Tuesday, January 23, 2007

cohen on cully stimson, alberto on habeas corpus

A bit late perhaps, but Richard Cohen has a good column about the indefensible slanders of Pentagon official Cully Stimson against the treacherous lawfirms that aid the enemy by representing detainees in Guantanamo.

Best para: I, for one, do not accept Stimson's apology. I think it is insincerely offered and beside the point. What matters most is that he retains his job, which means he retains the confidence of his superiors in the government. How anyone can have confidence in such a man is beyond me. There are only two explanations, one inexcusable, the other chilling. The first is that his bosses don't care. The second is that they agree with him.

Cohen thinks it is the latter - Stimson's bosses in the de facto Administration agree with him. I think Cohen's right. After all, this is an Administration that refuses to admit any limit on its power at all, that refuses to admit mistakes.

As for its contempt for legal niceties, read this exchange between Attorney-General/ Torturer-General Alberto Gonzales and Senator Arlen Specter (from the Washington Post), at a recent Judiciary Committee hearing:
Gonzales : The fact that the Constitution -- again, there is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution. There's a prohibition against taking it away.

But it's never been the case. I'm not aware of a Supreme . . .

Specter : Wait a minute. Wait a minute. The Constitution says you can't take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's 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. Doesn't say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except . . .

Specter : You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.

Yes, that is the Attorney-General of the United States basically saying that it is up to the US Government to determine who should enjoy our Constitutionally-granted rights.



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