Monday, July 14, 2003

More conservatives against Bush

From The Economist:

Since the 2001 attacks, the Bush administration has avoided America's own courts repeatedly. Soon after the attacks, Mr Bush issued his executive order permitting military commissions outside the purview of the courts. Since then, his administration has imprisoned some 680 people at Guantanamo Bay precisely because it believed that the naval base, held on a perpetual lease, is outside the reach of anyone's courts, including America's. It has also claimed the right to arrest American citizens, even on American soil, as “enemy combatants” and to imprison them without charge until the war on terrorism is over. Appeals by civil libertarians to America's court system have been resisted at every stage.

Mr Bush could have asked Congress to pass new anti-terrorism laws. Instead, he is setting up a shadow court system outside the reach of either Congress or America's judiciary, and answerable only to himself. Such a system is the antithesis of the rule of law which the United States was founded to uphold. In a speech on July 4th, Mr Bush rightly noted that American ideals have been a beacon of hope to others around the world. In compromising those ideals in this matter, Mr Bush is not only dismaying America's friends but also blunting one of America's most powerful weapons against terrorism.


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