protect the evidence. It is not rocket science.

What happened next gave me more than pause. The four armored vehicles involved in the Nisour Square shooting were silver in color when they were observed on tape leaving the US Green zone against orders. The vehicles in front of us at the "Man Camp" were now desert sand color. The reported impact points -- we were told they the impacts were from bullet rounds -- on the side of the vehicle were no long there.
In their place were traces of a sanding wheel, which had been used to sand off any potential marks. In the up gun turret of the Bearcat was a rifle cartridge. Only half of the cartridge was spray-painted desert sand brown. The vehicles were painted so quickly that they did not even clean up the debris.

We had been told that the radiator of one of the Blackwater vehicles had been punctured from a bullet round coming in from the traffic at Nisour Square. During the review and documentation of the vehicle, we found that the damaged radiator had been repaired.

We were also told that the front driver's tire of the vehicle had been punctured, likely from a bullet. We then found the tire had been replaced and the damaged tire discarded. Luckily we located the discarded tire, which had been removed and placed in an adjacent room.

We took both the radiator and the tire back to the FBI Laboratory for expert forensic review. One of the top explosives examiners in the FBI X-rayed the tire. Inside the tire he located a metal fragment. The fragment was not a bullet; it was a starlet (a piece of fragmentation made to cause damage) from an M203 grenade fired by the Blackwater security guards, which likely ricocheted off the white KIA and struck the tire.

Now, when you paint a vehicle, you don't paint the undercarriage, right? Of course you don't. A review of the undercarriage near where the radiator was damaged showed a small impact point. A basic trajectory was taken from the impact point to the radiator damage. This showed it was possible for a bullet or fragment to travel from that impact point to the radiator.

Photographs and measurements were taken of the impact point. It was later displayed in court proceedings and was clear evidence that the same class of item, which caused the damage to the bench at the children's school, caused the damage to the undercarriage of the Bearcat. Another example of ricochet evidence from the M203 grenade fired at the white KIA.

The FBI team made four trips to Iraq to investigate this shooting. The agency spared no expense to gather as much evidence from the scene and the vehicles as possible. Countless interviews were conducted and over a thousand photographs were taken of the scene. The evidence was collected professionally, and the best examiners in the world did the analysis.

All of this evidence was introduced into several US court hearings. The prosecution team was fair, professional and extremely competent. The defendants in this case had some of the most knowledgeable and professional defense teams possible. The judge was one of the most fair and objective jurists on the bench.


A jury heard the evidence and found four Blackwater guards guilty of murder, manslaughter and weapons charges. The system worked and justice was brought to the deceased, the injured victims and their families.

The families of those killed and wounded at Nisour Square will now watch those responsible for this tragedy go free thanks to a pardon by the President of the United States. This simply makes me sad and angry. I spoke to Mohammed this morning. He told me he could no longer tell his family and the people of Baghdad that the system worked and justice was found for Ali. Mohammed asked me one more question. Could this pardon be changed? I told him "no." I could not say Inshallah. The purpose of my writing this piece is to introduce you to these victims.

There is no forensic evidence of anyone shooting at the Blackwater team. How do I know? The evidence told me that.

Crafty_Dog

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McCarthy: Kavanaugh on the end of the forever war and the AUMF
« Reply #530 on: October 08, 2021, 06:59:13 PM »
Biden Admits to Supreme Court: The ‘Forever War’ Is Not Over, After All
By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY
October 8, 2021 11:16 AM


President Biden speaks in Elk Grove Village, Ill., October 7, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)
It appears to have struck Justice Kavanaugh as strange that President Biden is claiming that the war is over while doing things that are legal only if the war is still going on.


To the extent President Biden’s pull-out from Afghanistan was not criminally negligent, it was pervasively mendacious.

There was the president’s lamebrained targeting of September 11 as the withdrawal deadline — a strategic and propaganda boon for the Taliban. There was the stunningly backward plan to draw down forces before evacuating civilians and diplomats, which led to the mind-blowing Bagram bug-out. Thus the domino effect of U.S. mistakes: our inability to evacuate from a fortified, well-equipped airport, instead shifting operations to the impractical Kabul airport; our removal of the technical support (especially air support) that the Afghan forces needed; the Taliban rout of remaining Afghan provinces; and the jihadists’ inheritance of tens of billions of dollars in American weaponry (which is now at the disposal of terrorists who have designs on attacking Americans). The Taliban took the capital without firing a shot, placing the Haqqani network — notorious jihadists formally designated by the U.S. as an al-Qaeda aligned terrorist organization — in charge of security in the city.

You know what happened next. With the environment converted into a jihadist’s dream, ISIS bombings killed 13 American military personnel (the most we’d lost in years). In the aftermath, Biden’s desperation to be seen as doing something about the lethal mess he’d made resulted in a rash “retaliation” strike that managed to slaughter not terrorists but ten civilians, including a mistakenly targeted humanitarian aid worker and seven children.

In the chaotic air lift, Biden tried to run up the numbers of Afghans evacuated in order to change the subject from the Americans and pro-American Afghans he has left behind. The result is that tens of thousands of insufficiently vetted denizens of an anti-Western, sharia-supremacist culture will be resettled in the United States (investigations are already under way for child-sex and spousal-abuse offenses by some of the “refugees,” as well as the sexual assault of a female U.S. soldier by a group of Afghan men at a military complex in New Mexico).

By contrast, and to our nation’s enduring shame (as Jim Geraghty steadfastly continues to report), Biden left to the tender mercies of the jihadists scores of American citizens, untold thousands of green-card holders, and tens of thousands of pro-American Afghans who actually qualified for resettlement in our country by assisting our forces at great peril — as reports increasingly indicate, mortal peril — to themselves.

And now the administration has quietly acknowledged that, in effect, all of the disgrace and dishonesty have been in the service of a big lie — namely, that Biden has ended the “forever war.” He hasn’t . . . though he’s hoping you won’t notice.


Ah, but Justice Brett Kavanaugh noticed.

Having tested positive for COVID (though he is vaccinated and symptom-free), Justice Kavanaugh was the only one of his colleagues to miss the resumption of in-person oral arguments as the Supreme Court opened its new term this week. But despite having to participate remotely by phone, Kavanaugh made a big impact, even if sparse press coverage failed to highlight it.


Turns out that, for the first time in years, the War on Terror — again, the so-called forever war — was back on the Court’s docket. The case involves 9/11 terrorist Abu Zubaydah, a top aide to Osama bin Laden, who is trying to force the U.S. government to reveal classified information to Polish prosecutors about a CIA “black site” at which he was subjected to waterboarding and other forms of enhanced interrogation. (I’ll discuss the case in a separate post in the coming days.)

Near the end of the session, it finally came Kavanaugh’s turn to pose questions. With the president telling the country that he and he alone had the courage no other president has had to end the forever war after 20 years, the justice decided to change the subject. By what authority, Kavanaugh wondered, was the Biden administration continuing to detain enemy combatants without trial?

It is not an idle question. Rich Lowry and I have been raising it on our NR podcast. Under the laws of war, captured enemy combatants may be held without trial until the conclusion of hostilities. The operating principle is that the detention is not meant to be punitive; it is intended to authorize depleting the resources of the warring parties, theoretically bringing the war to an end more rapidly. Once the war is over, though, the combatants may no longer be detained; they must be charged with crimes and put on trial, or else released.

In fact, the United States is still holding over two dozen terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay. There is no prospect of trying these jihadists in a military or civilian court. The evidence against them comes from top-secret intelligence that cannot be exposed in court without harming our national defense (and that might not be admissible anyway).

As a practical political matter, however, Biden cannot afford to release them. It has already blown up on him that Taliban detainees that the Obama-Biden administration released (in a swap for deserter Bowe Bergdahl) have ended up in high-level posts in the new Afghan regime that supplanted the government we’d spent years propping up. Moreover, it has emerged that, by ceding Kabul to the Taliban and allowing them to empty the prisons, the Biden pullout led to the release from detention at Bagram of the ISIS terrorist who then proceeded to carry out the suicide bombing that killed 13 of our service members. The remaining Gitmo detainees are still being held because it is a certainty that they would otherwise return to the very-much-not-over forever war and plot to mass-murder Americans. That is not a risk even the bungling Biden is willing to run at this moment, with his presidency reeling and his poll numbers tanking.

But of course, the administration would rather not say that out loud. The storyline for Biden officials is that, for all the downsides, what people will remember is that he ended an unpopular war.

Except he didn’t. And Kavanaugh forced the administration to say so.

At Tuesday’s Zubaydah argument, the justice put the question bluntly to Biden’s acting solicitor, Brian Fletcher: “Is the United States still engaged in hostilities for purposes of the AUMF against al-Qaeda and related terrorist organizations?” The AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) is the 2001 congressional resolution that served as the basis for the war in Afghanistan and for continuing U.S. military operations and detention of enemy combatants.

Yes, Fletcher conceded, “that is the government’s position.” And it is the position the Biden administration holds, he elaborated, “notwithstanding withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.” Whatever the White House may say about the end of the forever war, the Justice Department has represented to the Supreme Court that “we continue to be engaged in hostilities with al-Qaeda and therefore that detention under law of war remains proper.”

A couple of interesting points. In his prior life, the young Brett Kavanaugh, after clerking at the Supreme Court, was an associate White House counsel and, significantly, the staff secretary for President George W. Bush. He was enmeshed in the administration’s strategy as it shifted America’s national-security posture from treating terrorism as a law-enforcement matter in the Clinton era to addressing it under the laws of war — the corpus that allows indefinite detention of enemy combatants. It has no doubt struck Justice Kavanaugh as strange for President Biden to be claiming that the war is over while doing things that are legal only if the war is still going on.

Second, it was only a few weeks ago that Biden made Kavanaugh appear foolish for trusting the administration. The justice knew that the president’s eviction moratorium was lawless, but since it was set to expire in a few weeks, he agreed to look the other way — provided, Kavanaugh stressed, that the administration get a clear congressional authorization before any further extensions. Biden being Biden, he pocketed that indulgence and then unilaterally extended the moratorium without seeking the congressional green light he knew would be denied. Kavanaugh and the Court looked like saps, and the Court speedily invalidated Biden’s gambit.

Supreme Court justices do not like to look like saps.

So just to be clear, President Biden has not ended the war, nor could he have given that the jihadist enemy has not been defeated and continues to target the United States and American interests worldwide. What Biden has done is restore to our terrorist enemies what they needed to carry out the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans: an operational partnership with an anti-American sharia-supremacist regime in Afghanistan that gives them safe haven to recruit, train, and plan