Latest from Down Guantanamo Way

|


The latest from the hearings over whether the lawsuits from Guantanamo detainees can proceed, via Associated Press:

Attorneys for the prisoners argued that some were held solely on evidence gained by torture, which they said violated fundamental fairness and U.S. due process standards. But [Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian] Boyle argued…Wednesday that the detainees "have no constitutional rights enforceable in this court."

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon asked if a detention would be illegal if it were based solely on evidence gathered by torture, because "torture is illegal. We all know that."

Boyle replied that if the military's combatant status review tribunals (or CSRTs) "determine that evidence of questionable provenance were reliable, nothing in the due process clause (of the Constitution) prohibits them from relying on it."

Those CSRT panels are the result of the government's attempts to deal with the aftermath of the Supreme Court's June decisions in Rasul and Hamdi. For more background and insight on these matters, see Reason's January 2005 cover feature–which subscribers (and why aren't you one?) already have, post office willing–by Harvey Silverglate, "Civil Liberties and Enemy Combatants." It's a detailed discussion of why, even after those decisions, the rights of those the government declares "enemy combatants"–and the rest of us–aren't very secure.