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US Court grants more rights to Guantanamo detainees

Immediately after the WTC attack, there was wide-spread support for the actions of the United States administration; this involved supporting the actions of the United States in getting rid of the Taliban in Afghanistan and of taking prisoners from the Al-Qaeda and Taleban attackers over there and interrogating them. However, in a matter of time, the Bush Administration came up against the basic concept of rights, especially with the concept that the war against terrorism was depriving people of their basic rights; the right to a free trial. This is balanced with the thought that in cases especially involving Al-Qaeda, it would be hard to find proof or that the methods of interrogation that revealed their guilt would not be admissible in a court of law. A Government, one of whose critical aims is the protection of its people, cannot release people who are acknowledged terrorists and do not fit the normal concept of getting reformed. If you release them, then there is a good chance that they will go back and start doing the same activities again.


However, it is very hard to justify locking people up for years altogether without bringing in charges against them; it goes against the concept of law and the rights of man whereby everybody is entitled to a trial in a free society. The United States is not a banana republic whereby laws and the rights of individuals are at the whims and fancies of a single person. In this overall discussion, the US courts are slowly changing their stance, from initially supporting the policies of the Bush administration to questioning their treatment of the detainees:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Guantanamo prisoners have constitutional rights has fundamentally changed the rules for trying them and could bring down the special war crimes court, defence lawyers said. Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling did not directly address the legality of the Guantanamo court but it gave the defendants a new avenue to challenge its jurisdiction to try them. The 2006 law that laid the foundation for the trials at the U.S. naval base in Cuba said that court can only try “unlawful enemy combatants,” a term used by the Bush administration for fighters it considers undeserving of the legal protections granted to civilians and soldiers.
That status was determined by an administrative panel of military officers, a system that critics said allowed the jailers to be the judges. Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling said prisoners had the right to challenge that status in the U.S. federal courts, forcing the government to show evidence to continue holding them.

This ruling forces the Bush administration to think anew over its policies in the area of the treatment of the detainees; even though the administration, and even the Republican candidate, McCain has opposed the judgment, and the judgment was delivered by a razor thin minority of 5-4.

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