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November 14, 2005

Kissing 800 Years of Legal Precedent Goodbye

About the time my drinking binge Thursday afternoon began, The U.S. Senate was busy adding an amendment to a Pentagon finance bill that strips just about all rights from War on Terror&trade detainees in Guantanamo and other similar detention facilities.

Habeas Corpus, the right to compel the government to justify itself when it imprisons people, has been around since 1215 A.D. It dates back to the Magna Carta. Yes, the United States Senate, with it's copious quantity of lawyers, is trying to reverse 800 years of legal precedent.

If this passes the House unchanged, the U.S. will grant itself the right to detain anyone they want, for as long as they wish, without having to utter the slightest peep as to why.

There's lots of good information about this out there. Talk Left is all over it. P. Sabin Willit wrote a heart wrenching article for the Washington Post. And the Guardian has a nice article too.