Don't Forget Guantanamo

Could there be any more reasons not to vote for George W. Bush Tuesday? Here's another one, as set out in this LA Times editorial today, Guantanamo Stonewall:

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 600 foreign terror suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay naval base were entitled to lawyers and the chance to challenge their imprisonment. But in the months since, Pentagon and Justice Department officials have simply acted as if the high court's decision didn't exist, blocking efforts by detainees to meet with their lawyers and insisting on onerous conditions for those meetings.

Last week a federal judge and former federal prosecutor wrote an opinion blasting the Bush administration over its policies at Guantanamo:

The government's foot-dragging, appeals and prevarication, she wrote, are "attempts to erode this bedrock principle" of attorney-client privacy with a "flimsy assemblage" of arguments....The judge scoffed at administration claims that detainees can adequately represent themselves before military tribunals or rely on non-lawyer advisors. Many of these men need interpreters to communicate, she wrote, and certainly "can't grapple with the complexities of a foreign legal system" without a lawyer, access to a law library and English fluency.

The Times says a constitutional crisis is brewing:

The opening proceedings last summer of the ad hoc military tribunals Bush ginned up to sort out who's dangerous and who's not proved a disaster. The interpreters were incompetent and even commission members were confused about the rules. The Pentagon is now scrambling to reorganize and restaff the panels in a doomed effort to salvage any credibility.

As the administration continues to stonewall judges doing what the founding fathers intended — ensuring that the president doesn't overstep his authority — it is not a stretch to say that Americans are witnessing the makings of a constitutional crisis.

A vote for Bush is a vote against freedom. If you vote for him, and find that a few years from now, his policies are affecting you, not just terrorists, don't come crying.

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