This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2004

Guantanamo at SCOTUS

The Supremes heard the case of the people at Guantanamo today. The Op-Ed below makes some of the most relevant points I think. Fundamentally, a person is a person is a person. Citizenship should not matter for most things. Making double standards like that is just asking for the reverse to be done to us at some point in the future. It is bad precident. Not to mention just plain wrong. Citizen or not, there should NEVER be a situation in a controled environment (perhaps exceptions for “heat of the situation” in the middle of a raging battle) when a person has no mechanism whatsoever to appeal their situation to an independant body. It is fundamental to the notion of checks and balances and preservation of basic human rights.

America’s Prisoners, American Rights
(David Cole, New York Times)

All three branches of government have treated citizenship as a central issue. The Bush administration says that it can hold the foreign detainees, most of whom were captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan, without any legal limitations because they are noncitizens held outside American borders. As such, it argues, they have no constitutional rights and no standing in American courts to challenge their detentions. […] These suggestions that noncitizens have less right to be free than citizens are ill advised. Some provisions of the Constitution do explicitly limit their protections to United States citizens — the right to vote and the right to run for Congress or president, for example. The Bill of Rights, however, does not distinguish between citizens and noncitizens. It extends its protections in universal language, to “persons,” “people” or “the accused.” The framers considered these rights to be God-given natural rights, and God didn’t give them only to persons holding American passports.

(via TalkLeft)

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