The rule of law prevails
Posted by musliminsuffer on June 14, 2008
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
=== News Update ===
The rule of law prevails
From Friday’s Globe and Mail
June 13, 2008 at 7:55 AM EDT
The United States’ prison for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been fatally undermined. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the president and Congress cannot deny a prisoner at Guantanamo the right to cry out to an independent judge in civilian courts that he is being wrongly detained. With that, it is time for President George W. Bush to ensure that the walls of Guantanamo come tumbling down.
This is a constitutional ruling for the ages. The issue was whether the Constitution could be switched on and off at will, as Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the 5-4 majority, put it. Dissenting, Justice Antonin Scalia warned that Americans would die as a result of the ruling. But Justice Kennedy wisely said security exists “in fidelity to freedom’s first principles.”
Detainee hearings at Guantanamo have been rigged by the state. The men who brought yesterday’s case are Bosnians who were suspected of plotting to bomb the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo; Bosnian police turned them over six years ago to U.S. authorities. When a U.S. military tribunal declared them enemy combatants, they had no lawyers to represent them; they were not allowed to know the most important allegations against them; they had limited means to find or present evidence in their defence; and there were no limits on the state’s use of hearsay, making it impossible for them to challenge witnesses. And because the Supreme Court had ruled it acceptable to hold prisoners for the duration of a war – and the war on terror could last a generation or more – these men faced a virtual life sentence.
No wonder a British jurist called Guantanamo Bay a legal black hole. And no wonder all Western countries, except Canada, insisted that the U.S. send their nationals home. Only Canada has allowed its citizen, Omar Khadr, arrested at 15 in Afghanistan (he’ll be 22 in September) to disappear into that black hole. Let the process work, the Harper government says. But the very foundation of the process, as the U.S. Supreme Court says, is unlawful.
Whatever value Guantanamo Bay had in extracting intelligence from its prisoners has surely been exhausted by now, for almost all the detainees.
Serious terrorist suspects should receive fair hearings in U.S. civilian courts. Mr. Khadr should be handed to Canadian authorities, who can decide, in accordance with Canadian and international law, how to deal with him.
Guantanamo is a blight on a proud democracy. The Supreme Court’s stirring decision is a triumphant moment for the rule of law in the United States.
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW