Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 5 July 2004

The Supreme Court and Guantanamo Bay

There is an excellent article in this weeks Economist (subscripion required) which rightly pulls no punches in its views on the folly of the US administration's current policy, not least in its own self-interest. Even in his dissenting judgement, US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (generally regarded as favourable to the Bush administration) writes:

"If civil rights are to be curtailed during wartime, it must be done openly and democratically."

Quite. And as the Economist itself writes:
"The fact that John Walker Lindh, a white Californian caught in Afghanistan, was granted access to domestic courts has only added to the ghastly smell."

Yes, it stinks. As the Economist also writes:
"Through his machinations, Donald Rumsfeld has created a legal Catch 22: the longer America keeps detainees in Guantánamo Bay, the less just it looks; but if it lets them go, no civilised court will convict them, because evidence produced under such conditions will be inadmissible."

Last week's Supreme Court ruling is certainly a (small) step in the right direction, but if only for its own internal health America, through its Congress, must act on Antonin Scalia's advice - and quickly. This is how the Economist phrases it and I agree wholeheartedly.

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