Tuesday, November 18, 2003

American Gulag: "No American president should have the absolute power to imprison people at will, even when the nation is at war. That's the unfettered power President George W. Bush has claimed for himself in the war on terrorism... Kings and dictators wield unlimited power over the liberty of others. Not American presidents. They are constrained by the Constitution, the rule of law and, in the case of foreigners captured during hostilities, the Geneva Convention, endorsed by 191 nations including the United States."

"At stake is the bedrock Western legal principal of habeas corpus, a fundamental guarantor of individual liberty. It gives anyone imprisoned by the government the right to challenge the lawfulness of their incarceration. By getting word to a judge who can order the jailer to 'bring me the body,' (as habeas corpus means in Latin) officials are made to prove that the detention is legal. That check on presidential power is a critical bulwark against government tyranny."

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