Thursday, July 08, 2004

Movement on Guantanamo

Finally, a baby-step towards justice:

The Pentagon announced last night it will quickly hold hearings for all 595 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison as it scrambles to respond to the Supreme Court ruling last week that the government was jailing terrorism suspects without due process.


The new hearings -- to be called Combatant Status Review Tribunals -- are separate from the hearings in federal court that the Supreme Court ruled the government must offer to all the inmates to contest their detentions. But administration officials and experts on military law said the new tribunals are designed to buttress the government's case -- that it has been deliberative in its detention decisions and afforded due process -- when it confronts defense attorneys in the federal court hearings.

"The administration is trying to make the best of a bad situation," said Eugene R. Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice. "It's an effort to play catch-up ball, and to blunt the possible impact of the habeas corpus review."

Even Tony Blair is criticizing Bush's gulag, but don't look for the administration to do anything over and above the minimum requirements of the court.