Mixed Results for the Worst Treated Prisoners in the US

by on June 28th, 2004

The Supreme Court ruled today that Bush’s government has the right to come to your home, arrest you without charges, take you to Guantanamo Bay and hold you there. The only caveat is that they must designate you as an ‘enemy combatant’, a complicated process that involves Donald Rumsfeld looking at some paperwork about you and saying – “this guy’s an enemy combatant”.

You do, however, have the right to a “forum to challenge your imprisonment”, although no ruling has been made on what qualifies a person for ‘enemy combatant’ status or whether you will, in fact, be able to know what charges Rummy has against you.

The ruling today was not nearly as bad as it could have been. But, it was also a clear indication that the court is placing great value on security over individual rights. The only question for Americans now is – Do you trust your government?

A full article from the International Herald Tribune explains the ruling with greater detail – see A mixed verdict on Bush’s detention policies. Another from the Economoist – Terror Suspects Freed from Legal Limbo – suggests that despite the results, these rulings are a setback for Bush’s administration.

Rand Fishkin