Sunday, June 22, 2008

"I Want My Lawyer"-More

I posted the article below on TPM, as well as here. This is my response to a commenter on TPM.

1. The recent SC decision--and I read both the majority opinion and the Scalia and Roberts dissents--hinged on the issue of US "sovereignty" over the GOTMO Naval base. The majority decided that the base was de facto under US sovereignty and, therefore, habeas corpus applied.

2. Nowhere in the ENTIRE Constitution is there a mention of "nationality" or "location," because it is obvious the Constitution is the Constitution of the United States, not Iran or Germany or Zimbabwe or China. Its ours. It governs our actions on our soil toward people on our soil, under our sovereignty.

3. I agree with the majority decision. To me it is, among other examples, another example of the incompetence of the Bush Admin to have set up such a facility on what has clearly been a de facto US "territory" for about 100 years.

4. I have read the McClatchey series and read comments for the Maj. Gen., now retired, who did the initial investigation of Abu Ghraib. Very disturbing reading.

5. In neither of your comments, however, do you address the point implicit in my quote from the article, namely, that these guys--assuming you think terrorists even exist--were operating under the assumption, prior to 9/11, that if captured, they were going to be treated like OJ. Is that what you seek?

Are we being dragged into the very pit of the inhumane behavior we condemn in others by the uniqueness of the adversary we face? That's a very real possibility, and we can't erase what we as a nation have already done.

Its for the new leadership--probably Obama--to cease and desist from USG activity that can be fairly characterized as torture or war crimes. But that's only step one.

The new leadership must also devise tactics that are effective in extracting information from and neutralizing those who would commit violence upon us and others. The civilian Criminal Justice system certainly does not have the tools to do this alone.

Neither you nor I have to make these judgments and bear the awesome responsibility if the judgments are wrong. Obama will.

My personal hope is that he has the intelligence and courage to make the right ones. And since he says his hero is Lincoln, and has studied Lincoln's Presidency closely, I think he has a good chance of succeeding in a very difficult task.

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