United States District Court Judge Royce L. Lamberth, in his decision dated July 30, 2015, in the case of Mukhtar Yahia Naji Al Warafi vs. Barack H. Obama, et. al., denied Warafi’s petition challenging the legality of his incarceration at the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Warafi’s argument rested solely on his assertion that because President Barack Obama had declared hostilities over and the war in Afghanistan ended, that he was no longer legally in conflict with the United States and therefore must be freed.
In his speech, on December 15, 2014, Obama said, “[t]his month, after more than 13 years, our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over,” and that “[t]his month, America’s war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.”
Judge Lambreth reasoned that the President alone is not the only source of fact that determines whether or not a thing is true. His speeches are not law, nor are they solely conclusive. “Using all relevant evidence [is] the Court’s responsibility [in determining] the objective existence or nonexistence of active hostilities,” she wrote in her opinion.
The judge reminded Warafi, who has been kept in detention at Gitmo since after his capture on the battlefield in Afghanistan in November, 2001, that his “detention is lawful under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force.”
The AUMF provides:
“[t]hat the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of International terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
The judge points out that “when it expires or how it may be revoked is left unsaid.”
In Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, the judge points out, it was affirmed that when Congress authorized the AUMF that that authorization included “authority to detain for the duration of the relevant conflict.”
“The court concludes that active hostilities continue,” wrote the judge.
The mainstream media will no doubt ignore this fresh decision contradicting the President’s mantra that all is well in the world, and that there is no such thing as a Global War on Terror nor Islamist terrorists bent on killing us all.
Head-in-the-sand Obama apologists will not get a pass on this from me.
Too much American blood and treasure have been spilt and spent on protecting us from Islamist murderers. And what’s more, the murdering continues.
Why does it take a U.S. District Court judge to tell us all what is plainly true: there are bad guys out there who are still doing everything they can to kill us.
Further, the implication of her reasoning still gives credibility to the notion that we should be keeping detainees at Guantanamo Bay, not releasing them.
If hostilities have not ended, and we are still at war with “nations, organizations or persons” who wish to do us harm, then we need a place to keep those whom we capture in this effort.
The best, safest and most secure place for this is Gitmo.
Although not explicitly covered in Judge Lamberth’s decision, she has firmly closed the door on any rational thought behind the misconceived notion that Gitmo should be closed.
There is no wiggle room here.
The judge’s decision that the War on Terror is alive and well, and that those who wage that war on us may still be lawfully detained, is another nail in the lid on the coffin of Obama’s campaign promise to close the most famous U.S. military prison in history.