Posts Tagged 'Guantanamo'

Con Law 101: To Whom is Due Process Due?

US Constitution

In response to my post yesterday about the U.S. Supreme Court’s welcome decision re-establishing the fundamental constitutional principle of habeas corpus against the Bush administration’s extraordinary challenges, some guy named Claude chimed-in to assert that the U.S. Constitution only applies to American citizens.

Ordinarily, I respond to readers’ comments as further comments in the thread to which they were originally posted. There are times like this, however, where the comments are so profoundly stupid and so characteristic of disturbing trends in public discourse that they must be addressed in a separate essay.

Where do idiots like Claude get the idea that the U.S. Constitution applies only to American citizens?

Continue reading ‘Con Law 101: To Whom is Due Process Due?’

Restoring Habeas Corpus to American Jurisprudence

Click for Larger Image
Cartoon by Ben Dib, courtesy of MinutemanMedia.org

With today’s 5-4 decision in Boumediene v. Bush, the United States Supreme Court took an enormous step in re-establishing justice, human decency, and the fundamental rights of the individual in the face of the awesome power of the state as the guidestars of American constitutionalism. The Court held that those imprisoned by the United States for the past six years at Guantanamo Bay are entitled to timely judical review of the charges against them in U.S. Federal courts.

In the end, it seems, the Court was unwilling to let the high-handed authoritarianism of King George of America eviscerate the ancient principle of habeas corpus, codified as early as 1215 in the Magna Carta in reaction to the high-handed authoritarianism of King John of England.

Continue reading ‘Restoring Habeas Corpus to American Jurisprudence’

Posted

Washington Post Masthead

This has been a lucky stretch for me in getting letters to the editor printed in major daily newspapers. Today the Washington Post ran a badly edited version of this letter I sent in response to Josh White’s report of a former Guantanamo prisoner involved in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

To the Editor:

Your story, Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Joined Iraq Suicide Attack (8 May 2008) states that “the Defense Intelligence Agency has estimated that as many as three dozen former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of having returned to terrorist activities.”

This characterization begs the question which is absolutely central — and completely unaddressed in your report — as to whether this activity is, indeed, a “return” to terrorist activities or an initiation into terrorist action prompted, at least in part, by resentment based on the Guantanamo imprisonments. In a system which puts habeas corpus, not to mention release, beyond the reach of most detainees, is it plausible to believe that the DoD had evidence of prior terrorist participation on those it had released?

Mark B. Jacobs
San Francisco, California

Continue reading ‘Posted’


Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the Miami Dolphins NFL bullying episode brings the evergreen topic of the idiocy of manliness back into focus.

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Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the re-election of President Barak Obama has done nothing to turn America away from its recent ethos of small-mindedness.

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Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprinted in frustration that a dumbass nonevent brought down David Petraeus, the most brilliant, influential, deeply flawed military strategist since Harry Potter.

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India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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