Another ruling by an activist judge that puts us all in danger. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." Here's the story.
Shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan three years ago, Salim Ahmed Hamdan (search) was captured on the battlefield. Hamdan is a Yemeni from Yemen and was a member of the terrorist group Islamic Jihad before he hooked up with Al Qaeda.
American officials charged Hamdan with a number of terrorist crimes and also said he was Osama bin Laden's driver. He was incarcerated an Guantanamo Bay (search), classified an enemy combatant to be tried in front of a military tribunal.
Lieutenant Commander Charlie Swift (search) was appointed Hamdan's lawyer and says his client is innocent. Swift puts forth that Hamdan was a pilgrim on the way to Tajikistan when he decided to stop in the middle of Afghanistan and work on Bin Laden's farm for five years.
Now, if you believe that, well, let's just say O.J. Simpson (search) would be pleased to have you on his jury.
Anyway, the military tribunal was all set to try Hamdan when U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson (search) ruled the Bush administration had no right to declare the man an enemy combatant. Robertson went on to say Hamdan should be classified a prisoner of war and given Geneva Convention protections.
Robertson ruled this despite these facts: Hamdan was not fighting for any country, Hamdan wore no uniform on the battlefield, Hamdan was a member of at least one terrorist group, possibly two.
Judge Robertson also ruled that the Geneva Convention (search) protections supersede any presidential order or designation by military tribunal. In effect, the judge saying that all captured foreign terrorists are prisoners of war.
This, of course, is insane and would make prosecuting terrorists almost impossible.
So who is Judge James Robertson? Appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton, the judge is an activist, often working for progressive causes.
Last September, Robertson denied the Bush campaign's request to order the Federal Election Commission (search) to move against moveon.org and other left- wing Web sites which abuse the spirit of campaign finance reform.
Judge Robertson also denied oil exploration in Utah and threw out Ken Starr's tax fraud indictment against Webster Hubble (search). Now, remember, Starr wanted that action to force Hubble to testify against the Clintons in Whitewater. Subsequently, Hubble did not testify, the Clintons were not prosecuted.
So Judge Robertson is a very interesting guy and has now made it much harder for the federal government to prosecute accused terrorists. In turn, that can't be good news for us, as we are the targets of terrorism, aren't we, Judge?
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Check this political cartoon out from Steve Kelley of "The New Orleans Times-Picayune." A little kid says, "Keep it pithy if you wish to opine." His mom replying, "You had to give him Bill O'Reilly's book for kids?"
Very, very cute. We appreciate Mr. Kelley's sense of humor. And if your kids do read this book, they're likely to say stuff like that as well.
Thanks again for making "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids" a bestseller, which, of course, is never ridiculous.