...And the Hamdan v Rumsfeld decision has been pushed out of the headlines by North Korea and Chimpy's visit to Dunkin' Donuts, let's look at the implications of that decision on his power-grab. <blockquote>The first three aspects suggest a far-reaching defeat for the President: (1) The decision treats World War II precedents upholding military commissions as all but dead letters, affirming the primacy of ordinary civilian courts and formally-constituted courts martial; (2) The decision utterly rejects the Bush Administration's frequently invoked and sweeping claim that there is "inherent Executive Authority" to act unilaterally in matters of national security, recognizing instead that the Constitution gives Congress the leading role in establishing the rules for treatment of captives; (3) The decision finds the Geneva Conventions applicable to suspected al Qaeda captives in Afghanistan, thus implying that methods of interrogation that have been used against them constitute war crimes. - <a href=http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/dorf/20060630.html>Michael C. Dorf</a>, <i>Finlaw's Writ</i>, 6/30/06</blockquote> The first issue deals with the the precedent of <a href=http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/tmkeck/Cases/ExParteQuirin1942.html>the Quirin case</a> in 1942, establishing the definition of <i>unlawful combatants</i>. This undercuts administration policy with regards to the detention of unlawful combatants. Under Quirin, the prisoners were permitted to seek review and be represented by counsel. This in stark contrast to the administration policy of holding prisoners incommunicad and denying them representation or review of their status. The second issue dismisses Chimpy's claim to sole authority in establishing rules governing the treatment of captives as well as undercutting his arguments for a "blank check" provided by the Use of Force Authorization after 9/11. The Constituion vests authority to "...make rules concerning captures on land and water..." as well as establishing the definition of what constitutes "...offenses against the law of nations...". Chimpy's claim to a unitary executive stands repudiated in other areas as weel, particularly in his aggressive use of signing statements to sidestep bills passed by Congress which he then signed into law. With the advice of Alberto Gonzalez, Chimpy and his administration declared that the Geneva Conventions were "quaint" and "obsolete", and decided that any suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners captured in Aghanistan were exempt from the Article III provisions of the Conventions. Justice Kennedy, in this case, bascially said "Wrong answer!". Not only do the provisions of Article III apply, but: <blockquote>"By Act of Congress . . . violations of Common Article 3 are considered 'war crimes,' punishable as federal offenses, when committed by or against United States nationals and military personnel," and "there should be no doubt . . . that Common Article 3 is part of the law of war as that term is used in" the UCMJ.</blockquote> So, anyone involved in the use of the interrogation techniques (read as torture) can be subjected to prosecution for war crimes.