Good news — if we can make it stick.

“Brushing aside arguments that the suspects were enemy combatants being held at a time of war, the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT said the detainees AT GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA, had ‘the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus’.”


This is the Bush administration’s third setback at the highest US court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charge at the base in Cuba.

The court has ruled twice previously that Guantanamo inmates could go into civilian courts to ask that the government justify their continued detention.

But each time, the Bush administration and Congress, then controlled by Republicans, changed the law to keep the detainees out of civilian courts.

Let’s make this stick. Write your Senators and Representatives.

Detainees are either prisoners of war (therefore governed by the Geneva Convention) or suspected criminals (therefore governed by the basic rights of due process guaranteed by the Bill of Rights). Otherwise they’re kidnap victims. The arguments that there should be a third category is bullshit. The argument that the US Constitution doesn’t hold on foreign soil is also bullshit, as these people are in the custody and care of US soldiers and citizens in the pay of the Pentagon, wherever they are.

Hell, according to one fairly popular theory, we invaded Iraq because the dictator there wouldn’t give his citizens their basic rights. But if we go over there and do the same things, that’s okay?

Please go write your senators and representatives a quick note by clicking on the above link. It’s just a damn web form. Anyone who knows their own zipcode can do it. The shorter the message the better. Don’t know what to write? Tell them this:

We require everyone who serves in public office or with the armed forces to swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution guarantees a few easy-to-understand and easy-to-supply basic rights to people held on suspicion of criminal activity. The Constitution also holds treaties to which we are signatories as the highest law in the land. One of the treaties is the Geneva Convention, and it details certain minimum standards of treatment and care for those captured in the course of warfare.

The Bush Administration has authorized certain parties to abduct, capture, and hold indefinitely whomever they choose in obscure, remote, and restricted locations. The standards used to determine who gets captured and held is entirely at the whim of the executive branch. The treatment of these individuals is entirely at the whim of the executive branch. Knowledge of who is held and why is entirely the property of the executive branch–until information leaks out through other channels. The policies which create and perpetuate this bizarre exception to the basic human rights that those in the care of the United States typically enjoy WAS CREATED ENTIRELY TO TAKE AWAY THE BASIC RIGHTS AND GUARANTEES OF SAFETY AND “NON-VANISHMENT” TO WHICH ALL OF OUR PRISONERS ARE ENTITLED, EITHER CIVILIAN OR MILITARY.

This practice must end. Those responsible for this circumvention of basic human rights must be held accountable so it does not recur in the future. The oaths to uphold our Constitution must be enforced. Otherwise, they are worthless. And, by extension, so is our Constitution.

As you are my elected representative in the Federal Government of the United States, I charge you with your own oath–to see that our Constitution is upheld and that the basic rights guaranteed by it are applied universally to those in our care and custody, wherever they might be.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Thank you for your time and attention.


June 12, 2008 · by xalieri · Posted in Everything Else  


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