FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
STATEMENT OF MARK CORALLO, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS,
ON THE HAMDAN RULING:
“We vigorously disagree with the court's decision, and will seek an emergency stay of the ruling and immediately appeal. We believe the President properly determined that the Geneva Conventions have no legal applicability to members or affiliates of al Qaeda, a terrorist organization that is not a state and has not signed the Geneva Conventions. We also believe that the President's power to convene military commissions to prosecute crimes against the laws of war is inherent in his authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and has been memorialized by Congress in statutes governing the military.
“By conferring protected legal status under the Geneva Conventions on members of al Qaeda, the Judge has put terrorism on the same legal footing as legitimate methods of waging war. The Constitution entrusts to the President the responsibility to safeguard the nation’s security. The Department of Justice will continue to defend the President's ability and authority under the Constitution to fulfill that duty.
“The process struck down by the district court today was carefully crafted to protect America from terrorists while affording those charged with violations of the laws of war with fair process, and the Department will make every effort to have this process restored through appeal.”