Sunday, June 15, 2008


John McCain criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court for ruling that inmates at Guantanamo have a right to seek relief in federal district court. Why? Because McCain says they are bad people.

Nadine Elsibai and Hans Nichols report today in Bloomberg:

"McCain called the court's 5-4 ruling ``one of the worst decisions in the history of this country,'' warning that the court system would be clogged with petitions from the 270 inmates. He suggested that many inmates still present a threat.
``Thirty of the people who have already been released from Guantanamo Bay have already tried to attack America again,'' said McCain, 71.

"The court June 12 invalidated a 2006 law, backed by McCain, which stripped Guantanamo Bay inmates of the right to file so- called habeas corpus petitions in U.S. courts. The court's majority opinion, in a rebuke to the Bush administration and Congress, held that inmates at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay are protected by the Constitution and may seek release in federal court."

McCain apparently feels that since 30 of the released detainees were later involved in attacks against American forces, none of the remaining 270 should have their day in court. Surely Mc Cain knows that the vast majority of the detainees got sent to Guantanamo because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many have turned out to be sheep herders or farmers, sold into the hands of the United States by Afghanis wanting to settle scores and/or revenge insults or injuries. Others ended up in Guantanamo because Afghan war lords collected thousands of U.S. dollars per head for each hapless "terrorist" turned in to the Americans.

The Great Writ, as it is called, traces all the way back to King John and the Magna Carta of the 13th Century. The king, or in this case, the executive, is not allowed to lock people up and throw away the key. There must be grounds, there must be due process, there must be a chance to rebut adverse evidence and/or witnesses.

Apparently John McCain thinks it is alright to up "enemies" and keep them in prison without any fair and equitable recourse. How will he explain this to fair-minded voters?

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