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       Friday, June 30, 2006

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by Lonnie Hodge OMBW

At fist glance the Supremes seemed to have ruled against Bush and his detentions and Tribunals at Guantanamo. But, Europeans ,who have been extremely vocal about the U.S. prison camp, are not sure whether to celebrate or protest.


The U.S. Supreme Court did rule Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority via the Military Tribunals and ten of the 440 "detainees" ( a euphemism for "political prisoners") of which 430 have been held for long stretches without charges.

"A lot of us remain skeptical of what this decision will actually accomplish because it only applies to the handful of men who have been charged and Bush has not respected past court decisions," said Moazamm Begg, 37, who was held at Guantanamo for more than two years. "That said, I'm very glad to hear the news and hope it will be the beginning of the end for many of these men." I actually hope it is the beginning of a new beginning....

We need to tale a hard look at what the rest of the world is saying: Even Britain, victim of some pretty serious terrorist actions of late, speaking via Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith says America had betrayed its own stated principles of freedom, liberty and justice. The ever supportive Blair called the camp an "anomaly." I am open to explanations on that one. I tend to think of it as one of a new breed of concentration camps.

Bob Ayers, a homeland security and intelligence expert (the newest in government oxymorons) at Chatham House, predicted the ruling will have little impact: "Basically I don't think the decision is going to make any difference. The United States is not going to turn all of these people loose. The EU has not said, 'Send them to us and we'll house them for you.' What is the solution?" Homeland Security has gotten pretty cocky. And , despite mouthing the words that he wanted the base closed, Bush has not halted continuing construction/expansion of the base.

The EU has called for the camp's closure, saying that prisoners were held in a "legal vacuum." The camp definitely sucks. The Chinese that were kidnapped and jailed there, cleared of charges and then forced to languish for years without legal recourse are now lost in Albania after being freed, but refused asylum in America.

Well, at least the courts have assumed jurisdiction again. I am all for the decision. And it has nothing to do with party line feelings. It has to do with what is right and just even in a time of justifiable fear. Just ask survivors of the Japanese interment camps how they feel about sudden losses of liberty.

Perhaps this ruling will help us to crawl a bit toward the foothills that lead back to the Moral High-ground.

For more take a look at a readable, deft analysis: Losing the Moral High Ground: The US and the Rule of Law by two distinguished military legal scholars.


Cartoons: copyright

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posted by Lonnie at 10:44 AM  


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