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Habeas Rejection in Plain English

Via Digby:

The Republican senate is using habeas corpus as a political football. South Carolinian Lindsay Graham, the sponsor, is undoubtedly feeling tremendous pressure because of his "soft" stance on torture (I still can't believe we are even talking about it) and this is his way of restoring some manly credentials. But there is no excuse for the Democrats who signed on to this. Nor is there any excuse for the Blue state moderates either.

There was obviously some back room dickering on this bit of legislation and that makes me about as sick as anything about this whole thing. They're playing politics with habeas corpus for Gawd's sake. This isn't some f*cking highway bill or a farm subsidy. It's the very foundation of our system of government and the single most important element of liberty. If the state can just declare someone an "unlawful combatant" and lock them up forever, we have voted ourselves into tyranny.

...It's bad enough to do it when the administration is riding on a wave of popularity. To do it when there is no good political reason is mind-boggling. Like I said, it's one thing for little Lindsay to have to prove he's not a Democratic eunuch. It's quite another for anybody who isn't a Republican from the deep south to feel the need to back this horror.

For the untruths behind the Graham amendment, don't miss Katherine and Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings.

< New Polls: Bush and Iraq Support Sink Lower | Myths About the Graham Habeas Amendment >
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  • Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    and if they can do it to Jose Padilla, they can do it to you...

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    The America that I joined the Air Force for was one of justice, and the basics of Habeas Corpus is at the foundation of our system. We did not seem to have any trouble under our current laws before the Patriot Act in dealing with justice for the terrorists who bombed the WTC in 93, infact didn't some guy named Fitzgrerald have alot to do with that..., I think jimcee has to learn to let go of his team bu$hCo induced fear, and get on with his life.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    How can we legitimately say democracy is a better form of government when we commit acts such as these: Khalid told ABC News that U.S. soldiers at one point threatened him with live lions. "They took us to a cage -- an animal cage that had lions in it within the Republican Palace," he said. "And they threatened us that if we did not confess, they would put us inside the cage with the lions in it. It scared me a lot when they got me close to the cage, and they threatened me. And they opened the door and they threatened that if I did not confess, that they were going to throw me inside the cage. And as the lion was coming closer, they would pull me back out and shut the door, and tell me, 'We will give you one more chance to confess.' And I would say, 'Confess to what?'" [remainder of text deleted, this space is for comments. Links must be in html format]

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#6)
    by Al on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    jimcee, what part of "nobody knows if the prisoners are actually guilty of anything" don't you understand? You think just because they were arrested they are automatically terrorists? So, let me see if I fully understand your thinking, if that's the word: You are OK with replacing the justice system with secret military tribunals. You also believe that justice is a privilege, reserved only to US citizens (Padilla), but not to foreigners. I hope you never run foul of the military "justice" system. Oh, wait, no: I hope you do.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#7)
    by nolo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    If what our government is doing cannot stand the light of due process, our government ought not to be doing it.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    Article I, Section 9 states: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Somehow this has been lost along the way. Habeas should apply to all. From the weakest to the strongest, citizen and non-citizen. If a person is subject to the authority or control of our government, the writ of habeas must be available. The fact that congress can grant and revoke federal court jurisdiction to grant habeas relief is, I believe, a fundamental flaw in our constitution. I believe the time has come to introduce, debate, and pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to seek habeas relief in the federal courts, and take the control to revoke the power to grant relief away from the legislative branch of our government. If ever there was a need for a constitutional amendment to correct a wrong the courts and legislature can’t seem to correct, I think we’ve found one. Call it the Habeas Amendment.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    As I understand from watching TV, Graham has agreed to some compromise proposal with Mich. Sen. Levin that will ease some of the harsher provisions, and allow appeals to the DC Circuit for some of the Gitmo detainees. The Bingham amendment is dead, but the compromise amendment will be adopted after Bingham is shot down.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    Graham is posturing to cover his butt over his membership in the "gang of 14." That little dumb trick assured him a very tough primary next time around, and he needs to change his spots.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#11)
    by Wes on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    A bipartisan group of senators reached a compromise Monday that would allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay to appeal the rulings of military tribunals to the federal courts. Under the agreement, detainees who receive a punishment of 10 years in prison to death would receive an automatic appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Lesser sentences would not receive automatic review, but detainees still could petition the court to hear their cases. In addition, the 500 or so detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba would be allowed to challenge in federal court the procedure under which they were labeled "enemy combatants." The compromise proposal allows the federal court reviews in place of the one tool the Supreme Court gave detainees in 2004 to fight the legality of their detentions _ the right to file habeas corpus petitions in federal courts.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew...

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:07 PM EST
    To allow the Congress to revoke/resrict Habeas Corpus in any fashion damages our Rights and Freedoms as Americans. It really makes no difference if it only applies to "Enemy Combatants" or "Terrorists" as; according to the Supreme Courts Ruling; American Citizens are just as subject to the dictates of this and other abusive laws as our "enemies." It really disturbs me that there appears to be so little interest in just what we are losing as we sit back and allow the three Government Branches to dismantle the Constitution under the guise of increased security. The United States has never been as close to becoming a Police State as it is now. We as "The People" really need to start taking back control of our Government before we wake up one day and find that we no longer can.

    Re: Habeas Rejection in Plain English (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:08 PM EST
    "If TL wants to protect terrorists with US laws and rights they are misguided." Who is talking of protecting terrorists? YOU are, Jimcee. You and Georgie (himself a terrorist), who is harboring Posada Carriles, who blew up a civilian airliner. The law that requires his extradition or immediate trial doesn't seem to apply to Posada, who is NOT an American citizen. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT, JIMCEE? Posada is a known terrorist, not some corner grocer who had a gripe with the thug that USPNAC paid to shanghai locals for Bush's dog and pony Torture show. "Somehow I get the feeling that if it was a President Gore saying this that TL would be another nodding head as far as the HC writ were concerned." Slandering TL and Al Gore won't get you out from under your Big Lie, when it comes crashing down around your necks in the next few weeks. Nixon didn't realize the impeachment was so close, until he was forced to resign. Graham is DONE. He comes up for reelection in 2008, and he is going to be wearing Bush's crimes around his neck like a necklace of skulls. We shall have our country back.