Monday, April 17, 2006

The Greatest Threat To The Republic

Without question the single greatest threat to the republic is the imprisoning of citizens and non-citizens alike without the opportunity for court intervention, otherwise known as habeas corpus.

From SCOTUSblog:
The Court refused to hear, in advance of a D.C. Circuit Court ruling, a challenge by two members of a Muslim minority group in China to their continued detention at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The two individuals have been found not to be enemy combatants, but the government refuses to release them because it fears they would be tortured if sent to China, and has found no other country to receive them. A federal judge ruled that the two were wrongly detained, but that the courts could provide no remedy. That ruling is now under review in the D.C. Circuit, with a hearing there set for May 8. The Supreme Court's only action on Monday was to refuse to hear the case prior to the Circuit Court's ruling. The case is Qassim v. Bush (05-892).

This will be one to watch, closely.

Digby unearths this one as well and it is well worth an entire read, but let me quote part of what he wrote:

I would say the US is at the precipice and the rule of law is breathing its last gasp. How can we have a system that operates this way and still call ourselves a country of laws? They are just making this stuff up as they go along.

Guantanamo is a vivid example of what happens when governments panic and make errors out of hubris, rage, greed and opportunism and refuse to right their wrongs after the fact. We have created a Kafka-esque nightmare that, unless we return to the rule of law very quickly, is going to be embedded in our system, ready to be exploited by any tyrannical figure who can trump up an emergency for political gain.

Don't the Republicans see how dangerous this is? It isn't a matter of partisanship. Any shallow reading of history shows that bad people can emerge from any movement, ideology, religion or party. That's why we have the rule of law --- so that our system doesn't depend upon the good-will of whomever is holding the office.

Lord help us---we need it.

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