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Column: Tragic Gitmo Ruling Threatens America

This story was written by Brandon Sack, Independent Florida Alligator


Last week, the Supreme Court turned its back on the American people. In a 5-4 ruling, the court held that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have the right to habeas corpus. In English, this means that prisoners are allowed to hear the evidence against them, and President Bush is prohibited from declaring anyone an enemy combatant and detaining them indefinitely without charge.

At first glance, it might not seem very wise to randomly round up people who happen to live in an area where there are terrorists and imprison them on a small island halfway across the world. And it is exactly this kind of superficial thinking that has now put the American people in grave danger.

Despite the disastrous ruling, there is a ray of hope and integrity that shines brightly from the Supreme Court bench. This beacon of freedom is the honorable Justice Antonin Scalia, a free thinking and enlightened neoconservative who began his dissenting opinion with the words, America is at war with radical Islamists reminding us just how afraid we should be. He then delved deeper into the issue, predicting unwaveringly that the decision will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed. Thats right, almost certainly. This type of strong language is usually only reserved for the most dire and irrefutable of circumstances. Such as in 2002 when Vice President Dick Cheney accurately informed us that there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

Those who are not so quick minded may have missed the logical steps between habeas corpus and dead Americans. For you, Scalia cited numerous situations where prisoners deemed noncombatants by the military had been released from Guantanamo, only to be later found on the battlefield killing American soldiers.

Now I know there are some of you soft on terrorist types out there who might think that just because we pluck up people oftentimes innocent people from their homes and families, transport them to a prison in the Caribbean, hold them with absolutely no charges, keep them for years in solitary confinement and mercilessly torture them to extract information they dont have, it would be possible for the government to turn any law abiding person into a violent terrorist. But lets remember that these people are radical Islamists who hate our freedom. If they werent already violent terrorists, they were probably going to become Islamofascist jihadists eventually anyway.

But back to the ruling. Twice before this same issue has come before the Supreme Court, and the same un American decision has been meted out. But thanks to the fearless patriotism of the president, John McCain and a Republican Congress, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006 were able to rectify the Supreme Courts mistakes. Now, for the third time, the Supreme Court has the gall to think it knows how best to interpret the Constitution. How dare they?

Scalia put it best: What competence does the Court have to second guess the judgment of Congress and the President on such a point? The answer is none. No matter what you learned in your high school civics class. If you havent caught on to the sarcasm yet, you probably think Stephen Colbert isnt playing a character and might as well just stop reading here. In reality, this is truly a triumph for human rights and for justice. The decision will in no way endanger any American citizens. The worst that could happen is we will have some assurance that those responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11 will have the opportunity to be brought to justice properly and with no doubts about their guilt or innocence. If nothing else, that is the minimum we owe the victims of Sept. 11 and their families.

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