Restoring Habeas Corpus

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 30, 2007 | Go to article overview

Restoring Habeas Corpus


Byline: Bruce Fein, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In confronting international terrorism, President George W. Bush and Congress have abandoned the Founding Fathers' suspicion of unchecked power in favor of the French Revolution's Jacobins.

Their creed, voiced by Louis de Saint Just, proclaimed, "No liberty for the enemies of liberty." Accordingly, suspected enemies were routinely imprisoned without trial based on edicts of the French Terror. President Bush has echoed the militant Jacobins: "We must not let foreign enemies use the forums of liberty to destroy liberty itself." He has similarly detained suspected unlawful enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely on his say-so alone. In so doing, President Bush has suspended the Great Writ of habeas corpus, with the consent of Congress in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, by denying enemy combatant suspects an opportunity to challenge the factual or legal foundations for their detentions before an independent and impartial federal judiciary.

Congress should restore habeas corpus at Guantanamo Bay and renounce the Jacobins' creed. An attempt in the Senate recently failed, but should be renewed.

The Founding Fathers enshrined the Great Writ in the Constitution to prevent the president from judging the lawfulness of his own detentions. Making proper deductions for the ordinary depravity of human nature, they worried that the president would be tempted to cast political or personal enemies into dungeons or to detain in furtherance of a political agenda absent checking by independent judges. A narrow exception was made "in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion [when] the public Safety may require it," neither of which fits September 11, 2001, or the threat of international terrorism.

Proponents of suspending habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees proclaim their faith in the inerrancy of the United States military in capturing enemy combatants. They contend that habeas corpus would be superfluous because only vile terrorists apprehended on the battlefield are being detained. In support, they summon former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and Rear Adm. John D. Stufflebeem, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mr. Rumsfeld characterized the detainees as "the worst of the worst." Rear Adm. Stufflebeem chorused: "They are the bad guys. They are the worst of the worst, and if let out on the street, they will go back to the proclivity of trying to kill Americans and others." Members of Congress have scoffed at habeas corpus premised on their trust in President Bush - like the Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland" - to target only the guilty for detention.

But based on the government's own enemy combatant status determinations compiled by Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs), the probability of error is great. Restoring habeas corpus is necessary to avert unjust life sentences and the corresponding creation of poster children for al Qaeda's recruiters.

Seton Hall law professor Mark Denbeaux and lawyer Joshua Denbeaux examined the CSRT records for 517 detainees released in 2005. They revealed that 55 percent of the detainees had not committed a hostile act against the United States or its coalition allies. …

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

Restoring Habeas Corpus
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.