It's President Bush, Not King George

David Cole, Georgetown University law prof and author of "Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism, has an op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times on the recent 2nd and 9th Circuit Copurt of Appeals decisions reminding Mr. Bush he is President Bush and not King George.

Foreign nationals, no less than U.S. citizens, have a right not to be locked up arbitrarily, based in the Constitution's guarantee that "no person shall be deprived of liberty … without due process." And indefinite incommunicado incarceration without charges, trial or hearing is the definition of arbitrary detention.

Detaining the enemy on the battlefield has of course always been — and remains — a legitimate tool of war. Neither the 2nd nor the 9th Circuit ruled to the contrary. But they both insisted that preventive detention under U.S. jurisdiction must be subject to the rule of law. And the rule of law, like liberty itself, is not a right reserved for U.S. citizens.

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