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Saturday, 18 August 2007

Padilla Case a Source of Deep Shame for America

As Yale professor Jack Balkin put it:

"It’s important to remember that the Bush Administration did everything it could to deny Padilla even the basic right of habeas corpus. It argued that courts had no power to second guess the president’s determination that Padilla was an enemy of the United States and could be held in solitary confinement indefinitely. It argued that no one had the right to contact Padilla and that no one had the right to know what the government was doing to him. It argued that courts should defer to the president’s views about who was dangerous and who was not – that once the president declared a person an enemy, that person had all the process that was due them and courts should respect that determination.

"Those are the powers that the Bush Administration sought. I will not mince words: They are the powers of a dictator in an authoritarian regime. They are the powers of the old Soviet Union, of the military junta in Argentina during the time of the disappeared." More...