Hamdi: Death Knell for Habeas Corpus?

Jennifer Van Bergen, writing for Counterpunch, says that the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld may be the death knell for Habeas Corpus:

The Great Writ has been a core part of democratic processes for over four
hundred years. The Supreme Court may go down in infamy as the one that
destroyed the Great Writ of Liberty, and along with it, our freedom.

Here's why:

Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the unlawful enemy combatant case, is of greater importance to the future of this country than many realize. But the Supreme Court decision is full of contradictions and deceptions. On the one hand, the Court upheld the right to due process. On the other, the Court determined that an "appropriately authorized and properly constituted military tribunal" with truncated procedures might suffice.1

The Court cited the Geneva Conventions but only as the basis for its assertion that "detention may last no longer than active hostilities" and as support for its suggestion that a military tribunal will suffice.2 It made no reference to the fact that for two years the United States has been violating Geneva and that such violation is a war crime.

We hope you read the whole article. As we opined here:

We think the military has the right to accuse someone of being an enemy combatant but it should be a judge who makes the decision. In open court. At a hearing where Hamdi is afforded a right to a lawyer, the right to review the evidence against him, and to call and cross-examine witnesses. Until and unless a court determines he is an enemy combatant, he should retain his rights as an American. To say otherwise means the Government can brand someone with a label and then imprison them indefinitely, even forever. We think that's way too much power to give the Government.

You can access all of our coverage of the Yaser Hamdi case here.

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