Today’s decision by the Supreme Court not to hear a case challenging the provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that restricted detainees’ habeas corpus rights provides fresh impetus to a Congress that was already pushing for major changes to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
After the Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration’s plan to try Guantanamo detainees before special military commissions in June 2006, Congress quickly responded with the Military Commissions Act that not only allowed evidence obtained by torture, but stripped jurisdiction from U.S. courts to hear habeas corpus claims from Guantanamo detainees. Today’s decision simply affirms that legislative action, although the Court did warn that it may still take up this issue in the future.
Let’s hope Congress responds to this Supreme Court decision with equal vigor. Several Senators have already introduced legislation to amend the Military Commissions Act to restore habeas rights and prohibit evidence gathered in coercive interrogations. Attention in the House is more focused on efforts led by Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) to close
Just last week, Moran found an unexpected ally in new Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. At a hearing before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee last Thursday, Gates told lawmakers that he came to his job in January hoping to close
Gates’ constructive attitude to work with, rather than against, Congress as it examines alternatives to
The debate has also spilled over into the presidential campaigns. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has endorsed a proposal first made by the Center for American Progress in 2005 to close
Making improvements to
I will say that again; the first person convicted at
Some clearly fit that description, like admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad. The exposure of terrorists like Khalid Sheik Mohammad for the mass murderers that they are should be a great victory for the
Yet the “taint” of
The truth is that the majority of 380 detainees still at
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