By Manu Raju
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday that terrorist suspects will receive better treatment than the Nazis now that the Supreme Court has ruled detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have the right to habeas corpus.
"The court gave al Qaeda members the same status as an American citizen. They said an al Qaeda member has a constitutional right to go to a federal court of their choosing and say, 'Judge, let me go,'" Graham told reporters outside the Senate chamber. "The Nazis never had that right."
Graham, a loyal ally to GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and a former military prosecutor, said he would look at legislative options to overturn the ruling, including a constitutional amendment if necessary.
W's minions are fond of this talking point: "We're giving al Qaeda benefit of law!"
Two points ought be made:
1. The argument assumes that the detainees are members of al Qaeda. This is in fact the point of a habeas hearing: allowing detainees to challenge their detention on the basis that they're NOT al Qaeda, and that the U.S. has no evidence that they are al Qaeda! Just because W says you're al Qaeda doesn't make it so!
2. Give al Qaeda benefit of law? You bet:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!This in a nutshell is the argument against torture, against "extraordinary rendition", against extra-legal anti-terrorist tactics of any kind. Those laws we ignore to get the bad guys are the very laws that protect US! We ignore them at our peril.
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
[Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons; emphasis added]
For my own safety's sake!
Stop the madness!