Tortured justice



“A major detainee bill hurtling down the HOV lane in Congress today would determine the extent to which the president can define and authorize torture. […] One hardly needs a law degree to understand that in a controversy over detainee treatment between the executive and legislative branches, the trump will go to the guy who’s holding the unnamed detainees in secret prisons. […] No serious reader of the detainee-compromise bill can dispute that the whole point here is to sideline the courts. This bill immunizes some forms of detainee abuse and ignores others. It strips courts of habeas-corpus jurisdiction and denies so-called unlawful enemy combatants […] the right to assert Geneva Convention claims in courts. Many detainees may never stand trial on the most basic question of whether they have done anything wrong. And courts will apparently now be powerless to do anything about any of this.” (story) “The White House was allowed to blatantly rewrite the pending legislation in regard to habeas corpus and the definition of enemy combatants. This time around, amid the mind-numbing blur of end-of-session legislative maneuvers, these aggressive efforts by the administration to be allowed to hold detainees for years (and even maybe decades) without judicial review has provoked only dutiful resistance from most congressional Democrats and a so-what shrug from the press and the public.” (story)