The Debacle At Gitmo Continues

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Gitmo detainees that are tried by military commissions in the US could claim some constitutional rights. The Justice Department and the Office of Legal Counsel are pushing hard for these detainees to be granted “some” constitutional rights if they are tried in the US using military commisions. The main right being noted in the article deals with the information that was obtained as evidence against the individual using coercive methods would not be permissable during the hearing. This is a huge blow to anyone prosecuting these people. Most of the information obtained to be used against these detainees was obtained involuntarily. So what does this mean?

I feel that this is President Obama’s way of closing Gitmo in the time period he has hoped to have it closed in and lacking a real way to do it. The danger with this is that many detainees may not be able to be tried at all because the evidence that the US has against them would not be permitted because of how it was obtained. I don’t understand how we can detain someone whom we feel is a terrorist but then turn around and give them US Constitutional protection. This is completely outlandish. What will end up happening is that many of these detainees will have to be let go because we do not have anything to hold them on. As it stands now, according to the article, some detainees are being held not because we have evidence against them but because we are afraid if let free they would commit terrorist acts. So if we are going to give some consitutional rights, how can we legally hold someone whom we do not have any charges against just because we are afraid of how they may behave in general society. If any detainees are released, will they be given free reign to go wherever they please. This could be really dangerous. While in office former President Bush had stated that the detainees did not have any constitutional rights. Now this president is going to change that and allow them “certain rights”. Just where does this stop?

As it stands we are providing legal counsel for these detainees. Any half competent attorney is not going to stand for their client being given just a few consitutional rights at the discretion of the Justice Department. This is definitely a story worth following. Most of these detainees are being held because we obtained information on them that is strong terroristic evidence. Now because of a change in leadership and thinking, we are going to throw out our own evidence because it wasn’t obtained voluntarily. Former Vice President Cheney has criticized President Obama for making the country what he considers to be “less safe”. This appears to be evidence to support that assertion.


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