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Monday, November 01, 2004

Hold them in contempt--at Gitmo

The Justice Department responded to demands by the detainees' lawyers with language remarkably similar to that it used almost two years ago in the case it has already lost.
That's from an article in the NY Times about how cases filed on behalf of "detainees" at Guantanamo Bay have returned to lower courts, and the "Justice" Department is pretending that the Supreme Court's ruling in June never happened.
Thomas Wilner, a lawyer for several detainees who were involved in the original lawsuit, said in his brief that the government's motion was "simply outrageous."

"It is filed in direct violation of the federal rules and it simply rehashes the same arguments that were made before, and rejected by the Supreme Court," Mr. Wilner said.

He compared the government's behavior to the "massive resistance" urged by some Southerners in response to the court's landmark desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.

A senior Justice Department official said in response, "It's easy for our adversaries to say, 'My gosh, when the Supreme Court said that there is habeas jurisdiction, that must mean there are real rights at stake, that the detainees are protected by the Constitution.'" But the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the litigation was continuing, said the court's ruling that prisoners may challenge their detentions in lawsuits called habeas corpus actions left open that question for lower courts.
Real rights at stake! How quaint! And how delightful that a "senior Justice Department official" sees lawyers arguing for the most basic of human rights as "our adversaries." Perhaps President Kerry's first act in office should be to declare all "senior Justice Department officials" to be enemy combatants and send them to Gitmo, telling them that they're only getting out after everyone else there has either been released or duly convicted in a proper court of law (not some military kangaroo court). That might inspire them to put their legal training to use in the pursuit of liberty rather than in pursuit of its destruction.