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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Close Gitmo!

(Video from Boston Legal)

In the aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration set up a whole new system of justice for suspected terrorists who had been rounded up willy-nilly in various places (often turned in by folks for cash rewards).They opened up a brand-spanking new jail in beautiful Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They thought it would be a swell idea if these people weren't allowed to have lawyers and weren't even charged with anything. They would just keep them locked up and occassionally torture them.

Well, the chickens are finally coming home to roost. Court after court has ruled that the symstem is unconstitutional. The latest blow to their fun new system came from the Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri.

The court wrote, "The president lacks power to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain al-Marri. We have found no authority for holding that the evidence offered by the government affords a basis for treating al-Marri as an enemy combatant, or as anything other than a civilian," and ordered the Bush administration to transfer the prisoner to the criminal court system.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke out on this issue over the weekend. It makes sense to me. From Meet The Press...

POWELL: Guantanamo has become a major, major problem for America’s perception as it’s seen, the way the world perceives America. And if it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I’d close it. And I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, “Well, then they’ll have access to lawyers, then they’ll have access to writs of habeas corpus.” So what? Let them. Isn’t that what our system’s all about?

We'll see if Bush will listen to the voices of reason. He hasn't in the past, so I'm not holding my breath.

(The video once again showcases my favorite lawyer, Alan Shore. He says it much better than I could.)

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