Friday, June 13, 2008

"Rights" for Gitmo detainees

As I sit here searching databases for info on rare medical textbooks, I'm listening to the Diane Rehm show and getting increasingly annoyed. Matthew Continetti, the associate editor for "The Weekly Standard," keeps comparing the Guantanamo detainees to prisoners of war, who can be held indefinitely until hostilities are over. Has he forgotten that the Bush Administration explicitly refused to consider these prisoners to be POW's, because they didn't intend to observe the Geneva Conventions? Not POW's, so we're allowed to abuse them; not criminals, so they have no rights in court; not in the US, so no American due process can touch them; not anything at all for which anyone has ever defined any rules that we would rather not follow.

This is the fundamental dishonesty in all these arguments about the SCOTUS overreaching - any sensible treatment would have worked withing the framework of existing law, instead of going through such contortions to move the issue into legal no-man's-land. It's a lie to pretend that it's the Court that is departing from previous practice. Rather, they're trying to restore it.

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

If the Constitution can be said to have any one particular purpose, it is to ensure we have a government of laws, not of men. The effort to put someone--anyone--wholly outside the reach of the law is an unconstitutional act in the broad sense, an attack on the value of the rule of law.

Authoritarian governments, unbound by constitutions, detain people indefinitely without recourse to the courts.

The public is almost wholly unaware of this, and the media have failed to inform them because as a whole they have yet to understand that this is a wholesale assault on constitutional government.