Friday, June 13, 2008

Supreme Court Decision chips away at Bush's Executive War Power

A couple of months ago I read a book (Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, by Murat Kurnaz) about an innocent man held in Guantanamo Bay for five years. (I also blogged about it here). The book prodded me to learn more about the situation there, and I was stunned and mortified at the U.S. government for its role in placing prisoners there, as well as individual military members and their lack of respect for basic human deceny.

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of basic Constitutional rights, regardless of what country a person calls home. Basically, the ruling gives detainees a chance to defend themselves and challenge their detention. Since 2004, this issue has come up three times in the courts, and each time the ruling has been against the government's (and our president's) claim that "enemy combatants" are not subject to the same rights as U.S. citizens, and the ruling made it clear that George Bush's war on terrorism tactics are illegal and beyond the scope of his power as President of the United States.

As a country with a loud voice (the loudest) in this world, and one who espouses democracy and equal rights to all citizens, we have a duty to extend these rights beyond our borders. If not, why should other countries be bound to be decent to us when we are trespassaing in their domain?

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