Thursday, February 14, 2008
Bill of particulars
This is the administration that never gives up, even when it can't possibly be right. Today, the Bush administration appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to get a ruling that limits the amount of evidence the government must provide to Guantanamo Bay prisoners who challenge their detentions. The administration wants to overturn an appellate court ruling that the military could not decide what evidence to reveal to detainees when their cases were reviewed, but had to release nearly all the evidence in its possession. More than 180 Guantanamo Bay prisoners — many held for years without charges — have challenged decisions by military tribunals declaring them as "enemy combatants" under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. The Supreme Court is already deciding whether detainees have the right to access the federal courts when they appeal. But doesn't the United States have a tradition of justice in its court system? How can it ever be right for the government to withhold potentially exculpatory evidence from a court proceeding? Then again, the Bush administration has gotten away with doing some amazing things to the Bill of Rights.