Yesterday marked the third time that the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments relevant to guests of the American government held at its
gulag concentration camp tropical beach resort at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (The first two times were the cases of Rasul (Shafiq Rasul himself is interviewed here) and Hamdan (Salim Hamdan’s counsel Neal Katyal, who argued the case before the High Court, is interviewed here).
It seems that at GTMO… not much ever happens, besides time ticking off (411 days left in the Bush II Administration today, btw). Former detainee Moazzam Begg (interviewed here) suggested that habeas corpus, these legal challenges and the promise of the United States being a country that operated by the rule of law amounted to “a benificent bequest in a beggar’s will”… i.e., a nice show, but no real substance. And surprise, surprise, the government is arguing that there is no law at Guantanamo, three years after the Supreme Court said “YES THERE IS” in Mr. Rasul’s case.
Digby, in “We Don’t Need No Human Rights Around Here,” sums up the current argument about as well as it can be done (noting the assaults on former Clinton Admin. Solicitor General Seth Waxman, arguing for the detainees, by usual suspects Roberts and Alito). You’ve read numerous accounts of GTMO on this here blog (hopefully you’ll read more… but not too many more, if you know what I mean)… and I think you’all get it: we are arbitrarily holding innocent people. (Yes, some are doubtless guilty, but we have abused them too to the point where we probably can’t even try them anymore… in short, we have compromised our principles, and screwed everything up.)
I will repeat… this is the biggest story of our time (i.e., the moral collapse of this country into expediencies of “expendable” legal principles… the sort of thing we have tried our enemies for, during our history)… and yet, it is nothing compared to worthless celebrity gossip, if you ask most of our media. The Supreme Court gets it– three cases in the last three years… and still, no end in site.
Except for the 411 days part. Maybe then the long national nightmare will end? (Not to mention the specific human nightmare we are imposing on a large number of men who have never even been charged with a crime, let alone proven dangerous?) One can hope… not necessarily how you bet, but one can hope…