Saturday, March 24, 2007


Marty Lederman reports on Tony Snow's stated reasons for why our prison camp at Guantanamo Bay has not yet shut down. Let's remind ourselves that the President has at least claimed he wishes to shut Gitmo. And new Secretary of Defense Robert Gates believes the taint of the institution actually hurts our prosecution of the war on terror.

I couldn't agree more. So why has this abhorrent eyesore, moral stain, and barrier to fighting terrorism continue to exist?
Q: Why is it that the President's stated desire to close Guantanamo Bay cannot be turned into some kind of plan of action?

MR. SNOW: Because there are legal constraints. . . . [T]he President made clear back in September that he would love to be able to shut it down, but unfortunately the circumstances do not presently permit."

"Legal Constraints"? What, exactly, could those be?
According to the Times, "[s]ome administration lawyers are deeply reluctant to move terrorism suspects to American soil because it could increase their constitutional and statutory rights."

In particular, if the GTMO detainees facility were transferred to a U.S. mainland site, they would unarguably be protected by constitutional due process and the right to petition for habeas corpus. And we wouldn't want that, would we? Better that we should continue to "hamper the broader war effort."

So there it is. It's not a "legal constraint" per se. It's a President who is terrified of what would happen if the legal system ever got to review what he's doing.

Who's afraid of the big bad constitution? The President. And he's willing to hurt the fight against terror to hide from his phobia.

Via Majikthise

1 comment:

Stentor said...

He's not against the torture, or the denial of rights. He's just against the name-recognition that the "Gitmo" brand has. We truly do have our first MBA president.