Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Boumediene -- habeas corpus debate continues

Here is a good discussion on the arguments in the Boumediene case. I will summarize more when I have time...but below is a brief summary of the arguments by Jonathan Cohn, a DoD attorney:

Misconceptions: 1. Detainees are innocent, 2. They have no representation -- far more process than any combatants have received in the history of warfare, 3. Detainees don't have good representation, 4. Gitmo is like "Hotel California", once you check in you can never leave.

What will happen if habeas is given? Would they have the same rights? We simply don't know. Habeas review is unprecedented. Results would be intolerable.

Current War: 10,000 detainees; WWII 2 million

Imagine imposing civil rules in wartime? Could terrorists enter the courts and review classified information? Court should not impose a regime of habeas review.

Congress tried to strike a proper balance, hopefully the court won't upset that balance.

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