Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Glenn Greenwald in Salon

Having now carefully reviewed the Al-Marri decision (.pdf), as well as ample commentary from those defending and criticizing the opinion, there are several points worth making. But the overarching point is how extraordinary it is -- specifically, how extraordinarily disturbing it is -- that we are even debating these issues at all.

Although its ultimate resolution is complicated, the question raised by Al-Marri is a clear and simple one: Does the President have the power -- and/or should he have it -- to arrest individuals on U.S. soil and keep them imprisoned for years and years, indefinitely, without charging them with a crime, allowing them access to lawyers or the outside world, and/or providing a meaningful opportunity to contest the validity of the charges?

How can that question not answer itself? Who would possibly believe that an American President has such powers, and more to the point, what kind of a person would want a President to have such powers? That is one of a handful of powers which this country was founded to prevent.
The Republicans, that's what kind.

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