Monday :: Jun 14, 2004

Guantanamo Cases in Jeopardy

by Mary

The Supreme Court should be ruling soon on the Jose Padilla case and whether the President can declare American citizens enemy combatants without recourse to the courts. According to Newsweek, the signs are the Court will rule against the Bush administration which leaves the Justice department scrabbling to whip up charges to hold Padilla. As we noted recently, the coerced confessions of Padilla will certainly be unusable in court, so finding reasons to indict Padilla have been hindered by the detention. The administration probably thought they would never have to account for their actions in detaining a US citizen without legal remedy, otherwise one would think they would have planned for that continguency.

Meanwhile in Iraq, hundreds of prisoners are being released from Abu Ghraib on Monday. By June 30th, the US military has a goal of releasing 1400 prisoners from Abu Ghraib. Even though the US is scheduled to turn over the government controls on the 30th of June, the US will still control Abu Ghraib and the 4000-5000 prisoners they deem a danger to the regime. The International Red Cross says that when the US turns sovereignty over to the Iraqis, this should include the governance of the prisons since it signals the end of international armed conflict.

A further problem for the Bush administration is the news that the reports of abuse in Abu Ghraib had been raised to the senior leadership in November, not in January as previously stated. These reports were not just coming from the IRC, but from US military intelligence personnel.

The torture memos, the Court finally waking to its role, and the continuing revelations of what happened in Abu Ghraib will keep this story going for quite some time.

Mary :: 8:55 AM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!