US Supreme Court won’t take up Guantanamo detainee case

In this June 27, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. (AP)
Updated 11 October 2017
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US Supreme Court won’t take up Guantanamo detainee case

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court on Tuesday refused an appeal bid by one of Guantanamo’s most famous detainees, backing the legitimacy of the special military courts in place at the US naval base in Cuba.
The decision confirms the life sentence handed to Ali Hamza Ahmad Al-Bahlul, a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, and held in Guantanamo since 2002.
The Yemeni, identified as the former propagandist of Al-Qaeda, appealed his conviction in 2008 for criminal conspiracy.
According to his lawyers, this charge should have been brought before a federal civil court and not a military court.
The Supreme Court move is good news to Donald Trump’s administration. He has spoken in favor of resorting more to using Guantanamo facilities and courts.
A number of men suspected of involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks are still awaiting trial on the US base.
In an important decision called “Boumediene vs Bush,” the US Supreme Court in 2008 allowed Guantanamo detainees to challenge the validity of their detention before American civil courts.
But the Supreme Court has since refrained from widening the scope for questioning the actions of the Guantanamo court.


Trump: Osama bin Laden should have been captured sooner

Updated 7 min 37 sec ago
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Trump: Osama bin Laden should have been captured sooner

  • ‘Of course, we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did’
  • ‘I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center’
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump repeated Monday that Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, killed by US Navy SEALs in May 2011, should have been captured much earlier, casting blame on his predecessors and Pakistan.
“Of course, we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did,” the US president tweeted, echoing remarks he gave to “Fox News Sunday” that drew the ire of Pakistan, where bin Laden had been hiding.
“I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center,” he continued.
“President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!”
Ten years after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, bin Laden was found to be hiding in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, where he was killed in a raid by US Navy SEALs approved by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
The assault sent relations between the wayward allies to a new low.
In his interview on Sunday, the Republican leader had said he canceled assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan earlier this year because “they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”
Trump had also told Fox News that bin Laden had lived “beautifully in Pakistan and what I guess in what they considered a nice mansion. I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan hit back at Trump’s claim, calling on the president to name an ally that has sacrificed more against militancy.
“Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war & over $123 bn was lost to economy. US ‘aid’ was a minuscule $20 bn,” Khan tweeted.
Robert O’Neill, a former Navy SEAL who claims to have fired the shots that killed bin Laden, was terse in his reply.
“The mission to get bin Laden was bipartisan. We all wanted to get him as soon as we could,” tweeted O’Neill, who regularly appears on Fox News as a security expert.
Former director of national intelligence James Clapper was more direct in his criticism of Trump.
“It’s really a slam at the intelligence community, who was responsible for tracking down Osama bin Laden, and reflects, I think, his complete ignorance about what that took,” Clapper told CNN.
Former CIA director John Brennan also hit back at Trump’s remark.
“You constantly remind us how substantively shallow & dishonest you are on so many fronts, which is why we are in such dangerous times,” he wrote on Twitter, quoting Trump’s tweet about bin Laden.