SCOTUS: One more thing...

29 June 2007

Just when you think it's all over.

"The Supreme Court, reversing course, agreed Friday to review whether Guantanamo Bay detainees may go to federal court to challenge their indefinite confinement."
And in related news, 145 lawmakers from the House of Representatives sent this letter to the President:

June 29, 2007

President George W. Bush

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Recent reports in the media have suggested that your administration is now considering reversing its position to keep open the detention facilities at Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO). If accurate, we applaud the decision. Since the time that captured "enemy combatants" were first brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2002, the detainment facility has undermined America's image as the model of justice and protector of human rights around the world. Holding prisoners for an indefinite period of time, without charging them with a crime goes against our values, ideals and principles as a nation governed by the rule of law. Further, Guantanamo Bay has a become a liability in the broader global war on terror, as allegations of torture, the indefinite detention of innocent men, and international objections to the treatment of enemy combatants has hurt our credibility as the beacon for freedom and justice. Its continued operation also threatens the safety of U.S. citizens and military personnel detained abroad. The House-passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1585) included a provision requiring the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay. United States military barracks have the capability to provide for the secure detainment of foreign nationals while ensuring the safety of communities within their proximate geographic location. Further, the military locations afford on-site access to military courtrooms for the timely adjudication of all legal proceedings. The closure of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay would represent a positive first step toward restoring our international reputation as the leader of democracy and individual rights. We also feel that it is necessary to restore the right of habeas corpus to the detainees. This will allow for the implementation of fair and transparent trials to bring enemies of our country to justice. The global war on terror cannot be won through military might alone. It is a war of ideas and philosophies. A liability of our own creation, the existence of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay is defeating our effort to ensure that the principles of freedom, justice and human rights are spread throughout the world. We look forward to working with you on what we hope is a shared objective to close the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay.

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