Originally Posted By: AOR
Personally, I find that to be a load of horsecrap.


Based on what?

The track record of justifications for holding detainees at Guantanamo seems pretty poor, given how many have already been released.

The administration assured the public that the detainees were "the worst of the worst." Yet one of the few detainees actually subjected to the Military Commissions process wound up in a plea bargain that required him only to return to Australia and serve 9 months of a suspended 7 year sentence. That's what our government thinks is proper treatment for one of the worst of the worst?

I don't dispute the assumption that the remaining detainees probably represent the harder cases. But we can't know until they're provided with meaningful process.

We very well may be holding significant numbers of people who have no reason to be held. And if the executive branch can start making exceptions regarding who can challenge the legitimacy of their detention, then it's hard to tell how far the exceptions will go. Not only does our failure to provide meaningful process make us look like hypocrites, but it endangers the rights of all of us. Not too long ago, the Bush administration was arguing that it could declare anyone an "enemy combatant" and essentially subject them to indefinite detention with no legal recourse--including citizens.

After far too long a delay, I think these people need to be provided process rights if only to ensure that such rights remain intact for ourselves. If we think our justice system is so superior to everyone else's, then we should have little to fear in its ability to sort out the properly detained from the innocent.

From "A Man For All Seasons":

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!