13 February 2006

Feds Ignore Precedent Again Over Gitmo

One of the relatively clear rulings in the first round of enemy combatant cases (particularly in the Rasul case) was that Guantanamo Bay was not a location beyond U.S. law, and was, instead, basically like the United States for constitutional rights purposes. But, the U.S. is ignoring that holding arguing once again before the U.S. Supreme Court (with Alito and Roberts now replacing Rehnquist and O'Connor), that Guantanamo Bay detainees have no rights, a claim that the U.S. Supreme Court also rejected notably stating that the administration did not have a "blank check" even in times of war in the Hamdi case.

I hope that the administration gets the rude awakening it needs this time around. The Court is supposed to act like a body composed of adults, even when the administration adopts the toddler mentality. Also, surely, it cannot escape the notice of the Court that the U.N. is now denouncing Guatanamo Bay as a place where the U.S. practices torture.

If you believe in fighting terrorism, step one is to stop doing what doesn't work. Guantanmo Bay, which has housed relatively few real terrorists, destroyed our relationships with the U.N. and our allies, undermined support for the U.S. anti-terrorism effort at home, and produced little in the way of useful intelligence, is an approach that does not work.

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