Daily Archive: 10/18/2012

Oct 18 2012

2012 AL Championship Series- Yankees at Tigers, Game 4 (Redux)

yaaawn….

After waiting out last night’s rain delay (Cardinals over Giants 3 – 1) and postponement I find myself sleepier, less enthused, and with very little to add.  At least we’ll get to see Lola again.

Though when it rains, it pours (have I ever told you that putting a few grains of white rice (not Minute, but Uncle Ben’s is ok) at the bottom of your salt shaker will keep your salt clump free even in high humidity?).  Headlining what little news there is (same line up, same starters) is this interesting factoid- if the series travels back to the Bronx they won’t get a travel day to rest. This means we are seeing CC Sabathia for the last time this series and perhaps for the year unless they can win 3 straight without him.

Hmm, maybe I should have made that a happier story.  Auto Bailout!

In retrospect, Red Sox lucked out on A-Rod

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston Globe Staff

October 17, 2012 11:03 AM

But at least Rodriguez is preparing for the worst. According to published reports in New York, Rodriguez was flirting with Treacy at Yankee Stadium during the final innings of Game 1, acquiring her phone number via a ballboy courier in a 6-4 New York loss during which Rodriguez went 1 for 3 with a strikeout.

A-Rod Benched Again, With Granderson This Time

By NOAH TRISTER AP Baseball Writer

DETROIT October 18, 2012

“We will go forward. Alex will go forward,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said before Game 4 was postponed because of a forecast of heavy rain. The game was rescheduled for Thursday.

“That doesn’t mean that he’s done, that he’s finished, that he is not capable. He is still a big threat, but for whatever reason right now we are adjusting to what we are seeing,” he said.

Whether the Yankees keep him on the bench or put him in another postseason game, “it doesn’t mean by doing so we’re not going to have to deal with legitimate questions,” Cashman said.

“That’s all for another day,” he said. “All we are concentrating on is the here and now and what is best for us today.”

Junior League Games will be carried on TBS, Senior on Faux.

Oct 18 2012

2nd Circuit Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

In a 2 to 1 decision, a three judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has ruled that Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

The majority opinion written by Judge Dennis Jacobs rejected a section of the law that says “marriage” only means a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and that the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.

The issue is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court. The decision came less than a month after the court heard arguments on Sept. 27. [..]

In striking down the law, the Jacobs wrote that the law’s “classification of same-sex spouses was not substantially related to an important government interest” and thus violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

He said the law was written so broadly that it touches more than a thousand federal laws. He said “homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public.”

He rejected arguments that the definition of marriage was traditional.

“Even if preserving tradition were in itself an important goal, DOMA is not a means to achieve it,” he said.

Judge Chester Straub dissented, saying that if the government was to change its understanding of marriage, “I believe it is for the American people to do so.”

As noted in another New York Times article, acceptance of same sex marriage has grown even among Latinos:

Just six years ago, 56 percent of Latinos were against same-sex marriage. Today, their rate of approval stands at 52 percent over all and slightly higher – 54 percent – among Latino Catholics, the survey by the Pew Research Center found.

Latino evangelicals, on the other hand, remain strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, affirming their conservative credentials in a demographic group whose politics and positions, liberal and conservative, have become more in line with Americans over all.

The Republican House took up defending DOMA after the Obama Justice Department stopped defending it in February 2011. House leaders committed $1.5 million of tax payer funds to hire lawyer, Paul Clement, to represent them in DOMA cases. So far they have argued in 14 cases and have spent nearly all of the allocation. As of today they have lost six.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) criticized Boehner for ignoring “critical issues like comprehensive jobs legislation” while wasting “time and taxpayer money defending the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.”

“Despite losing multiple court cases, Speaker Boehner continues to insist on racking up even more taxpayer-funded legal bills, even as Republicans claim to be concerned about the deficit,” Hoyer said in a statement.

It remains unclear if House Republican leaders plan to extend their contract with Clement — and spend more taxpayer dollars — to continue defending DOMA. They maintain they are obligated to defend current law, regardless of what it is. A Boehner spokesman deferred all DOMA-related questions to Clement. A request for comment from Clement was not immediately returned.

So much for those deficits concerns.

Oct 18 2012

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

New York Times Editorial: Mr. Romney’s Version of Equal Rights

It has dawned on Mitt Romney that he has a problem with female voters. He just has no idea what to do about it, since it is the result of his positions on abortion, contraception, health services and many other issues. On Tuesday night, he bumbled his way through a cringe-inducing attempt to graft what he thinks should be 2012 talking points onto his 1952 sensibility.

In the midst of their rancorous encounter at Hofstra University, President Obama attacked Mr. Romney for vowing he would end federal support of Planned Parenthood and for criticizing the provision in the health care law that requires employers – except churches and religiously affiliated institutions – to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Amy Goodman: Binders Full of Women, and Two Women Bound

You may have noticed that the Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, was absent from the “town hall” presidential debate at Hofstra University the other night. That’s because she was shackled to a chair in a nearby New York police facility, along with her running mate, Green Party vice president nominee Cheri Honkala. Their crime: attempting to get to the debate so Stein could participate in it. While Mitt Romney uttered the now-famous line that he was given “whole binders full of women” while seeking staff as newly-elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, the real binders were handcuffs used to shackle these two women, who are mothers, activists and the Green Party’s presidential ticket for 2012. [..]

Even if Stein and Honkala hadn’t been hauled off a public street and handcuffed to those chairs for eight hours, Stein’s exclusion from the debate was certain. The debates are very closely controlled by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which excludes third-party candidates, among other things. George Farah is the founder and executive director of Open Debates, and author of “No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates.” Farah told me on the morning of the Hofstra debate about how the CPD gained control over the debates from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters: “We have a private corporation that was created by the Republican and Democratic parties called the Commission on Presidential Debates. It seized control of the presidential debates precisely because the League was independent, precisely because this women’s organization had the guts to stand up to the candidates that the major parties had nominated.”

Jill Richardson: The Risky Business of Eating in America

How can eating too much rice can give you cancer?

Long before human beings decoded the human genome or split the atom, they discovered that arsenic is very good at killing things. The ancient Romans prized it as a murder weapon because it could be mixed into food or drink without altering its color, taste, or smell. Plus, a tiny dose kills without fail.

What the Romans didn’t know about arsenic, and what scientists didn’t discover until the 20th century, is that a form of it – inorganic arsenic – causes cancer. And in 1999, the National Academy of Sciences found that the amount of arsenic legally allowed in U.S. drinking water posed serious cancer risks.

Since then, the U.S. government slashed the amount allowed in drinking water from 50 micrograms per liter to just 10. The potent carcinogenicity of arsenic was what Donald Rumsfeld might call an “unknown unknown” for most of human history. So was the fact that Americans can consume dangerous amounts of inorganic arsenic in one of our most common foods: rice.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: For the Unemployed, Romney’s Debate Was Full of “Wind Jobs”

Mitt Romney’s “binder full of women” comment has gone viral, which is pretty entertaining but has had the unfortunate side effect of crowding the phrase “wind jobs.” That’s a real loss, because that term could become a very useful part of our political vocabulary. Tech people talk about “vaporware,” and Tuesday night Mitt Romney showed us the “wind job:” a gust of air intended to seem like something substantial, especially regarding employment.

Here’s an example: “I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa and across our country,” said Romney. But his campaign has stated unequivocally that he would end the Wind Production Tax Credit that helped create those Iowa jobs.

In another blast of hot air, Romney said he wants to grow Pell grants for students — even though his own campaign paper says sneers at those grants and says he’ll cut them back. Even worse, Mitt Romney says in that paper that they’re part of our country’s “expanding entitlement mentality.

Dan Froomkin: The Big Chill: How Obama Is Operating in Unprecedented Secrecy — While Attacking the Secret-Tellers

It’s a particularly challenging time for American national security reporting, with the press and public increasingly in the dark about important defense, intelligence and counterterrorism issues.

The post-post-9/11 period finds the U.S. aggressively experimenting with two new highly disruptive forms of combat — drone strikes and cyberattacks — for which our leaders appear to be making up the rules, in secret, as they go along.

Troubling legal and moral issues left behind by the previous administration remain unresolved. Far from reversing the Bush-Cheney executive power grab, President Barack Obama is taking it to new extremes by unilaterally approving indefinite detention of foreign prisoners and covert targeted killings of terror suspects, even when they are American citizens.

Jim Hightower: The Dirty Little Secret of Private Equity Profits

Today, for the first time, I am officially notifying the honchos of Bain Capital, Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and other big-time private equity funds that I am available. My little company, Saddle Burr Productions, can be had. For a price.

I publish this notice in response to a recent news item revealing that these firms have a unique and perplexing problem: They have too much money on hand. In all, they’re holding a cool trillion dollars that super-rich speculators, banks and others have entrusted to them. Private equity funds are corporate predators that borrow huge sums from these richies, using the cash to buy out targeted corporations, dismantle them and sell off the parts to make a fat profit for the investors and themselves.

However, in these iffy economic times, these flush funds have hesitated to do big takeovers, so they’ve just been sitting on all that money (which the predators refer to as “dry powder”). The problem is that, under the rules of this high-stakes casino game, the firms have to spend their borrowed money by a set time – or give it back. And the clock is ticking.

Oct 18 2012

An Issue Ignored: I’m Asking For Your Vote to Help Get $ Out of Politics

Like other issues, the issue of money in politics is what will speak to what is or is not done in the next Congress more than the Presidential election of 2012. Unfortunately we didn’t hear about that in any of the debates thus far and it is the most important issue, because it spans to all issues and speaks to what hope legislation has of affecting the lives of real people.

Because of the daunting nature of this problem given how little money in relation to corporations real people have, it can feel rather hopeless. However, there are times when the creativity of certain individuals can make a difference as it has in the past.(PDF) That is where I am trying to make a difference using whatever talents I have because I have no money and very little voice or say in our real political process which is real pernicious hence the issue at hand.

The good people at GOOD Maker have set up a design contest to call attention to this dire and most important issue.

art > MONEY: Design to Define a Movement

You can vote for my piece here featured below, and if you like all my contributions in both writing and artwork over the years I ask that you please do because the competition is fierce and there are a lot of good pieces. You can vote using facebook which is probably the easiest way(don’t worry, I won’t know anything about your personal info and neither will anyone else) but if you don’t want to use facebook to vote, you can sign up to Good Maker which is probably a good idea because this organization uses creativity as an outlet for good things which made me want to get involved in this contest to hopefully do some good.

Oct 18 2012

On This Day In History October 18

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 18 is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 74 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1767, Mason and Dixon Draw a line.

Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon complete their survey of the boundary between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as areas that would eventually become the states of Delaware and West Virginia. The Penn and Calvert families had hired Mason and Dixon, English surveyors, to settle their dispute over the boundary between their two proprietary colonies, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

In 1760, tired of border violence between the colonies’ settlers, the British crown demanded that the parties involved hold to an agreement reached in 1732. As part of Maryland and Pennsylvania’s adherence to this royal command, Mason and Dixon were asked to determine the exact whereabouts of the boundary between the two colonies. Though both colonies claimed the area between the 39th and 40th parallel, what is now referred to as the Mason-Dixon line finally settled the boundary at a northern latitude of 39 degrees and 43 minutes. The line was marked using stones, with Pennsylvania’s crest on one side and Maryland’s on the other.

Background

Maryland’s charter granted the land north of the entire length of the Potomac River up to the 40th parallel. A problem arose when Charles II  granted a charter for Pennsylvania. The grant defined Pennsylvania’s southern border as identical to Maryland’s northern border, the 40th parallel. But the terms of the grant clearly indicate that Charles II and William Penn assumed the 40th parallel would intersect the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle, Delaware when in fact it falls north of Philadelphia, the site of which Penn had already selected for his colony’s capital city. Negotiations ensued after the problem was discovered in 1681. A compromise proposed by Charles II in 1682, which might have resolved the issue, was undermined by Penn receiving the additional grant of the ‘Three Lower Counties’ along Delaware Bay, which later became the Delaware Colony, a satellite of Pennsylvania. These lands had been part of Maryland’s original grant.

In 1732 the proprietary governor of Maryland, Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, signed a provisional agreement with William Penn’s sons which drew a line somewhere in between, and also renounced the Calvert claim to Delaware. But later Lord Baltimore claimed that the document he signed did not contain the terms he had agreed to, and refused to put the agreement into effect. Beginning in the mid-1730s, violence erupted between settlers claiming various loyalties to Maryland and Pennsylvania. The border conflict between Pennsylvania and Maryland would be known as Cresap’s War.

The issue was unresolved until the Crown intervened in 1760, ordering Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore to accept the 1732 agreement. Maryland’s border with Delaware was to be based on the Transpeninsular Line and the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle. The Pennsylvania-Maryland border was defined as the line of latitude 15 miles south of the southernmost house in Philadelphia.

As part of the settlement, the Penns and Calverts commissioned the English team of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to survey the newly established boundaries between the Province of Pennsylvania, the Province of Maryland, Delaware Colony, and parts of Colony and Old Dominion of Virginia.

After Pennsylvania abolished slavery in 1781, the western part of this line and the Ohio River became a border between free and slave states, although Delaware remained a slave state.

Oct 18 2012

“A Different Set of Rules”

From Glenn Greenwald: “A violent breach of everything America stands for,”:

In Tuesday night’s debate, President Obama delivered a bold, powerful, aggressive performance that has Democrats across the land cheering. One of his most effective lines about the oligarchical fraud known as Mitt Romney was this one:

“Governor Romney says he’s got a five-point plan. Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.”

It would be terrible indeed if “folks at the top” were able to “play by a different set of rules”. It might mean that Wall Street tycoons could perpetrate a massive fraud that virtually collapses the world economy and causes massive economic suffering, yet suffer no consequences of any kind thanks to a subservient Justice Department – all while ordinary Americans are subjected to the world’s largest and one of its most unmerciful penal states. It might mean that the nation’s largest telecoms could enable illegal spying on millions of their customers and then be retroactively immunized from all civil and criminal liability.

We cannot afford this from either party.

Oct 18 2012

Things That Make Me Cringe: Awarding Torture Apologia

Without comment from Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel:

Eric Holder Rewards the Teams that Gave Torturers and Mortgage Fraudsters Immunity

As TPM’s Ryan Reilly noted yesterday (link to come), among the awards Attorney General Eric Holder gave out at yesterday’s Attorney General’s Award Ceremony was a Distinguished Service Award to John Durham’s investigative team that chose not to prosecute Jose Rodriguez or the torturers who killed their victims.

   The 13th Distinguished Service Award is presented to team members for their involvement in two sensitive investigations ordered by two different Attorneys General. In January 2007, Attorney General Michael Mukasey asked Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead a team that would investigate the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the CIA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Durham assembled the team and began the investigation. Then, in August 2009, Attorney General Holder expanded Assistant U.S. Attorney Durham’s mandate to include a preliminary review of the treatment of detainees held at overseas locations. This second request resulted in the review of 101 detainee matters that led to two full criminal investigations. In order to conduct the investigations, the team had to review significant amounts of information, much of which was classified, and conduct many interviews in the United States and at overseas locations.



The timing on this award-coming even as DOJ aggressively prosecutes John Kiriakou for talking about this torture-is particularly cynical.

Holder also presented a Distinguished Service Award to the team that crafted a $25 billion settlement effectively immunizing the banksters for engaging in systemic mortgage fraud.

   The third Distinguished Service Award is presented to the individuals involved in procuring a $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement between the United States, 49 state attorneys general and the five largest mortgage servicers, representing the largest federal-state settlement in history.   The settlement includes comprehensive new mortgage loan servicing standards, $5 billion to state and federal treasuries and borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, $20 billion in consumer relief and a $1 billion resolution of False Claims Act recoveries by the Eastern District of New York.

As DDay has documented relentlessly, the settlement is little more than kabuki, with most of the “consumer relief” consisting of actions the banks were already taking.

Oct 18 2012

The 2nd Obama – Romney Debate

Since I support neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney and do not intend to vote for either one of them, no matter how well they do in this debate farce, I can objectively say that Pres. Obama had the upper hand and was pretty much the clear “winner” of debate #2. Gov. Romney showed his privileged elitist 1950’s side in his demeanor. As Jeralyn Merrit at Talk Left pointed out he showed his dominant trait: rudeness:

Mitt Romney is one rude guy. It’s not that he’s a bully, it’s that he is impervious to anything and anyone around him. It’s all about him. And when he doesn’t get his way, he stomps his foot like a spoiled brat.

He’s rude and impatient. Which is a sign he doesn’t play well with others. He thinks he knows best. Would he even listen to his own advisers, or would we be in for four years of Mitt knows best?

He was awful tonight. He may be one of the most unlikable politicians to come along in a while.

Mitt Romney needs to go to charm school. I bet he didn’t have many friends as a kid.

Yes, Gov. Romney was rude but I disagree with Jeralyn, he was also  bully, a typical trait of someone raise in privilege and a corporate CEO. What other candidate would have had the unmitigated audacity to say to a sitting President of the United States, “You’ll get your chance in a moment. I’m still speaking.”? As Charles Pierce at Esquire Politics Blog noted:

Wow. To me, this was a revelatory, epochal moment. It was a look at the real Willard Romney, the Bain cutthroat who could get rich ruining lives and not lose a moment’s sleep. But those people are merely the anonymous Help. The guy he was speaking to on Tuesday night is a man of considerable international influence. Outside of street protestors, and that Iraqi guy who threw a shoe at George W. Bush, I have never seen a more lucid example of manifest public disrespect for a sitting president than the hair-curling contempt with which Romney invested those words. (I’ve certainly never seen one from another candidate.) He’s lucky Barack Obama prizes cool over everything else. LBJ would have taken out his heart with a pair of salad tongs and Harry Truman would have bitten off his nose.

But the best assessment of the night has to be from Jon Stewart:

Oct 18 2012

2012 AL Championship Series- Yankees at Tigers, Game 4

Down 3 – 0 away in a 7 game series is just exactly the position you don’t want to find yourself in.  Though no one may believe it the Yankees are my home town favorites (at least during the playoffs if the Mets aren’t contending).

Besides, I like Lola.

Even if she’s retired after tonight I have to feel this series has been a wake up call and you can expect a busy hot stove league this year as the organization re-tools for 2013 (last title in 2009, World Champions every 4 years on average if you believe in rattles, chants, and Chicago School ‘Revision to the Mean’ Economics).

The Tigers on the other hand have been suffering since 1984, so perhaps after a suitable period of mourning you can summon a little sympathy.  Besides, then you will have been beaten by the best team in Baseball and not perennial cellar dwellers.

As an indicator of lessons learned, tonight Girardi will sit Granderson next to ARod on the bench.  I must say I’m surprised because I was sure he’d bring back all his highly paid non performers in desperation.  Bravo Joe!

Now were I Brian Cashman (when they say ‘Baseball People’ they’re really talking about him), Pettitte, ARod, Swisher, AND Granderson would be put in a package I’d peddle to anyone stupid enough to take them (heck, throw in Cano) and I’d accept any piece of crap I got in return (a few draft picks, some salary offset) as a bonus over flat out giving them their release.

And then I would start spending.  Not on washed up never was and has beens, but the next generation of pinstripes.

It’s true that next year you get back Mariano Rivera and you don’t want to waste a season of his phenomenal career so maybe you pick up a starter or 2 (Kuroda and Hughes are really ok, but only ok), still what has really been lacking in all the Junior League teams has been offense.  If you can fix that you have a legitimate chance.

Anyway the Yankees may see the dawn tonight.  They have CC Sabathia (15 – 6, 3.38 ERA) matched up against Scherzer  (16 – 7, 3.74 ERA), and though they look close on paper Sabathia is a monster, one of the 3 best pitchers left.

I expect this game to be close, a pitcher’s duel won in the 15th or 16th inning by a ARod Home Run.

You heard it here first.

Junior League Games will be carried on TBS, Senior on Faux.

Postponed until 4 pm tomorrow.

Oct 18 2012

Terrorist Conviction Overturned

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan for providing material support for terrorism. Hamdan, a Yemeni, was captured in Afghanistan in 2001

The court ruled that the conviction could not stand because ,at the time of Handan’s conviction “under the international law of war in effect at the time of his actions, there was no such defined war crime”:

The Military Commission Act, a law passed in 2006, does not authorize such retroactive prosecutions, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled. [..]

The ruling called into question whether other Guantanamo detainees  accused of being part of Al Qaeda but not of plotting any specific terrorist attack can receive military trials.

The opinion was written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who worked as a lawyer in the White House for President George W. Bush before he was appointed to the bench. His opinion was largely joined by Chief Judge David Sentelle and Judge Douglas Ginsburg, appointees of Ronald Reagan.

Zachary Katznelson, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the decision “strikes the biggest blow yet against the legitimacy of the Guantánamo military commissions, which have for years now been trying people for a supposed war crime that in fact is not a war crime at all.” He said the  government should prosecute in civilian courts any Guantánamo prisoners against whom it has enough admissible evidence.

This should come as no surprise to the administration since, as Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel noted in her analysis, this had been predicted (pdf) by an assistant attorney general over three years ago:

There are two additional issues I would like to highlight today that are not addressed by the Committee bill that we believe should be considered. The first is the offense of material support for terrorism or terrorist groups. While this is a very important offense in our counterterrorism prosecutions in Federal court under title 18 of the U.S. Code, there are serious questions as to whether material support for terrorism or terrorist groups is a traditional violation of the law of war. The President has made clear that military commissions are to be used only to prosecute law of war offenses. Although identifying traditional law of war offenses can be a difficult legal and historical exercise, our experts believe that there is a significant risk that appellate courts will ultimately conclude that material support for terrorism is not a traditional law of war offense, thereby reversing hard-won convictions and leading to questions about the system’s legitimacy.

The DC court agreed:

   First, despite Hamdan’s release from custody, this case is not moot. This is a direct appeal of a conviction. The Supreme Court has long held that a defendant’s direct appeal of a conviction is not mooted by the defendant’s release from custody.

   Second, consistent with Congress’s stated intent and so as to avoid a serious Ex Post Facto Clause issue, we interpret the Military Commissions Act of 2006 not to authorize retroactive prosecution of crimes that were not prohibited as war crimes triable by military commission under U.S. law at the time the conduct occurred. Therefore, Hamdan’s conviction may be affirmed only if the relevant statute that was on the books at the time of his conduct – 10 U.S.C. § 821 – encompassed material support for terrorism.

   Third, when Hamdan committed the relevant conduct from 1996 to 2001, Section 821 of Title 10 provided that military commissions may try violations of the “law of war.” The “law of war” cross-referenced in that statute is the international law of war. See Quirin, 317 U.S. at 27-30, 35-36. When Hamdan committed the conduct in question, the international law of war proscribed a variety of war crimes, including forms of terrorism. At that time, however, the international law of war did not proscribe material support for terrorism as a war crime. Indeed, the Executive Branch acknowledges that the international law of war did not – and still does not – identify material support for terrorism as a war crime. Therefore, the relevant statute at the time of Hamdan’s conduct – 10 U.S.C. § 821 – did not proscribe material support for terrorism as a war crime.

   Because we read the Military Commissions Act not to retroactively punish new crimes, and because material support for terrorism was not a pre-existing war crime under 10 U.S.C. § 821, Hamdan’s conviction for material support for terrorism cannot stand. We reverse the judgment of the Court of Military Commission Review and direct that Hamdan’s conviction for material support for terrorism be vacated.

This ruling could obviously effect the convictions and prosecutions of other Guantánamo detainees. The Administration has yet to announce whether it will appeal, I suspect that they will try.