The War on Our Rights

By Cole, David | The Nation, January 12, 2004 | Go to article overview

The War on Our Rights


Cole, David, The Nation


"Even in times of national emergency--indeed, particularly in such times--it is the obligation of the Judicial Branch to ensure the preservation of our constitutional values and to prevent the Executive Branch from running roughshod over the rights of citizens and aliens alike." So wrote the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on December 18, ruling that foreign nationals held as "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base have a right to seek court review of the legality of their detention. The same day, a Court of Appeals on the other coast ruled that the President acting alone lacks authority to detain US citizens as "enemy combatants."

Never before has the Administration suffered such setbacks to its domestic war on terrorism. And the backlash has been growing. On December 3 a Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional significant portions of the federal statute criminalizing "material support" to designated "terrorist organizations." The statute has been the linchpin of most of the Justice Department's terrorism prosecutions precisely because it does not require proof of individual involvement in, or support of, actual terrorism--only proof of some "support" to a proscribed group. The court held that the prohibitions on providing "personnel" and "training" to such groups impermissibly penalized constitutionally protected activity.

On December 9 the military embarrassingly admitted that it did not even know whether supposedly secret information seized from Capt. James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo, was classified. Yee had been arrested and detained for more than two months, with much fanfare about national security breaches at Guantanamo, for allegedly taking his own notes off the base in a notebook. Meanwhile, in one of the most vindictive prosecutions in years, the military is prosecuting Yee for committing adultery and having pornographic images on his computer, hardly matters of national security.

For all John Ashcroft's blustering, only one 9/11 terrorism case has actually gone to trial--and the outcome of that trial has now been called into serious question. The case, tried in Detroit, resulted in a mixed verdict this past June. Two defendants were convicted of conspiracy to support some unspecified terrorist act in the unspecified future, and two others were acquitted on the terrorism charges. On December 16 the federal district judge in the case formally admonished Ashcroft for interfering with the trial by violating a gag order and officially praising the government's principal witness while the jury was deliberating. And on December 12 the judge held a hearing on whether to vacate the convictions altogether on the ground that federal prosecutors had failed to disclose evidence that the same witness had lied on the stand. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The War on Our Rights
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.