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Friday, January 19

Gonzo: ‘There Is No Express Grant of Habeas Corpus In The Constitution’

My dad fought in WWII against countries like the one ours is trying to be.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was playing the spin game again. It's a crying shame that the freaking Attorney General of the freaking United States of America, the only country on earth that God blesses regularly, would mess with the second most important writing in the world next to the holy bible. Gonzales was debating Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about whether the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo detainees last year cited the constitutional right to habeas corpus.

From Think Progress:
GONZALES: ... The fact that the Constitution — again, there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away. But it’s never been the case, and I’m not a Supreme —

SPECTER: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. The constitution says you can’t take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?

GONZALES: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn’t say, “Every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas.” It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except by —

SPECTER: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.
Oh dear. Why bring something like this up Mr Gonzalez unless you are attempting to pull the wool over someone's eyes?

Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of the Constitution: “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

Also in Think Progress:

Col. Dwight H. Sullivan, the Chief Defense Counsel in the Office of Military Commissions, issued a statement yesterday criticizing the new rules unveiled by the Pentagon following the guidelines set by congress last year in the Military Commissions Act:
The rules appear carefully crafted to ensure than an accused can be convicted — and possibly executed — based on nothing but a coerced confession. The rules would allow an accused to be executed based on nothing but hearsay.

[…]

The rules’ broad protections for classified information threaten to swallow everything. These rules are particularly scary coming in the wake of new Guantánamo classification guidelines that make even the prisoners’ own name classified as ‘SECRET.’

The rules violate the principle that the jury shouldn’t be allowed to see anything that the defendant can’t see. Witnesses can be shielded so that the defendant can’t see them, but the jury can.
If we let them treat the so-called "bad guys" like this legally, maybe one day your neighbor or even you will be deemed a "bad guy" and they won't even have to prove it.

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